Prior to the rise of the novel in the early imperial period, prose had been reserved for serious works of history, philosophy, or rhetoric. When authors began to create their own stories based on neither traditional history nor established myth, but merely the concocted scenarios of their own imaginations, they nevertheless initially mimicked the genre of historiography, often imbuing their novels with historical veneers or other authenticating devices. This often left the reader in a quandary as to what parts of the text were to be believed, and eventually, the deception of the reader, so as to maintain suspense through the withholding of vital information, became a mainstay of the genre that remains even today. This dissertation investigates the beginnings of prose fiction in the ancient world, focusing especially on how the genre of the novel, or the romance, became intricately associated with the rhetorical practice of narrative deceit. All five extant Greek novels and both extant Latin novels are examined, as well as authors contemporary with their works, such as Lucian, and the rhetorical handbooks used to train all literate authors and sophists of the time, the progymnasmata. Finally, it briefly examines the ancient romances' contribution to the long literary legacy of the novel.