This is the first edition of and full-length commentary on On the Syrian Goddess, an Ionic ethnography of the Holy City of Hierapolis in northern Syria, where the Syrian goddess Atargatis was worshipped. This treatise is one of the most important literary sources for 'oriental' religions underthe Roman Empire. Traditionally ascribed to Lucian of Samosata, the work has often been viewed as satire. Lightfoot argues for a much subtler reading, for the first time combining a literary and philological approach with the evidence of archaeology to set this complex treatise in the fullestpossible context. The result bears on the religious culture of Roman Syria; on the genre of Herodotean ethnography and its revival and reception in the Second Sophistic; and on Lucian of Samosata himself. The edition is based on a fresh collation of all existing manuscripts and an Englishtranslation is provided.