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Author of The Golden Ass

177+ Works 6,491 Members 108 Reviews 15 Favorited

About the Author

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 show more "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. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Mosaic (4th century) from Trier

Works by Apuleius

The Golden Ass (0159) 4,784 copies
Cupid and Psyche (0002) — Author — 510 copies
Apology (1962) 73 copies
100 Eternal Masterpieces of Literature - volume 2 (2020) — Contributor — 71 copies
The god of Socrates (1984) 51 copies
Apology ; Florida (1909) 44 copies
Pro se de magia : apologia (1983) 18 copies
Das Märchen von Amor und Psyche (1994) — Author — 13 copies
Florida (1959) 12 copies
The Golden Ass ; Apology (2007) 8 copies
Amor und Psyche lateinisch und deutsch (1987) — Author — 7 copies
Pronkpassages 4 copies
Les Metamorfosis, Vol I. (1929) 4 copies
De philosophia libri (1991) 3 copies
METAMORPHOSES T3 L7-11 (1945) 3 copies
Les Metamorfosis (2010) 3 copies
Metamorphosen 2 copies
De deo Socratis 2 copies
Nowele Rzymskie — Contributor — 1 copy
Della Magia 1 copy
Sulla magia 1 copy
Apulée 1 copy
CUPIDO 1 copy
Das Märchen von Amor und Psyche (1994) — Author — 1 copy
Opera 1 copy
Apulei Platonici (1912) 1 copy
Métamorphoses, tome 2 (1989) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche (1901) — Original author — 79 copies
Wolf's Complete Book of Terror (1979) — Contributor — 76 copies
Psyche (1898) — some editions — 68 copies
Roman Readings (1958) 67 copies
The Paganism Reader (2004) — Contributor — 64 copies
Komt een Griek bij de dokter humor in de oudheid (2007) — Contributor — 25 copies
Romans grecs et latins (1958) — Contributor — 24 copies
The Lock and Key Library (Volume 2: Mediterranean) (1909) — Contributor — 18 copies


(252) 1001 (36) 1001 books (48) 2nd century (39) ancient (55) ancient literature (63) Ancient Rome (92) anthology (89) antiquity (79) Apuleius (108) classic (87) classical (60) classical literature (108) classics (379) fairy tales (120) fantasy (99) fiction (540) Folio Society (38) folklore (50) Greece (39) history (55) humor (67) Isis (34) Latin (242) Latin literature (172) literature (253) Loeb (32) magic (32) metamorphosis (32) myth (41) novel (128) philosophy (50) read (50) religion (50) Roman (107) Roman literature (113) Rome (95) short stories (56) to-read (181) translation (81)

Common Knowledge

Other names
Apuleio, Lucio
Lucius Apuleius
Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis
0125 CE (circa)
Date of death
0180 CE (circa)
Roman Empire
Country (for map)
Madauros, Numidia, Roman Empire
Places of residence
Madaura, North Africa
Carthage, North Africa
Athens, Greece
Numidia, Roman Empire
Teacher of philosophy and rhetoric
Short biography
Apuleo aŭ Apulejo - latine Apuleius, naskiĝis ĉirkaŭ 125, mortis en 164 - estis romana filozofo kaj verkisto de satiroj. Li naskiĝis en urbo Madaŭro, en Numidio (hodiaŭe Alĝerio), kaj estis grava personaĵo de sia epoka pri platona literaturo, retoriko kaj filozofio.

Li estis edukita en Kartago kaj Ateno, kaj vojaĝis tra Mediteraneo, studante ritojn de inico kaj kultojn. Li bone konis la grekajn kaj latinajn verkistojn, li instruis retorikon en Romo antaŭ reveni al Afriko kie li edziĝis al riĉa vidvino.

Li mortis en Kartago (hodiaŭe Tunizio).

Verkoj :

Opera omnia, 1621
Pro opozicio de edzina familio li verkis Apologion (173), specon de autobiografio. Li verkis ankaŭ multajn malsamajn poemojn kaj trataktojn, el tiuj Floridan, koletaneon de elokvenciaj verkoj, sed lia plej konata verko estas "La Ora Azeno", prozaĵo en 11 libroj kiun komence li nomis "Metamorfozoj". Ĝi estas la aventuroj de junulo Lucio, kiu estis transformita per magio en azenon kaj kiu nur reiĝis al homa formo per interveno de Izisa, al kies servo li konsakriĝis. La epizodo plej grava de tiu verko, la nura romanco el Antikveco kiu alvenis al nia erao, estas la bela fabelo pri Eroso kaj Psiĥa, kiun oni povas interpreti kiel alegorion je mistika unio.



“Senties, efficiam, misero dolori naturales vires adesse”

I will make you learn that bitter grief has inborn strength

Metamorphoses, Liber VII, Stanza 27

Inborn strength that turns to valor is the overcoming that leads to the holiness of Eleusian fields.


May the Great Goddess IO thrive eternally, for her eyes are the stars, and her robes the cosmic night that gathers all children upon the starry wondrous fields of eternity.

I have been consoled by the sight of her rainbow wings once, may She gather all of us.

I am thankful to master Apuleius, from ancient times into the modern, while reading the last Liber I was moved to tears, almost forgetful of my past gratitude and Divine occurences. Eoai!
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Saturnin.Ksawery | 5 other reviews | Jan 12, 2024 |
It was of great benefit to read Books 1-6 of Apuleius in the magnificent translation of J. Arthur Hanson. For a practicing neo-platonist, or a kin to ancient folk by heart and spirit this books conveys many trophies with plots that could easily be turned into stanzas of quotable wisdom-literature. I'm preparing myself to read the second volume alongside with Fletcher's 'Apuleius' Platonism' which is an extremely interesting support-mechanism for fully and duly understanding Master Apuleius' thought.… (more)
Saturnin.Ksawery | 74 other reviews | Jan 12, 2024 |
I treated Apologia as a masterful choice for narrating one' own defense at court. Use of logic, reason, rhetoric, appeal ad personam, various figures of speech that were abudantly perfected for lifting the charges, praising the Arete (virtue), chastising the foolish, stupid and vile, while preserving a blend of magnificent styles. I guess that the most advanced lawyer nowadays wouldn't have the capacity to deliver, nor memorize, nor even dream about repeating such a variete of tools of the trade in the modern day at the judge's order. Dare I not mention modern politicians whose style, vocabulary, and the use of language would be considered that of a perverse, daft, demented ex-prostitute crone of the ancient days.

Florida is a beautiful collection of variete, so you will find many interesting expansions to the knowledge of a classicists, and dare I say I'm not one. Just a lover of classical philology and the muses. My favorite one was the comparison of Alexander the Great' limitations on artists that were allowed to portray him and the parallel wish of Apuleius that it would be his dream for philosophy, lady philosophy to be selective with those who are true philosophers, and discard those who falsely portray her in a crooked and most undelightful, ignorant light.

De Deo Socratis is a select work to further build on the daimonology (angeli bonum / daimonios) and beliefs related to thanatology of the ancients (well, descriptions of types of the dead-kin), as well as the concept of personal daimon that is shaped according to one's nature, inclination, and - hard work. I find it interesting to go back in time and compare it to much later - Iamblichus of Chalcis, as well earlier - Chaldean Oracles, and some fragments from Plutarchs's De Iside et Osiride et al.
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Saturnin.Ksawery | 1 other review | Jan 12, 2024 |
"The Golden Ass" is the world's oldest novel, written by a Roman named Apuleius in about the year 160 C.E. Apuleius was a philosopher and author, who wrote other stories as well. The novel is about a man named Lucius (the narrator of the story) who is transformed by magic into a donkey!

It is very funny and quite bawdy at times and can be enjoyed at that level. But, it is also a story about animal cruelty and abuse. At the start of the story Lucius mentions in passing that he is related to the Greek philosopher and historian Plutarch, well known (then and now) for his biographies of famous historical figures, but he was also a staunch animal rights activist and vegetarian. This should give a hint to the tone of the book.

Lucius, who maintains his human mind but cannot speak, knows what he needs to do to return to human form (eat roses), but because of various circumstances he does not get the opportunity to do so. As a poor donkey he is captured, sold, overburdened with heavy loads, forced into labor, beaten, tortured, abused, and almost killed by various cruel and sadistic citizens and slaves. The story also shows the extreme cruelty performed on slaves, who at times are chained and forced to to work alongside Lucius the donkey in a grain mill that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. He does, of course, escape the situation because after all, he did write the tale.
After the story, there are two essays, one by translator Ellen Finkelpearl and one by the editor, Peter Singer. Singer is a well-known animal rights activist and has written several books on the subject. He notes that in that time period most people did not consider it cruel to mistreat animals (or slaves sadly), but also says that in our current times we mistreat and abuse FAR more animals now than in those days, mostly due to the animal factory farms. (Singer writes that when people secretly have videotaped the mistreatment at the farms, Congress did not pass laws to protect animals, they made it a crime with serious consequences to film the mistreatment!). Singer also reminds readers that Apuleius has Lucius turns into an ass, then considered one of the lowest forms of animal life, rather than an animal like a noble eagle, a lovable dog, or a brave lion. But of course, the story would not be about abuse if he did so...
This edition of the book (from Liveright Press in 2022) is an abridgement from the original Latin, which contained several stories within the novel (including the famous "Cupid and Psyche") but are not included in this book and are not part of the story-line about Lucius anyway. This is a nice translation of the novel and is easily readable.
And make sure that you read the two essays also, they help give nice insight into the book.
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CRChapin | 74 other reviews | Jul 8, 2023 |



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