Apuleius, the Onos, and Rome
This paper compares the evocations of Rome and Roman imperial power in the Onos and Apuleius' Metamorphoses, arguing that Apuleius reproduces and intensifies his source's negative view of Roman power in the provinces, though "pseudo-Lucian" is writing from Roman Greece and Apuleius from Roman North Africa. The endings diverge, however, with Lukios re-joining the Romanized elite of Patras and Lucius assimilating uncomfortably to life in Rome. Despite his success as an advocate in the Roman courts, the culturally hybrid Lucius describes himself as speaking anomalous Latin and feeling most comfortable in a foreign cult.
Ellen Finkelpearl is Helen Garland Professor of Classics at Scripps College, Claremont. She has published widely on Apuleius and is author of Metamorphosis of Language in Apuleius: a study of allusion in the novel (Michigan 1998) and co-author with Carl Schlam of A Survey of Scholarship on Apuleius' Metamorphoses 1971-1998 (Lustrum 42, 2000).