Here’s the movie trailer version: “In a time of witchcraft, in a lawless country, one young man had the courage—to pressure a slave girl who is infatuated with him into letting him spy on her mistress transforming herself into a bird.” *

[Shot of Lucius’s face as the ointment he has now wheedled from the girl turns out to be different from the one the witch used, and he feels his body begin turning into another, non-avian species, a form that will provide much less fun, excitement, and freedom.]

Why not a trailer, for the most cinematic piece of Roman literature, Apuleius’s Golden Ass? This series of asinine adventures, with inset tales of mythological sublimity and bawdy low-life, is the first full manifestation of the ideal...


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