The Golden Ass by Lucius ApuleiusThe Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius

The Golden Ass

byLucius ApuleiusTranslated byE. J. KenneyIntroduction byE. J. Kenney

Paperback | October 1, 1998

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An enchanting story that has inspired generations of writers, including Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats 

Written towards the end of the second century AD, The Golden Ass tells the story of the many adventures of a young man whose fascination with witchcraft leads him to be transformed into a donkey. The bewitched Lucius passes from owner to owner - encountering a desperate gang of robbers and being forced to perform lewd 'human' tricks on stage - until the Goddess Isis finally breaks the spell and initiates Lucius into her cult. It has long been disputed whether Apuleius meant this last-minute conversion seriously or as a final comic surprise, and the challenge of interpretation continues to keep readers fascinated. Apuleius' enchanting story has inspired generations of writers such as Boccaccio, Shakespeare, Cervantes and Keats with its dazzling combination of allegory, satire, bawdiness and sheer exuberance, and The Golden Ass remains the most continuously and accessibly amusing book to have survived from Classical antiquity.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Lucius Apuleius (2nd Century AD) was a North African fubulist who Latinized the Greek myths and legends. He travelled widely, visiting Italy and Asia, where he was initiated into numerous religious mysteries. He drew on the knowledge he gained about the priestly fraternities to write the Golden Ass, which Cupid and Psyche is extracted ...
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Title:The Golden AssFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.76 × 5.07 × 0.75 inPublished:October 1, 1998Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140435905

ISBN - 13:9780140435900

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overall a good book! Review contains some spoilers. Overall a good book. The storyline is very interesting especially with the plot focusing on central theme of 'curiosity' and the effects of giving into it which made me enjoy the book. I loved the Psyche and Cupid tale personally although I did have the audacity to laugh at Psyche when Cupid flew away from her when I probably would of done the same. I thought it was a very good parallel between Lucius and Psyche as they both gave into curiosity. Like other tales of Ancient Greece and Rome this story tends to highlight the gruesome and barbaric nature and the questionable ways of the era. I found it interesting how throughout the novel Lucius becomes accustomed to the life of an ass and behaves that way yet tries to justify to readers he is still a human. The ending of this book didn't really satisfy me as I hoped it would as it was left in a manner open to interpret as I was hoping for a more conclusive ending. 3/5 stars.
Date published: 2016-11-21

From Our Editors

A classic tale combining mythological and religious imagery, Apuleius’ The Golden Ass recalls the story of Lucius, a young man whose interest in the occult and witchcraft leads him to believe that he can transform himself into a bird. In an amusing turn of events, he becomes a donkey instead. What’s more, he is then kidnapped by robbers and forced to follow them through the countryside as an animal. Fortunately, he experiences a religious epiphany, and returning to his faith allows him entry into the cult of the goddess Isis. Both dramatic and amusing, Apuleius’ myth is at its core, a discourse on the importance of adhering to faith in the face of evil and temptation.