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Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche

2. The Ancient Novel

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About this Lecture

Lecture

In this module, we think about the ancient novel in general, and about Apuleius’ novel, Metamorphoses (or The Golden Ass) more specifically. In particular, we think about: (i) the origins of The Golden Ass, when it was written, and Apuleius’ sources for the story; (ii) what happens in the novel; (iii) the similarities and differences between Apuleius and the only other surviving Roman novel, Petronius’ Satyricon; and (iv) the major innovations in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses compared to the (now lost) Greek original ¬– especially the ending of the novel and the episode of Cupid and Psyche.

Course

In this course, Dr Regine May (University of Leeds) explores the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. In the first module, we think about the literary and historical context of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, before turning in the second module to consider the ancient novel as a genre. In the third module, we explore some of the literary echoes contained within the story of Cupid and Psyche – epic, tragedy, fairy-tale, love poetry, etc. – before moving on in the fourth module to analyse some of the key characters in the story, as well as thinking about some of the key themes. Finally, in the fifth module, we explore Apuleius’ language and style in more detail with a close reading and detailed analysis of a single chapter within the Cupid and Psyche story: 5.13.


Further Reading:

Primary Reading:
– S. R. Thomson, Apuleius. Metamorphoses V. A Selection. (2018)
– R. May, Apuleius. The Story of Cupid and Psyche. Translation, Introduction and Notes (2019)
– P. G. Walsh, Apuleius. The Golden Ass (2008)
– P. G. Walsh, Petronius. Satyricon (2009)

Commentary:
– E. J. Kenney, Apuleius. Cupid and Psyche (1990)

Secondary Reading:
– S. J. Harrison, Apuleius. A Latin Sophist (2000)
– S. J. Harrison, Characterisation in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Nine Studies (2015)

Lecturer

Dr Regine May is Associate Professor in Latin Language and Literature at the University of Leeds, with a special interest in ancient drama and the Latin novel. Her most recent publications include a book on Apuleius' use of Roman comedy, tragedy and mime, Apuleius and Drama: The Ass on Stage (2006), and a commentary on Apuleius Metamorphoses Book 1: With an Introduction, Translation and Notes(2013).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

May, R. (2019, December 21). Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche - The Ancient Novel [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/apuleius-cupid-and-psyche/the-ancient-novel

MLA style

May, Regine. "Apuleius: Cupid and Psyche – The Ancient Novel." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 21 Dec 2019, https://www.massolit.io/courses/apuleius-cupid-and-psyche/the-ancient-novel

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