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The Golden Ass, Or, Metamorphoses

Apuleius (Book - 2004)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Golden Ass, Or, Metamorphoses
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Written towards the end of the second century AD, The Golden Ass tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to be transformed into a donkey. The bewitched Lucius passes from owner to owner - encountering a desperate gang of robbers and being forced to perform lewd 'human' tricks on stage - until the Goddess Isis finally breaks the spell and Lucius is initiated into her cult. Apuleius' enchanting story has inspired generations of writers such as Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats with its dazzling combination of allegory, satire, bawdiness and sheer exuberance, and remains the most continuously and accessibly amusing book to have survived from Classical antiquity.
Authors: Apuleius
Uniform Title: Metamorphoses. English
Title: The golden ass, or, Metamorphoses
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 2004
Characteristics: xliii, 267 p. :,ill., maps ;,20 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Apuleius ; translated with an introduction and notes by E.J. Kenney
Notes: "Reprinted with revisions 2004"--T.p. verso
Additional Contributors: Kenney, E. J.
Alternate Title: Golden ass
ISBN: 0140435905
Branch Call Number: FICTION APULEIUS 2004
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxix-xli) and index
Subject Headings: Mythology, Classical Fiction Metamorphosis Fiction
Genre/Form: Fantasy fiction
Topical Term: Mythology, Classical
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From Library Staff

The misadventures a man who is magically transformed into a donkey. This ancient novel is humorous and often bawdy, while depicting social and religious life in the provinces under Roman rule. It includes is the famous story of Cupid and Psyche. (120–180 A.D.?)

Join the discussion on Oct. 19, 2014. Apuleius' unique, entertaining and thoroughly readable novel is the only work of fiction in Latin surviving from antiquity. Transformed into an ass due to his curiosity about sex and magic, the hero Lucius, a Roman aristocrat, suffers many trials and humiliat... Read More »

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Jun 23, 2012
  • TomLibrarian rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Apuleius, an inhabitant of the Roman provinces of North Africa, adapted a popular Greek story about a man who is magically transformed into a donkey; his novel celebrates the pleasure of stories and storytelling while also depicting social and religious life in the provinces under Roman rule. The novel is humorous and often bawdy, but it also compels its readers to reflect seriously on the nature of knowledge, social problems and religious truth. Among the many interpolated tales that are woven into the master plot of Lucius (a noble whose curiosity for magic has dire consequences) is the famous story of Cupid and Psyche, a favorite subject of Renaissance artists. The Golden Ass is remembered for its influence on authors like Cervantes and Boccaccio."


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app10 Version draggan_fix Last updated 2014/11/20 11:49