Archive for April 23rd, 2014

April 23, 2014

The Golden Ass

the golden ass

‘The Metamorphoses’ by Apuleius (Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis, a Roman writer) which St. Augustine referred to as ‘The Golden Ass‘ (Asinus aureus), is the only Ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety. The protagonist of the novel is called Lucius, like the author. At the end of the novel, he is revealed to be from Madaurus (present day Algeria), the hometown of Apuleius himself.

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 is accidentally transformed into an ass. This leads to a long journey, literal and metaphorical, filled with inset tales (short stories told by characters encountered by the protagonist; some act as independent narratives, while others interlock with plot developments). He finally finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis, whose cult he joins.

read more »

Tags: ,