Apuleius, Lucius (ăˌpyŏlēˈəs) [key], c.124–c.170, Latin writer, satirist, rhetorician, b. Hippo (now Bône, Algeria). His narrative romance The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses is the only Latin work of fiction to survive in entirety. It tells the story of Lucius of Corinth, who is transformed into an ass by a Thessalian woman and undergoes a series of strange and exciting adventures before he is restored to human form. The Golden Ass has been tremendously popular, influencing strongly the history of the novel, e.g., the works of Boccaccio, Cervantes, Fielding, and Smollett. Other works by Apuleius include The Apology or On Magic, his defense in a suit brought by his wife's family for gaining her affections by magic; Florida, an anthology of his works; and On the God of Socrates, On the Philosophy of Plato, and On the World, philosophical treatises.
See J. Tatum, Apuleius and the Golden Ass (1979).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.