Apuleius and Africa

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Benjamin Todd Lee, Ellen Finkelpearl, Luca Graverini
Routledge, May 9, 2014 - History - 360 pages

The Metamorphoses or Golden Ass of Apuleius (ca. 170 CE) is a Latin novel written by a native of Madauros in Roman North Africa, roughly equal to modern Tunisia together with parts of Libya and Algeria. Apuleius’ novel is based on the model of a lost Greek novel; it narrates the adventures of a Greek character with a Roman name who spends the bulk of the novel transformed into an animal, traveling from Greece to Rome only to end his adventures in the capital city of the empire as a priest of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Apuleius’ Florida and Apology deal more explicitly with the African provenance and character of their author while also demonstrating his complex interaction with Greek, Roman, and local cultures. Apuleius’ philosophical works raise other questions about Greek vs. African and Roman cultural identity.

Apuleius in Africa addresses the problem of this intricate complex of different identities and its connection to Apuleius’ literary production. It especially emphasizes Apuleius’ African heritage, a heritage that has for the most part been either downplayed or even deplored by previous scholarship. The contributors include philologists, historians, and experts in material culture; among them are some of the most respected scholars in their fields. The chapters give due attention to all elements of Apuleius’ oeuvre, and break new ground both on the interpretation of Apuleius’ literary production and on the culture of the Roman Empire in the second century. The volume also includes a modern, sub-Saharan contribution in which "Africa" mainly means Mediterranean Africa.



List of Figures
Text and Context
Apuleius and Africitas
The Negotiation of Provincial Identity through Literature Apuleius
Two African Careers in the Roman Empire
Identity and Identification in Apuleius Apology Florida and Metamorphoses
Apuleius Narrative and Berber Folktales
Apuleius and Afroasiatic Poetics
Apuleius and India
Apuleius the AfroPlatonist
A Sociological Reading of A V Africae Viri Apuleius and the Logic

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About the author (2014)

Benjamin Todd Lee is Associate Professor of Classics at Oberlin College, USA.

Ellen Finkelpearl is Helen Chandler Garland Professor of Ancient Studies and Professor of Classics at Scripps College, USA.

Luca Graverini is ‘Ricercatore’ of Latin Literature in the Department of Philology at the University of Siena, Italy.