Dedicated to classics and hits.

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Golden Ass (158 AD) by Apulieus

Book Review
The Golden Ass (158 AD)
by Apulieus

   Wikipedia calls The Golden Ass, "the only wholly surviving Roman novel."  It is about a man, Lucius, who narrates the book, who is turned into a donkey.  He is then sold, traded or stolen through a series of master-owners, some benign, others not benign.  The Golden Ass is rude, funny, profane and ridiculous, and gives the reader a sense of what Roman popular literary culture must have appreciated in their light reading material. It's obvious that The Golden Ass was written in an era when paganism is alive and well- Lucius describes sequences of peasants being driven into a frenzy based on a series of natural "omens," giving you a sense of how the sober submission of early Christians to one God must have obviated a host of harmful superstitions.

   I read the Kind edition of The Golden Ass- a terrible decision- Ebooks and Audiobooks are not as good for books that are written in pre-modern languages.  Basically, the closer you get to the present day, the better chance that an Ebook or Audiobook will "work."  Even though The Golden Ass is only a hundred something pages long it took me a month to get through it.

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