Part III Apuleius and Others

Aesop, the 'Onos', The Golden Ass, and a Hidden Treasure


  • Maaike Zimmerman


This essay presents the different narrative elaborations of one and the same international story motif (Aarne & Thomson H 151–154 ‘Recognition by cup in sack: alleged stolen goods’), in the Life of Aesop, in the Greek Ass Tale, and in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Occurrences of the motif in other ancient narrative texts are also touched upon in passing. The juxtaposition of the three versions of the “stolen cup motif” reveals similarities as well as diver­gences between the individual narrative elaborations. This comparative analysis enhances our interpretation of the functioning of this tale in the larger narrative context of each of the texts under discussion.

Maaike Zimmerman taught Latin Language and Literature at the Classics Department of the Universityof Groningen. She is editor of the journal Ancient Narrative. At present she is preparing a text edition of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses for the Oxford Classical Texts series. She has been the leader of the ‘Groningen Commentaries on Apuleius’ research group, whose most recent publication is: M. Zimmerman, S. Panayotakis, V.C. Hunink, W.H. Keulen, Th.D. McCreight, S.J Harrison, B. Wesseling, D. van Mal – Maeder, Apuleius Madaurensis. Metamorphoses Books IV. 28–35, V, and VI. 1–24: The Tale of Cupid and Psyche. Text, Introduction and Commentary, Groningen: Egbert Forsten 2004. Her own publications include: M. Zimmerman, Apuleius Madaurensis. Metamorphoses Book X. Text, Introduction and Commentary,Groningen: Egbert Forsten 2000.





Part III Apuleius and Others