The Golden Ass

Topics: The Golden Ass, Isis, Apuleius Pages: 4 (1237 words) Published: October 2, 2012
Apuleius wrote the Golden Ass during the Second Century A.D. In it he talked about many complex allegorical contexts and layers of meaning pertaining to varying religious practices. He was able to do this by essentially switching back and forth between side stories which might or might not intertwine with the overall story. The religion of Isis was predominant in comparing the other lesser known or rather “inferior” religions of the time such as Christianity. It seems as if Isis was praised in a way that would grant her saint-like qualities. Many things were considered important surrounding this including dreams and the recounting of them to priests, as well as snakes associated with Aesculapius and the healing procedures associated with them. Magic was obviously a huge practice well sought after, the same magic which unfortunately Lucius meddled with turning him into an ass. However going through all his misadventures, he still is trying well to discredit and oppose Christianity the most out of all the other minor religious practices. To Lucius it seems that most human beings were far from the grasp of entering heaven since he believed only a few righteously born or the well-educated were reserved for those specific divine mysteries. The bandits are a prime correlation to why they are the way they are. Since they could never really procure said virtue or intelligence, they must automatically conform to being cowardly and traitorous, people without faith and loyalty in essence. What I believe Apuleius was trying to express with these renditions was that to be despondently poor, even though you are technically free, is not necessarily an indication of baseness but of actually ill-fortune, and that such destitution and hardship is unfortunately communicable so one should always protect themselves from the inauspicious and unlucky. This way of viewing and portraying ones actions is found in the beginning of the story dealing with Aristomenes. When he came across his...
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