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The Golden Ass

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  6,717 ratings  ·  375 reviews
The date of composition of the Metamorphoses is uncertain. It's variously been considered by scholars as a youthful work preceding Apuleius' Apology of 158/9, or as the climax of his literary career & perhaps as late as the 170s or 180s. Apuleius adapted the story from a Greek original of which the author's name is said to be Lucius of Patrae (the name of the lead char ...more
Paperback, 255 pages
Published 1960 by Paul Elek Limited (first published 158)
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Golden it is, but not the ass.

For us the novel certainly has the value of gold since it is considered the earliest that has survived complete in the Western literary tradition. Originally called Metamorphoses, it is however far from being an epic like Ovid’s. Written around the middle of 2C by an Apuleius, an Algerian under Roman auspices, it probably acquired its “aureum” quality when another Algerian, Saint Augustin, gave it its second title some time later. And it was with this golden aura t
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Aug 20, 2012 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Asses
Recommended to Nathan "N.R." by: Mikhail M. Bakhtin
"What's this we have to put up with now? An ass giving us a philosophy lecture?" Book 10, chapter 33.

The genre of the novel sprung full-formed out of Apuleius’s . . . Ass. The Golden Ass is one of those infamous contenders for the title of First Novel along with such masters as Rabelais, Cervantes, Richardson (come on, people! really?) and Madame Murasaki. It is the only surviving complete exemplar of the Roman novel. Give it some credit. It’s all there. Then there is also Petronius’s work whose
Picked it up on a whim & what a rollicking ride it turned out to be!
It could very well be a tale told by the granny-full of magic & adventure (with all the salacious bits cut out of course,but that would make it a very short tale!).

A parable,a road trip,a romance, with diversions,tales within tales,satire,containing tragedies bordering on the grotesque & farcical,bawdy comedy ,sexual escapades & deviance of various sorts- ancient literature was so rich,no wonder our literary grea
Bill  Kerwin

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 wine, and culinary surprises like roast oxen stuffed with pheasants (the pheasants in turn stuffed with oysters), and golden salvers heaped high with hummingbird tongues.

"The Golden Ass" is a lot like

Les Métamorphoses ou l'âne d'or est le seul roman latin qui nous soit parvenu de l'antiquité sans avoir été mutilé, comme le Satiricon de Pétrone. Écrit au IIème siècle par Apulée, un auteur du sud de la méditerranée, ce roman narre les tribulations de Lucius, un jeune patricien dévoré par une immense curiosité : avide de plaisirs et de nouveautés, rien ne le rebute tant qu'il s'agit de découvrir quelque sujet d'étonnement. Ses pérégrinations le mènent en Grèce, en Thessalie, terre plus que fame
a masterpiece ,so interesting and entertaining as a read. for beneath the humorous and the sharp ironies lay a religious and philosophical thoughtful mind.
Amusing tales within tales, recollections of characters of various misadventures and misfortunes ....
Lucius A wandering spirit Suffering in his heedless traveling over the world in order to work out his salvation.

Interesting how magic plays a prominent role in the everyday life.

His deep love of life with his eager and curiosity , and mocking
رواية كلاسيكية رائعة وشيقة ممتعة الى اقصى درجة تشعر و كانك تقرا الف ليلة وليلة اليونانية
هو عمل رائع , استثنائى ,آسر , تحفة فنية
مسلي في أي وقت ولأي ثقافة
فهو كتاب ترفيهى ويقدم نقد لاذع للمجتمع فى ذلك الوقت

اجمل ما فى الرواية هو قصة حب كيوبيد وبسايكي, أحب كيوبيد بسايكي الفتاة الجميلة حبا شديد ولكنه لم يكن يريد أن تعلم هي بحبه لها بسبب خوفه من غضب أمه فأمر والدها أن يذهب بها إلى جزيرة بعيدةو على اعلى صخرةعالية فى الجبل ، يتخلى عن ابنته و اخبره أنها هناك ستتزوج ,و قال لها أنها ستتزوج شخص لن يظهر ل
من مقتنيات مهرجان الكتب المستعملة

الشكر موصول للغريب الذي ذيله بقلمه، الغريب الذي اشتراه منذ سبع سنوات، وكتب على مقدمته "تحفة " ,بعد أن علّم بداخله بخطوط مستقيمة _تحرج خطوطي المرتبكة_ ارفقها بعلامة تعجب مرسومة بإتقان جميل .
الغريب الذي حفظ الكتاب في حالة جيدة ثم منحه .. لينتهى لدي :)

This is the only Roman novel to survive in its entirety, and I for one wish more of them had made it. The Golden Ass is one of very few books I've read more than once.

Lucius (a character very loosely based on the author) is a young citizen growing up in a Roman provincial town in Greece. After completing his studies in Rome, Lucius decides to go on a trip through Boiotea, the region around Thebes. (Thebes was, in the ancient world, a literary punching bag that became almost synonymous with nefar
Luis Salas
Apuleius is eerily familiar to a modern eye. His seamless blending of suggested mystery cults, Platonic references, and frolicking humor and sexuality make The Golden Ass an entertainment worth repeating. Whether or not the reader is intent on making a sustained foray into the issue of book 11 and treats the book as a religio-philosophical piece or reads it just as a romp through Latin humor and lustiness bears little weight on the ultimate pleasure of the novel as a good read.

Not so much the Fl
Ruba AlTurki
أول رواية في تاريخ الإنسانية.
رائعة وممتعة بحق لا أستطيع وصف المتعة و الانسجام الذي تجده عند قراءة النص، فلم يقتصر الوضع على قصص ممتعة وحبكة متفردة بل بأسلوب غاية في الإمتاع ..شبيه بحكايا ألف ليلة وليلة ..
بعض القصص الواردة تستحق أن يفرد لها رواية كاملة منفصلة لشد ماكانت مثيرة وممتعة ومحققة لشروط الرواية التي يعجز عن تحقيقها كثير من كتاب اليوم..
سيكون هذا الكتاب ضمن قائمة الكتب التي ساقتنيها واعاود قرائتها يوما ما أن شاء الله.
This is one of my favorite books. I read it for a class on the origins of the cult of the Virgin Mary. As a graduate student in the History of Art, I was using this class to better understand the early Christian representations of the Virgin (pre 8th century).

The professor had placed it on reserve so I had to read it within the library. I never expected to be able to read it in one sitting, but once I started the book I just could not put it down. I had to move to a corner where there were no s
This novel was written in Latin late in the second century CE. Apuleius was born in north Africa, in Algeria, traveled widely throughout the Mediterranean, including Athens and Rome, and lived most of his life in Carthage. He was a contemporary of Marcus Aurelius, whose Meditations cannot provide a starker contrast with The Golden Ass. This classic work, far different from the works of history, tragic drama, and philosophy that we usually associate with the Classical world, is more in the tradit ...more
Hend Aboul Gada
رواية جميلة جدااااااااا
طول ما انا بقراها وفكرة انها
تعتبر اول رواية فى دماغى

عجبنى الانتقال من قصة لاخرى
تشبه الف ليلة وليلة فى حاجات كتير
العبيد والاسياد والخيانة الزوجية
وحب العفاريت والالهة للانس بجد نحفة

يعيبها بسس الوصف الطويل شوية
بس فكرتها جميلة وبتبين ميل الانسان الفطرى للدين
وانه هو سبب خلاصه من كل الالام

من اجمل المقولات:
لست فضوليا وانما اود معرفة ما تخوضان فيه كله او اكبر قدر منه

هب هاتين العينين المغمضتين الى الابد نعمة الشمس برهة
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Bestiality. Kidnapping. Mugging. Ye olde carjacking. Burglary. Assault. Murder. Female paedophiles. Incest. Male rape. Adultery. Animal cruelty. Serial killers in the making. Poisonings. Homosexual priest gangbangs. Shapeshifting. Gods and goddesses. The Seven Deadly Sins. Evil mother-in-laws. Drama. Comedy. Tragedy. Adventure. Romance. Horror. Urban legends. Stories within stories. Inspiration for that Hannibal episode where a person was sewn into a dead horse's belly.

What doesn't The Golden As
Reading "The Golden Ass" translated from Latin by Robert Graves is all right if you don't mind various episodes related to 'the God' or 'the Goddess', for instance, as mentioned in the last chapter. For instance:

"At length the Goddess advised me to return home. ... (p. 288)" or

... "The God added that under his divine care this man would achieve fame in a learned profession and that Asinius himself would be richly rewarded for his trouble." (p. 290)

It seems vague to me since, I think, it's writte
mai ahmd

كما يقال هذه الرواية هي أول رواية مكتملة في تاريخ الإنسانية وهي نفسها التي قبعت في مكتبتي لأعوام طوال ربما لولا أنه تم اختيارها مادة للقراءة في نادي الرواية على تويتر لما خطرت في بالي لعل المشكلة كانت في العنوان أو ربما هو الغلاف وكونها أول رواية توقعت صعوبة كبيرة في إجتيازها وفي عملية هضمها كل ذلك صرفني بعيدا عنها
توقعت إنها لن ترضيني !

لكن الحمد لله إن كل توقعاتي خابت وجاءت الرواية في منتهى السلاسة والمتعة هذه الرواية مسلية من الدرجة الأولى كما قلت إنها الرواية التي تصلح للقراءة قبل النوم ت
لم استطع ان ابعد عن خاطري انها اول رواية في التاريخ طوال فترة قراءتي لها..
حقيقة ..اعجبتني القدرة التصويرية الرائعة للمؤلف..والدقة في تحليل المشاعر الإنسانية..كنت اعتقد بأن علم الذكاء العاطفي علم جديد..وان من سبقونا لم يكونوا على معرفة عميقة بعالم العواطف الإنسانية بهذة الدقة..
إضافة إلى وضع احضارة الرومانية في ذك الوقت..كانت هناك المدارس العسكرية والمدارس التعليمية..إضافة إلى تطورهم في الطب وغير ذلك..كانت لديهم مهرجانات وكرنافالات تقام في الشوراع..حقيقة انبهرت بما استنتجته من يوميات البطل..
أما ال
Mark Russell
The Golden Ass, aka The Transformations of Lucius, was written in the second century CE and was important enough to merit references in the writings of Augustine. What surprised me is that such an important ancient text is so funny. Not to mention filthy.

This book had a grip on me. I could barely stop reading it. Some of the credit for this must lie with Robert Graves' ingenious translation. As Graves mentions in the Appendix, rather disappointingly, he left out some passages which proved too cr
I read the E.J. Kenney translation, the current version in Penguin. The second-century story of one Lucius, who through a miss-cast spell becomes an ass and then suffers through 10 books of comic misfortune, including but not limited to vicious robbers, wily millers, lecherous wives, lecherous apprentices, stupid husbands, corrupt judges, horrifying witches, ghosts, the undead, and beautiful girls. Finally in book eleven he suddenly (and as far as I can tell) truly and sincerely has a vision of ...more
Of this book, Flaubert wrote, "If there's any artistic truth in the world, it's that this book is a masterpiece. It gives me vertigo and dazzles me. ... It smells of incense and urine. Bestiality is married to mysticism." Such literary cologne can be a bit jarring at times or just plain puzzling, but the overall effect is still quite seductive. One of the most entertaining stories I've ever read, though poor Lucious, the titular ass, suffers so many indiginities and whippings that the on occasio ...more
Sunny In Wonderland
So, there's this guy Apuleius. Or Lucius, if you prefer. He's young and fit and traveling around - oh, and he's really interested in learning magic. He rents a room from some folks, has a tryst with their servant, and spies on the lady of the house when she gets naked and magically turns herself into a bird. But, when Lucius tries to recreate the fun, he accidentally turns himself into a donkey. Or Asse, if you prefer.

Lucius then spends the rest of the book desperately trying to cure himself whi
The Golden Ass: Or Metamorphoses – a jumble of tales pushed together to create a semi cohesive whole following the unfortunate Lucius a ‘man’ more sinned against than sinning. Led on by his overwhelming curiosity to explore the mysteries of magic he reaches to wisdom in the form of an owl and is brought back down to earth in a bump in the shape of an ass and his trials begin. I won’t speak much about his sufferings, suffice it to say that I am surprised that any ass in Greece has a life expectan ...more
Enjoyable. Guy turned to ass. Latin Larks follow. Twas hilarious upon his metamorphosis he was cheered by the size of his cock. No woman transformed into a cow would consider giant udders consolation.

*shakes head at men*

Also premiere of the Psyche and Cupid tale. Tis my favourite, although I'm averse to meaning cos I wish myths literal. *sulks*
Tis actually a religious text which concludes with the Goddess Isis as saviour.


هي من الكتب التي قرأتها وأنا صغيرة السن وكانت أول تجربة لي في الأدب الذي يتناول حضارة وأساطير كهذه .. .. عنصر المفاجأة والتشويق حاضر بشدة في هذه الرواية

هذه الرواية معروفة باسم الحمار الذهبي، ولكن هذه النسخة تختلف عنها باختلاف المترجم المحترف علي فهمي خشيم الذي أجزم من غير أن أقرأ النسخة الأخرى أنه أضاف لمسته الخاصة

الرواية شدتني كثيراً لغزارة الأحداث التي حدث ل"لوكيوس" في رحلته لاستعادة شكله الطبيعي بعد أن تحوّل لجحش "أو حمار" نتيجة استعماله وصفة سحرية خاطئة التي كانت نتيجتها تحوله لجحش بدل أن
C'est un conte genial et createur. Il comprend en lui-meme les metamorphoses comme un theme de la connaissance pour une creation spirituelle et corporelle. Un parcours initiatique de voyages de la recherche de l'identite. Lucius est a la fois son auteur et le personnage implique dans l'acte de l'ecriture. C'est un conte merveilleux, un fable ou un recit imaginaire. L'identite individuelle et l'identite rituelle faite pour la deesse Isis, et pour les mysteres d'Eleusis, qui comprennent le sacrifi ...more
Non sai come sia sbagliato considerare false delle cose solo perché è la prima volta che le senti o che le vedi, oppure perché sembrano superiori alla nostra capacità di comprensione. Che se poi le esamini un po' più attentamente, magari ti puoi accorgere che risultano chiare alla comprensione e facili da eseguire.

Spoiler Alert.
E' stata una lettura che mi ha entusiasmata a tratti, non sempre chiara nelle varie peripezie. Molto più interessanti delle avventure di Lucio sono le varie digressioni,

Non è affatto male!
La troppa curiosità porta a catastrofi (spesso è volentieri riguardanti esclusivamente la persona che ha voluto saziare la sua curiosità) dunque da un Lucio molto interessato alle arti magiche, ci ritroviamo un asino errante per cui la dea bendata ha in serbo una lunga serie di sgradevoli avventure. Svelare certi misteri è pericoloso. Avrei recepito questo messaggio anche se l'asino avesse cambiato tre padroni e avesse rischiato la vita altrettante volte. Era davvero necessar
this is one of the ancient texts that convinced me that western religion hasn't changed all that much in thousands of years--it's all about salvation and messiah-figures ... and men turning into donkeys. so cool!
What kind of man gets turned into an ass, a slave, and a sex object, and then gets religion? C'mon now!

Okay, I won't complain about a lack of verisimilitude in the Golden Ass, but I do think some of the books it inspired are better than the Ass itself -- Don Quixote in particular, the Decameron, maybe even the Canterbury Tales. And while parts of the Golden Ass are as classic as anything in Cervantes or Bocaccio, the tales are strung together in a less masterful way. The Ass is also considerabl
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  • The Satyricon
  • Callirhoe
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • An Ethiopian Romance
  • The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works
  • Storia vera
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • Daphnis and Chloe
  • The Art of Love
  • The Agricola and The Germania
  • The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
  • The Comedies
  • The Complete Poems
  • Euphues the Anatomy of Wit: Euphues & His England
  • Odes and Epodes (Loeb Classical Library)
  • The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
  • On the Nature of the Gods. Academics
  • The Eclogues: Dual Language Edition
Apuleius (Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis; Berber: Afulay, c. 125 – c. 180 CE) was a Latin-language prose writer. He was a Numidian Berber and lived under the Roman Empire. He was from Madaurus (now M'Daourouch, Algeria). He studied Platonist philosophy in Athens; travelled to Italy, Asia Minor and Egypt; and was an initiate in several cults or mysteries. The most famous incident in his life was when ...more
More about Apuleius...
Cupid and Psyche (Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics - Imperial Library) Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), Vol 1: Books 1-6 The Golden Ass La magia L'asino d'oro (Metamorfosi)/Sulla magia

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“I besprinkled their faces with my liquid dung and forced them to leave off.” 9 likes
“Behold Lucius I am come, thy weeping and prayers hath mooved mee to succour thee. I am she that is the naturall mother of all things, mistresse and governesse of all the Elements, the initiall progeny of worlds, chiefe of powers divine, Queene of heaven! the principall of the Gods celestiall, the light of the goddesses: at my will the planets of the ayre, the wholesome winds of the Seas, and the silences of hell be diposed; my name, my divinity is adored throughout all the world in divers manners, in variable customes and in many names, for the Phrygians call me the mother of the Gods: the Athenians, Minerva: the Cyprians, Venus: the Candians, Diana: the Sicilians Proserpina: the Eleusians, Ceres: some Juno, other Bellona, other Hecate: and principally the Aethiopians which dwell in the Orient, and the Aegyptians which are excellent in all kind of ancient doctrine, and by their proper ceremonies accustome to worship mee, doe call mee Queene Isis. Behold I am come to take pitty of thy fortune and tribulation, behold I am present to favour and ayd thee, leave off thy weeping and lamentation, put away all thy sorrow, for behold the healthfull day which is ordained by my providence, therefore be ready to attend to my commandement. This day which shall come after this night, is dedicated to my service, by an eternall religion, my Priests and Ministers doe accustome after the tempests of the Sea, be ceased, to offer in my name a new ship as a first fruit of my Navigation.” 1 likes
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