The Golden Asse

Front Cover
Lucius Apuleius
MobileReference.com, 2010 - Fiction - 278 pages
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The Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass (Asinus aureus), is the only Latin novel to survive in its entirety.The protagonist of the novel may in fact be the author himself. His first name is revealed to be Lucius; at the end of the novel, he is revealed to be from Madaurus, the hometown of Apuleius himself. The identification of the protagonist as Lucius of Madaurus has led some scholars to posit that the narrator and the author are one and the same person. The plot revolves around the protagonist's curiosity (curiositas) and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a bird, he accidentally gets transformed into an ass. This leads to a long journey, literal and metaphorical, filled with in-set tales. He finally finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis, whose cult he joins.OCo Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia."

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About the author (2010)

Apuleius, of African birth, was educated in Carthage and Athens. His most famous work, The Golden Ass (c.150), is the tale of a young philosopher who transformed himself not into a bird as he had expected, but into an ass. After many adventures he was rescued by the goddess Isis. The episode of "Cupid and Psyche," told with consummate grace, is the most celebrated section. This romance of the declining Empire influenced the novels of Boccaccio, Cervantes, Fielding (see Vol. 1), and Smollett (see Vol. 1); Heywood used the theme for a drama and William Morris (see Vol. 1) used some of the material in The Earthly Paradise. Robert Graves's "translation abandons the aureate Latinity of Apuleius for a dry, sharp, plain style---which is itself a small masterpiece of twentieth-century prose" (Kenneth Rexroth, SR SR). The new translation by John Arthur Hanson is authoritative.

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