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The Golden Ass : Penguin Classics - Apuleius

The Golden Ass

Penguin Classics

By: Apuleius


Published: 1st January 1999
For Ages: 18+ years old
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Written towards the end of the Second Century AD, Apuleius’ intriguing story, The Golden Ass, has inspired and influenced generations of writers and readers from Shakespeare to Keats and William Morris.

Lucius, a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to believe he can be transformed into a bird, instead becomes a donkey. Whirled off by robbers, he embarks on a series of adventures and misadventures. Confronted eventually with the prospect of a stage performance where he is supposed to demonstrate his sexual prowess with a woman, he is overwhelmed by a religious vision and is finally initiated into the cult of the goddess Isis.

It has been long disputed whether Apuleius meant this last-minute conversion seriously or as a final comic surprise and the challenge of interpretation continues to keep readers fascinated by this work. Apuleius’ Golden Ass is the most continuously and accessibly amusing book that has come down to us from classical antiquity.

About The Author

Lucius Apuleius (2nd Century AD) was born in North Africa and travelled widely, visiting Italy and Asia, where he was initiated into numerous religious mysteries. He drew on the knowledge he gained about the priestly fraternities to write the Golden Ass, which Cupid and Psyche is extracted from.

The greatest magical-realist novel was written in the second century AD. It's a rollicking tale of a hero turns into a donkey containing everything from cheerfully obscene, farcical episodes to an exquisitely poetic rendering of the legend of Cupid and Psyche. People call it 'modern', but that is to flatter ourselves. Review by Nicci French, whose books include 'Killing Me Softly' (Kirkus UK)

Acknowledgementsp. vi
Abbreviationsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Select Bibliographyp. l
Journey to Hypata: the Exemplar of Socratesp. 1
Further Warnings at Byrrhena's: The, Exemplar of Thelyphronp. 18
the Festival of Laughter: Lucius Becomes an Assp. 39
at the Bandits' Hideout. Cupid and Psyche (i)p. 58
Cupid and Psyche (continued)p. 80
Cupid and Psyche (continued): the Frustrated Escapep. 100
Charite (and Lucius) Rescued: Further Ordeals of Luciusp. 120
Charite's Revenge and Death: Lucius with the Catamite Priestsp. 138
with the Priests, the Baker, the Market-Gardener: Four Tales of Cuckoldingp. 161
Tales of Wicked Women: Pleasant Life with the Cooks Leads to Public Humiliationp. 191
Salvation, and Conversion to Isisp. 218
Explanatory Notesp. 241
Index and Glossary of Namesp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140435900
ISBN-10: 0140435905
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 1st January 1999
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.0  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.24
Edition Number: 3