APULEIUS OF MADAURA (Numidia in Africa)—writer and philosopher, b. around 125, d. around 180.
He was born of a wealthy family of Roman origin. He studied rhetoric in Carthage and philosophy in Athens where he learned neo-Platonism and took part in religious mysteries; in Rome he was a judicial defnder. After he married a rich widow from the city of Oea in Tripolitania, his rivals accused him of sorcery, but he won teh case (by a skillful defense in 158). Next he returned to his family home where he took the position of sacerdos provinciae; after his death he was regarded as a miracle-worker; St. Augustine (De civ. D., 8, 12) called him an outstanding Platonist.
Apuleius’ major works are: Metamorphoses (Metamorfozy albo złoty osioł [Metamorphoses or the Golden Ass], Wwa 1958²) the most famous story from that work published separately—Cupid and Psyche (Amor i Psyche [Amor and Psyche], Wwa 1962), and the sayings of Lucius of Patrae telling of the delights of sensual love; Apologia seu de magia (his defense speech in court); De deo Socratis (a theory concerning the highest good and demons); De dogmate Platonis (a lecture on Platonic physics, anthropology, and ethics, it refers to the Laws, the Republic, and Timaeus); De mundo (elements of Aristotelian logic).
Apuleius was not an original thinker; in his philosophical works he connected neo-Pythagorean and neo-Platonic elements, and theological mysticism; he taught that demons exist as intermediaries between gods. He thought that demons are capable of thought, are of a spiritual nature, and are immortal. He was interested in the religions of Greece and the Near East. He said that ritual asceticism gives man special powers. Apuleius was also a translator. His translations include a Latin version of the Phaedo, Plato’s dialogue on the immortality of the soul. Apuleius’ writings confirm that Platonism had a strong influence in second-century Roman culture.
Apuleius, Opera Omnia I–II, L 1842; M. Krawczyński, Życie Apulejusza Platończyka z Madaury [Life of Apuleius of Madaura], Rozprawy Akademii Umiejętności [Disserations of the Academy of Applied Knowledge] 14 (1889), 330–387; T. Sinko, De Apuleii et Albini doctrinae platonicae adumbratione, Kr 1905; J. Redfors, Echtheitskritische Untersuchungen Schriften “de Platone” und “de mundo”, Lü 1960; M. W. Sullivan, Apuleius’ Logic, A 1967; M. Brożet, Historia literatury s&322;acińskiej w starożytności [History of Latin literature in antiquity], Wwa 1969, 446–451); J. P. Mahé, Quelques remarques sur la religion des “Métamorphoses” d’Apulée et les doctrines gnostiques contemporaines, Revue des sciences religieuses 46 (1972), 1–19; C. Moreschini, Apuleio e il Platonismo, Florence 1978; E. F. Hoevels, Märchen und Magie in den Metamorphosen des Apuleius von Madaura, A 1979; N. Fick-Michel, Art et mystique dans les “Métamorphoses” d’Apulée, P 1991.