The Golden Ass

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Penguin Books, 1998 - Greek literature - 267 pages
16 Reviews
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Apuleius's Golden Ass is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly readable Latin novel--the only work of fiction in Latin to have survived from antiquity. It tells the story of the hero Lucius, whose curiosity and fascination for sex and magic results in his transformation into an ass. Aftersuffering a series of trials and humiliations, he is ultimately returned to human shape by the kindness of the goddess Isis. Simultaneously a blend of romantic adventure, fable, and religious testament, The Golden Ass is one of the truly seminal works of European literature, of intrinsic interest asa novel in its own right, and one of the earliest examples of the picaresque. This new translation is at once faithful to the meaning of the Latin, while reproducing all the exuberance of the original.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - aryadeschain - LibraryThing

Once again I face the situation in which I don't know why this book is in the list of the "1001 books to read before you die". I'm not dismissing the whatsoever historical importance of this book, I ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Some tout this as a "great" book. I find it gross. Lewd, nude and crude with a primitive (if any) morality, I can't figure why anyone would consider it "great" other than a great disappointment. Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Lucius Apuleius (2nd Century AD) was a North African fubulist who Latinized the Greek myths and legends. He travelled widely, visiting Italy and Asia, where he was initiated into numerous religious mysteries. He drew on the knowledge he gained about the priestly fraternities to write the Golden Ass, which Cupid and Psyche is extracted from.

E.J. Kenney is Emeritus Kennedy Professor of Latin in the University of Cambridge. His publications include a critical edition of Ovid's amatory works. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

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