Homer in Apuleius' Apology
In Apuleius' minor works, notably his Apology, we can detect interesting traces of Homer. First, the name of the poet is mentioned and praised several times. More importantly, wherever a Homeric passage is quoted or alluded to, the reference appears to make clever use of the original context as well. The erudite reader who knows Homer's text, must have recognized such associations, which add depth and wit to what the speaker says. There can also be a difference or an outright contrast between the explicit statements and the learned further allusions. In some cases the speaker even seems to undermine the point he is actually making: this is a remarkable rhetorical strategy, which must have produced a strong effect. One may even doubt whether this playful, amusing speech was ever delivered in court at all.
Vincent Hunink is Associate Professor of Latin and Early Christian Latin at the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Netherlands. He has published widely on Apuleius, both as a member of the Groningen Apuleius Group (1991-2004) and individually. His works include commentaries on Apuleius' Apology (1997) and Florida (2001) and on Tertullian's De Pallio (2005). Among his publications are numerous translations, mainly in Dutch, often with facing Latin text. He has also published an English translation of Apuleius' Apology (2001).