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The Golden Asse

Lucius Apuleius

Book Overview: 

The Metamorphosis, also known as The Golden Ass, is one of the very few novels of the Ancient World that survived to our days; one of the two novels of Roman Literature that we can still read; and the only one preserved in its entirety (the other one being the extremely fragmentary Satyricon).

The story of the Metamorphosis, the tale of a man turned into a donkey that goes through many adventures to become a man again, inspired many other similar ones later on. However, more than just the plot, the style of the Golden Ass also made it famous.

Considered one of the precursors of the picaresque novel, The Metamorphosis was written in a language that can be humorous and energetic, while telling the misadventures of the credulous and curious main character, but also powerfully poetic, in moments such as in the episode of Cupid and Psyche, one of the most famous parts of this book, and of Latin literature as a whole

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .re, and got upon a stone to see this mysterie, and behold incontinently the dead body began to receive spirit, his principall veines did moove, his life came again and he held up his head and spake in this sort: Why doe you call mee backe againe to this transitorie life, that have already tasted of the water of Lethe, and likewise been in the deadly den of Styx? Leave off, I pray, leave off, and let me lie in quiet rest. When these words were uttered by the dead corps, the Prophet drew nigh unto the Biere and sayd, I charge thee to tell before the face of all the people here the occasion of thy death: What, dost thou thinke that I cannot by my conjurations call up the dead, and by my puissance torment thy body? Then the corps moved his head again, and made reverence to the people and sayd, Verily I was poisoned by the meanes of my wicked wife, and so thereby yeelded my bed unto an adulterer. Whereat his wife taking present audacity, and reproving his sayings, with a curse. . . Read More

Community Reviews

(Book 997 from 1001 books) - Asinus Aureus = Metamorphoses = The Golden Ass‭, Lucius Apuleius

The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as The Golden Ass, is the only ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety.

The protagonist of the novel is called Lucius. At the en


Toată lumea a citit, probabil, Măgarul de aur al lui Apuleius din Madaura, un prozator latin care a trăit (datele sînt aproximative, desigur) între anii 124 și 170. Este vorba de un roman picaresc, foarte amuzant, al cărui protagonist se numește Lucius, ca și autorul cărții (Luciu

Whenever someone says Don Quixote was the first novel ever written, one-up them with this one. Same if they claim Tale of Genji was first. Other novels, poems, and fragments might claim to be the first, but none are so convincing a contender as The Golden Ass. Supposedly, other Roman novels existed

“Eccomi a raccontarti, o lettore, storie d’ogni genere, sul tipo di quelle milesie e a stuzzicarti le orecchie con ammiccanti parole, solo che tu vorrai posare lo sguardo su queste pagine scritte con un’arguzia tutta alessandrina. E avrai di che sbalordire sentendomi dire di uomini che han preso a

If you remember the old toga movies from the '50's--the ones where all the Romans are played by Brits and all the Jews and Christians by Americans--then I am sure you also remember those orgiastic banquet sequences crammed with sweaty wrestlers, kinky dancers, amphora after amphora overflowing with

Lucius ( loosely based on the author ) is a very curious young man, interested in black magic, witchcraft, potions and spells, that can cause real damage , even mystery cults, being the mid second century , during the Roman Empire, in ancient Greece, people believe in the supernatural...A traveler v

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