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The Golden Ass

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  10,277 Ratings  ·  581 Reviews
The Golden Ass by Apuleius is a unique, entertaining, and thoroughly readable Latin novel - the only work of fiction in Latin to have survived in entirety from antiquity. It tells the story of the hero Lucius, whose curiosity and fascination for sex and magic results in his transformation into an ass. After suffering a series of trials and humiliations, he is ultimately tr ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 1962 by Indiana University Press (first published 158)
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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 t
Henry Avila
Aug 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 visiting Hypata, the heart of the occult center, in Thessaly, so the public thinks , with a letter of introduction from a friend, to a rich man, Milo , a miser, though living in squalor, counting his m ...more

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
Ahmad Sharabiani
997. Metamorphoses = the golden ass, Lucius Apuleius
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: یکی از روزهای ماه آگوست سال 2000 میلادی
عنوان: الاغ طلایی؛ نوشته: لوسیوس آپولیوس؛ برگردان: عبدالحسین شریفیان؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، اساطیر، 1379، در 316 صفحه، فروست: شناخت اساطیر کتاب دهم، شابک: 9643310450؛ موضوع: اساطیر یونان و روم، سرگذشتنامه
الاغ طلایی یا کرّه الاغ طلایی، که به آن: یازده کتاب تناسخ؛ یا تناسخهای آپولیوس؛ نیز گفته میشود، مجموعه ای از یازده روایت پیوسته به یکدیگر، و مربوط به روم باستان میباشد؛ که به زبان لاتین نو
When you think of ruins left behind by civilizations long past, it is easy to think of stone walls which have crumbled into dust. But there are many worlds lost there, and ruins in another sense, of works of art and literature destroyed and forgotten. This is the only complete novel to survive from the Roman period.

So what's all this about? A strapping young Roman named Lucius goes on a journey through Greece, gets himself transformed into a donkey and goes on wacky hijinks. There is a narrativ
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Jun 28, 2012 added it  ·  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 l
Jul 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
WARNING: This rating is based on the opinion and feelings of a teenager ; )

I don't remember exactly when I read this book. I do remember however, that it was a school assignment and that I might have been 13 or 14 years old. My judgment back then was vastly different from my judgment now and it wasn't a book I chose to read voluntarily but was forced to read it instead, which worsened things since I tended to hate every book my teachers wanted me to read on principle alone.
Anyways, since I have
Raya راية
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"إن إلهة الحظ تُعرّضنا لأحكام مريبة، بل خاطئة، فينعم السافل بسمعة الرجل الشريف، ويشقى البريء بصيت الرجل الشرير."

يُقال إن هذه الرواية هي الأولى في التاريخ البشري، وعلى الرغم من قِدمها إلّا أنها تزخر بآيات الجمال والدهشة والإتقان.

تدور أحداث الرواية في مكان ما من الإمبراطورية اليونانية القديمة حول شاب يُدعى أبوليوس لوكيوس الفضولي المغامر المُهتم جدًا بأمور السحر والتحوّلات، الذي قاده فضوله للتحوّل إلى حمار ومن هنا بدأت أحداث الرواية الكثيرة.

تحتوي الرواية بالإضافة لقصتها الرئيسية عن تحوّل لوكيوس
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
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 :)

Jul 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

In the opening paragraph, Apuleius' narrator promises us in this "Milesian discourse" (a romantic adventure tale that is usually bawdy) to "string together ... a series of different stories and to charm your ears ... with amusing gossip", to provide us with a "Grecian tale" written in Latin. We are given all this and more with this precursor to the picaresque novel. The narrator apologizes if he should "stumble and give offence" as an "unpractised speaker of the foreign idiom of the Roman cou
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
يكفي أنها الأقدم، يكفي تميز فكرتها منذ البداية، يكفي جنون كاتبها
Ana Rînceanu
original read: 2006

As odd and funny today as when it was written.
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
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quello di Apuleio è l'unico romanzo latino conservato integralmente: ottima ragione per leggerlo e apprezzarlo. Il fatto che si tratti di un'opera divertente e interessante, con vette di eccellenza, dimostra come, pur nella tragedia della scomparsa quasi totale della produzione dello stesso genere, siamo stati parecchio fortunati. Suvvia, Amore e Psiche!

Un appunto, invece, sulla presente edizione. Lode al professor Alessandro Fo (che mi garba assai più del celebre e Nobelitato zio), che propone
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Aug 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
The novel emerges from the muck for the first time, albeit still clinging in many ways to the conventions of ancient Roman poetry, folklore, and theater. More mythology than anything else, The Golden Ass tells the story of a dude who gets utterly fucked time and time again, and-- in true mythic fashion-- is only delivered by the mercy of the gods. We also get the story of Cupid and Psyche, just for the fuck of it, in the middle. Necessary reading for anyone interested in how fiction as we know i ...more
Aug 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
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
Hend Aboul Gada
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ruba AlTurki
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Dec 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
César Lasso
3,5 *

Delicioso retrato picaresco de la sociedad grecorromana, hace casi dos mil años. Una de las primeras novelas de la Historia de la Humanidad. Novela en sentido moderno.

Cuando la leí, allá por mi segundo año en la Universidad, disfruté de lo lindo. Sólo que al final, después de tanta aventura mundana narrada con verdadera gracia, el autor-protagonista parece tener un arrebato de moral. ¡Qué decepción en el momento en que lo leí!

De todos modos, resulta curioso que esa moral fuera enfocada desd
Kay An P.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
It's astonishing, truly, how a novel written in the second century AD can be so foul-mouthed, lewd, sexually explicit, violent, and crazy. Makes one bitterly regret christianity's cultural downturn even more. Loved its outspokenness about conventionally delicate themes.
Mariafrancesca di natura viperesca
So che ogni interpretazione impoverisce il mito e lo soffoca: coi miti non bisogna aver fretta; è meglio lasciarli depositare nella memoria, fermarsi a meditare su ogni dettaglio, ragionarci sopra senza uscire dal
loro linguaggio di immagini. La lezione che possiamo trarre da un mito sta nella letteralità del racconto, non in ciò che vi aggiungiamo noi dal di fuori (Lezioni americane, la leggerezza 1988)

Di tempo per depositarlo nella memoria ne ho avuto eccome … 1970-2018.
Ma non ho fatto ricerc
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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

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“I besprinkled their faces with my liquid dung and forced them to leave off.” 10 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.” 6 likes
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