Born in Syria, Lucian wanted to be an orator, which was a popular goal of education in his times. His first studies were in Aramaic, in accord with his place of birth, but later he studied Greek language and rhetoric in the western part of Asia Minor and became a lawyer in Antioch.
Later he studied Sophist philosophy and rhetoric and travelled to many places, including Rome, studied with the Platonist Nigrinos, and then taught rhetoric and made Sophist speeches in Gaul.
He moved to Athens in 165 AD , where he remained for twenty years, during which time he wrote his satirical and philosophical dialogues.
He was praised for his scathing wit and his sharp insight. In his old age he was given a position in the courts of Alexandria, offered him by the emporer, and died there.
His best known works are his dialogues, and in particular, the 'Dialogues of the Gods' and the 'Dialogues of the Dead', in which he satirizes mythology.
His works are very diverse, including satiricial critiques of his contemporaries, written in an elegant style much emulated by later writers.