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Medallion with a male portrait (profile) and the text "Apuleius" all around
Fantasy portrait of Apuleius on a contorniates (medallion) of the late 4th century

Apuleius (also Apuleius Madaurensis , Apuleius of Madaura or Apuleius of Madauros ; * around 123 in Madauros , today's town of M'Daourouch in northeast Algeria ; † probably after 170 ) was an ancient writer, speaker and philosopher ( Middle Platonist ). He owes his ongoing fame to his main work, the Latin novel Metamorphoses , also known as The Golden Donkey , which is counted among world literature . The interpretation of the novel, which because of its complexity poses numerous puzzles, is one of the most difficult tasks in classical philology . The refined narrative technique and the skilful concealment of the author's intentions have led to a wealth of competing interpretive approaches in research. The story of Amor and Psyche , which was inserted into the novel, has fascinated reading audiences since the Renaissance and developed an extraordinarily broad impact. Her mythological material, the love affair between the god Amor and the king's daughter Psyche, has provided motifs for hundreds of poets, writers, painters, sculptors, composers and choreographers . A number of psychoanalysts and legal historians took part in the scientific discussion of the narrative, alongside the scholars of antiquity and literary theorists .

Apuleius also wrote poems and published treatises on various, especially philosophical, topics, as well as speeches. Much of his work has not been preserved, however.


Apart from an inscription, only his works are available as sources for the life of Apuleius. His gentile name was Apuleius (also written Appuleius ); There is no valid evidence for the alleged first name Lucius.

Apuleius was apparently born around 123. He came from a respected, wealthy family of Roman citizens. His hometown was Madauros (this form of the name, not Madaura , is probably the authentic one). It was in the province of Africa proconsularis . He described himself as " Halbnumider und Halbgaetuler ". His father was in Madauros Duumvir (member of the two-member city government). When his father died, Apuleius and his brother inherited the fortune of two million sesterces .

Apuleius received his first school lessons in Madauros; then he was trained in rhetoric in Carthage , the cultural center of Roman North Africa . Even then he decided on Platonism as his philosophical school. Finally he went to Athens to study philosophy . There he perfected his general education and his knowledge, especially in poetry and rhetoric as well as geometry and music. According to his self-assessment, he was very keen on education throughout his life. In Athens he had several philosophy teachers , including possibly Lukios Kalbenos Tauros , the most prominent Platonist of Athens around the middle of the 2nd century. Apuleius was also open to the influence of New Pythagoreanism , which at that time often mixed with Platonism. During his stay in Greece he was introduced to a number of mystery cults ; his keen interest in secret religious knowledge later earned him the reputation of being a magician .

After completing his training, Apuleius undertook extensive journeys that led him to Samos and Phrygia , among other places ; For a time he stayed in Rome , where he may have worked as a lawyer. The archaeologist Filippo Coarelli believes that an ancient building discovered in Ostia , the port city of Rome, in 1886 could be identified with the house that Apuleius lived in. The archaeological finds there include two water pipes with the inscription Lucius Apuleius Marcellus - apparently the name of the house owner - and the base of an equestrian statue of the consular Quintus Asinius Marcellus . It fits that in Apuleius' "Metamorphoses" an Asinius Marcellus appears, who inaugurates the novel hero Lucius in the Osiris cult in Rome. If Lucius Apuleius Marcellus is identical with the writer, he has adopted the nickname ( cognomen ) of his patron, the consular.

With his rhetorical activity, which also included lectures on philosophical and religious topics, Apuleius joined the current that is usually referred to by the vague term "Second Sophistic ". This movement included rhetoric teachers who also devoted themselves to public declamation ; they cultivated an effective rhetoric based on classical models and were in part also writers. Some of them also had philosophical interests. The connection between philosophy and rhetoric corresponded to the zeitgeist, but was in need of justification for a Platonist, since Plato had sharply criticized rhetoric and opposed sophistry.

Apuleius spent the last phase of his life in North Africa. In Oea, today's Tripoli , he married the rich widow Aemilia Pudentilla, who was a few years older than him. Their son Pontianus, with whom he had been friends since his student days, had persuaded him to do this, since Pontianus feared for the fortune that would have been endangered if his mother had married again. The brother of Pudentilla's deceased first husband, however, disapproved of this marriage because of the inheritance consequences. In the name of his nephew Pudens, the younger of the two sons of Pudentilla, he brought charges with the charge that Apuleius had managed the marriage through magical influence. The trial probably took place in Sabratha in 158 or 159 ; the judge was the proconsul of Africa proconsularis, Claudius Maximus. Apuleius knew how to defend himself effectively and was acquitted. Later he settled in Carthage, where he took over a priesthood; he probably became sacerdos provinciae (leading priest in the imperial cult of the province Africa proconsularis). There it is still attested in the sixties, then its trace is lost; The place and time of his death are unknown.

Apuleius dedicated two of his philosophical works to his "son" Faustinus; It is unclear whether this refers to a biological son or a student.


All of Apuleius' works that have survived are written in Latin. They fall into the two groups of philosophical and rhetorical writings. His most famous work, the novel "Metamorphoses" occupies a special position. There are also little poems.


A page from the oldest manuscript of the Metamorphoses . Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana , Plut. 68.2, part 2, fol. 129v (11th century)

The original title of this novel is "Eleven Books Metamorphoses", Latin Metamorphoseon libri XI , or short "Metamorphosen" ("Metamorphoses"), Latin Metamorphoses . It is reminiscent of the work of the same name by the poet Ovid , in whose " Metamorphoses " as well as in Apuleius' transformations from human to animal form are discussed. The title "The golden donkey" (Asinus aureus), which is common today, is only attested in late antiquity (by the church father Augustine ) and is therefore not considered authentic, but the author may have chosen a double title.


First book: the narrator who calls himself Lucius is the hero of the novel; he reports in the first person about his changeful fate. In the prologue he speaks directly to the reader and briefly introduces himself, whereby the figure of the author merges with that of the novel's hero. - On a business trip to Thessaly , known as the land of witchcraft, he meets the merchant Aristomenes, who tells in detail how his old friend Socrates was murdered by a witch using magic in his presence. The skeptical companion of Aristomenes doesn't want to know about it and considers the report to be an absurd whistle. In the city of Hypata , Lucius is received by his host, the stingy usurer Milo.

Second book: In the days that followed, Lucius repeatedly heard terrible things about the dangerousness of witches; in particular, he receives a warning about Milo's wife Pamphile, one of the Thessalian sorceresses. This only piques his curiosity. When he returns home drunk from an invitation, he comes across three robbers on Milo's front door, whom he kills with his sword.

Third book: The next day, Lucius is arrested and charged with murder. He is surprised to be laughed at by everyone. The trial takes place in public in the theater in front of a huge crowd. The defendant's successful defense speech remains ineffective. He is forced to uncover the three corpses laid out and covered. It turns out that there are actually three hoses. The audience bursts out laughing and pulls away. Eventually, Lucius learns that the charges were just gross joke. The reason for this was the “Festival of Laughter”, which was celebrated in the city that day.

In Milo's house, Lucius learns from the maid, Photis, with whom he has a sexual relationship, that Pamphile had magically enlivened the tubes so that they looked like burglars. Now he wants to be an eyewitness to Pamphiles magic as a hidden spectator. Photis reluctantly agrees and lets Lucius watch as Pamphile takes on the shape of an owl. Lucius now wants to experience such a transformation himself. But because Photis confuses the magic ointment with which he has to rub himself, Lucius does not turn into a bird, but into a donkey. In the animal form, however, his human mind remains unrestricted. The servant promises him to reverse the transformation the following morning, for which she wants to get roses, which he has to eat for this purpose. Until then he should stay in the stable as a donkey. During the night, however, intruders break into the house. They use Lucius as a transport donkey to transport their stolen property. This is the beginning of the donkey's long wanderings. He is heavily loaded and battered with blows on the way through impassable mountains.

Fourth to sixth books: After Lucius' entry into the magical world, his curiosity is satisfied; now he inevitably changes perspective and looks at the ordinary human world from the outside. Since people consider him a normal animal, they go about their intimate pursuits and conversations uninhibited in his presence. Lucius observes, hears and understands everything; thanks to its long ears, it can also record very far away. His role gives him insights into the depths of the everyday world, which from this point of view appears at least as horrific as the world of witchcraft from a common human point of view. In addition, Lucius, who as a man belonged to the upper class, is at the mercy of people who are low in the social hierarchy or who are even outcasts of society.

After heavy exertion, the band of robbers and Lucius enter the cave, which the gang uses as a hiding place. Another crowd arrives, they tell each other about their experiences. It turns out that the criminals act foolishly in their ventures and disputes with the environment and therefore suffer losses.

The robbers bring back a distinguished girl named Charite from a nightly raid, whom they kidnapped to extort a ransom. The donkey's attempt to escape with Charite fails. The robbers discuss a cruel punishment for the refugees, the donkey should be killed.

Seventh book: A scout of the robbers reports that in the meantime they are looking for the missing Lucius in Hypata, because he is believed to be an accomplice of the robbers; He is already being sought for in his hometown. Shortly before the planned killing of the donkey, Charite's fiancé Tlepolemus appears. He pretends to be a robber named Hämus and wins the trust of the gang; he succeeds in duping the robbers and freeing Charite, taking the donkey with him. The donkey now belongs to the young couple and is treated well at first. However, he soon got into major difficulties again, was used as a transport animal and had to endure various forms of abuse from the donkey driver.

Books eight to tenth: A Charite slave arrives and reports that Tlepolemus was murdered by a rival whom Charite had rejected. Charite then killed herself after taking revenge on the murderer. When the two slaves find out about it, they flee. The donkey has to follow them into an uncertain future and once again experiences a dangerous adventure along the way. Eventually it is sold in the market. Its new owner is a follower of the Syrian goddess , a charlatan who goes begging with his companions; they live on the gifts of gullible people to whom they proclaim future success as fortune tellers. Again the donkey is tormented and its life is in danger.

One day the crooks are arrested for stealing and the donkey is sold again in the market. The buyer is a miller who uses him as a mill donkey. In the mill he becomes a witness to the atrocities against the slaves and animals employed there and is also tortured himself. In addition, he gets an insight into the adultery of the miller's wife, which he enables to uncover by forcing the lover out of hiding. Then the miller chases his wife away. She takes revenge by killing him using witchcraft. For the donkey this means a new change of ownership, which is followed by more. He suffers from hunger and cold, learns of terrible fates and has to witness brute force and its consequences. He is also involved in sexual perversion. Finally he manages to escape in Corinth ; he flees to the nearby port city of Kenchreai .

The turning point occurs at the beginning of the eleventh and last book. The donkey turns to the mother goddess and asks her for help. She, who is venerated under different names by all peoples, appears to him in the form of Isis and announces his salvation at her upcoming festival. At the festival procession in Kenchreai he will have the opportunity to eat the redeeming roses. In gratitude for this he should serve her for the rest of his life after regaining his human form. Indeed, in front of the astonished crowd, he is transformed back into the human Lucius. After a while, Isis lets him in on her mysteries. On her instructions, he moves to Rome, where he continues to serve her. There he received two initiations into the mysteries of Isis' husband Osiris . He is called to the college of Isis and Osiris priests. The priesthood that he has shaved his head fills him with satisfaction. He earns his living as a lawyer. So his adventures come to a happy conclusion.

Origin of the substance

The material comes from a Greek model of the same name, which the Byzantine scholar Photios (9th century) ascribes to an author named Lukios of Patrai. This Greek novel is lost today, but a brief summary by Photios has survived. A similar Greek story based on the same template, "Lukios or The Donkey", whose first-person narrator introduces himself as Lukios von Patrai, that is, bears the same first name as the hero of the "Metamorphoses", has been handed down under the name of Lukians . In the main features of the plot it largely corresponds to Apuleius' novel, in parts the Latin text even seems like a translation of the Greek. However, there are also numerous differences. In both Greek versions the content of the last book is missing, the story ends there differently.

Story of Cupid and Psyche

A series of stories that are inserted into the novel plot create a nested text structure. The longest and by far the most famous of them is the story of Amor and Psyche, which fills around two of the eleven books. It does not come from the Greek model, but is a creation of Apuleius.

After Charite has been kidnapped, the old housekeeper tells the robbers, to distract her from her suffering, the story of the god Amor and the king's daughter Psyche, whose name is the Greek word for " soul ". Psyche is the youngest and most beautiful of the three daughters of a king. Because of her extraordinary beauty, she is worshiped like the goddess Venus and even thought to be an embodiment of the goddess, which arouses the envy of Venus. Venus assigns her son Cupid to see that the mortal rival falls in love with the most despicable and unhappy of all men. Because of Psyche's extraordinary beauty, nobody dares to hold her hand; unlike her older sisters, she remains alone. The king asked the oracle of the god Apollo about this . The god gives instructions to adorn the girl as a bride and to put it on a mountain rock; then a terrible beast would fly by and take her as his wife. Her parents sadly follow the oracle. The monster does not appear, however, but a gentle wind carries Psyche down into the valley, where she falls asleep.

When she wakes up, she finds a beautiful palace of unearthly quality and enters it. A disembodied voice greets them, invisible servants grant their wishes. Every night she is visited by a stranger who sleeps with her without her being allowed to see his face. He only appears in the dark. So she spends a long time in the palace. One day she asks the still stranger, who is now actually her husband and is referred to as such, to allow her to see her sisters again. He reluctantly agrees, but warns her not to give in to her sisters' desire to reveal his identity. She promises this. The sisters visit her and envy her luxurious lifestyle. Although the stranger warns Psyche that she will lose him and not see him again if she breaks her promise and looks at his face, she lets herself be seduced by the evil sisters into distrust of her husband. She now suspects him of being the once prophesied monster. On the advice of the sisters, she gets an oil lamp, which she hides and then takes out when her husband has fallen asleep. In the light of the lamp she sees the god Amor. A drop of oil pours out of the lamp on Cupid's shoulder, whereupon he wakes up and leaves her. Psyche realizes that she has been brought into misery by the sisters and takes deadly revenge on them. When Venus learns that her son has disobeyed her instructions and has connected with Psyche, her anger is directed against both of them. Cupid receives house arrest.

Sculpture of two people hugging and kissing
Cupid and Psyche. Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture, Capitoline Museums , Rome

Now Psyche begins the long search for the lost Cupid. She has to surrender herself to Venus, because other goddesses do not dare to help her. Venus has her tortured and then gives her four seemingly unsolvable tasks to punish and humiliate her. Psyche masters three tasks, as she receives the support of helpful animals and plants - the ants, the reed and the eagle. The fourth and most difficult task is to descend into the underworld, the realm of the dead, and to bring something of the beauty of Proserpine , the wife of the ruling god Pluto , back in a vessel. Psyche also solves this task, Proserpina gives her the locked box with her. On the way back, Psyche opens the lid out of curiosity. In the can, however, there is nothing visible, no beauty, but a long sleep rises from it and attacks psyche.

Finally Cupid escapes. He finds and awakens psyche; he puts his sleep back in the can. Now Psyche can deliver Proserpina's gift to Venus. Cupid turns to Jupiter, the father of the gods, with a request for help. Jupiter has mercy and finds the solution: He hands Psyche a mug with ambrosia and announces that she will achieve immortality through this food. So placed among the immortals, Psyche is a befitting bride for Amor, also acceptable for Venus. The two celebrate weddings under the gods. The couple has a daughter who is called "Wonne" ( Voluptas ) .

The material of this narrative and other intervening stories has been intensively examined , especially from a religious and ethnological point of view. Researchers have made comparisons with similar stories from different cultures and discussed the question of the alleged origin of the substance. One thinks in particular of an orally transmitted old fairy tale as the starting point of a development, at the end of which the present literary design stands. The hypothesis of an oriental origin has been discussed since Richard Reitzenstein , whereby Psyche was a deity in the original myth. Reitzenstein thought of an Iranian creation myth; He also suspected that the core motif, the union of God and man, came from an Indian story. The relationship to the description of the fate of the soul in Plato's dialogue Phaedrus is important for understanding , but Apuleius' story differs greatly from Plato's handling of the subject of his dialogue in its frivolous, burlesque and amusing features. The story also includes motifs from Greek fiction and works from other genres (comedy, love affair ).


The religious-philosophical background of the work enables the reader to seek and find a deeper meaning in the strange, sometimes grotesque processes described. However, the novel can also be read without taking into account such a dimension of depth and serve as mere reading for entertainment; in this sense the reader is announced in the prologue: “You will have your pleasure” (laetaberis) . For a long time, the question of the relationship between the entertaining, sometimes distant-ironic features and the aspect of a serious religious striving for salvation has been controversial in research. Some researchers believe that the novel is mainly or even exclusively conceived as satirical entertainment literature, others are convinced that the author's concern is also or primarily a religious or philosophical confession and an advertisement for a path of knowledge and redemption. There are also differences of opinion among proponents of the latter view; According to one hypothesis, Apuleius favors the cult of Isis as a way of redeeming religious devotion; according to another, he is primarily concerned with Platonic metaphysics and the doctrine of eros. Recently, a middle ground in the sense of an entertaining processing of serious topics in a "light" literary medium has been advocated. John J. Winkler has chosen a different, narratological approach ; his work became groundbreaking for narrative research. In Winkler's opinion, the author wants to make the reader insecure, withhold a “correct” interpretation from him and thus motivate him to make his own interpretation.

The leitmotif is the theme of the thirst for knowledge and its ambivalence between harmless thirst for knowledge and fateful curiosity associated with arrogance and presumption (curiositas) . In the first three books, in which Lucius still appears as a human, his innate curiosity leads him to the witches, whose lives are filled with cruelty and horror and yet hold a strong fascination for him. After the transformation, in books 4–10, he is given the opportunity as a donkey to get to know the horrific things in the lives of normal people. Again and again he learns of crimes and perversities or has to witness them himself, whereby the outcome is often fatal for some of those involved. Finally, in the last book, after the donkey has been transformed back into the human Lucius, he experiences the meaning of the adventures and sufferings of his animal existence. They turn out to be punishment for his inappropriate curiosity.

At first, curiosity prompts him to escape his normal everyday life. It leads him into the magical world, into which he penetrates energetically and carelessly. The enchantment does not turn out to be a real alternative to an ordinary life, but only reveals the depths of the "normal" human existence, the darkest aspects of which he has just delivered through magic. Only with the initiation of the Mysteries does his thirst for knowledge and longing for the wonderful reach its legitimate goal. In this way he finally achieves what he originally strived for: access to a hidden reality behind the ordinary, visible world. This time, however, he does not get lost in an area of ​​misery and helplessness, as he does when entering the magical sphere, but gains the certainty of his redemption. What the knowledge of the mysteries consists of remains hidden from the reader of the novel, and in the final part there are also comedic features alongside religious seriousness and the elation of the redeemed. This shows Apuleius' refined ambiguous narrative art.

The significance of the initiation of the Mysteries described in the eleventh book and the relationship between the Egyptian religiosity presented there and the philosophically shaped Greek understanding of religion of the Platonist Apuleius is widely discussed in research . While the eleventh book, with its redemption theme, used to be seen as an irritating foreign body in the novel, more recent research assumes a consistently uniform conception of the work. Another topic that is often discussed is the extent to which the author identifies himself with his narrator Lucius and thus the novel has at least some autobiographical traits. It is particularly about the eleventh book, the "Isis Book", where the hero of the novel is initiated into the Isis and Osiris mysteries and accepted into the college of priests. Apuleius' own participation in the ordination of the mysteries and perhaps also his priesthood play a role here, but it is unknown whether he also had personal experience with the cult of Isis. The fact that Lucius' initiations are associated with considerable expenses for him is to be understood as Apuleius' criticism of the financial conduct of priests' colleges.

Philosophical works

Four philosophical writings of Apuleius have been preserved: "On the God of Socrates " (De deo Socratis) , "On Plato and his teaching" (De Platone et eius dogmate) , "On the world" (De mundo) and Peri hermēneías ( Latin De interpretatione , "About the statement" or "About the judgment").

About the god of Socrates

This treatise also has the character of a speech. It describes Apuleius' doctrine of demons and embeds them in the system of his cosmology . He defines the demons as "middle deities" on the one hand from the sublime heavenly gods, on the other hand from humans, and he classifies them systematically. His writing is a valuable source for ancient demonology, the most thorough of the known representations of the subject in ancient literature. The introduction (chapters 1–5), which deals with the heavenly gods and men, is followed by the presentation of the general doctrine of demons (chapters 6–16). Then Apuleius discusses the daimonion of Socrates (chapters 17-20). It concludes with a call to philosophy. The author urges the reader to follow the example of Socrates; one should take care of one's soul, despise external possessions, and lead a philosophical life (chapters 21-24).

In the handwritten tradition, the work is preceded by a prologue, which, in the opinion of most researchers, does not belong there, but comes from a now lost part of a rhetorical work by Apuleius, the "Blossom Harvest". The opposite view, according to which it is an authentic prologue, is still a minority position.

About Plato and his teaching

This book summarizes the teaching of Plato. It is intended as an introduction and is intended for teaching purposes. It is an important source for the history of Middle Platonism, especially since most of the works of the Middle Platonists have been lost.

The presentation begins with a biography of Plato (chapters 1–4), the oldest that has been preserved; Plato is glorified. This is followed by a description of Platonism, with the remaining fourteen chapters of the first book dealing with natural philosophy including cosmology, ontology and the theory of the soul, with ethics and the theory of the state connected with it in the second . A third part, announced in the introduction, which should have contained the logic , is missing ; According to the common ancient classification, logic forms one of the three parts of philosophy.

The authenticity of the work has been questioned for linguistic and content-related reasons, but the majority of research is that it is authentic.

Justin A. Stover has 2016 carried forward the hypothesis, one of Raymond Klibansky discovered in a medieval manuscript ancient text - excerpts from the works of Plato in a free, summary Latin playback - came from Apuleius and be with the missing third book about Plato and his teachings to identify. Stover has critically edited and commented on this text.

Over the world

The cosmological text "About the World" deals with the universe and its parts as well as the divine Creator and Sustainer of the world. It is a Latin version of the pseudo-Aristotelian Greek treatise Peri kósmou . Apuleius, however, is not satisfied with reproducing the content of this model, he also adds his own ideas, especially with regard to the role of demons in the cosmos, and reinterprets the Greek model based on Aristotelian ideas in the Platonic sense.

Doubts about the authenticity of this work have existed since the late 19th century. They are justified, among other things, with errors in the reproduction of the Greek original, which are so serious that Apuleius cannot be trusted. Proponents of authenticity think they can refute the objections.

Peri hermeneias

Although this work is written in Latin, it is usually cited with the Greek title Peri hermēneías , under which it is handwritten in the Latinized form Peri hermeniae . This title - it roughly means "About the statement" or "About the judgment" - ties in with that of the relevant, equally titled treatise by Aristotle (Latin De interpretatione ). The little script deals with the doctrine of judgment and conclusion. The author not only deals with the teaching of Aristotle, but also takes into account the later Aristotelian tradition and stoic views. Peri hermeneias is the oldest surviving Latin manual of logic and became the pioneering Latin terminology in the field. Particular emphasis is placed on the doctrine of the categorical syllogism .

Whether the short treatise is actually an authentic work by Apuleius has been disputed since the 19th century. The doubts about the authenticity are based on both stylistic and content-related and traditional historical observations. The style is unusually dry for Apuleius, the content predominantly Aristotelian with stoic elements; There is hardly anything Platonic to be found in it. The dryness, however, is at least partly due to the material, perhaps also due to the dependence on a Greek model, and logic was a traditional domain of the Aristotelians. The advocates of inauthenticity believe that it is the work of a logician of the 3rd or 4th century who wanted to add to the missing logic part of Apuleius' work "About Plato and His Doctrine". Today, however, the predominant opinion in research is that Peri hermeneias is real and that Apuleius himself intended to close the gap in his presentation of Platonism. It is based on a lost Greek original, which has not only been translated, but also revised. Presumably it is an early work by Apuleius, which he wrote while studying in Athens or soon after.

Rhetorical works

About the magic

The common title Apologia (“defense speech”) is probably not authentic; From the handwritten tradition it is clear that the original title was probably “On my own behalf about magic” (Pro se de magia) or “About magic” for short (De magia) . The speech is a valuable source for the history of ancient magic. She was held before the court that had to rule on the charges against Apuleius for sorcery. The version intended for publication can, however, as is usual with published ancient texts, differ greatly from the version actually presented. Research has even considered the extreme hypothesis that speech is pure literary fiction.

As a court speaker on his own account, Apuleius is funny, quick-witted and aggressive; he prefers to achieve effects with ridicule and irony and uses opportunities to display his extensive education. The written text of the speech gives the impression of an interaction between the speaker and the audience; Apuleius seems to speak offhand and spontaneously respond to the emotions of his listeners. Among other things, he argues that the prosecution is unbelievable because his opponents, if they really trusted him to have magical abilities, would be careful not to attack such a powerful person.

"Blossom Harvest"

The "flower harvest" (Florida) is a selection of passages from speeches of Apuleius in four books. Only a heavily abridged version by an ancient editor has survived. It consists of 23 pieces of text of different lengths. The short version should probably serve the need for material for rhetorical lessons. Its originator was possibly the late antique rhetoric teacher Crispus Salustius, who worked in the late 4th century.


Apuleius wrote poems which he occasionally sprinkled in his prose. Little of it has survived, including an erotic poem by 24 iambic senars with the Greek title Anechómenos ("The sufferer"), which is probably a free adaptation of a text by the comedy writer Menander . Presumably, Apuleius also wrote a love poem in the Noctes Atticae by Gellius , which is described there as the work of an unnamed young friend of the author.

Lost Works

Apuleius mentions a number of works, some in Latin, some in Greek, or published in both languages, which he wrote and of which nothing else is known. Some authors from late antiquity, including Johannes Lydos and the grammarians Priscian and Charisius , pass on quotations from the lost part of his oeuvre. It should be noted, however, that some presumed special treatises by Apuleius, to which the references of the sources are assigned in the research literature, were perhaps only components of larger works. The following lost works can be deduced from the information provided by the sources:

  • Hermagoras , either a novel or a philosophical dialogue; only six short fragments are preserved. The novel hypothesis is much more plausible.
  • a freely translated Latin version of Plato's dialogue Phaedo , from which Priscian retains two short quotations.
  • The lost poems include a hymn to Asclepius in Greek and Latin with an introduction in dialogue form and a panegyric poem to the proconsul Scipio Orfitus . Apuleius published a collection of entertaining poems entitled "Dandelies" (Ludicra) ; only individual verses have survived.
  • Convivales quaestiones ("meal questions"), with this title mentioned by Macrobius and Sidonius Apollinaris , is probably identical with a script that Apuleius calls Naturales quaestiones in his defense speech . He published it in a Greek and a Latin version. Apparently different natural history topics were dealt with.
  • An investigation “About the fish” (De piscibus) ; it is unclear whether it was an independent treatise or just part of the Naturales quaestiones or a purely zoological work. In his defense speech, Apuleius goes into detail on the fact that he had procured rare fish for the purpose of zoological research; accordingly, in his study of fish, he made extensive use of older literature as well as his own observations.
  • The text “About the trees” (De arboribus) is quoted from the late antique Virgil commentator Servius . Quotations that the specialist writer Kassianos Bassos (Cassianus Bassus) included in his compilation known as Geoponica also come from it; the identity of the author Apuleius named there with Apuleius of Madauros is not certain, but it is probable. It is unclear whether the treatise on the trees was a separate script or part of a botanical or agricultural work - the latter perhaps with the title De re rustica . Possibly it was part of the Naturales quaestiones or Convivales quaestiones of Apuleius.
  • A medical work mentioned by Priscian, the title of which may have been Libri medicinales , De medicina, or Medicinalia . Perhaps it was part of the Naturales quaestiones or Convivales quaestiones .
  • De proverbiis ("On Proverbs"), a script in at least two books that the grammarian Charisius quotes.
  • a probably literary work on topics from the early history of the Roman state and the mythical prehistory of its foundation, which contained information on Roman coin history. Priscian gives the title Epitoma ("excerpt"), elsewhere Epitomae historiarum .
  • De re publica ("About the State"), a document only attested by Fulgentius . Fulgentius gives only a short quote.
  • a Latin translation of the Greek “Introduction to Numbers” by Nicomachus of Gerasa .
  • a work on music that Cassiodorus mentions but only knows from hearsay.
  • a work for which the late antique writer Johannes Lydos , who mentions it, gives the Greek title Erotikos (Latin probably Amatorius ). Presumably it was a dialogue about eroticism.
  • a work on astronomical and meteorological phenomena and signs, the existence of which is deduced from four Apuleius quotes by Johannes Lydos.
  • one comment on "tagetischem" literature on the Etruscan sign customer, to the mythical day was returned.

Fake writings

The fame of Apuleius and the breadth of the subjects covered by him have resulted in a number of writings attributed to him of which he is not the author. The most famous of these spurious works are:

  • the Hermetic Treatise Asclepius . This work, popular in the Middle Ages and early modern times, is the Latin translation or paraphrase of a lost Greek script. It takes the form of a dialogue in which the god Hermes Trismegistus teaches his student Asklepios about the world order and about the role and tasks of man. Apuleius does not appear as the author in any of the surviving manuscripts; the attribution to him seems to have been unknown in the Middle Ages; it was not until the Renaissance that he was cited as the author of the script or its translator. In modern research, there have been isolated arguments for authenticity, but this hypothesis hardly meets with approval.
  • der Herbarius , an illustrated handbook of medicinal plants that actually dates from the 4th century and was later expanded. In a preface added later, "the Platonist Apuleius" is named as the author. This work was very popular in the Middle Ages and was attributed to Apuleius of Madauros.
  • an anonymously transmitted treatise on physiognomics , which was not ascribed to Apuleius until the 19th century. In reality, it was created in late antiquity, probably in the second half of the 4th century.


Apuleius called himself a "Platonic philosopher"; he attached great importance to this designation. He understood philosophy primarily as philosophical practice, that is, a philosophical way of life based on classical models; He stayed out of the school philosophical controversies. In older research, the hypothesis was put forward that he, along with albinos , who at that time was mistakenly believed to be the author of the textbook Didaskalikos , belonged to the pupils of the middle platonist Gaios . In 1905 Tadeusz Sinko put forward the hypothesis that the teachings of a “school of Gaios” could be reconstructed from surviving works by Platonists of this direction, including Apuleius. However, recent research has deviated from the assumption that there was such a school with specific teaching statements because there is a lack of convincing evidence. In particular, a connection between Gaios and Apuleius does not emerge from the sources.

The philosophy of Apuleius is characterized by a syncretic attitude. It is essentially Platonic, but it absorbs plenty of Aristotelian and Stoic influences. For Apuleius, as well as for many other thinkers of the imperial era, this mixing of the schools was not a problem, because they regarded Aristotle as a Platonist and the Stoa as a branch of Platonism. Apuleius admires Pythagoras and emphasizes the close relationship between Platonism and Pythagoreanism . He also shows respect for cynicism .

The great importance of the doctrine of demons in Apuleius' system results from the fact that, according to his conviction, direct contact between gods and humans is impossible, since their areas of existence are strictly separated from one another. Hence demons are needed as mediators; Only through the demons can men benefit from the gods. All higher demons are by nature exclusively good and similar to gods; they never attach to bodies. The lower demons, on the other hand, are no different from the souls that inhabit human bodies; They also include the wandering souls of dead evildoers. Demons are subject to passions and react emotionally to people's behavior. The gods to whom such feelings and behaviors are ascribed in poetry are in fact demons. These demons are the contact persons for people who turn to the authorities they call "gods" with prayers and ritual acts. Every single person is assigned to a certain demon of the higher kind than his personal guardian spirit. The guardian spirit lives in the human soul and is noticeable as an inner voice. Following the example of Socrates, man should always be aware of the presence of his personal guardian demon and pay attention to his clues. Because of the perfection of his character, Socrates did not need a warning demon to guide him to good, only a warning demon to protect him from danger.

In the question of the creation of the world, which is disputed among the Platonists, Apuleius is one of the supporters of the widespread view that the world is eternal and that its creation is not to be understood as originating at a certain point in time.

According to Apuleius' representation of Platonism, the Platonic doctrine of the soul says that the world soul is the source (fons) of all souls. The souls of all living beings are incorporeal and immortal. Thus Apuleius starts from a unified nature of the soul and thus deviates from the view presented in Plato's dialogue Timaeus , according to which the Demiurge created the world soul on the basis of a different mixture than the other souls.

Apuleius' image of man is pessimistic. He considers the lives of the vast majority of people to be wrong. He criticizes their lack of concern for knowledge and says that the consequences of their ignorance are outrages and crimes. He only exempts the few philosophers from this criticism.



The high esteem Apuleius enjoyed among his fellow citizens is testified by a statue that his hometown erected for him; the fragmentary, preserved inscription on the base of the statue describes it as "ornament" (ornamentum) from Madauros. Statues were erected for him in Carthage and other African cities during his lifetime. In Oea his enemies there resisted the erection of a statue of Apuleius; therefore Apuleius gave a speech especially to fight for the honor.

The Historia Augusta According Emperor Septimius Severus his rival Clodius Albinus made in a letter to the Senate criticized for not being a truly educated man, but only an avid reader of "Metamorphoses". Apparently the emperor counted the novel as trivial literature, which in his eyes was unworthy of reading for a cultivated Roman.

Although Apuleius had successfully defended himself against the accusation of being a magician, he was remembered by ancient posterity as a magician and miracle worker. In late antiquity, miracles ascribed to him were even cited by opponents of Christianity as examples that not only Christ had such abilities. In late antiquity, a bronze statue of Apuleius was installed in the Zeuxippos thermal baths of Constantinople, which honored him as the bearer of secret knowledge. In the Greek anthology there are verses of the Egyptian poet Christodoros of Koptos that refer to it. Towards the end of the 4th century Apuleius was depicted on contorniates (medallions); Only a few philosophers and writers have received such an honor.

As early as the 3rd century, “About the World” was noticed in Christian circles; the theologian Novatian used this writing in his treatise De Trinitate as a source without naming it.

In his work De civitate dei, the church father Augustine dealt in detail with the doctrine of demons from “On the God of Socrates” and criticized it from a Christian perspective. He also knew and mentioned the metamorphoses and the defense speech. He quoted “About the World”. Augustine considered Apuleius an important philosophical authority; He cited no other pagan author as often as he did. The conservative scholar Macrobius , in his commentary on Cicero's Somnium Scipionis, expressed his astonishment that Apuleius had bothered with writing a novel; he said that such writing was not right for a philosopher. Martianus Capella took the marriage of the psyche in the "Metamorphoses" as the model for his famous portrayal of the marriage of philology with Mercury ; he also used Peri hermeneias without naming this source.

In the late 5th or 6th century, Fulgentius presented a reinterpretation of the story of Amor and Psyche in a Christian sense, with which the allegorical interpretation began. For him, psyche is the human soul, her royal father is God, her sisters are the flesh (in the biblical sense of the term) and free will . Fulgentius criticizes Apuleius' method of representation as cumbersome and misleading. The forced interpretation of the roles and processes that he undertakes is difficult to reconcile with the course of action in Apuleius.

colored illustration of a red dressed woman in the garden
Psyche in Cupid's garden. Illumination in a Metamorphoses manuscript from 1345

Sidonius Apollinaris mentioned the Phaedo translation as an example of an excellent translation from Greek into Latin.

In the fine arts of antiquity (painting, sculpture, applied arts), the relationship between Cupid and Psyche was a popular motif. It was presented before the time of Apuleius, although nothing is known of older literary adaptations of the material. Some works of art show a reference to the narrative in the “Metamorphoses” more or less clearly.

middle Ages

In the Middle Ages Apuleius was known as a philosopher; the circulation of his novel and rhetorical works was low. Apart from the inclusion in a glossary , there are no traces of reading the novel from the early Middle Ages . The oldest surviving manuscript of the "Metamorphoses", the "Blossom Harvest" and the defense speech was made in the 11th century in the Montecassino monastery ; outside the vicinity of this monastery, the three works were apparently hardly read, even in the High Middle Ages . A late medieval manuscript contains an extensive introduction (accessus) to the "Metamorphoses" and the defense speech; the unknown author regards the defense speech as an introduction to the novel. Its interpretation is allegorical.

Assumptions that the “metamorphoses” influenced French narrative literature from the Middle Ages have long been the subject of controversial research. Analogies to the story of Amor and Psyche can be found in particular in the anonymous verse novel Partonopeu de Blois from the late 12th century. Most of them, however, can be explained with the direct or indirect influence of the “mythologies” of Fulgentius, and their evidential value is sometimes viewed with skepticism from a narratological point of view.

There was greater interest in the philosophical writings. The handwritten tradition begins in the Carolingian period , from the middle of the 11th century a greater spread is recognizable. Extracts were included in florilegia . The doctrine of demons from “About the God of Socrates” was also received indirectly through its reproduction in Augustine, the story of Amor and Psyche remained present thanks to Fulgentius. Bernardus Silvestris took inspiration from the text “About the World” for his famous poem Cosmographia, which he wrote around the middle of the 12th century . His contemporary John of Salisbury regarded Apuleius as an authority on Platonism. In his Policraticus , which was highly valued in the late Middle Ages, he took over the last four chapters of "On the God of Socrates" literally, as they encourage a philosophical lifestyle, which he placed particular emphasis on. His image of Plato was strongly determined by Apuleius. He admired both the philosophy of Apuleius and the beauty of his style. In the late Middle Ages, Albert the Great often referred to Apuleius.

Color illustration of a bent, standing, naked man, the crescent moon reflected in the water
The donkey is transformed back into the human being Lucius. Illumination in a Metamorphoses manuscript from 1345

The writing Peri hermeneias , of which around three dozen manuscripts have survived, played a role in the development of the pre- scholastic and scholastic dialectics . There was a strong indirect aftereffect through Cassiodorus, who cited a long piece from it in his Institutiones and recommended Peri hermeneias as further reading. Through the Institutiones , Apuleius' presentation of the categorical syllogism became part of the medieval teaching material; already Isidore of Seville , she took over from Cassiodorus. In the late 8th century , Peri hermeneias was quoted verbatim in the Libri Carolini with the name and author of the title ; there Apuleius' manual of logic was used to solve theological problems. In the High Middle Ages, Peri hermeneias was part of the ancient philosophical literature dealt with in the School of Chartres .

In the Byzantine Empire the figure of the magician Apuleius lived on in legends; in imaginative stories he appeared as a competitor to other magicians. Michael Psellos narrates such stories .

Early modern age

Scientific and literary reception

The humanistic reception of the “Metamorphoses” did not just begin in 1355/1357 with the discovery of the Montecassino manuscript; the humanist Giovanni Boccaccio had already obtained access to a copy. The widespread claim that Boccaccio took the oldest codex from the library of the Montecassino monastery to Florence and appropriated it is not correct; Rather, it was probably the humanist Zanobi da Strada who removed the manuscript from Montecassino. Boccaccio included stories of adultery from the novel in his Decameron . In his work De genealogiis deorum gentilium he processed material from various works by Apuleius. Also Petrarca had a "Metamorphoses" -Handschrift, which he decorated with hundreds of asides.

Beginning of the Metamorphoses in the first edition, Rome 1469

Giannozzo Manetti drew on the writing "About the God of Socrates" when writing his Socrates biography. In 1469 the first incunabula of the writings of Apuleius appeared in Rome , edited by Giovanni Andrea de 'Bussi, who had previously been the secretary of Nicholas of Cues . Peri hermeneias was not included in this edition, but was only partially edited in Basel in 1528 and fully in Leiden in 1588. De 'Bussi praised the scholarship of the ancient author as well as the richness and grace of his language. His contemporary Lorenzo Valla had a completely different opinion ; this famous humanist wrote in 1442 who was imitating the style of Apuleius, who seemed to make animal sounds (in Latin, row , a word that was also used for the utterances of a donkey).

In 1479 at the latest, Matteo Maria Boiardo completed his free, very flawed Italian “Metamorphoses” translation, the Apulegio volgare (“vernacular Apuleius”); his client was the Duke of Ferrara Ercole I. d'Este . The Apulegio volgare was not printed until 1518. In 1500 the scholar Filippo Beroaldo the Elder published an extensive commentary on the novel; he treated the "metamorphoses" in his classes at the University of Bologna . His commentary, which was published in a large print run for the time - 1200 copies - quickly became popular and had a lasting impact. Like de 'Bussi, Beroaldo represented a symbolic, spiritual interpretation of the novel; For example, he interpreted the roses needed to redeem the donkey as education (understood in the sense of the humanists). For Beroaldo, Apuleius was a stylistic role model. In doing so, he opposed the Ciceronianism that was widespread at the time , a strict linguistic classicism. The Ciceronians rejected Apuleius, they viewed his style as a symptom of cultural decline. In this sense, Francesco Asolano expressed himself in the preface to his new Apuleius edition, which he published in Venice in 1521 as Aldine ; Philipp Melanchthon and Juan Luis Vives also judged disparagingly .

The motif of a person being turned into a donkey was often taken up in 16th century fiction; it appeared in allegorical as well as satirical literature. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote the satirical poem L'asino ("The Donkey") in Terzinen , a parable in which he tells of his own transformation into a donkey; this work remained unfinished. The “Metamorphoses” seem to have served as a model for the picaresque novel ( Picaro novel), which initially flourished in Spain and then also in other countries , but the influence is often difficult to prove in detail and is highly controversial.

Frontispiece of Niccolò da Correggio's Psyche poem in the Venice 1553 edition

The first German “Metamorphoses” translation, obtained by Johann Sieder from Würzburg, was printed in 1538 by the Augsburg publisher Alexander Weißenhorn. It was richly illustrated with 78 woodcuts. Material from Sieder's translation was used by Hans Sachs in the master songs.

Agnolo Firenzuola wrote a free Italian translation, or rather an adaptation of the "Metamorphoses", which was only printed in Venice after his death in 1550. In Spain, Diego López de Cortegana published an elegant Spanish translation of the "Metamorphoses", which probably first appeared in 1513/14 and was often reprinted. A French translation by Guillaume Michel was published in 1518 and again in 1522, and an English translation by William Adlington in 1566.

The story of Cupid and Psyche has received particularly strong attention since the Renaissance. In De genealogiis deorum gentilium, Boccaccio presented an allegorical interpretation of the story. Around 1490 Niccolò da Correggio wrote a long Italian psyche poem with the Latin title Fabula Psiches et Cupidinis , which he dedicated to Isabella d'Este ; it was printed in Venice in 1507. With Correggio, the focus is not on psyche, but the story is told from Cupid's perspective. Around 1500 Galeotto del Carretto wrote a comedy in verse Noze de Psiche e Cupidine ("The marriage of Psyche and Cupid"). Many humanist authors have referred to the subject in their works. The plot was greatly expanded in the Spanish epic La hermosa Psyche ("The beautiful psyche") by Juan de Mal Lara, who added numerous additional tests of Psyches. Ercole Udine modified the portrayal of Apuleius slightly in his punch epic La Psiche , which was published in Venice in 1599. This poem appeared in a new edition in 1617 with the title Avvenimenti amorosi di Psiche ("Love experiences of the psyche").

English poets took up the psyche in the 16th and 17th centuries, including Edmund Spenser in The Faerie Queene , William Browne in Britannia's Pastorals' third book, and Shackerley Marmion , who wrote an epic poem, The Legend of Cupid and Psyche . Thomas Heywood created a play Loves Maistresse or The Queens Masque , which was repeatedly performed at court and published in 1636; In this free transformation of the psyche material, Heywood lets Apuleius himself appear and comment on the plot. In 1662 the comedy Ni Amor se libra de amor ("Not even the god of love escapes love") by Calderón premiered in Madrid , which changes the plot very freely. In 1674 the three-book Latin novel Psyche Cretica by Johann Ludwig Prasch was published , in which the material is processed into a spiritual allegory. Jean de La Fontaine published his influential novel Les amours de Psyché et de Cupidon in 1669 , in which he emphasized the aspect of female weakness. He moves the mythical events to Versailles .

Individual episodes from the “Metamorphoses” provided motifs for works of world literature such as Cervantes ' Don Quixote , where the protagonist, like Apuleius' Lucius, fights against tubes, and the Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane by Alain-René Lesage . The influence of Apuleius can be seen in a number of Shakespeare's plays , especially in “ Midsummer Night's Dream ”.

Cupid and Psyche in a painting by Anthony Van Dyck. Royal Collection , London

The poet Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim created a cycle of 68 anacreontic poems entitled Amor und Psyche , which he published in 1744 in his attempt in joking songs . Herder was enthusiastic about the story of Amor and Psyche; for him it was "the most versatile, delicate novel that was ever thought". This praise did not go to the author, because Herder said that Apuleius had only edited an already existing material, and that in a "very African", "indecent" way.

Towards the end of the 18th century, the poet Mary Tighe wrote the story of Apuleius in verse; her poem Psyche, or The Legend of Love was well received by English readers.

Visual arts

Psyche material was received very broadly in the fine arts. The modern reception of painting began in the 15th century. Francesco di Giorgio created a painting depicting the punishment of the psyche at the command of Venus, Ercole de 'Roberti a cycle of frescoes on Cupid and Psyche, and Giorgione a cycle of paintings on the adventures of the psyche (twelve pictures, not preserved). Between 1517 and 1518, Raffael and his students in Rome painted a cycle of frescoes in the Loggia di Psiche of the Villa Farnesina that remained unfinished. Giulio Romano and his students designed the “Hall of the Psyche” in Palazzo Te near Mantua , which shows the love story on 23 frescoes. Perino del Vaga painted with his students 1545–1546 in a papal room of the Castel Sant'Angelo , the Sala di Amore e Psiche , a frieze with frescoes depicting scenes from the story. A painting by Jacopo Zucchi from 1589 shows Psyche admiring the sleeping Cupid. Numerous other painters of the 16th century took up individual motifs from the story or created entire cycles, including Bernardino Luini , Polidoro da Caravaggio , Michiel Coxcie , Luca Cambiaso , Giorgio Vasari and Bartholomäus Spranger .

Antonio Canova: Cupid wakes up psyche. Louvre , Paris

The psyche fabric also inspired many painters in the 17th century. Rubens created several pictures depicting scenes from the story of Amor and Psyche. Diego Velázquez , Anthonis van Dyck , Jacob Jordaens , Guido Reni , Charles Le Brun and Claude Lorrain also chose such subjects. In the 18th century designed u. a. François Boucher , Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Angelika Kauffmann Scenes from the history of the psyche.

The sculptor Antonio Canova created marble sculptures of Cupid and Psyche in the late 18th century.


The musical reception of the story of Amor and Psyche began at the beginning of the 16th century. The composer Bartolomeo Tromboncino created the incidental music for a drama Le nozze de Psyche ed Cupidene , which premiered in 1502.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, many opera librettists took up the subject; it emerged libretti with titles like La Psiche or Amore e Psiche that were largely put to music by now largely forgotten composer. A number of performances are attested; In 1642, the opera Amore innamorato (“Cupid in Love”) by Francesco Cavalli was premiered in Venice , and in 1683 in Naples the opera La Psiche ovvero Amore innamorato (“Psyche or Cupid in Love”) by Alessandro Scarlatti , 1738 in Naples the world premiere of the opera Le nozze di Psiche con Amore ("The Wedding of Psyche and Amor") by Leonardo Leo . Marco Scacchi composed the opera Le nozze d'Amore e di Psiche . Jean-Baptiste Lully created the music for the ballet Psyché, performed in 1671 at the court of King Louis XIV, based on a plan by Molière ; most of the verses were written by Pierre Corneille .


Classical Studies

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the "metamorphoses" were heavily criticized and sometimes classified under trivial entertainment literature. The novel was denounced for puffiness according to a standard based on classic models and assessed as chaotic. Eduard Norden passed a damning verdict; he found in Apuleius' language "a billowing sea of ​​fog of wild fantasy" and "the most monstrous swell". There was talk of African Latin (Africitas) , the criticized style was linked to the author's African origins. As early as 1786, David Ruhnken had noted an "African swell" in Apuleius; Friedrich August Wolf took up this catchphrase.

Cupid and Psyche. Painting by Bouguereau
Auguste Rodin: Cupid and Psyche. Victoria and Albert Museum , London

Since the second half of the 20th century, the literary level, the linguistic brilliance and the variety of styles of Apuleius have been recognized by many literary scholars, even if critics continue to criticize stylistic exaggerations and a tendency to overload. The refined narrative technique in the “Metamorphoses” is recognized, the work is considered a contribution to world literature. The opinions of the historians of philosophy about Apuleius' achievements as a philosopher are much less favorable. Arthur H. Armstrong rates him as a “very inferior thinker”, Matthias Baltes considers his philosophical format to be very mediocre and sees in him only a “brilliant linguist”.


Since the 20th century, the “metamorphoses” have also been intensively researched from the point of view of psychological issues, although many psychologists focus only on the narrative of Cupid and Psyche. It all started with Franz Riklin , who in 1908, in his study of Wish Fulfillment and Symbolism in Fairy Tales, presented a Freudian interpretation of the story; Further interpretations by Freudian-oriented analysts followed, including Bruno Bettelheim . The study Eros and Psyche published by Erich Neumann in 1952 was among the Jungians . A pioneering contribution to the spiritual development of the feminine . In 1970 Marie-Louise von Franz presented a thorough analysis of the “metamorphoses” from a Jungian perspective . She not only analyzed the mental life of the novel character Lucius, but also tried to grasp the personality of Apuleius in depth psychology and to explain his ambivalent relationship to the content of his novel. Further interpretations by Jungians followed. John F. Makowski emphasized that Cupid, Psyche, and Venus go through significant psychological development before the story comes to a happy ending. James Gollnick, who endeavors to determine the chances and limits of a psychological interpretation of Apuleius, presents a research report.


Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote a series of poems based on scenes from Apuleius' tale. William Morris wrote a verse tale The Story of Cupid and Psyche as part of his work The Earthly Paradise . Robert Hamerling followed the portrayal of Apuleius in his epic Amor and Psyche (1882), taking into account the allegorical interpretation. In 1885 the poem Eros and Psyche by Robert Bridges was published .

In his novel Marius the Epicurean , published in 1885, Walter Pater used motifs from the “Metamorphoses”, including the story of Amor and Psyche; the title hero Marius is an admirer of Apuleius, whom Pater also lets appear.

In 1956 the novel Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold (German title: You are the answer ) by CS Lewis was published . It depicts Psyche's fate from the point of view of her older sister.

Visual arts

In modern times, the story of Cupid and Psyche initially remained a frequent subject in the visual arts, the popularity of which increased even from the end of the 18th century. It can be found u. a. on pictures by Philipp Otto Runge , Johann Friedrich August Tischbein , Francisco Goya , Edward Burne-Jones and William Adolphe Bouguereau . In 1880 Max Klinger illustrated the story of Apuleius with 46 etchings . In the course of the 20th century the popularity of the motif in painting decreased significantly, but Oskar Kokoschka used it several times.

The sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen created a series of statues and reliefs depicting scenes from the story. A marble sculpture and a marble relief by John Gibson also represent Psyche. Auguste Rodin immortalized Amor and Psyche in several marble sculptures.

The French draftsman Georges Pichard brought out a two-volume album Les sorcières de Thessalie (“The Witches of Thessaly”) in 1985–1986 , in which he designed episodes from the “Metamorphoses”. In 1999 the Italian illustrator Milo Manara published a graphic novel L'asino d'oro .


In the 19th and 20th centuries, too, a number of compositions (especially operas and ballets) were created whose theme is the history of the psyche. In 1888 César Franck composed Psyché , a “symphonic poem for orchestra and choir”, which is counted among his most important works. Richard Franck titled a tone poem from 1905 Liebesidyll - Amor und Psyche (opus 40). Paul Hindemith created the ballet overture Amor and Psyche , which premiered in Philadelphia in 1943.

Editions and translations

Critical complete edition

  • Apulei Platonici Madaurensis opera quae supersunt . Teubner, Leipzig or Stuttgart and Leipzig
    • Volume 1: Rudolf Helm (Ed.): Metamorphoseon libri XI . Leipzig 1955 (reprint of the third edition from 1931, on this p. 297–301 corrections and additions)
    • Volume 2 Fascicle 1: Rudolf Helm (Ed.): Pro se de magia liber (Apologia) . Leipzig 1972
    • Volume 2 Fascicle 2: Rudolf Helm (Ed.): Florida . Stuttgart and Leipzig 1993, ISBN 3-8154-1057-6 (reprint of the 1959 edition)
    • Volume 3: Claudio Moreschini (Ed.): De philosophia libri. Stuttgart and Leipzig 1991, ISBN 3-519-01058-5 (contains the philosophical writings, the Florida fragment handed down as a prologue to De deo Socratis and the pseudo-Apulian Asclepius . In addition, the collation of the Florence manuscript, Biblioteca Medicea Laurentiana, Plut 51, 9 by Frank Regen, The Codex Laurentianus pluteus 51.9. A previously neglected text witness of the Apulian script "De deo Socratis" (News of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class 1985, 5). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985, SS 15–40.)


  • Maaike Zimmerman (Ed.): Apulei metamorphoseon libri XI. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2012, ISBN 978-0-19-927702-5 (critical edition)
  • Donald Struan Robertson, Paul Vallette (eds.): Apulée: Les Métamorphoses . 3 volumes, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1985–2000 (critical edition with French translation)
    • Volume 1 (Books 1–3), 1989, ISBN 2-251-01009-2 (reprint of the 1st edition from 1940)
    • Volume 2 (Books 4–6), 2000, ISBN 2-251-01010-6 (reprint of the 7th, revised edition from 1992)
    • Volume 3 (Books 7-11), 1985, ISBN 2-251-01011-4 (reprint of the 1st edition from 1945)
  • Edward Brandt, Wilhelm Ehlers : Apuleius: The golden donkey. Metamorphoseon libri XI . 5th edition, Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf and Zurich 1998, ISBN 3-7608-1508-1 (translation with uncritical edition of the Latin text)
  • Rudolf Helm (Ed.): Apuleius: Metamorphoses or The Golden Donkey . 7th edition, Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1978 (critical edition with translation)
  • Lucius Apuleius: the golden donkey. In translation by August Rode. Marix-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009. ISBN 978-3-86539-202-2

Philosophical works

  • Jean Beaujeu (ed.): Apulée: Opuscules philosophiques: Du dieu de Socrate, Platon et sa doctrine, Du monde. Fragments . 2nd edition, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 2002, ISBN 2-251-01012-2 (critical edition with French translation and commentary)
  • Paolo Siniscalco, Karl Albert : Apuleius: Plato and his teaching . Richarz, Sankt Augustin 1981, ISBN 3-921255-92-9 (translation with the Latin text)
  • Matthias Baltes u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De deo Socratis. About the god of Socrates (= SAPERE . Volume 7). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-15573-4 (translation with the Latin text from the edition by Moreschini [slightly changed] and interpretive essays)
  • Mariano Baldassarri (Ed.): Apuleio: L'interpretazione . Liceo "A. Volta “, Como 1986 (critical edition of Peri hermeneias with Italian translation and commentary)
  • David Londey, Carmen Johanson: The Logic of Apuleius . Brill, Leiden 1987, ISBN 90-04-08421-5 (English translation by Peri hermeneias with the Latin text and a detailed introduction)
  • Justin A. Stover (Ed.): A New Work by Apuleius. The Lost Third Book of the De Platone. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2016, ISBN 978-0-19-873574-8 (critical edition of the text hypothetically attributed to Apuleius by Stover with English translation and commentary)

Rhetorical works

  • Paul Vallette (Ed.): Apulée: Apologie, Florides . 3rd edition, Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1971 (critical edition with French translation)
  • Jürgen Hammerstaedt u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia (= SAPERE . Volume 5). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-14946-7 (translation with the Latin text after the edition by Helm [slightly changed] and interpretive essays)
  • Rudolf Helm (Ed.): Apuleius: Defense speech, blossom harvest . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1977 (critical edition with translation)


General representations

Overview representations

  • Michael von Albrecht : History of Roman literature from Andronicus to Boethius and its continued effect . Volume 2. 3rd, improved and expanded edition. De Gruyter, Berlin 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-026525-5 , pp. 1241-1258
  • Jean-Marie Flamand: Apulée de Madaure . In: Richard Goulet (ed.): Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques . Volume 1, CNRS, Paris 1989, ISBN 2-222-04042-6 , pp. 298-317
  • Klaus Sallmann , Peter Lebrecht Schmidt : L. Apuleius (Marcellus?) . In: Klaus Sallmann (ed.): The literature of upheaval. From Roman to Christian literature, 117 to 284 AD (= Handbook of Classical Studies , 8th section: Handbook of the Latin Literature of Antiquity . Volume 4). Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-39020-X , pp. 292-318

Overall presentations and investigations


  • Robert Carver, Ingo Schaaf: Apuleius of Madaura. In: Christine Walde (Ed.): The reception of ancient literature. Kulturhistorisches Werklexikon (= Der Neue Pauly . Supplements. Volume 7). Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2010, ISBN 978-3-476-02034-5 , Sp. 45-68.

Handwritten tradition

  • Frank Regen : The Codex Laurentianus pluteus 51.9. A previously neglected text witness of the Apulian script "De deo Socratis" (News of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class 1985, 5). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1985.
  • Raymond Klibansky , Frank Regen: The manuscripts of the philosophical works of Apuleius. A contribution to the history of transmission (treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class, Volume 3, 204). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1993. ISBN 3-525-82591-9
  • Apulei Platonici Madaurensis opera quae supersunt , Vol. 2 Fascicle 2: Rudolf Helm (Ed.): Florida . Stuttgart and Leipzig 1993, pp. XXIX-LIX. (in Latin for the handwritten tradition of Metamorphoses, Apology and Florida).
  • Apulei Platonici Madaurensis opera quae supersunt , vol. 3: Claudio Moreschini (ed.): De philosophia libri. Stuttgart and Leipzig 1991, pp. III – XIII (in Latin for the handwritten transmission of the philosophical writings).
  • Claudio Moreschini: Ricerche sulla tradizione manoscritta del De interpretatione (= Peri Hermeneias) pseudoapuleano . In: Pan 10, 1990, pp. 61-73.

Comments and investigations on individual works

Metamorphoses Comments

  • Apuleius Madaurensis: Metamorphoses . Bouma (from 1985 Egbert Forsten), Groningen 1977–2007 (detailed comments)
  • Danielle Karin van Mal-Maeder: Apulée: Les Métamorphoses. Livre II, 1-20 . Dissertation Groningen 1998, ISBN 90-367-0883-4 (commentary)
  • Rudi T. van der Paardt: L. Apuleius Madaurensis: The Metamorphoses. A commentary on book III with text & introduction . Hakkert, Amsterdam 1971, ISBN 90-256-0573-7
  • John Gwyn Griffiths: Apuleius of Madauros: The Isis-Book (Metamorphoses, Book XI) . Brill, Leiden 1975, ISBN 90-04-04270-9 (detailed commentary)

Investigations into the metamorphoses

  • Carl C. Schlam: The Metamorphoses of Apuleius: On Making an Ass of Oneself . Duckworth, London 1992, ISBN 0-7156-2402-4
  • Luca Graverini: Le Metamorfosi di Apuleio: letteratura e identità . Pacini, Ospedaletto (Pisa) 2007, ISBN 978-88-7781-869-0
  • Stefan Tilg : Apuleius' Metamorphoses: A Study in Roman Fiction . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2014, ISBN 978-0-19-870683-0

Reception of the metamorphoses

  • Robert HF Carver: The Protean Ass. The Metamorphoses of Apuleius from Antiquity to the Renaissance . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2007, ISBN 978-0-19-921786-1
  • Sonia Cavicchioli: Amore e Psiche . Alberto Maioli, Milano 2002, ISBN 88-87843-07-4 (illustrated book with numerous excellent illustrations for reception in the visual arts from antiquity to modern times)
  • Julia Haig Gaisser: The Fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass. A Study in Transmission and Reception . Princeton University Press, Princeton 2008, ISBN 978-0-691-13136-8
  • Ulrike Stephan: German translations of the Metamorphoses of Apuleius since 1780. In: Josefine Kitzbichler, Ulrike Stephan (Ed.): Studies on the practice of translating ancient literature. History - analysis - criticism. De Gruyter, Berlin a. a. 2015, ISBN 978-3-11-042649-6 , pp. 277-360

Philosophical writings

  • Stephen Gersh: Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism. The Latin Tradition . Volume 1, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame (Indiana) 1986, ISBN 0-268-01363-2 , pp. 215-328
  • Adolf Lumpe: The logic of Pseudo-Apuleius. A contribution to the history of philosophy . Seitz, Augsburg 1982, ISBN 3-9800641-0-7
  • Frank Regen : Apuleius philosophus Platonicus. Investigations on the Apology (De magia) and on De mundo . De Gruyter, Berlin 1971, ISBN 3-11-003678-9

Rhetorical writings

  • Vincent Hunink: Apuleius of Madauros: Florida . Gieben, Amsterdam 2001, ISBN 90-5063-218-1 (detailed commentary)
  • Vincent Hunink: Apuleius of Madauros: Pro se de magia (Apologia) . Volume 2: Commentary . Gieben, Amsterdam 1997, ISBN 90-5063-167-3
  • Benjamin Todd Lee: Apuleius' Florida. A Commentary . De Gruyter, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-11-017771-4
  • Jürgen Hammerstaedt et al. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia (= SAPERE . Volume 5). Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 2002, ISBN 3-534-14946-7 (text and translation with interpretive essays)

Audio books

Web links

Wikisource: Lucius Apuleius  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
Wikisource: Metamorphoses  - Sources and full texts (Latin)
Wikisource: Apuleius  - Sources and full texts
Commons : Apuleius  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. For the dating see Benjamin Todd Lee: Apuleius' Florida. A Commentary , Berlin 2005, p. 3; Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, p. 3; Gerald Sandy: The Greek World of Apuleius. Apuleius and the Second Sophistic , Leiden 1997, p. 2.
  2. Jürgen Hammerstaedt u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia , Darmstadt 2002, p. 11, note 10; Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 1 f. Note 3.
  3. Apuleius, De magia 24.
  4. Filippo Coarelli: Apuleio a Ostia? In: Dialoghi di archeologia 7, 1989, pp. 27-42.
  5. Werner Riess : Apuleius and the robbers , Stuttgart 2001, p. 337 f .; Roger Beck: Apuleius the Novelist, Apuleius the Ostian Householder and the Mithraeum of the Seven Spheres: Further Explorations of an Hypothesis of Filippo Coarelli . In: Stephen G. Wilson, Michel Desjardins (eds.): Text and Artifact in the Religions of Mediterranean Antiquity , Waterloo (Ontario) 2000, pp. 551-567.
  6. On the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric in Apuleius, see Maeve C. O'Brien: Apuleius' Debt to Plato in the Metamorphoses , Lewiston 2002, pp. 1–26.
  7. On the economic situation - Pudentilla had hundreds of slaves - see Andreas Gutsfeld: On the economic mentality of non-senatorial provincial upper classes: Aemilia Pudentilla and her relatives . In: Klio 74, 1992, pp. 250-268.
  8. For the dating see Jürgen Hammerstaedt u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia , Darmstadt 2002, pp. 13-16.
  9. Doubts about the historicity of the process are expressed by Ulrike Riemer: Apuleius, De magia. On the historicity of speech . In: Historia 55, 2006, pp. 178-190. Peter Schenk justifies the opposite view: Introduction . In: Jürgen Hammerstaedt u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia , Darmstadt 2002, p. 42 f.
  10. But it could also have been another priesthood; see James B. Rives: The Priesthood of Apuleius . In: American Journal of Philology 115, 1994, pp. 273-290.
  11. Jean-Marie Flamand: Apulée de Madaure . In: Richard Goulet (ed.): Dictionnaire des philosophes antiques , Vol. 1, Paris 1989, pp. 298-317, here: 314 considers Faustinus neither a son nor a student of Apuleius, but a fictional person.
  12. Augustine, De civitate dei 18:18.
  13. ↑ On this question, see Anton P. Bitel: Quis seine Asinus aureus? The Metamorphoses of Apuleius' Title . In: Ancient Narrative 1, 2000–2001, pp. 208–244, here: 208–218; Hans Münstermann: Apuleius. Metamorphoses of literary templates , Stuttgart 1995, pp. 46–56; John J. Winkler: Auctor and actor , Berkeley 1985, pp. 292-320.
  14. Helmut van Thiel examines the relationship between the various versions : Der Eselsroman , Volume 1: Investigations , Munich 1971.
  15. See on this scene ( Metamorphoses 6.23) Maaike Zimmerman u. a .: Apuleius Madaurensis: Metamorphoses. Books IV 28–35, V and VI 1–24: The Tale of Cupid and Psyche , Groningen 2004, pp. 544 f.
  16. Jan-Öjvind Swahn: The Tale of Cupid and Psyche , Lund 1955, pp. 373-380; Teresa Mantero: Amore e Psiche. Struttura di una “fiaba di magia” , Genova 1973; Carl Schlam, Ellen Finkelpearl: A Review of Scholarship on Apuleius' Metamorphoses 1970-1998 . In: Lustrum 42, 2000, pp. 7–230, here: 42–45, 135–140. A series of pioneering studies has been compiled by Gerhard Binder , Reinhold Merkelbach (ed.): Amor and Psyche , Darmstadt 1968.
  17. See the work of Richard Reitzenstein: Das Märchen von Amor und Psyche bei Apuleius , Leipzig 1912, pp. 16–28; The goddess Psyche in Hellenistic and early Christian literature , Heidelberg 1917; Eros and psyche again . In: Gerhard Binder, Reinhold Merkelbach (eds.): Amor and Psyche , Darmstadt 1968, pp. 235-292.
  18. Judith Hindermann: The elegiac donkey. Apuleius' Metamorphoses and Ovid's Ars Amatoria , Frankfurt am Main 2009.
  19. Reinhold Merkelbach: Roman and Mysterium in der Antike , Munich 1962, pp. 1–90.
  20. Roger Thibau: Les Metamorphoses d'Apulée et la Théorie Platonicienne de l'Eros . In: Studia Philosophica Gandensia 3, 1965, pp. 89–144, here: 141 f .; Maeve C. O'Brien: Apuleius' Debt to Plato in the Metamorphoses , Lewiston 2002, pp. 91-93. Ulrike Egelhaaf-Gaiser provides an overview of the research controversies : Cult spaces in everyday life in Rome , Stuttgart 2000, pp. 30–37, 74–76; after a detailed investigation she decides for a “uniformly serious reading as a philosophical text and a spiritual biography” (p. 478).
  21. Luca Graverini: Le Metamorfosi di Apuleio: letteratura e identità , Ospedaletto (Pisa) 2007; Stefan Tilg: Apuleius' Metamorphoses: A Study in Roman Fiction , Oxford 2014.
  22. John J. Winkler: Auctor and actor , Berkeley 1985.
  23. See also Serge Lancel: "Curiositas" et préoccupations spirituelles chez Apulée . In: Revue de l'Histoire des Religions 160, 1961, pp. 25-46; Claudio Moreschini: Apuleio e il platonismo , Firenze 1978, pp. 34-37, 43-50; Carl Schlam, Ellen Finkelpearl: A Review of Scholarship on Apuleius' Metamorphoses 1970-1998 . In: Lustrum 42, 2000, pp. 7–230, here: 169–171.
  24. Michaela Schmale: Lector asinus est. On the relationship between narrator and reader in Apuleius' Metamorphoses . In: Würzburg Yearbooks for Classical Studies New Series 28a, 2004, pp. 125-139.
  25. For the history of research see Carl Schlam, Ellen Finkelpearl: A Review of Scholarship on Apuleius' Metamorphoses 1970–1998 . In: Lustrum 42, 2000, pp. 7–230, here: 45–78.
  26. ^ Carl C. Schlam: The Metamorphoses of Apuleius. On making an Ass of Oneself , London 1992, p. 121.
  27. Marie-Luise Lakmann formulates the majority opinion in: Matthias Baltes u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De deo Socratis. About the God of Socrates , Darmstadt 2004, pp. 23–26; Vincent Hunink justifies the opposing position: The Prologue of Apuleius' De Deo Socratis . In: Mnemosyne 48, 1995, pp. 292-312 and Gerald Sandy: The Greek World of Apuleius. Apuleius and the Second Sophistic , Leiden 1997, pp. 192-196.
  28. ^ Frank Regen: Apuleius philosophus Platonicus. Investigations on the apology De magia and on De mundo . De Gruyter, Berlin New York 1971, p. 107f .; Giovanni Barra: La questione dell'autenticità del "De Platone et eius dogmate" e del "De mundo" di Apuleio . In: Rendiconti della Accademia di Archeologia, Lettere e Belle Arti (Napoli) 41, 1966, pp. 127-188; Jean Beaujeu (ed.): Apulée: Opuscules philosophiques: Du dieu de Socrate, Platon et sa doctrine, Du monde. Fragments , 2nd edition, Paris 2002, pp. IX – XXIX. Josef Redfors does not come to a decision: Examination of the authenticity of the Apulian writings De Platone and De mundo , Lund 1960.
  29. On the hypothesis see Justin A. Stover (Ed.): A New Work by Apuleius. The Lost Third Book of the De Platone , Oxford 2016, pp. 31-44, 73 f., 88.
  30. For details see Heinrich Dörrie u. a .: Platonism in antiquity , Volume 7.1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 2008, pp. 549-572.
  31. Josef Redfors: Authenticity- critical examination of the Apulian writings De Platone and De mundo , Lund 1960, pp. 7–18, 24–26, 114–117; Frank Regen: Apuleius philosophus Platonicus , Berlin 1971, pp. 107-110; Antonio Marchetta: L'autenticità apuleiana del de mundo , L'Aquila 1991; Antonio Marchetta: Apuleio traduttore . In: La langue latine, langue de la philosophie , Rome 1992, pp. 203-218; Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 175-179; Jean Beaujeu (ed.): Apulée: Opuscules philosophiques: Du dieu de Socrate, Platon et sa doctrine, Du monde. Fragments , 2nd edition, Paris 2002, pp. IX – XXIX.
  32. Carmen Johanson plead for authenticity: "Was the magician of Madaura a logician?" In: Apeiron 17, 1983, pp. 131-134, Mariano Baldassarri (ed.): Apuleio: L'interpretazione , Como 1986, p. 5 –7 and Raymond Klibansky, Frank Regen: The handwriting of the philosophical works of Apuleius , Göttingen 1993, pp. 18–23. Adolf Lumpe opt for the opposite view: The logic of the Pseudo-Apuleius , Augsburg 1982, pp. 10-19 and (particularly emphatically) Jean Beaujeu (ed.): Apulée: Opuscules philosophiques: Du dieu de Socrate, Platon et sa doctrine , You moons. Fragments , 2nd edition, Paris 2002, p. VII f. For independence see Heinrich Dörrie, Matthias Baltes: Der Platonismus in der Antike , Volume 3, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1993, p. 257. Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius is skeptical . A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, p. 11 f.
  33. ^ Mariano Baldassarri (Ed.): Apuleio: L'interpretazione , Como 1986, p. 8.
  34. See also Peter Schenk: Introduction . In: Jürgen Hammerstaedt u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia , Darmstadt 2002, p. 23 f. Note 1. Ulrich Schindel thinks differently : The title of Apuleius' defense speech . In: Studi Medievali Serie terza 39, 1998, pp. 865-888.
  35. Vincent Hunink (ed.): Apuleius of Madauros: Pro se de magia (Apologia) . Volume 1, Amsterdam 1997, p. 26 f .; Peter Schenk: Introduction . In: Jürgen Hammerstaedt u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia , Darmstadt 2002, pp. 39-43; Françoise Gaide: Apulée de Madaure at-il prononcé le De Magia devant le proconsul d'Afrique? In: Les Études Classiques 61, 1993, pp. 227-231.
  36. See Regine May: Apuleius and Drama , Oxford 2006, pp. 66–71 (with English translation of the poem) and Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius eroticus: Anth. Lat. 712 giant . In: Hermes 120, 1992, pp. 83-89.
  37. Gellius, Noctes Atticae 19,11,4. See Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius eroticus: Anth. Lat. 712 giant . In: Hermes 120, 1992, pp. 83-89, here: 87-89, who strongly supports this hypothesis; Silvia Mattiacci, on the other hand, expresses herself cautiously: L'odarium dell'amico di Gellio e la poesia novella . In: Vincenzo Tandoi (ed.): Disiecti membra poetae , Volume 3, Foggia 1988, pp. 194-208, here: 199-201.
  38. See also Ben Edwin Perry : On Apuleius' Hermagoras . In: American Journal of Philology 48, 1927, pp. 263-266.
  39. ^ Priscian, Institutiones grammaticae GLK 2,511 and GLK 2,520.
  40. Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 16-20.
  41. Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistulae 9,13,3; Macrobius, Saturnalia 7,3,23 f .; Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 30 f .; Peter L. Schmidt: Specialized prose . In: Klaus Sallmann (ed.): The literature of upheaval. From Roman to Christian literature, 117 to 284 AD , Munich 1997, p. 312 f. (different from Jürgen Hammerstaedt et al. (Ed.): Apuleius: De magia , Darmstadt 2002, p. 19 and note 47).
  42. ^ Servius, In Vergilii georgica 2,126.
  43. René Martin pleads for the attribution to Apuleius of Madauros: Apulée dans les Géoponiques . In: Revue de philologie, de littérature et d'histoire anciennes 46, 1972, pp. 246-255; see. on this Peter L. Schmidt: Technical prose . In: Klaus Sallmann (ed.): The literature of upheaval. From Roman to Christian literature, 117 to 284 AD , Munich 1997, p. 312 f., Here: 312.
  44. ^ Priscian, Institutiones grammaticae GLK 2,203.
  45. Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 25 f .; Mariateresa Horsfall Scotti: Apuleio nel mondo tardo-antico . In: Atti della Accademia Peloritana dei Pericolanti. Classe di Lettere, Filosofia e Belle Arti 66, 1990, pp. 75–88, here: p. 87, note 38.
  46. Charisius, Ars grammatica GLK 1,240; Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 20 f.
  47. ^ Priscian, Institutiones grammaticae GLK 2,250 and GLK 3,482.
  48. Fulgentius, Exposure sermonum antiquorum 44th
  49. Cassiodorus, Institutiones 2,4,7.
  50. Cassiodorus, Institutiones 2,5,10. See Riccardo Avallone: Apuleio e la musica . In: Euphrosyne 21, 1993, pp. 263-268.
  51. ^ Johannes Lydos, De magistratibus 3.64; see Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 28 f.
  52. Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, p. 29.
  53. John the Lydian, De ostentis 54th
  54. See Stephen J. Harrison: Apuleius. A Latin Sophist , Oxford 2000, pp. 12 f .; Mariateresa Horsfall Scotti: The Asclepius: Thoughts of a Re-opened Debate . In: Vigiliae Christianae 54, 2000, pp. 396-416; on the medieval reception of Asclepius Raymond Klibansky, Frank Regen: The handwriting of the philosophical works of Apuleius , Göttingen 1993, pp. 47–51.
  55. Jacques André (ed.): Anonymous latin: Traité de physiognomonie , Paris 1981, pp. 31–34.
  56. Heinrich Dörrie u. a .: Platonism in antiquity , Volume 7.1, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 2008, p. 526; Wolfgang Bernard : On the demonology of Apuleius of Madaura . In: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 137, 1994, pp. 358–373.
  57. Apuleius, "About the God of Socrates" 19.162 f.
  58. Apuleius, “About Plato and His Teaching” 1,9,199.
  59. Stéphane Gsell : Inscriptions latines de l'Algérie , Volume 1, Paris 1922, p. 196 No. 2115.
  60. Apuleius, Florida 16.1 and 16.37.
  61. Augustine, Epistulae 138,19.
  62. Historia Augusta , Clodius Albinus 12.12. See René Martin: D'Apulée à Umberto Eco, ou les métamorphoses d'un Âne . In: Bulletin de l'Association Guillaume Budé , vol. 1993, pp. 165-182, here: 167.
  63. The sources are compiled in James B. Rives: The Priesthood of Apuleius . In: American Journal of Philology 115, 1994, pp. 273-290, here: 275 f.
  64. Anthologia Graeca II, 303-305.
  65. ^ Henry Cohen, Félix-Bienaimé Feuardent: Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'empire romain communément appelées médailles impériales , Vol. 8, 2nd edition, Paris 1892, p. 281. For the significance of this honor, see Jean-Luc Desnier: Salutius - Salustius . In: Revue des Études Anciennes 85, 1983, pp. 53–65, here: 54 f .; Peter Franz Mittag : old heads in new hands. Author and function of the Kontorniaten , Bonn 1999, p. 115, 163 f., Illustration: plate 4.
  66. ^ Jean Daniélou : Novatien et le De mundo d'Apulée . In: Willem den Boer u. a. (Eds.): Romanitas et Christianitas , Amsterdam 1973, pp. 71-80.
  67. Augustine, De civitate dei 8.14 ff.
  68. On Augustine's reception of Apuleius see Vincent Hunink: Apuleius, qui nobis Afris Afer est notior: Augustine's Polemic Against Apuleius in De Civitate Dei . In: Scholia 12, 2003, pp. 82-95; Wolfgang Bernard: On the demonology of Apuleius of Madaura . In: Rheinisches Museum für Philologie 137, 1994, pp. 358–373, here: 358–360; Claudio Moreschini: Apuleio e il platonismo , Firenze 1978, pp. 240-254.
  69. ^ Macrobius, Commentarii in somnium Scipionis 1,2,8. See Stephen Harrison: Constructing Apuleius: The Emergence of a Literary Artist . In: Ancient Narrative 2, 2002, pp. 143–171, here: 144 f.
  70. Fulgentius, "Mythorien" 3,6; see Robert HF Carver: The Protean Ass , Oxford 2007, pp. 41-46.
  71. Sidonius Apollinaris, Epistulae 2,9,5.
  72. Noëlle Icard-Gianolio: psyche . In: Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), Volume 7/1, Zurich 1994, pp. 569-585 (text) and Volume 7/2, Zurich 1994, pp. 436-461 (images) as well as supplements in the 2009 supplement of the LIMC , Düsseldorf 2009, Volume 1, pp. 437-440 (text) and Volume 2, pp. 209-211 (images).
  73. See on this Raymond Klibansky, Frank Regen: Die Handschriften der philosophischen Werke des Apuleius , Göttingen 1993, pp. 39–42; Robert HF Carver: The Protean Ass , Oxford 2007, pp. 52-54, 449-457.
  74. Gian Carlo Garfagnini: Un "accessus" ad Apuleio e un nuovo codice del Terzo Mitografo vaticano . In: Studi Medievali Serie terza 17/1, 1976, pp. 307–362 (critical edition of the accessus pp. 311–320); Claudio Moreschini: Apuleio e il platonismo , Firenze 1978, p. 263 f.
  75. ^ A research overview is provided by Robert HF Carver: The Protean Ass , Oxford 2007, pp. 84-101.
  76. ^ John of Salisbury, Policraticus 6:28. On Bernardus 'and Johannes' Apuleius reception, see Raymond Klibansky, Frank Regen: Die Handschriften der philosophischen Werke des Apuleius , Göttingen 1993, pp. 47–49.
  77. Cassiodorus, Institutiones 2, 3, 12; see Simona Bianchi: La trasmissione della logica aristotelica nell'Occidente latino: il caso del "Peri hermeneias" di Apuleio . In: Studi Medievali Serie terza 36, ​​1995, pp. 63–86, here: 67–69.
  78. ^ Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 2,28,1-22.
  79. Raymond Klibansky, Frank Regen: The handwriting of the philosophical works of Apuleius , Göttingen 1993, p. 42 f.
  80. Simona Bianchi: La trasmissione della logica aristotelica nell'Occidente latino: il caso del "Peri hermeneias" di Apuleio . In: Studi Medievali Serie terza 36, ​​1995, pp. 63–86, here: 83 f.
  81. Julia Haig Gaisser: The Fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass , Princeton 2008, p. 37 f .; Robert HF Carver: The Protean Ass , Oxford 2007, p. 57 f.
  82. For details see Maurizio Fiorilla: La lettura apuleiana del Boccaccio e le note ai manoscritti Laurenziani 29, 2 e 54, 32 . In: Aevum 73, 1999, pp. 635-688, here: 635 f .; Julia Haig Gaisser: The Fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass , Princeton 2008, pp. 93-99.
  83. See Remigio Sabbadini: Questioncelle storiche di sintassi e stile latino . In: Rivista di filologia e d'istruzione classica 32, 1904, pp. 58–62, here: 61.
  84. ^ Julia Haig Gaisser: Filippo Beroaldo on Apuleius: Bringing Antiquity to Life . In: Marianne Pade (Ed.): On Renaissance Commentaries , Hildesheim 2005, pp. 87-109, here: 107-109.
  85. ^ John F. D'Amico: The Progress of Renaissance Latin Prose: The Case of Apuleianism . In: Renaissance Quarterly 37, 1984, pp. 351-392, here: 360-362, 365, 377.
  86. Stephen Harrison: Constructing Apuleius: The Emergence of a Literary Artist . In: Ancient Narrative 2, 2002, pp. 143–171, here: 148; John F. D'Amico: The Progress of Renaissance Latin Prose: The Case of Apuleianism . In: Renaissance Quarterly 37, 1984, pp. 351-392, here: 376-382.
  87. Birgit Plank: Johann Sieder's translation of the “Golden Esels” and the early German-language “Metamorphoses” reception , Tübingen 2004, p. 12, 172–189.
  88. Birgit Plank: Johann Sieder's translation of the "Golden Esels" and the early German-language "Metamorphoses" reception , Tübingen 2004, pp. 44–84, 145 ff.
  89. Alexander Scobie: The Influence of Apuleius' Metamorphoses in Renaissance Italy and Spain . In: Benjamin Lodewijk Hijmans, Rudi T. van der Paardt (Ed.): Aspects of Apuleius' Golden Ass , Volume 1, Groningen 1978, pp. 211-230, here: 216 f .; Franziska Küenzlen: Transformations of a donkey. Apuleius' Metamorphoses in the Early 16th Century , Heidelberg 2005, pp. 314–376.
  90. Julia Haig Gaisser: The Fortunes of Apuleius and the Golden Ass , Princeton 2008, pp. 269-272.
  91. ^ Robert HF Carver: The Protean Ass , Oxford 2007, pp. 429-445.
  92. Herder: Letters for the Promotion of Humanity 6,64 and 6,75.
  93. For details see Luisa Vertova: Cupid and Psyche in Renaissance Painting before Raphael . In: Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 42, 1979, pp. 104-121.
  94. On the “metamorphosis” reception in Renaissance painting, see Mariantonietta Acocella: L'Asino d'oro nel Rinascimento , Ravenna 2001, pp. 108–157; Jan L. de Jong: Il pittore a le volte è puro poeta. Cupid and Psyche in Italian Renaissance Painting . In: Maaike Zimmerman u. a. (Ed.): Aspects of Apuleius' Golden Ass , Volume 2, Groningen 1998, pp. 189-215; Jane Davidson Reid: The Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1300-1990s , Volume 2, New York / Oxford 1993, pp. 940-942; Sonia Cavicchioli: Le metamorfosi di Psiche. L'iconografia della favola di Apuleio , Venezia 2002, pp. 42-117.
  95. For details of the reception in the opera see Claudio Moreschini: Amore e Psiche. Novella, filosofia, allegoria . In: Fontes Jg. 3, No. 5-6, 2000, pp. 21-44, here: 32-35.
  96. Eduard Norden: The ancient art prose , Vol. 2, Leipzig 1909, p. 601.
  97. Stephen Harrison: Constructing Apuleius: The Emergence of a Literary Artist . In: Ancient Narrative 2, 2002, pp. 143–171, here: 151 f.
  98. Klaus Sallmann in: Klaus Sallmann (Hrsg.): The literature of upheaval. From Roman to Christian literature, 117 to 284 AD , Munich 1997, pp. 305, 313; Marie-Luise Lakmann in: Matthias Baltes u. a. (Ed.): Apuleius: De deo Socratis. About the God of Socrates , Darmstadt 2004, pp. 34–39.
  99. Manfred Fuhrmann : Rom in der Spätantike , Zurich 1994, p. 43.
  100. ^ Arthur H. Armstrong: An Introduction to Ancient Philosophy , 4th Edition, London 1965, p. 154.
  101. Heinrich Dörrie, Matthias Baltes: The Platonism in antiquity , Volume 4, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1996, p. 262.
  102. James Gollnick offers an overview: Love and the Soul. Psychological Interpretations of the Eros and Psyche Myth , Waterloo (Ontario) 1992, pp. 29-63.
  103. ^ Marie-Louise von Franz: A Psychological Interpretation of the Golden Ass of Apuleius , New York 1970; German: The redemption of the feminine in the man. Apuleius' golden donkey in depth psychology , Zurich 1997.
  104. See also Carl Schlam, Ellen Finkelpearl: A Review of Scholarship on Apuleius' Metamorphoses 1970-1998 . In: Lustrum 42, 2000, pp. 7–230, here: 149 f .; James Gollnick: Love and the Soul. Psychological Interpretations of the Eros and Psyche Myth , Waterloo (Ontario) 1992, pp. 65-111.
  105. ^ John F. Makowski: Persephone, Psyche, and the Mother-Maiden Archetype . In: Classical Outlook 62, 1985, pp. 73-78.
  106. James Gollnick: Love and the Soul. Psychological Interpretations of the Eros and Psyche Myth , Waterloo (Ontario) 1992.
  107. See on Father's Apuleius reception Eugene J. Brzenk: Apuleius, Pater and the Bildungsroman . In: Benjamin Lodewijk Hijmans, Rudi T. van der Paardt (eds.): Aspects of Apuleius' Golden Ass , Volume 1, Groningen 1978, pp. 231-237; Dominique Millet-Gérard: Poétique symboliste de Psyché: Walter Pater (1839–1894), lecteur, traducteur et orchestrateur du conte d'Apulée . In: Bulletin de l'Association Guillaume Budé , Vol. 1990, pp. 48-71.
  108. See on this development and its background Christel Steinmetz: Amor und Psyche. Studies on the conception of myth in the visual arts around 1800 , Cologne 1989, pp. 5–7, 9–12, 43 ff.
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