Friday, April 29, 2022

The Golden Ass

THE GOLDEN ASS (Apuleius, Roman, Late 2nd century CE)

(Lucius) Apuleius (c. 124-after 170 CE) was a Numidian--ethnically, a Berber--who lived in what is now Algeria. He wrote in Latin, and was a novelist and philosopher who studied and traveled in Athens, Italy, Asia Minor, and Egypt. He was initiated into several cults of the day. He is most famous for his bawdy picaresque novel, the Metamorphoses, better known as The Golden Ass, the only Latin novel that has survived in its entirety. It relates the ludicrous adventures of one Lucius, who experiments with magic, and, in trying to turn himself into a bird, ends up as a donkey. He goes through various adventures, encountering a number of tales set into the main narrative, before being turned back into a human by the goddess Isis. Interestingly, Lucius is also the author's first name, and the character comes from the author's hometown.


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