The Golden Ass of Apuleius, Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis (124-170 AD), trans. & intro Francis D. Byrne (The Imperial Press[Charles Carrington?], London, n.d. [1904?], #257/650)
7.75″ X 5.75″, xlix+388pp., 1/4 maroon morrocco over marbled boards with gilt titles and 4 raised bands on spine, top edge gilt
The Metamorphoses of Apuleius, which St. Augustine referred to as “The Golden Ass”, is the only Ancient Roman novel in Latin to survive in its entirety. The plot Lucius and his curiosity and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a bird, he is accidentally transformed into an ass. This leads to a long journey, literal and metaphorical, filled with in-set tales. He finally finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis, whose cult he joins. The date of the original work is uncertain. Scholars are not sure if he wrote it in his youth or at the end of his life. He adapted the story from a Greek story written by Lucius of Patrae, however his original Greek text has long been lost.