Lucius bei den Phäaken: Zum νόστος-Motiv in Apuleius, Met. 11


  • Beate Beer


Apuleius’ novel Metamorphoses draws on a wide range of literary models and especially on Homer’s Odyssey. This article shows that the Phaeacians episode functions as a subtext for Lucius’ encounter with Isis in chapters 1–15 of Met. 11. By its extension this literary model provides a narratological structure for the description of Lucius’ re-transformation into human figure. It furthermore elucidates several questions in Met. 11 that hitherto have been difficult to explain, among them Lucius’ bath in the sea, his lament about a goddess’ wrath or the celebration of the ploiaphesia. The Phaeacians episode by its nostos motif in conclusion allows us to interpret Met. 11 as Lucius’ return to human shape.

Beate Beer is currently assistant at the institute of Classics at the University of Zurich. She has worked on Epicureanism and published on Lucretius and Philodemus. In her recently published monograph she investigates Lucretius’ poetics in the context of Philodemus’ poetological theory (Lukrez und Philodem: Poetische Argumentation und poetologischer Diskurs, Basel: Schwabe 2010).