The Golden Ass: The Transformations of Lucius
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The Golden Ass: The Transformations of Lucius

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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,582 ratings  ·  308 reviews
The story of The Golden Ass is that of Lucius Apuleius, a young man of good birth who encountered many strange adventures while disporting himself along the roads to Thessaly. Not the least of these occurred when Apuleius offended a priestess of the White Goddess, who turned him into an ass. The tale of how Apuleius dealt with this misfortune and eventually resumed human
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 158)
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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...more
Mala
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...more
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...more
Hend
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...more
Pierce
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...more
Hend
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...more
Anwaar
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 :)

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.
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...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
umberto
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...more
Meg
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...more
Bruce
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
مهرة,,Mohra
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...more
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...more
Yann
Les Métamorphoses ou l'âne d'or est le seul roman qui nous soit parvenu de l'antiquité sans avoir été mutilé, comme le Satyricon 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 fameuse po...more
Jon
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
Tom
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...more
Etienne Mahieux
Apulée, qui se plaît à entretenir l'ambiguïté sur sa possible identité avec le narrateur de cette histoire adaptée de précédents romans grecs, l'annonce comme une "histoire milésienne" ; en fait il fait partie des inventeurs d'une forme de roman qui fut longtemps canonique, et semble avoir inspiré aussi bien les recueils de nouvelles du Moyen-Âge tardif que les grands romans baroques avec leurs enchâssements infinis d'histoires. L'intrigue centrale met en jeu un certain Lucius qui, porté par sa...more
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
...more
Rebecca
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.


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Lona
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
...more
Ver●nica
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,

...more
hythlae
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!
Shenica
So I had to read this book for my Latin poetry course, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't have read it by myself anyways.

The basis of this story is that a man named Lucius goes on a journey away from home and ends up in a town called Hypata where he stays with a man named Milo and his wife Pamphile (who turns out to be a lustful witch). Lucius becomes curious about witchcraft and out of a certain turn of events he manages to change himself into an ass. And as an ass he goes on a series of wan...more
Julia
Also gut! ich will ein paar milesische Geschichten erzählen und dein geneigtes Ohr mit angenehmem Geplauder erfreuen - soweit du es nicht verschmähst, in diese mit dem spitzen Nilrohr beschriebenen ägyptischen Blätter Einblick zu nehmen: in menschliche Gestalten und Geschicke, die sich verwandeln und wieder zurückverwandeln, daß du dich wundern wirst.
So der Beginn dieses römischen Romans von Lucius Apuleius. Schon allein der Gedanke, dass jemand diese Geschichte mit spitzem Nilrohr auf ägyptisc...more
Robert
A mule walks into a bar with a virgin, a band of eunuch trannies, a sexy slave girl, and a gelding iron...

I hate sounding like a review cliche but this is one of the must-have books for anyone into metamorphosis lit and mythology.

This gets you beyond the "art on the wall" rhetorical distance you may get reading Ovid, Homer, Dante, and delivers the feeling of perhaps what the power of myth, occult, and superstition may have been like from the perspective of a more average mo ancient everyman.

The...more
Andrew
Loved the first 100 pages or so. Totally nuts, you never know what's going to happen because it's all just a crazy dream world. In the first book one narrator is on a mission to buy some cheese when he runs into a homeless man named Socrates who pretended to be dead because his reputation was destroyed by a crime he didn't commit. Socrates goes to a hotel sleeps with a woman who turns out to be a witch. She then pulls his heart out through his throat and urinates on the narrator, who is blamed f...more
Faith Justice
A real delight! I wish I could read the original in Latin, but Graves does a masterful job of giving us the story with great detail, but plain English. The introduction by Graves goes a long way to help appreciate the whole.

The original author Lucius Apuleius, according to Graves, was "a rich and well-connected young man born at Madaura, a Roman colony in the interior of Morocco, early in the second century A.D.; his father had been a duumvir, or provincial magistrate, who on his death left his...more
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  • The Satyricon
  • An Ethiopian Romance
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • Callirhoe
  • The Art of Love
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • The Comedies
  • The Unfortunate Traveller and Other Works
  • The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle
  • Daphnis and Chloe
  • The Agricola and the Germania
  • The Jugurthine War and The Conspiracy of Catiline
  • As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History
  • Euphues the Anatomy of Wit: Euphues & His England
  • The Letters of the Younger Pliny
  • Selected Political Speeches
  • Menander: The Plays and Fragments
  • The Odes
Cupid and Psyche (Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics - Imperial Library) Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), Vol 1: Books 1-6 Metamorphoses (The Golden Ass), Vol 2, Books 7-11 The Golden Ass The Metamorphoses, Book 1

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