Part III Apuleius and Others

Parallel Cults? Religion and Narrative in Apuleius' Metamorphoses and Some Greek novels


  • Stephen Harrison


This paper compares the narrative function of the gods, their sanctuaries and oracles in the plot of Apuleius' Metamorphoses with that of similar elements in the plots of Greek novels, and argues that Apuleius probably knew most of the extant Greek novels and plays with their established literary uses of divine elements. This has additional relevance for the overall interpretation of the Metamorphoses, since it can be used to suggest that the religious ele­ment in Apuleius is more likely to have a literary, entertaining function rather than a serious, proselytising role.

Stephen Harrison is Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Professor of Classical Languages and Literature in the University of Oxford. He has written widely on the Roman novels and is editor of Oxford Readings in the Roman Novel (OUP, 1999), and author of Apuleius: A Latin Sophist (OUP, 2000).





Part III Apuleius and Others