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The Metamorphoses Ascribed to 
Lucius of Patrae 





A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of Princeton 

University in Candidacy for the Degree 

OF Doctor of Philosophy 




Accepted by the Department of Classics 
May, 1919 

Published October I920 




I wish here to acknowledge a debt of gratitude to Professor 
Frank Frost Abbott of Princeton University. It was through 
his stimulating instruction that I first became interested in the 
literary-historical problems of the ancient romance, and the 
preparation of the present study has been greatly facilitated by 
his kind assistance and criticism. My sincere thanks are due 
also to Professor A. C. Johnson of Princeton for reading my 
manuscript and for several valuable criticisms; and to Professor 
Campbell Bonner of the University of Michigan, not only for 
his kindness in verifying a number of references for me while I 
was in the Military Service, but particularly for the inspiration 
and profit I have derived from his instruction. 

Ben Edwin Perry 


The Interrelationships between the Different Versions 
OF THE Ass-Story 

The problem of the interrelationships existing between the 
three versions of the ass-story centers in Photius' description of 
the lost text {Bibl. cod. 129, Migne) : 

' Aveyvcoadr] Aovklov Harpeois iJ,eTaiiop(po3(reoiV \6yot, bionpopoi. eari 
de TTjv (ppacTLV aa<pi]s re kol KaSapbs koI <pl\os y\vKVT7}TOS ' (p^vycav 
de Trjv ev \6yois KaivoTO/jilav els virep^oKriv 5tw/C€t rifv kv rots dirjyrjiiaa-L 
Teparelav Kal cos av tls etVot, aXXos earl AovKiavos ' ol 8k ye xpcoro* 
avrov dvo \6yoi fxovov ov neTeypacprjaav AovkIco e/c roO AovKLavov \6yov 
OS eTnyeypaiTTaL Aovkls ^ rj "Oj'os. t] eK rCov Aovklov \byoiV AovKiavi^, 
eoLKe 8e fxoXKov 6 AovKiavos p-er ay pa (povri oaov elKa^eiv. tls yap 
Xpov^ irpea^vrepos ovttco exop^ev yvcovaL. Kal yap cbairep airo ttXcltovs 
TOiv Aovklov \6ycov 6 AovKLavos diroXeirrvvas Kal irepLe\<j)V, oaa p,ri 
edoKeL avTcc irpos rbv oUelov XPV^''!^^ (tkottov, avrats re Xe^eat Kal 
(Twra^eaLV els eva ra XotTra avvapfioaas \byov Aovkls ^ "Oj'os eTrkypaype 
rb eKeWev viroavXrjdev. y'ep.eL bk 6 eKar'epov \byos irKadp.aToov p.ev 
{jlvOlkcov, a pprjTOTOLt as be alffxpois ' ir\riv 6 pev AovKLavbs aKOiirrccv Kal 
diaavpcav rrjv ^EWtjvlktjv beLaLbaifiovlav, (xxnrep kolv rots dXXots, Kal 
TOVTOP avveraTTev, b be Aovklos cnrovbd^oiv re Kal irLffTas vopLL^oiV 
ras e^ dvdpo^TTcov els dWi]\ovs perapopipoiaeLS Tas re k^ aXbyccv els 
dvdpojTTOvs Kal dvairdKLV Kal rbv aWov tcov iraXaLcov p,vdo)v vd\ov Kal 
<p\r]va(pov ypacprj irapebibov ravra Kal avvvcpaLvev. 

Not all of the statements and inferences in the foregoing 
passage can be accepted at their face value. Those which 
seem ambiguous or unreliable, and which give rise to important 
problems of interpretation, will be discussed later on as occasion 

1 The mss. of the ''Ovos, with the exception of one used by Courier {Luciani 
Opera, ed. Lehmann, Vol. VI, p. 504), read Ao{;/cios,' both in the text and in the 
title. AouKts is doubtless a corrupt form. The possible interpretation " Lu- 
ciad," after the analogy of 'AtOLs, Otj^oIs, is improbable in view of the accent. 


2 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

demands. Meanwhile the study of the interrelationships must 
be based upon only so much of Photius' testimony as represents 
undoubted fact. We may be certain that there existed in the 
ninth century a book whose title consisted essentially in the 
word iJLeTafjLop(p6}aeLs, and which, in its first two \6yoL, resembled 
AovKLos 7] "Oi'os almost word for word except for its greater fullness. 
From this remarkable verbal similarity it follows with a fair 
degree of certainty that one of the two works was copied from 
the other. Either the story in the Merajuop(pcbo-ets was an ex- 
panded version of the ''Ovos, or else the latter is an epitome or an 
abridged edition of the story in the MeTaiiop(p6j(TeLs.^ 

Up to the time of Wieland (1789) it was generally believed, 
as it is at present, that both Apuleius and Lucian (who was 
acknowledged to be the author of the ''Ovos) derived their 
versions of the story independently from the first two books 
of the MeTa/xop</7cbcrets of "Lucius of Patrae." Photius' opinion 
that the ''Ovos was an epitome of the work of Lucius was accepted 
without question, and outward appearances pointed to the fact 
that Apuleius also had before him the MeraMop<^ajo-ets. This 

^ Apuleius tells us that he is relating a Greek story {Met. I, i). His version, 
therefore, could not have been the original ; so unless we assume the existence 
of a fourth version, it follows that the two Greek versions could not have 
been derived independently from a common source. The only possibilities 
remaining are (i) that one of the Greek versions was copied from the other, 
which was the original of the three, and (2) that the Apuleian version was 
intermediate between the two Greek versions. The second possibility involves 
great improbability, and has never been seriously reckoned with in the history 
of this controversy. Greek works were very seldom copied from Latin ones, 
and the freedom with which Apuleius handles the story must have caused a 
Greek derivative of his work to bear less resemblance to the Greek arche- 
type than that described by Photius as existing between the ''Ovos and the 
Mera/xop^cbo-eis. Again, if either of the Greek versions was taken from the 
Metamorphoses it was probably the "Ovos, since Apuleius appears to have 
taken his title (and hence his story) from the Mera/xop^coo-eis. That the "Ovos 
could not have been taken from Apuleius can be abundantly proved from a 
study of the two texts. We must therefore assume, as all scholars have, that 
one of the two Greek works was copied from the other. The possibility of the 
"Opos being a parody of the lost work, or a satire on its author, will be dealt 
with in a later chapter (pp. 34 ff.). For the present we are concerned only 
with the outward relationships, without any distinctions as to the nature of 
the separate versions. 

Different Versions of the Ass-Story 3 

theory of relationships was put forth by G. J. Vossius/ who 
appears to have been the first to discuss the subject, and we 
find it reiterated by Salmasius,^ Huet,^ Reitz, ^ Gesner, ^ Fab- 
ricius, ^ and Lebeau. '^ Indeed so far as we are able to judge, 
there was no controversy at all on this subject before the year 

At this time Wieland, one of the ablest of Lucianic interpreters, 
began the strife wepl ovov aKids, as he called it, by declaring that 
the ''Ovos, could not be an epitome because it was written by 
Lucian. ^ Lucian, he maintained, would be the last person to 
copy another writer's work word for word and, without a hint 
of his obligations, represent what he had copied as his own. 
Consequently, said he, the "Ows must have been the original 
and the Mera)Uop(^a;(7ets an expansion of it. The same standpoint 
was taken later by Teuffel and Knaut. To their arguments and 
to that of Wieland we shall presently return. 

The supposition that Apuleius followed the ''Ovos rather than 
the M€rajuop9?cbcrets was a natural corollary to the proposition 
that the Merajuop<pob(rets was a later expansion of a Lucianic 
original. Apuleius and Lucian were contemporaries, and it is 
not likely that an expansion of the latter's work would have 
been made before the date of composition of Apuleius* Meta- 
morphoses. Hence Apuleius* work must have been based upon 
the ''Ovos, and not upon the later version of Lucius. Such is 
the argument of Teuffel.^ Knaut however, discounting this 
consideration, assumed that Apuleius, while basing his story 

^ De Historicis Graecis (ed. Westermann), p. 463. 

2 Exercitationes Plinianae, Paris, 1629, p. vii. 

^ Lettre de Vorigine des romans (ex Gallico Latine reddidit G. Pyrrho, 1682), 
p. 78. 

* Luciani Samosatensis Opera, ed. Hemsterhusius, Vol. I, p. Iv. 

^ Luciani Opera, ed. Lehmann, Vol, VI, p. 504. 

6 Bihl. Graec, Vol. IX, p. 416. 

■^ Mem. de I'acad. des inscr., 34 (1770), pp. 45, 49. 

' Lucians Sdmtliche Werke, Leipzig, 1789, Vol. IV, pp. 296-304. 

^ " Lukians Aovklos und Appuleius' Metamorphosen," Rheinisches Museum^ 
19 (1864), p. 253. Teuffel's article deals mainly with the general charac- 
teristics of the two versions and is descriptive rather than argumentative. 

4 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

principally upon the "Ovos, at the same time drew upon the 
Merajuop^cbo-ets of Lucius for chapters in the ass-story not found 
in the "Ovos, and which he could not believe were invented by 
Apuleius.^ But to say that Apuleius followed the "Ovos, after 
admitting that he drew material from Lucius, is merely to beg 
the question; for there is no reason to believe that the "Ovos 
contains anything that was not found also in the longer version 
of Lucius. Knaut appears to have been led astray by the fact 
that in many places the text of Apuleius agrees almost word 
for word with the "Ows; but this is of no significance, since we 
know that the latter work in turn resembled the Merajuop(^a;(7€ts 
in the same degree — as Photius says, avrals re Xe^eo-t /cat avvra^eui. 
The text of Apuleius, therefore, cannot be said to resemble the 
"Ovos any more closely than it did the Mera/xop^obo-ets. Rohde 
took the same view as Teuffel and Knaut regarding the main 
source of Apuleius, though he advanced no independent argu- 
ments therefor .2 His theory that the "Ovos, was a parody of 
the Meraiiopipd^aeLs {vid. p. 34) presupposed that the lost work 
was serious in tone and superstitious. Accordingly it would 
have been suicidal for him to admit that the comic version of 
Apuleius was, like the "Ovos, derived from an original which 
he believed to have been serious in nature. Two comic versions 
would probably not have sprung from the same serious original. 
He therefore chose the "Ows as the source of Apuleius, and in 
so doing was merely conceding to the demands of his own thesis. 
As a matter of fact, Teuffel's argument from chronology remains 
the only justification for the view that Apuleius followed the 
"Ovos; and this argument presupposes that the Mera/iop^cbo-ets 
was a later recension of a Lucianic original. 

If it were certain that Lucian wrote the ''Ovos, we should 
perhaps be obliged (in the absence of other evidence) to accept 
Wieland's conclusion that it was the original version of the story, 
and that the Merajuopi^cbo-ets was expanded from it; but if the 

1 C. F. Knaut, De Luciano lihelli qui inscrihitur Lucius sive Asinus auctore, 
Leipzig, 1868, pp. 18 ff. 

2 " Zu Apuleius," Kleine Schriften, Vol. II, p. 70. 

Different Versions of the Ass-Story 5 

Lucianic authorship is in doubt, then no validity can be attached 
to a conclusion based upon this premise. The presence of a large 
number of vulgarisms and non-Lucianic usages in the "Ovos has 
led the majority of modern critics to reject it as spurious,^ and 
indeed, the burden of proof at present seems to rest with those 
who defend its authenticity. Wieland's argument, therefore, 
which at all times constituted the main strength of the theory 
in question, rests upon an unsafe hypothesis and must be aban- 
doned. Teuffel and Knaut were influenced primarily by the 
same line of reasoning as Wieland, though they tried to bolster 
up their theory by asserting that the '^Ovos showed no signs of 
being an epitome and therefore must have been an original 
composition. On the contrary, many inconsistencies and appar- 
ent abbreviations of an archetype have since been brought to 
light ;2 and even if there were no such indications, the possibility 
of the "Ovos being an epitome would still remain. The purpose 
of Knaut's dissertation was to prove that Lucian wrote the 
"Ows. Accordingly, before introducing the main body of 
evidence in favor of this thesis, it behooved him to demonstrate 
that the work which he was to assign to Lucian need not be 
considered an epitome. Selecting a few passages in Apuleius 
which are not found in the "Ows, and which he assumed were 
taken from Lucius, he declared that they were unessential and 
had been interpolated into the original story; ergo, that Lucius 
had expanded the shorter version, and that it, the "Ovos, was 
the original. The following is a typical example of this kind of 
reasoning (op. cit., p. 20) : The absence at the beginning of the 

1 Cf. Dindorf, Bekker, Jacobitz, and Fritzsch in their editions of Lucian; 
Cobet, Variae Lectiones, p. 260; DuMesnil, Grammatica quam Lucianus in 
scriptis suis secutus est cum antiquorum Atticorum ratione comparatur, Stolp, 
1867, p. 4; Croiset, Essai sur la vie et les oeuvres de Lucien, Paris, 1882, p. 43. 
The authenticity of the "Ovos as a work of Lucian was questioned as early 
as 1673 by Tanaquil. Faber {Phaedri Fabulae, p. 173): "In eo numero fuit 
Alcyon, qui hodie inter Liiciani opera legitur, licet Luciani non magis sit quam 
fabulosa ilia de asino narratio, quod ego iraaiv olairep fiovXofxkvots earac probare 
possum." Modern scholars are not so sure; but the existence of doubt is 
in itself sufficient to rule out Wieland's contention. 

2 See below, pp. 9 ff. 

6 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

^'Ovos of the discussion and illustration of witch-craft, which we 
find in Apuleius, is no defect in the narrative. "Itaque si recte 
iudicamus, fabellas illas prodigiosas, quas viatores narrant (in 
Apuleius), iam in Lucii libris extitisse, facile fieri potuit, ut eae 
Luciani verbis, quamvis omnia aperta et plana essent, inser- 
erentur a Lucio, nimiam narrandi perspicuitatem sectato." 
The two assumptions here made are no more capable of proof 
nor any more probable than their respective alternates. It is 
just as likely that Apuleius, who, as Knaut admits, inserted 
many digressions of his own, added these fabellae himself as it 
is that he took them from Lucius; and if they do come from 
Lucius, we are quite as justified in supposing them to have been 
omitted by the author of the *'Ovos in making an epitome as we 
are in supposing that they were expansions of the "O^os by 
Lucius.^ The words facile fieri potuit betray the limitations of 
Knaut 's method. The most he could do, and probably all that 
he intended, was to show that, as the problem stood, the view 
that Lucius expanded an original ''Ovos was as plausible as that 
of his opponents, who had not yet adduced any internal evidence 
pointing to an epitome. But as evidence tending to prove these 
relationships, Knaut's arguments have no positive force what- 
ever. More recently H. Menzel, adopting apparently the same 
method, declared himself in favor of Knaut's theory. His 
study, ^ however, appears never to have been finished in print, 
and he proceeds only so far as to show that the text of the main 
story in Apuleius contains some perverse variations from the 
original Greek story as represented by the "Ovos. Perhaps it 
was Menzel's intention to assign these perverse variations and 
interpolations to Lucius, and so to conclude that that writer 
expanded an original "Ovos. If so, his argument would probably 
have been as futile as that of Knaut. In the absence of the 

1 Knaut fails to make it clear that any of the passages which he cites are 
necessarily later additions; and in this particular instance we are unwilling 
to accept " excessive perspicuity " as a criterion for interpolation. 

^ De Lucio Patrensi sive quae ratio inter Lucianeum librum, qui Aovklos rj 
"Ovos inscribitur, et Apuleii Metamorphoseon libros inter cedat. Pars I, Pro- 
gram, Meseritz, 1895. 

Different Versions of the Ass-Story 7 

Merajuop^cocrets it will always be impossible to prove that a sup- 
posed interpolation or error is due to Lucius and not to Apuleius. 

The arguments outlined above include everything worthy 
of note that has been offered in support of the theory that the 
M.eTafjLop<p6)(reLs was expanded from the '^Ovos. It will be seen 
that none of these arguments are trustworthy, and that the 
acceptance of this view is unjustified by any positive evidence 
whatever in its favor. Furthermore, the supposition that 
Apuleius followed the ''Ovos, since it derives its strength entirely 
from the foregoing theory of an expansion, is equally lacking in 
support and has no claim to probability. 

The theories of Wieland and his followers were founded upon 
plausible a priori arguments, which, though now insignificant 
owing to the changed conditions of the problem, were at one 
time cogent. For this reason we have discussed them some- 
what at length. The remaining theories, with the exception 
of the earlier one stated by Vossius, are far less worthy of con- 
sideration, and in most instances have met with very little 
favor. We refer to such purely gratuitious suppositions as 
that of Courier, who ascribed the ''Ovos as well as the Mera- 
tJLop<p6)aeLs to Lucius of Patrae;^ that of Peter, who declared 
that Photius read an entirely different ''Ovos from the one pre- 
served in the manuscripts j^ that of Dilthey, who thought it 
probable that Apuleius wrote the MerafiopcpoiaeLs in his youth 
and afterwards revised and rewrote it in Latin ;^ that of Maas, 
who asserted that "Lucian appears to be indebted to Apuleius."^ 
Since none of these conjectures can claim any authority, and 
indeed were never even plausibly defended, it will not be neces- 
sary to refute them here. They have added nothing to the 
understanding of the problem, and their appearance in the 
literature of the subject has only resulted in confusion. 

1 La Luciad ou V Ane, Paris, 1818, Preface, p. 3. 

2 " Der Roman bei den Griechen." Neues Schweizerisches Museum, 6 (1866), 
p. 16, note 30 (cited by Rohde, tJber Lucians Schrift Aou/cios rj "Ovos, p. 7). 

^ GoUinger Festrede, 1879, p. 12. 

^ Index Schol. Gryph, 1886/87, p. xiv, n. 2 (citation from Burger, De Lucio 
Patrensi, p. 3). 

8 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

The old view that both the '^Ovos and the Apuleian Meta- 
morphoses are derived from the lost version of Lucius has won 
far more adherents than any other. As we have already noted, 
it remained practically unchallenged up to the time of Wieland 
(1789). After that time we find it reasserted or accepted by A. 
Rode,i Struve,2 q Wolff, ^ and Hildebrand.^ But though 
this theory was favored by important a priori considerations, 
nevertheless, until recent times, it remained, like all the other 
theories so far mentioned, unsupported by any evidence of a 
scientific character. 

If we are to arrive at any safe conclusion regarding these 
interrelationships, certainly it must be by means of a diligent 
examination and comparison of the extant texts. So long as 
this method was ignored, and scholars confined their attention 
to the prima facie aspects of the problem, disagreement was 
only to be expected. When, however, the critical method was 
finally inaugurated, it was accompanied by a much greater 
uniformity of scholarly opinion. With the exception of Menzel's 
apparently unfinished work, all scientific investigations have led 
to the same conclusion, viz., that the "Ovos is an epitome of the 
story in the Merajuopi^cbo-ets and that Apuleius took his story from 
the same lost original. The critical studies to which we refer 
are principally those of Goldbacher, ^ Burger, ^ and Rothstein. ^ 
Let us now review briefly some of the evidence that these scholars 
have advanced, bearing in mind that one of Greek versions was 
the original of the three, and that the other was copied from it. 
At the same time the position of Apuleius in the triangle will 
become clear if we remember that he followed one or the other 

1 Der goldene Esel, Berlin u. Leipzig, 1790, p. xviii. 

2 " tJber den Roman der Griechen " {Abhandlungen und Reden, Konigsberg, 
1822, pp. 259 ff.). 

' Allgemeine Geschichte des Romans, Jena, 1841, p. 45. 

^ Apuleii Opera, Vol. I, p. xxvii. 

^ Zeitschrift fiir die oesterreich. Gymnasien., 23 (1872), pp. 323-341 and 

^ De Lucio Patrensi, sive de ratione inter Asinum q.f. Lucianeum Apuleique 
Metamorphoses intercedente, Diss. Berlin, 1887 (hereafter cited as "Diss."). 

' Quaestiones Lucianeae, Berlin, 1888, pp. 129 flf. 

Different Versions of the Ass-Story 

of the two closely parallel Greek versions — a fact that admits of 
no question in view of Apuleius' own statement fabulam Graecani- 
cam incipimus (Met. I, i), and the verbal similarity between the 
Latin Metamorphoses and the "Oj'os. 

The chastisement of Lucius by the priests of the Syrian God- 
dess is thus related in the "Oi/os (ch. 38) : yvixvov rtdr] Trpoadeovo-l 
fi€ 8ev8pcc fxeyaXco, elra eKeivu rfi e/c toov clctt pay oXojv jidaTiyL iralovTes 
oKiyov ederjaav airoKTelvai. The words eKeivjfl "^V ^'^ "^^^ aarpayoKojv 
point clearly to a whip that has already been described. But in 
the "Oj'os no such implement has previously been mentioned. 
The author therefore must have omitted the original first men- 
tion of the whip while retaining a later allusion to it. This is 
made certain by a comparison with the corresponding passages 
in Apuleius : 

Met. VIII, 28 
Description of the self-torments 

of the priests 
adrepto denique flagro, quod 
semiviris illis proprium gest- 
amen est, contortis taenis lanosi 
velleris prolixe fimbriatum et 
multiiugis talis ovium tesser- 
atum, indidem sese multinodis 
commulcat ictibus . . . 

"Ows 37 
Description of the self -torments 

of the priests 
No mention of a whip. 

Met. VIII, 30 
Chastisement of Lucius 
le renudatum ac de quadam 
quercu destinatum flagro illo 
pecuinis ossibus catenate verb- 
erantes paene ad extremam con- 
fecerant mortem. 

"Ovos 38 
Chastisement of Lucius 
yvfxvdv ^Stj irpocrdeoval fie Sevdpcp 
lieyoKco, elra itcdviQ T% €K T(OV 
do-Tpa-ydXcov lidcrTi'yL TralovTes 
oKlyov ederjaav airoKTeivaL, kt\. 

The second reference to the whip in Apuleius (VIII, 30) is an 
obvious translation of what we have in chapter 38 of the "Ovos. 
It was not, therefore, added by Apuleius himself but was taken 

10 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

from that one of the Greek versions upon which he based his 
story. The same is also true of the first reference to the whip 
(VIII, 28), since the second presupposes it. Inasmuch as the 
two references together are not found in the "Oi'os, Apuleius 
must have taken them from the Mera/iopv^cbo-ets. The latter 
work is thus clearly proved to have been the source of the Latin 
Metamorphoses. Comparing now the two logical and consistent 
references to the whip in the Mera/xopi^coo-ets with the single 
meaningless allusion in the "Ovos, no one can doubt that the 
latter work is an abridgment of the former.^ 

Another clear case of epitomizing in the ^'Ovos is found in 
chapter 24, where the captive maiden tries to escape on the back 
of the ass (Lucius) : kird bk ijKoiiev evda kaxl^ero tplttXt) 656s, 
oi iroKefjLLOL ijiJids KaToKafx^dvovcn dvaaTpkipovres, kt\. "Why," asks 
Burger, ^ "was that evda eorxtfero TpnrXrj 656s added? Was it 
intended to make it clear why the robbers, proceeding on foot 
{wpoadpafjiovTes) , overtook the maiden fleeing so swiftly,(t7r7rou dpofxc^) 
on the ass? But it was much easier to escape with three roads 
before them than with only one. This part of the narrative is 
therefore absolutely superfluous; nor can its meaning be under- 
stood unless by comparison with Apuleius, VI, 29, where the 
maiden and the ass, after reaching the cross-roads, begin to 
disagree about the road to be taken until, owing to the delay, 
they are apprehended by the robbers.^ The epitomizer has 
omitted this part, but retained through carelessness that 
evda eax't'^eTo tpltXtj 656s." The passage in Apuleius undoubtedly 
represents the original story and was not taken from the "Ovos 
but from the Mera/xop</)djo-€ts. 

The encounter of Lucius' master the gardener with the soldier 
is thus related in the '^Ovos (ch. 44) : Kal irore, k^LovTwv rifxcbv U rod 
K7]Trov ^ evTvyx^^^^ dvrjp yevvaios arparLicrov aToXijV r]fX(pLe(Tfxevos, Kal 

1 For the foregoing argument we are indebted to Rothstein {op. cit., p. 133), 
who credits Bursian with being the first to call attention to it. 

2 Diss., p. 13. 

^ The maiden, thinking only of the right way home, was urging Lucius 
to take the very road that he knew the robbers had taken. 

^ kK Tov KriTTov IS Burger's emendation for es t6v Krjirov of the mss. The 
argument given below is likewise that of Burger (Diss., p. 23). 

Different Versions of the Ass-Story ii 

Ttt jJLev Trpcora XaXeT irpos i7juas Trj IraXc^v (pcovfj /cat ^pero top Kr]Trovp6v 
OTTOL d7rd7€t Tov ovov kjie ' 6 5e, olnaL, rrjs (pcovrjs avorjTOs cov ovdev 
cLireKpLvaTO ' 6 5e bpyi^bixevos, cos virepopoiixevos, Tratet r^ ixaaTiyi 
Tov K-qirovpbv, KCLKetvos (ru/xTrXe/cerat aurqj Kal eK rdv irodcbv els ttjv 
686v VTrocnraaas eKreLveL, kt\. The words to. fiev Trpcora XaXet wpos 
17/xas rfi lTa\C)v (poivfi lead us to expect mention of a subsequent 
change in the language employed by the soldier. Since no such 
apodosis is given, it seems probable that a few sentences have 
been omitted, and that between the words K-qirovpbv and KaKeivos 
the original story told how the gardener protested his ignorance 
of Latin and prevailed upon the soldier to address him in Greek. 
It is strange, moreover, that the gardener does not attempt 
to placate the soldier but immediately joins battle with him — a 
poor peasant with a lordly legionary. Certainly the gardener's 
attack is not sufficiently explained by the mere fact that the 
soldier had struck him with his whip.^ Now these difficulties 
of the Greek text are easily remedied if we insert the colloquy 
between the gardener and the soldier as it is briefly and logically 
narrated by Apuleius {Met. IX, 30). Apuleius tells us that when 
the soldier perceived that the gardener did not understand Latin 
he spoke to him in Greek and demanded the ass; that the 
gardener, unable to reconcile himself to the loss of his most 
valuable possession, pleaded with his persecutor for some time; 
and that finally, when the soldier was about to take the ass 
by force, the gardener, in desperation, clasped his knees, as if 
to supplicate him, and thus succeeded in overthrowing him. 
Apuleius in this passage is undoubtedly following his Greek 
original, not only because he practically translates as much as 
we have in the "Ovos, but because his version of the incident 
clearly belongs in the original story. This original was of course 
the M€raiUop<^cocr€ts, and this work in turn has been abridged in 
the present instance by the author of the '^Ovos. ^ 

^ The soldier was armed with a sword; the gardener was unarmed. 

2 Similar indications of epitomizing are numerous, and many of them no 
less cogent than the few we have selected. See particularly Burger and 
Rothstein in the works already cited. 

12 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Outward probabilities point in the same direction as the 
internal evidence. It is much more likely that the ''Ovos is an 
epitome than that the Merajuopi^coa-ets was expanded from it. 
The practice of epitomizing was common in the later centuries, 
not only in the case of historical and encyclopaedic works, but 
also to some extent in the case of books of fiction. The romance 
of Xenophon of Ephesus, for instance, according to Suidas 
comprised ten books, whereas the version that has come down 
to us consists of only five books which are abnormally short and 
in many places have obviously suffered condensation.^ On the 
other hand we know of no clear instance in which the plot of 
an original piece of fiction has been materially expanded by a 
later (i.e., Byzantine) hand. In the "Ovos, moreover, we find 
vulgarisms mingled with exceptionally good Attic,^ a fact which 
seems to indicate that the original was Kadapos, as Photius says, 
and that the admission of kolvt] forms is due to an epitomizer. 
As for Apuleius, the mere fact that his work bears the title 
Metamorphoses and purports to be a Greek story is sufficient to 
indicate without doubt which one of the two Greek versions 
he was following, especially since his version is fuller than the 

The fact that both extant versions are derived from the lost 
Merajuopv'coo-ets is thus established beyond question, and will 
hereafter be taken for granted. 

1 Detailed proof of this is given by Burger in Hermes, 27 (1892), pp. 36 fT. 
See also Rohde, Der Griechische Roman, ^ p. 429, The romance of lamblichus 
is doubtless another case in point. Suidas tells us that it contained thirty- 
nine books; but the edition described by Photius {Bibl. cod. 94) apparently 
had only sixteen. 

2 Cf. infra, pp. 65 ff. 


The Name Lucius of Patrae 

Our information about a writer named Lucius of Patrae is 
limited to two notices in Photius and the account of him given 
in the "Ows. ^ The former authority is best considered first. 

In cod. 129 of the Bibliotheca Photius says that he does not 
know whether Lucius lived before or after Lucian;^ and in cod. 
166 he tells us that Antonius Diogenes, whom he supposes to 
have lived not far from the time of Alexander the Great, ^ was 
probably the "father" of all the later novels, including the 
Merafxop(poicreLs of Lucius. ^ From these two references the most 
we gather about the person of Lucius is that he lived later than 
Antonius and Alexander. Now if this indirect statement of 
Photius about the relative antiquity of the two writers repre- 
sented a learned Byzantine tradition, the presumption in favor 
of the actual existence of a writer named Lucius of Patrae as 
author of the MerafxapcpcoaeLs would be somewhat strengthened. 
But the speculative character of Photius' remarks, to say nothing 
of the vagueness of the statement, tells us, fxovov ovxl (pcjovrjv d^tets, 
that it has nothing whatever to do with tradition. It is per- 
fectly clear, in fact, that Photius knew nothing about a writer 
by the name Lucius of Patrae beyond the appearance of the 
name on the title-page of his manuscript. 

A writer named Lucius of Patrae is also the principal character 
in the "Ovos. Speaking in the first person, he tells us that he 

^ The name Lucius as author of the Mcra/iop^o-eis is found also on a manu- 
script of the ''Oi'os; see p. 27. 

^ Tis yap xpovv TrpeajSurepos, oviro} €xoiJ.ey yvQuai,. 

^ Photius is guessing: tou xpovov 5e, /ca0' 6v ^Kixaaev 6 rdv ttjXlkovtcov TrXacrnaTcov 
warrip ALoytvrjs 6 'AuroiVLos, ovirco tl aaipks txontv Xkyeiv, irX-^v eariv viroXoylaaadat. 
obs ov Xlav TToppoi Tibv xpovoiv Tov fiaacXecos ' AXi^avdpov. {Bibl. cod. 166, 112".) 

* ''Etrri 5', cos toiKfv, ovtos XPOfV 7rp6cr/3urepos tcov to. roiavra kairovbaKoroiV 
diairXaaat, olov AovKiavov, AovkLov, ' lafx^Xixov, ' AxtXXeus Tariov, *HXto5a>pou t€ 
Kttt Aaixaadov. {Bibl. cod. 166, III".) For the passage in full, see pp. 25, 26, 


14 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

left Patrae and sojourned in Thessaly, bearing a letter of intro- 
duction to a citizen of Hypata from his friend and townsman, 
the sophist Decrianus ; that his interest in magic and his meddle- 
someness soon afterward resulted in his being changed into an 
ass; that he underwent a series of ridiculous experiences as a 
beast of burden ; that after regaining the human form a certain 
woman, who thought him more comely as an avSS than as a man, 
ejected him from her house naked and beautifully wreathed and 
perfumed; that his brother, a poet of elegies and a good prophet, 
finally brought him home. 

Since the "Ovos is an epitome of the Mera/xop<^coo-ets, we may 
be sure that the central figure in the latter version was also 
Lucius of Patrae, and that his experiences, related in the first 
person, were the same as those outlined above. Final con- 
firmation of this lies in the fact that the hero in the other deriva- 
tive version, the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, likewise bears the 
name Lucius. Nor is it of any significance that the Latin writer 
gives the native city of Lucius as Corinth instead of Patrae. 
Apuleius has elsewhere changed even the names of many of the 
characters, and in the present instance the slight discrepancy 
is undoubtedly due to a like alteration — Corinth for an original 
Patrae.^ Now if we accept the authorship of the Mera/zopv'coo-ets 
as given by Photius, we are confronted with a downright ab- 
surdity: AVe must suppose that the ass-story therein was the 
professed autobiography of a real writer, and that Lucius of 
Patrae, in order to entertain the public with fiction, invented a 
series of ridiculous adventures relating to himself, at the cost of 
his own humiliation and discredit. Most authors are sufficiently 
proud of their own intelligence to resent being called asses; 
it is safe to say that no author, at least no pagan author of a 
humorous book, would deliberately describe himself as an ass 
and a fool.^ We are therefore forced to reject the authorship 
of the Meraiuop<^cb(7€ts as given by Photius. 

Hn Bk. XI (ch. 27) Lucius is Madaurensis. 

2 It is true that Apuleius has been thought to identify himself to some 
extent with Lucius in the Metamorphoses; but those who hold this view gen- 
erally assume that the book was published anonymously, which could not 

The Name Lucius of Patrae 15 

The appearance of the name Lucius of Patrae on the title- 
page of the M€ra/xop(^cbo-€ts may be explained as due to a very 
simple error: Like numerous other ancient writings the book 
in question probably appeared at one time without the authors' 
name.^ If so, it would be very natural, indeed almost inevitable, 
that the professed narrator of the story, Lucius of Patrae, should 
be mistaken for the real author. The modern scholar Courier 
appears to have made the same mistake in the case of the "Ovos; 
and it would have required the exercise of a greater critical 
alertness than that possessed by most copyists to avoid accept- 
ance of the authorship as indicated by the professed historian 
Lucius, though Lucius as author of the ass-story was no more 
real than Baron Munchausen or Mr. Gulliver. The error in all 
probability is not that of Photius, since he is careful to tell us 
when he does not know, or is in doubt about the authorship of a 
book before him.^ In this case the manuscript which he read 
probably bore the title AovkIov Xlarpecos Mera/jLopcpo^aecjov — X670S d,^ 

have been the case with the Greek version if we suppose its author to have 
been a real Lucius of Patrae. Moreover, in the only part of the Metamorphoses 
which has the appearance of being an autobiography of Apuleius, i.e., Bk. XI, 
the spirit of burlesque yields entirely to that of religious mystery, and Lucius 
appears far more dignified and worthy of being associated with the author 
than anywhere in the "Ovos; and, as we shall see (p. 39), it is the author of 
the "Ovos, not Apuleius, who has preserved the original ending of the Luciad. 
It is difficult to conceive of any purpose that an ancient writer might have in 
describing his own change into an ass, unless he intended his story to be 
allegorical and to embody some religious or mystical significance. Certainly 
there was nothing of the kind in the Mera/xop^cbo-cis. 

^ Cf. Schanz, Romische Litteraturgeschichte (2nd edit., 1905), III, p. iii. 
It is scarcely necessary to remind the reader that here, and in the explanation 
following, we are merely setting forth the current view. 

2 So in Bihl. codd. 48, 115, 116, 117. Cf. Rohde, Uher Lucians Schrift 
AovKLos fj "Ovos, Leipzig, 1 869, ad init. 

^ Cf. Burger, Diss., p. 4: " Omnes fere viri docti bi.6.<popoi. indici tribuerunt, 
de qua re valde dubito. Neque enim ullum locum cognitum habeo totius 
Photii bibliothecae, ubi hoc adjectivum, quod haud sane raro invenitur in 
codicum initiis, cum ipso libri titulo probabiliter coniungi possit." 

Burger supposes that the number of the books was given in the title. But 
since, in the great majority of cases, Photius states the number at the begin- 
ning, we think it more likely that the number of books was not given in this 
case, otherwise Photius would probably have stated it instead of using 
biktpopoi. 8ia<pot3oi in the Bibliotheca is frequently applied to groups of writings 
that were in all probability not numbered; cf. codd. 26, 100, 102, 128, 165, 269. 

1 6 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

AouKtou Ilarpeajs ^ having been added erroneously by someone 
before his time. 

The name of the author of the Merajuopv?cbo'ets remains for the 
present unknown. A hint regarding his identity is beheved by 
Burger and Rothstein to be latent in the following passage from 
the "Oj'os (ch. 55), where Lucius, just emerged from the form of 
an ass, is questioned by the magistrate in the theater about his 
name and parentage: Kkye, (prjalv, rifuv ovojxa to aov Kal yovkoiv rCiv 
(Tibv Kal avyyevSiv, el rtvas ipr]s exetj' ro) ykvei TrpoarjKOVTas, Kal ttoXlv. 
Kayo), nari7p nkv, ecprjv, * * * 2 '^^^^ ^^^ Aovklos, tu) de adeKipu) rcj) kji^ 
Fatos * afJLcpci) 8e ra XoLira dvo bvojiara kolvcl exofiev. Kay 6) fxev 
icTTopLcbv Kal oWcov elfil avyypa(pevs, 6 8e TOLTjrrjs ekeyeloiv earl Kal 
lidvTLS ay ados ' irarpls 8e rjijXv Harpai ttjs 'Axatas. 6 8e diKaarris 
kird Tavra ijKovae, ^lXtcltcov ejuot, e(pr], \lav avdpcbv vlos el Kal ^kvuiv 
olKia re fie virode^ajjievcov Kal dcjpOLS TLfJLrjaavTOJV, Kal eTrlaraixai on 
ovbev xj/evdy iraXs eKelvoov cbv. This passage, which undoubtedly 
represents the text of the Mera/xop^cocrets, seems to indicate that 
the story was intended as a personal satire against a contem- 
porary writer, Lucius of Patrae, and was so understood by Burger 
in his dissertation. ^ Afterwards, ^ however, Burger retracted 
this view and adopted that of Rothstein, ^ who sees no evi- 
dences of a polemical tendency in the Mera/zopi^obo-ets, but would 
interpret the biographical statements in the above passage as 
referring in reality not to the hero but to the author of the 
story. ^ According to Burger, the author of the MerafMopipoiaeus 

1 It is possible that Aovdov is an objective genitive, and that the title 
properly means " the transformations undergone by Lucius." This however 
does not seem very probable. 

2 A lacuna in the mss. 

' Pp. 58. 59. 

^ Studien zur Geschichte des griechischen Romans^ Ostern, 1902, Erster Teil: 
" Der Lukiosroman u. seine litteraturgeschichtliche Bedeutung," pp. 18, 19 
(hereafter cited as Studien). 

^ Quaest. Luc, p. 137, note 2. 

^ It is invariably assumed that the description of Lucius in this passage 
must pertain to a real person; either to a writer by that name who is the object 
of a personal satire, or to the author of the Mera/xopvpoxrets, whether this man's 
name was Lucius, or whether, as Burger believes, it was not. Now Rothstein 
and Burger find it difficult to believe that the Mera/xopcpwaeis was written for the 

The Name Lucius of Patrae 17 

published his work anonymously; but, wishing the reader to 
understand who he was, described himself while ostensibly 
speaking of Lucius. In other words we are to understand that 
the author of the MeraixopcpdicreLs lived at Patrae and had a 
brother named Gaius who was a poet of elegies and a good 
prophet. But what justification is there for assuming that this 
biographical data refers to the author, and not, as we are told 
to Lucius? Or how could any reader have been expected to 
interpret this particular passage otherwise than in the literal 
sense? How could his suspicions have been so aroused that he 
would have understood these remarks to refer to someone other 
than Lucius? Burger claims that Lucius is too young to be 
thought of as a writer, and that the reference to his literary 
profession, being imcompatible with his age, amounts to a 
tour de force on the part of the author in an effort to reveal his 
own identity.^ It niust be admitted that Lucius is a compara- 
tively young man; but since his age is nowhere clearly indicated, 
and since we might easily believe it to be as much as thirty 
years^ (Aristophanes and Euripides wrote dramas before they 
were twenty) , we cannot concede that the statement that Lucius 
is a writer involves any noticeable contradiction, especially in 
view of the fact (apparently overlooked by Burger) that he has 
already been introduced {''Ovos 2) as the friend of a sophist at 

express purpose of personal satire, because, with the exception of the passage 
under discussion, very few traces of such a personal tendency are to be found. 
They have apparently felt obliged, therefore, to accept the other alternative, 
awkward as it certainly is, and to suppose that the person all but identified 
in this passage is in reality the anonymous author of the Mera/xop^coo-cis, and 
not Lucius. That there is no necessity of choosing between these alternate 
extremes, will be made clear in a later chapter (p. 56). It is sufificient here to 
point out that Burger's interpretation is a forced one. 

1 " Leicht verstandlich dagegen erscheint er bei einer Angabe, die ein 
anonymer Verfasser iiber sich selbst macht ; der mochte einen solchen Wider- 
spruch vielleicht sogar absichtlich herbeifiihren, um dadurch dem Leser einen 
deutlichen Wink zu geben, dass hier nicht mehr von jenem jugendlichen 
Helden der vorgehenden Geschichte die Rede sei, sondern der Autor von 
sich selbst und seinen Angehorigen spreche " (Studien, p. 19). 

2 In Apuleius (Met. I, 24), Lucius meets a former college chum whom he 
has not seen in a long while, and who is now a magistrate at Hypata. 

1 8 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Patrae, ^ and since his family appears to be a distinguished one. ^ 
According to Burger's interpretation, the anonymous author 
of the M€ra/xop(paj(7ets wishes us to understand that he lives at 
Patrae. But it happens that Lucius, the ass, is also a citizen 
of Patrae, having been so described at the beginning of the 
story {"Ovos ch. 2). Now if, in the present passage, the author 
intended to call attention to his own identity apart from that of 
Lucius, and to warn us with a contradictory statement that he 
is no longer speaking of his hero but of himself, why has he not 
represented the ridiculous Eselmensch as a citizen of some city 
other than his own? If we had previously been informed that 
Lucius lived elsewhere, the statement in the later passage that 
he comes from Patrae would arrest our attention, and might 
cause us to read between the lines. As it is, we already know 
that Lucius lives in Patrae, so that when we read the same thing 
again in chapter 55, we naturally think of Lucius and of no one 
else. But even if the author did not intend to give us such 
warning in ch. 55 as Burger suggests — if we suppose that he 
intended to give us the hint merely by describing (consistently) 
his principal character as a writer from Patrae — is it not strange 
nevertheless that he should have thus represented the Esel- 
mensch as a native of his own city? And does it not seem more 
probable that the description of the ass as a writer, and the 
brother of a prophet, was intended satirically, or to increase the 
comic effect? 

^ rSiv '"EiWiivcjiv k^oxiJiTaros (obviously ironical) AeKpiaws. In the version of 
Apuleius, Lucius is described as a writer from the beginning (I, i), claims 
kinship with Plutarch (I, 2; II, 3), and is expressly called a sophist even in 
the midst of a youthful frolic (II, 10): '* heus tu scolastice," exclaims Fotis, 
* ' dulce et amarum gustulum carpis "; cf. also VI, 25: sed astans ego non procul 
dolebam mehercules, quod pugillares et stilum non habebam, qui tarn bellam 
fabellam praenotarem. As Burger himself observes (Diss., p. 58), laropicau in 
chapter 55 of the "Ovos probably means, not history, but stories; see also 
below, p. 54. At any rate, there can be little doubt that in the Merajuopi^wo-ets 
Lucius was represented as a writer from the beginning, and if so, no con- 
tradiction would be noticeable, even if the reader did feel that Lucius was 
somewhat young for a writer. 

2 Met. I, 1-2; II, 3; III, 11; a/., all of which is quite in accord with the 
statement in ch. 55 that Lucius' family is on intimate terms with the pro- 
vincial governor. 

The Name Lucius of Patrae 19 

Like its two derivatives, the Merafiopipcoaeis was undoubtedly a 
highly facetious piece of writing,^ and could have been written 
only by an able and ingenious humorist. This humorist, more- 
over, appears to have been of a cynical turn of mind, if one may 
judge from his outlook upon contemporary life and institutions 
revealed in a few such passages as that descriptive of the priests 
of the Syrian Goddess C'Ovos 36; Met. VIII, 26 ff.)- In 
view of this it is hard to believe that our author was the brother 
of a "good prophet," or if he was, that he would have informed 
us of the fact. To writers of a satirical or humorous disposition 
a prophet and a quack are very much the same. Indeed Burger 
himself assigns to this very author one of the keenest of ancient 
satires on prophets — the account in Apuleius of the "egregious" 
Chaldaean Diophanes.^ 

In support of the interpretation which we have been con- 
sidering. Burger cites as a parallel the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, 
which he believes was published anonymously, and in the 
eleventh book of which the author appears to identify himself 
with the hero Lucius. ^ But the Lucius of Apuleius' eleventh 
book is a very different person from the Lucius of the closing 
chapters of the '^Ovos (= the Merajuop(^wcrets) ; and although the 
Latin author, a confirmed mystic, might hint at his own identity 
through the autobiographical statements of a hero whom he had 
caused to be purified and ennobled through the offices of the 
divine mysteries, it is nevertheless very improbable that the 

1 Cf. pp. 32 ff. 

2 Met. II, 12-14; cf. II, 14: Diophanes ille Chaldaeus egregius mente viduus 
necdum suus. Milo ends by saying: Sed tibi plane, Luci domine, soli omnium 
Chaldaeus ille vera dixerit. 

^ If we accept Burger's contention {Hermes, 23 (1888), pp. 489 ff.) that 
Apuleius published the Metamorphoses anonymously, and sought to reveal 
his identity by means of biographical statements put in the mouth of his 
hero, it is noteworthy that he called attention to himself much more carefully 
than the author of the MeraMopc^creis has done, if we imagine the latter to have 
attempted the same thing. Lucius is Corinthus in Bk. I and Madaurensis 
in Bk. XI, and the biographical allusions are much fuller than in the Greek 
text. Moreover, the Greek author holds himself aloof from his principal 
character throughout the story, while Apuleius often speaks for himself in 
the person of Lucius; cf. p. 41. 

20 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

author of the Meraixopipcoueis would have attempted a similar 
identification of himself, with or through the medium of a hero 
who appears so ridiculous as Lucius does in the latter part of 
the ''Ovos. 

Finally, we see no good reason why any writer, wishing to be 
known as the author of a certain book, should not publish his 
name on the title-page in the usual way, instead of resorting to 
such an awkward and round-about method of accomplishing the 
same thing. 

The conclusions we have now reached are negative. The 
author of the Merajuopv?cbo'ets certainly did not bear the name 
Lucius, and there is no reason to believe that he lived in Patrae, 
or that he had a brot<her named Gaius. Our attempt to deter- 
mine the identity of this author must be postponed until we 
have studied the content and nature of his work. 


The Content of the METAMOP^nsEis 

It is strange that while some of Photius' positive statements 
about the 'M.eTafjLop(p6)aeLs have been called into question or dis- 
proven, his ambiguous references to the general content have 
nevertheless met with a uniform, though somewhat vague inter- 
pretation. Scholars are unanimous in understanding ol 8e ye 
irpcoTOL avTov 8vo \6yoL to mean that only the first two books of 
the MeTafjiopipdoaeLs dealt with the ass-story, and that the re- 
mainder of the work was taken up with other stories of change, 
an inference which appears to be justified by the wording of the 
title — MeTafiop(p6}(T€c>}v \6yoL bilnpopoi. Thus Wieland refers to the 
book in question as "eine Sammlung von Marchen," Rohde, 
"eine Sammlung von Andern berichteter Verwandlungsge- 
schichten," and Burger, "libellum variarum mutationum 
fabellas continentem," etc. Before discussing the phraseology 
of Photius upon which this conclusion is based, let us examine 
the foregoing conception of the Merajuopv^cbo-ets in the light of the 
internal evidence and from the standpoint of literary history. 

The first two books at least were devoted to a single story, 
which has been aptly termed a comic romance. It dealt with a 
series of events preceding and incident to only one metamorphosis. 
Its length may be roughly estimated by adding to the "Oj/o$ 
(35 Teubner pages), such supplementary chapters from the 
Metamorphoses of Apuleius as are commonly believed to have 
been taken from the lost M€ra/zop(^co(r€ts. These, according to the 
estimate of Burger, ^ which is perhaps the most conservative, 
amount to a total length of forty Teubner pages; so that the 
minimum length of the Luciad as it appeared in the lost version 

^ Diss., p. 56. The following Apuleian chapters, wanting in the ''Ovos 
are assigned by Burger to the original Greek Luciad: Met. I, 3, 4, 20; II, 
11-14, 18, 31, 32; III, 1-18; IV, 24-27; VII, 1-4, 9-13; IX, 3-4, 11-16, 
22, 23, 26-28, 39; X, I. 


22 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

may be reckoned at approximately seventy-five Teubner pages. ^ 
It is upon the basis of this estimate that our conception of the 
work as a whole must be formed. 

The title Mera/xopc^cbo-ets naturally brings to mind a school of 
writers in prose and verse whose collections were similarly 
inscribed. 2 But with the exception of the Apuleian Meta- 
morphoses, to be discussed later, all of these works were anti- 
quarian in subject-matter, and differed widely in form and pur- 
pose from any conceivable collection the first item of which was a 
comic romance seventy-five pages in length. That the Mera- 
fiopcpoiaeLs combined the ass-story with such material as is found 
in Ovid or Antoninus Liberalis is out of the question. If we 
are to think of the lost work as a collection of stories relating 
to changes we must suppose the other stories to have been 
somewhat similar in nature to the history of Lucius, i.e., to have 
been humorous, ^ non-antiquarian, ^ and long enough to allow 

^ In all probability the original story was at least twice the length of its 
epitome, the "Ows. Compare the epitome of the romance of Xenophon of 
Ephesus, which contains five books in place of an original ten {supra, p. 12). 
Of the same proportions also was the epitome of the history of Dionysius of 
Halicarnassus reviewed by Photius in Bibl. cod. 84. In the case of historical 
works, however, the proportionate length of epitomes compared with their 
originals appears to average considerably less than one half. See Klotz in 
Hermes, 48 (1913), p. 545- 

2 The Metamorphoses of Ovid and the Meranopipuaecav 'Lvvayoiyrj of Antoninus 
Liberalis are the only extant specimens of this literature. Books called 
"Metamorphoses" were also written by Parthenius, Didymarchus, Nestor, 
Theodorus, and the sophist Adrian. Of the same nature was the ' 'ErepoLov/xeva 
of Nicander and the ' AWoiojaeis of Antigonus. Though some of these are 
mere names, it is nevertheless clear from the citations of them in Antoninus, 
Suidas, and the grammarians, that their books dealt with the same kind of 
material that we find in Ovid. For the recognized place of such works in 
rhetoric, cf. Menander, in Spengel's Rhetores Graeci, Vol. Ill, p. 393. 

3 Cf. pp. 32 ff . 

^ If a writer were interested in compiling "metamorphoses" as such, his 
work would be more or less comprehensive, and include necessarily some 
classical mythology. But it is obvious that the author of the Mera/iop^wo-ets 
had no such comprehensive interest in this kind of myth because he devoted 
two whole books to one item. To have added classical examples of meta- 
morphoses, or even brief and unfamiliar anecdotes of the kind, to a lengthy 
romance such as the Luciad, would have been a violation of fitness and pro- 

The Content of the Merajuop^wo-cts 23 

of some plot, in other words, to have been stories in the proper 
sense rather than mere outlines of ancient myths. 

Assuming the M€ra/xop<^cbo'ets to be a work of this kind, the 
author must have either composed the stories himself, or have 
collected them from other sources. If he was merely a collector, 
it is fair to ask where he found such unusual materials. The 
whole range of ancient literature, whether extant or known only 
through citation, affords no good parallel to the Luciad; and 
though it is perhaps conceivable that similar stories of trans- 
formation were to be found, it is nevertheless very unlikely 
that they were numerous enough to attract the attention of an 
ordinary compiler whose aim, like that of Antoninus, was to 
bring together myths of a familiar type. On the other hand, 
if we suppose our author to have been a collector of literary 
curiosities, it is strange that he should have confined his attention 
to "metamorphoses" of this kind; that he should have singled 
out as a type of story that which was, so far as we know, merely 
an unique and original piece of work. He might with equal 
felicity have made a collection of comedies each involving a 
mistaken identity, and have introduced at the beginning the 
entire Menaechmi of Plautus. But such a collector would 
have been as rare in the literary world as the things he sought to 
collect. The collections that have survived from antiquity 
embody either items of a particular type which were plentiful, 
such as the M€Tafxop(p6}a€c»)v 'Zvvaycoyrf of Antoninus Liberalis, or 
else rare or common items of unrestricted variety, such as the 
Varia Historia of Aelian or the encyclopaedias. Aristides' col- 
lection of Milesian tales affords no parallel to a series of humorous 
''Verwandlungsgeschichten" because Aristides was gathering 
stories of a much broader type, examples of which were easily 
accumulated. But the author of the MeTa/zop<^coo-ets, in confining 
his collection to stories of transformation at all similar to the 

portion which is hard to reconcile even with Byzantine taste; but since the 
M.€Tanop<p6i(Teis must have been composed, or compiled, before the date of 
composition of Apuleius' Metamorphoses ^ we would have to attribute this lack 
of taste, not to a Byzantine writer, but to a writer living in the first half of the 
second century A. D., whose style, as Photius says, was aa<piis re Kal KadapSs. 

24 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

one contained in his first two books, must have imposed upon 
himself very arbitrary and impractical, if not impossible limita- 

We would not deny the possibility that an ancient author 
may have composed a series of humorous stories, each of which 
involved a transformation of the external form of the principal 
character. The scheme of grouping together a series of composi- 
tions on a common subject finds a parallel in such works as the 
'EpcortKci na^i7juara of Parthenius, or better, the ten stories on 
friendship in Lucian's Toxaris. Owing however to the modest 
proportions of all such known series, the parallel fails to hold 
good when applied to the Merayuopi^cbo-ets, the first story in which 
took up approximately seventy-five pages. If our author were 
composing a series of stories we should expect him to make them 
much shorter, like the stories in the Toxaris or the Gesta Roman- 
arum. Moreover, it seems incredible that the author of so well 
written a story as the Luciad, who rarely if ever overdoes a 
comic situation, and who never wearies us with repetition, nor 
lets the interest lag for a moment, should have composed a 
whole series of stories wherein the humor was derived funda- 
mentally from the same kind of ridiculous situation that we 
have in the Luciad. Any humorist of the second century must 
have had better taste; and it is just as unlikely that the humorist 
who wrote the Luciad would have seen fit to add thereto a series 
of bona fide stories. For these reasons we believe it very im- 
probable that the MeraAtop^wo-ets was a series of compositions by a 
single author. 

The supposition that the book in question contained other 
stories than the Luciad appears to rest largely upon the wording 
of the title as given by Photius. But if we are to accept this 
interpretation of \6yoi bicupopoi, it is strange that the first two 
'Kbyoi were not bicKpopoL in this sense. They contained but one 
story. We should expect the author of a collection of stories 
either to do away altogether with the division into books, as 
Plutarch does in his Parallel Lives, or else to begin each book with 
a new story ; otherwise the division into books would be not only 

The Content of the Mera/iopipcbo-ets 25 

useless and arbitrary, ^ but even unconventional. A single 
story, however, might be divided into different books, as is the 
case with the Greek erotic romances and Lucian's Vera Historia, 

From the foregoing considerations it appears that if the 
Mera/iop^cbo-ets was a collection of stories it must have been an 
anomaly in ancient literature. But the case against the tradi- 
tional interpretation of Photius is not confined to arguments 
drawn from general literary history. A consideration of the 
more concrete and positive evidence will show that the supposi- 
tion of a plurality of stories in the Merajuopi^cbo-ets is quite unten- 
able, and that there is every reason to believe that the work 
was taken up exclusively with the Luciad. 

We have noticed elsewhere that the principal character in the 
ass-story, Lucius of Patrae, was probably mistaken for the author 
of the Mera/Aopv^cbcrets. This would hardly have been the case un- 
less the entire book dealt with the history of Lucius. It is un- 
likely that anyone, particularly a scribe copying the whole work, 
would mistake the hero of one story in a collection for the author 
of the entire series. To suppose that the same Lucius underwent a 
series of transformations similar to the one described at length in 
the "Oz/os would be very awkward. Lucius learned quite enough 
about metamorphoses while in the form of an ass. There is a 
tone of finality in the last chapter of the epitome (the "Ovos) 
that leaves no doubt in our minds that Lucius has reached the 
end of his adventures: evraWa OeoXs <TcoTrjp<nv Wvov Kal ava6i]ixara 
dvedrjKa, fxa At' ovk eK kvvos TrpcoKToO, ro 8rj rod \6yov, dW e^ ovov 
irepLepylas Slcl fxaKpov ttclvv, Kal ovrco 8e juoXts, dUabe avaacodels. 

In Bibl. cod. 166 Photius speaks of the MeTafjLop<p6ia€Ls as of a 
single story, and pairs it off with the Vera Historia of Lucian. 
Note the following remarks^ about the novel of Antonius Dio- 
genes, On the Wonders beyond Thule: tan 5', cibs loiKtv, ovtos (An- 
tonius) XP^vcx) Tpea^vrepos toov tol rotaura kairovdaKOTcav StaTrXdo'at, 

^ Convenience in publishing would not require the division of the Luciad 
into two books. We have other writings of a unified character, equally long, 
which were undoubtedly issued in one roll, e.g., Plutarch's Life of Alexander. 

^ Bibl. cod. 166, III''. 

26 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

olov AovKLavov, AovkIov, 'lajji^Xixov, 'AxtXXecos Tarlov ^HXtoScIbpou re 
Kal AafxacTKLOV. Kal yap rod irepl aXTjOoiv dirjyrjfjLCLTCop AovKLavov Kal 
rod irepl jj^erafxapcpojaecov AovkIov inrjyri /cat pl^a eoLKev elvat tovto. 
ov jibvov be dXXd Kai rcov irepl 'Zivoivida /cat l?odavT]v (lamblichus) 
AevKlinrrjv re /cat KXeiTOipcovTa (Achilles Tatius), /cat Xapt/cXetaj/ /cat 
Qeayevr}v (Heliodorus), tc^u re irepl avrovs TrXacjiaTOiv /cat rris 7r\dvr]s 
ep6)rcov re /cat KLvdvvcov rj Aep/cuXXts /cat Aetvtas (characters in An- 
tonius' novel) eot/cao-t Trapadeiy fxa yeyov'evai. It seems clear from 
this passage that Photius thought of the Mera/xopv?ajo-ets as a 
unified narrative, either because he knew it to be such, or because 
he was familiar with only so much of it as was a unit. Had he 
thought of it as a collection of stories, he probably would not 
have mentioned it together with Lucian's Vera Historia, at the 
same time excluding from the comparison the composite work 
of Damascius on TrapdSo^a. ^ The romance of Antonius Diogenes 
at first suggested to Photius' mind merely fictitious stories in 
general, whereupon he names a series in which the collector of 
strange stories, Damascius, comes last. But when he comes to 
classify the different books and compare them with that of 
Antonius, he deliberately omits Damascius, and groups together 
as similar examples of non-erotic stories of adventure, only the 
Vera Historia and the Mera/xop(^coo-ets. ^ If Photius here had in 
mind only the fictitious character of these books, without any 
regard to form, it is very probable that he would have included 
the work of Damascius, which appears to have contained a 
number of stories relating to magic and the supernatural; but 
it would seem that the omission was due to the fact that this 
work, (unlike the others, including the Merajuop(^cijo-ets), was a 
collection without a common plot, and hence not to be classified 

1 Cf. Bibl. cod. 130. 

2 Photius divides the romances into two distinct groups: (i) the non- 
erotic stories of adventure, including the Vera Historia and the M.eTafjLop<po)(reLs, 
(2) the erotic stories of adventure, including the romances of lamblichus, 
Achilles Tatius, and Heliodorus. Antonius Diogenes is said to be the " root 
and source" of the first group inasmuch as the love element in his romance 
was secondary to the spirit of strange adventure and travel. On the other 
hand what love element there was in Antonius is said to have been the pattern 
for the more strictly erotic romances, such as that of Achilles Tatius. 

The Content of the MeTa)uop<^coo-€ts 27 

with the romances proper, all of which he carefully classifies and 
brings into the comparison. The singular, moreover, in rod 
wepl fxerafjiopcpcoo-ecov Aovdov, owing to its close coordination with 
Tov irepl aXrjdcov dLrjyrjfjLOLTOiv points to a single story. If, in speak- 
ing of the MeTaiJLop(p6)(xeLs, Photius thought of a number of stories 
like the Luciad, it is probable that he would have used the 
plural rcbv, thus indicating several parallels to Antonius Diogenes 
instead of one. 

In codex Vaticanus 9o(r), written in the tenth century,^ the 
following subscript occurs at the end of the '^Ovos: AOTKIANOT 
EniTOMH T12N AOTKIOT METAMOP$i2SE12N. Living in an 
age in which the Merajuopi^ajo-ets was doubtless extant, it is possible 
that the author of this inscription was familiar with both texts, 
and, though prompted perhaps by the words of Photius, never- 
theless knew whereof he spoke. But if, as Rohde suggests, 
this statement is nothing more than an echo from Photius, it is 
at any rate significant that this tenth century scribe understood 
Photius to mean that the "Ovos was an epitome of the entire 
MerafjiopcpcoaeLs; such is the obvious meaning of k-Kiroixi] rdv Kovdov 

If the Mera/xopcpcoo-ets contained a series of stories relating to 
changes, it is strange that Apuleius, who has inserted a score or 
more of short stories (see p. 40) in the framework afforded by 
the Luciad, has not drawn any other stories of change from 
fhe same collection (the brief anecdote in Met. VIII, 19-21 may 
possibly be regarded as an exception), although doubtless many 
of his tales, like those of Lucius and of Cupid and Psyche, were 
drawn from Greek sources. Such a collection as the Mera- 
fjLop(pco(TeLs is supposed to have been must have furnished him* 
abundant material from which to choose, without going further 

If the Merajuopc^cocrets was a collection of stories, we must sup- 

^ Cf. Mras in Sitzungsherichte d. Wiener Acad., Philosophisch-Historische 
Classe, 167 (191 1), p. 229. 

2 The statement in question is not necessarily based upon Photius' review 
in Bibl. cod. 129. It may rest upon some entirely different source of informa- 
tion, and may antedate Photius. 

28 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

pose that Apuleius has erroneously appHed to the first story the 
title which properly belonged to a whole series ; and that we have 
to do with two peculiarities : one on the part of the Greek author 
in composing an odd series of ''Metamorphoses" at variance 
with literary tradition, and a different peculiarity on the part 
of Apuleius in applying the same title to a single story of change. 
This is very awkward. It is quite improbable that Apuleius, 
who certainly handles the story with a great deal of freedom, 
would follow his original so slavishly as to blunder into copying 
the very title when it was not appropriate to his own work. 
Furthermore, to postulate two independent peculiarities, instead 
of a single one common to both versions, is to disregard the 
commonest laws of probability. Inasmuch as the Greek author 
was an innovator in any case, it is far more probable that " Meta- 
morphoses" had the same unusual meaning in his work that it 
has in the derivative version of Apuleius; and that just as the 
Latin text deals in the main with only one change of form, 
and is in no sense a collection of "Verwandlungsgeschichten," so 
also the original Mera/^iopipcbo-ets must have been a unified story, 
viz., the Luciad. The peculiar significance of the plural title 
will be made clear in another chapter (p. 55). 

The sum of the above considerations is quite enough to justify 
us in seeking a new interpretation of the words in Bihl. cod. 129. 
In so doing it will be unnecessary either to strain the meaning of the 
Greek or to detra^ct from the authority of Photius. The phrases 
upon which the traditional conception of the Mera/iopi^ccbo-ets 
as a collection of stories is based, are included in the following 
extract from the passage already quoted in full (p. i) : 'Aveyvoiadrj 
.AovkIov Ilarpecos |Ji€Ta|iOp<|)coo'€(OV Xoyol 5Ld(|>opoi. ean 8e Trjv (ppacnv 
aa(pris re /cat Kadapos kclI (pLXos y\vKVT7iTOs. (pevycov 8e rrjv ev XoyoLS 
KaLVOTOjJLLav els VTrep^oKrjV 5icoK€t rrjv ev rots biriyqixaci reparelav 
Kal COS av rts etiroL, aXXos earl KovKiavbs ' oi 6€ -ye irpwTOi ailToO 8iJ0 
Xo'yoi jjLovov oh iJLereypa<pr](Tav AovkIcc e/c rod AovKiavov \6yov 6s ext- 
yeypairrai Aovkis ri "Ovos, kt\. 

To begin with, aveyvoiadr] is a stereotyped formula in the 
Bihliotheca and need not be taken literally to mean that Photius 

The Content of the MeraMop^wo-ets 29 

read the entire book. Thus, in cod. 41 we read: ' kveyvu^aBiq 
'lcx)dvvov eKKK'qaiaariKi] laropla, kt\.', then, near the end of his 
review, Photius adds: rrjs iikvroL ye laToplas avrov 8eKa Tvyxcivov(TL 
TOfjLOL, COS /cat avTos eirayyeKerai, oov rjfuv tovs irkvTe ykyovev avayvdvai] 
so also in cod. 97. 

The words \6yoi diacpopoi mean different books; but there is 
no justification for the assumption that these books were different 
in the exact sense that they each contained a separate story, or 
that they differed from each other throughout in any other way 
than did the first two books which dealt with a single story. 
The plural fxeTaiJLop(p6)aeo)v, to be sure, naturally suggests different 
stories of transformation as in the work of Ovid, and it is un- 
doubtedly due to the influence of this false analogy that the 
traditional interpretation has arisen and persisted. But it 
cannot be too strongly emphasized that the MerafMopipoiaeLs with 
which we are concerned was, in any event, a radically different 
kind of work from that of Ovid or Antoninus Liberalis, and that 
the similarity in title is therefore of very doubtful significance. 
In view of what has been said above respecting the content, we 
must understand \6yoL biaipopot to mean simply several chapters 
of a work called Mera/zop (^obcets. ^ 

The words ol be ye xpcorot avTov dvo \6yoL do not mean neces- 
sarily that only the first two books were similar to the "Oj^os. 
Photius does not wish to commit himself; he means to say, in 
all probability, something like this: "As for the whole text, 
I cannot speak with certainty, but the first two books at any 
rate are copied from the "Ows, etc." His reserve is probably 
due to the fact that he had not read the book entire (vid. infra). ^ 

^ Not infrequently dLcupopoL is used by Photius more for the want of a 
numeral than from any desire to call attention to an inherent difference; 
cf. Bibl. codd. 26, 100, loi, 102, 119, 165, 245, 269. In such cases it appears 
to have about the same force as the English word several (so Sophocles, Greek 
Lexicon of the Roman and Byzantine Periods) . 

2 If Photius did read the book through, then we must suppose that he 
means to say that the first two books were especially close in their resemblance 
to the "Ovos. An epitomizer would naturally adhere more closely to his 
original at the start, while later on, realizing the need of greater condensation, 
would leave out more. The detail with which Lucius' encounter with Palaestra 
is described {"Ovos 6-10) shows a certain disproportion. 

30 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Near the end of his review Photius says that Lucius was 
credulous, Trto-rds vojjlI^cou tcls e^ avdpcoTcov els aWrjXovs fxeTajjiopcpcoaeLs 
TCLS re €^ oKoyccv els avdpoiivovs Kcd avairakLV /cat tov aWov Tibv xaXatcoi' 
yivdoiv vdXov /cat <p\r}va(pov. This has been thought by some to 
refer to various stories of change in a supposed collection; but 
inasmuch as Photius is merely describing Lucius' credulity, it 
is more likely that this statement was founded upon explicit 
statements of Lucius indicating a readiness to believe such myths. 
For, just as in Apuleius Lucius is ready to believe any kind of a 
story, especially one involving a metamorphosis,^ so in the Greek 
original, doubtless, there was brief mention of various kinds of 
metamorphoses in which Lucius expressed a naive interest and 
belief. Indeed Photius might have described the objects of 
Lucius' credulity in the same words after reading the first two 
books of the Apuleian Metamorphoses or the first part of the 
"Ovos. In short, throughout the whole description there is 
nothing to indicate familiarity with any other story than the 

Had Photius read a series of stories he probably would have 
given us quite a different account. As he tells us in his preface, 
the purpose of the Bibliotheca is to acquaint his brother ets 
KecpaKaicodrj biayvoiaiv with the books he had read. In this he is 
remarkably consistent, especially in the case of collections,^ 
where he never fails to give us explicit statements about the 
content. In no instance among the two hundred and eighty 
books described or mentioned only by title, do we get so in- 
adequate an idea of the general content and nature of a book as 

^ Cf. Met. II, i: Nee fuit in ilia civitate quod aspiciens id esse crederem, 
quod esset, sed omnia prorsus ferali murmure in aliam effigiem translata, ut et 
lapides, quos offenderem, de homine duratos et aves, quas audirem, indidem 
plumatas et arbores, quae pomerium ambirent, similiter foliatas et fontanos 
latices de corporibus humanis fluxos crederem; iam statuas et imagines incessuras, 
parietes locuturos, boves et id genus pecua dicturas praesagium, de ipso vero caelo 
et iubaris orbe subito venturum oraculum. Apuleius probably outdoes his orig- 
inal in this passage, but the same interest in metamorphoses is expressed 
by Lucius in the "Ofos. See the passages quoted on p. 51. 

2 Cf. Bibl. codd. 130, 188, 189, where Photius briefly describes collections 
of irapabo^a. and mentions the various headings and classifications. 

The Content of the MerafjiopipooaeLs 31 

we do in codex 129 if it is supposed that the M€raMopv?cbo-ets con- 
tained a series of compositions. But as a single story the work 
is plainly described. Photius needed only to remind his brother,^ 
who had doubtless read Lucian, that the MeraiiopipoxTeLs, so far 
as he was acquainted with it, was the same story as the "Ovos 
in longer form. 

The reason why Photius did not read the book through is not 
far to seek. The good patriarch, who was no fancier of lascivious 
stories, had already read the same appriroiroda, as he calls it, 
totidem verbis in the "Ovos\ so that when he caine to the end of 
the second book, it is not surprising that he should forego the. 
further perusal of a story already familiar to him, and none too 
congenial, written by an author whom he considered a fool.^ 
Since the number of \6yoi was probably not indicated on the 
title-page (cf. supra, p. 15), he did not take the trouble to count 
them, but referred to them without any concern as bionpopoi 
{= several) which could not be wrong in any case, whether 
the different books contained separate stories, or whether, as 
was the fact, the whole work was one story. 

The length of the Mera/jLopip^xreLs need not have exceeded eighty 
Teubner pages. The normal length of a \6yos of prose fiction, 
to judge by such novels as those of Achilles Tatius, Longus, 
Chariton, and the Vera Historia of Lucian, is about twenty-one 
pages; so that the Luciad as reconstructed by Burger, or what 
is the same thing, the M€raiJLop(pco(TeLs, presumably consisted of 
about four books. 

^ Cf. Bibl., Preface, I": xP'70'tMci'o'et 5e trot brfKovoTi to. hibtboixkva ets t€ K«pa- 
'Kaicodr] txvqixTiv Kal avaixvqaiv tuv elre (etrt?) /card aeavrov invake^anevos kirrjXdes, ktX. 

2 Teuffel goes to an unnecessary extreme: "Am wahrscheinlichsten ist 
aber, dass Photios die beiden ersten Biicher des Lukios, welche den Aovklos ^ 
"Ovos enthielten und ihm daher schon aus Lukian bekannt waren, gar nicht 
einmal durchlas, sondern hochstens fliichtig ansah, etc." {Rh. Mus., 19 (1864), 
p. 252). 


The Nature of the METAMOP^fiSEis 

It is an undisputed fact that the Luciad as represented by the 
Merajuop^coo-ets was substantially, and to a large extent verbally, 
the same story as that preserved in the "Oj^os and in the Meta- 
morphoses of Apuleius.^ It therefore must have been of the same 
comic character. The long discredited, though occasionally 
recurring notion that the Merajuop ^cbcets was a serious or super- 
stitious piece of writing, that it was wundersilchtig in tone rather 
than comic,^ or in short that the spirit of the narrative differed 
essentially in any way from that of the Luciad of our extant 
versions, rests entirely upon the misleading statement of Photius 
that Lucius of Patrae wrote in a serious vein and believed in the 
reality of magic transformations.^ The worthlessness of this 

^ Photius, Bihl. cod. 129: ol 5e ye wpoiTOL avrov 8vo \6yoL /jlovov ov /jLereypcKprja-av 
AovkL(>3 eK Tov AovKLapov \6yov, os eTnyeypairTac AoO/cts fj "Oj'os, ij be rdv AovkLov 
\6yo3v AovKLavu). In the remarks that follow, note also avrals re Xe^eai Kal 
(xvvTa^ea-L, Inasmuch as the accuracy of this testimony is dependent upon 
nothing more than the patriarch's honesty and good eyesight, it has not been 
questioned even by those who contend that the Mera/iop^dxreis may have 
been a serious story. 

2 It is indeed surprising, in view of the overwhelming evidence against this 
view, to find it reasserted in recent times by von Arnim {Wiener Studien, 22 
(1900), pp. 154 ff.), by Reitzenstein (HellenisHsche Wundererzdhlungen, 1906, 
p. 32), and by the latest arrival in this field, H. Werner (Hermes, 53 (1918), 
pp. 225 ff., known to me only through the reviews of W. Schmid and R. Helm, 
BPHW, 39 (1919), pp. 168, 199). Von Arnim accepts this view, without 
any argument, as convenient to his theory that the "Ovos is a satire on the 
author of the Mera/xopvJwcrets; Reitzenstein accepts it without hesitation, 
because, after the " trefflichen Ausfiihrungen Rohdes," he needs only to repeat 
known facts; and Werner, if we may believe his reviewer, has reached this 
conclusion by " a careful interpretation of the words of Photius." 

^ yefiei 5e 6 eKarkpov \6yos wXaa-fidrcov p.kv /xvOlkcou, apprjToirouas 8k aicrxpo.s' 
TrXijv 6 fikv AovKiavos aKcoirTcov Kal dtaavpcov Tr]v 'E\\r]vtKriv deLaiSaLfxoviav, cbairep 
K&p Tois aXXots, Kal tovtov avvkrarTev, 6 be Aovklos aTrovSa^oov re Kal Tricrras vo/xi^cav 
rds €^ avdpcoTTcav els aWriXovs fxeTa/jLopipooaeis rds re k^ aXoyoov eis avdpcoTTOvs Kal 
avdiraXiv Kal tov aXXov tcov iraXaiCbv fxvdoiv vdXov Kal (pXifvacpov ypacpfj wapedLdov 


The Nature of the MeTa/xop<^coo-ets 33 

apparently good testimony seems never to have been fully 
realized.^ Lucius of Patrae was indeed credulous and super- 
stitious; but Lucius of Patrae was not, as Photius supposed, 
the author of the Mera/iop(^cocr€ts (cf. p. 14). He was merely 
the principal character speaking in the first person, a character 
intentionally represented as credulous by the facetious author 
in the background. In this role Lucius undoubtedly professed 
his belief in magic and his seriousness quite as explicitly in the 
MerafiopcpoiaeLs as he does in the "Oj^os ^ and in Apuleius. ^ Photius 
noticed the professed seriousness and credulity of Lucius, and 
remarked upon it; but he was mistaken in thinking that the 
author was identical with the character Lucius, and that he was 
addressing the reader in propria persona as the hero of his own 
story. The mistake, however, could scarcely be avoided, inas- 
much as the title-page of Photius' manuscript declared that the 
book before him was written by the same Lucius of Patrae who 
related his own experiences in the text, and who claimed therein 
to be a literary man and an author. But unless it is supposed 
that an author whose real name was Lucius of Patrae thus 

ravra /cat awvcpaivev. To accept implicitly this statement that the author of 
the ass-romance actually believed such stories has been found well-nigh 
impossible by nearly every one. Those who, like Rohde, insist that the state- 
ment is significant, have generally felt obliged to modify it by assuming that, 
though the author did not actually believe, as Photius says, he nevertheless 
wrote in a spirit of belief. But such a compromise does not help much. Ges- 
ner, Rohde, v. Arnim, and others have sought to account for this supposed 
difference in spirit between the two Greek versions by assuming that the 
author of the "Ovos, in making his epitome, added a few jokes here and there, 
even though he copied for the most part avrats re Xe^eo-t Kal awTa^ecn. But if 
we were to subtract from the "Ovos those passages which all scholars (even 
Rohde) would concede to be humorous and ironical, rather than superstitious, 
we should have difficulty in discovering even the disiecta membra of the 
original story, much less enough to justify Photius' description of the similarity 
between the two texts. 

^ Burger was right in the main when he explained Photius remarks as due 
to some declaration of faith put into the mouth of the hero Lucius in the 
McTa/iop^wo-eis; but he failed to call attention clearly to the crux of the whole 
situation — the fact that the narrator Lucius, who appears credulous in both 
extant versions, was identical in the mind of Photius with the author himself. 

2 See the passages quoted below, p. 51. 

3 See below, p. 51. 

34 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

actually represented himself as the asinine hero of his own novel 
(the absurdity of the supposition has long been recognized), it 
must be admitted that the above mentioned statement of Photius 
is altogether irrelevant and void as testimony favoring the view- 
that the author of the MeTa^opipccceis wrote in a credulous vein. 
On the other hand, the simple fact that both derivative versions, 
the "Ovos, and the Luciad in Apuleius, are alike facetious and 
comical, and not superstitious, is conclusive evidence that the 
original was essentially of the same character. 

The conclusion that we have just reached is significant in 
connection with Rohde's theory that the "Ovos is a parody of the 
Mera/>iop(^cbo-ets; ^ and since it is of primary importance, in a 
study of the nature of the lost work, to determine as far as 
possible the individual character of the derivatives, we may 
digress here long enough to examine this theory and the similar 
one of von Arnim. 

Rohde's contention was based upon the supposition that the 
Mera/iopi^cbo-ets was written in a naive spirit of belief, and that its 
author was a man named Lucius of Patrae. According to Rohde, 
the original narrative may have been either in the first person 
or in the third, but the name of the character who underwent the 
change into an ass was not Lucius.^ The author of the ''Ovos, 
however, wishing to satirize Lucius for his naivete, did so by 
publishing a condensed version of his first two books, wherein 
he retained as far as possible the phraseology of the original, but 
substituted the name of the author Lucius for that of the original 
character whose metamorphosis into an ass had been seriously 
related by Lucius.^ Lucius was thus made to appear as the ass 
in his own story; and the author of the '^Ovos, by a few slight 

1 Vher Lucians Schrift Aovklos ij "Opos, Diss., Leipzig, 1869; and Rh. Mus.^ 
40 (1885), pp. 91 ff. The idea appears to have originated with Manso, 
Verm. Schrift., Leipzig, 1801, Vol. II, pp. 244 ff. 

2 " Er (the author Lucius) erzahlte sie wohl in der dritten Person, moglicher 
Weise mochte er auch, ahnlich wie dies z. B. in dem Roman des Achilles 
Tatius geschieht, einen Andern in der ersten Person redend einfiihren" 
(Diss., p. 11). 

^ This interpretation was based on ch. 55 of the "Ovos, for which see above, 
p. 16. 

The Nature of the M€ra/zop<pcoo-€ts 35 

changes, has made a facetious parody out of a bona fide original. 
Ingenious, though never convincing, this theory remained 
tenable so long as it was possible to explain the facetious character 
of the Latin version, and the fact that it was a Luciad, on the 
assumption that Apuleius followed the "Ovos. But with the 
knowledge that the Luciad in Apuleius, as well as the Luciad 
in the "Ovos are both derived from the Mera/xop<^a;o-€ts, two facts 
have become established that annihilate Rohde's theory com- 
pletely: (i) The Mera/xop<^cbo-ets was not written in a naive spirit 
of belief, but was a facetious composition like the ^'Ovos. (2) In 
the Mera/xop (pcbcrets, as in the "Ows, the name of the man who 
underwent the change into an ass was Lucius of Patrae (cf. 
p. 14) ; hence in the latter version there has been no substituting 
of names for the purpose of personal satire, and the name of the 
author of the Mera/iopi^coo-ets could not have been Lucius. 

A modified form of Rohde's theory has been advocated in 
comparatively recent years by H. von Arnim.^ Von Arnim's 
view may be ^stated as follows: A literary rival of Lucian had 
published under the pseudonym Lucius of Patrae a half super- 
stitious, half lascivious book, the Meraixopipoiaeis, in which, to 
gratify the public demand for sensational literature, he related a 
series of " Verwandlungsgeschichten " in autobiographical form. 
Lucian, who had discovered by chance that his rival was the 
author of this offensive work, made, for the benefit of a small 
circle of friends and readers, an abridgement of the story dealing 
with the change of Lucius into an ass, contained in the first two 

1 Wiener Studien, 22 (1900), pp. 154 flF. Von Arnim's article falls into two 
parts: In the first he attempts to show, in opposition to Burger and Rothstein, 
that the "Ovos, instead of being a careless piece of work not intended for 
publication, is, in reality, a work of art ; that it belongs, in its character as an 
artistic epitome, to a recognized form of epideictic literature; and that in 
spite of the imperfections which have proved it an epitome (von Arnim seeks 
to mend as many of these as possible by argument or textual emendation), it 
shows the hand of a master epitomizer. On the basis of this claim, von Arnim 
declares that we have no reason to doubt the Lucianic authorship of the "Ovos, 
and proceeds in the second part of his article to explain how Lucian came to 
write an epitome. The theory stated below is offered for the sake of this 

36 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius ofPatrae 

books; then, in this abridgement (the "Ovos), he gave to the 
narrator Lucius of Patrae, in ch. 55, the personal attributes and 
family connections of the real author, so that, in spite of the 
pseudonym Lucius of Patrae, the speaker who had described 
his own metamorphosis into an ass became identical in the 
minds of Lucian's readers with the author himself, Lucian's 
(hypothetical) unnamed rival. 

The prima facie improbability of this theory should warn us 
against any acceptance of it until it has been shown to be sub- 
stantiated by strong positive evidence.^ Such evidence is 
wanting; and it is in vain that von Arnim seeks to find it in 
ch. 55 of the ^'Ovos. This passage may, indeed, be regarded as a 
satire on a definite writer;^ but since the "Ows, as von Arnim 
admits, is, for the most part, an epitome in which the very words 
and phrases of the original are retained, and since the name 
Lucius of Patrae, at least, comes from the original, as von 
Arnim also admits, the chances are about ten to one, other 
things being equal, that the whole of ch. 55 comes from the same 
source; and the burden of proof rests entirely upon him who 
would deny this, and who would assume an independent origin 
for this particular chapter. In attempting to show that the 
satirical passage in question could not belong in the original, 
and hence must have originated with the author of the "Ovos, 
von Arnim urges two main objections, in effect as follows: 
First, if Lucius of Patrae was the name of a person satirized in 
the first two books of the Merajuopi^djo-ets (as we must suppose, 
if we assign ch. 55 entire to the original), then this name could 

1 Many of its features arouse immediate distrust: the arbitrary nature of 
its postulates; the erroneous assumption that the MeraAiop^wo-ets was super- 
stitious in tone; the assumption that it was the epitomizer who added the 
references to Lucius' personality, when even in the original Lucius had already 
gone so far as to tell the reader where he lived; the assumption that epitom- 
izing had become a rhetorical art in Lucian's time; the supposition that 
Lucian would publish under his own name a piece of writing that was sub- 
stantially that of another writer, when, by so doing, it must have appeared 
to the public at large, who could not appreciate the satire, as if he were guilty 
of plagiarism. 

^ Not necessarily, however; see p. 56. 

The Nature of the MerayLopipdccreis 37 

not have been the one under which the whole book, a collection 
of stories, was published; we must suppose instead that the 
principal character in the first story, Lucius of Patrae, was 
mistaken for the author of the whole book, and this is im- 
probable. Secondly, von Arnim maintains that if the first story 
in the Mera/xop<^coo-ets was satirical, then all the stories must 
have been satirical, unless, as is equally improbable, the author 
combined it with other stories of a naive or purely legendary 
character. These objections failed to convince Burger, who, 
arguing the case on the same assumption that the MeTa^op (^cbcrets 
was a composite work, found it quite possible to believe both 
that the hero of the first story was mistaken for the author of 
tjie book, and that all of the stories were satirical, or if not, 
that the author or compiler combined satirical stories with 
naive ones. Thus, even when we grant von Arnim 's premise 
concerning the contents of the lost work, the cogency of his 
arguments is by no means irresistable ; but when we consider 
that the Mera/iop<pcb(rets did not contain a series of stories, but 
only the Luciad {supra, ch. Ill), these arguments fall through 
completely, and no vestige of evidence remains to justify the 
hypothesis that the "O^os is a parody of the Mera/iop(pcbo-ets, or a 
personal satire on its author. 

Since the ''Ovos cannot be shown to be a parody or a personal 
satire, and since it shows no traces of other special individual 
tendencies, we are justified in regarding it as an ordinary epi- 
tome, differing from the original from which it was copied only 
by virtue of its omissions and syncopated passages, and pre- 
sumably by the introduction of sporadic connecting sentences 
and clauses. 

Up to the time of Burger's dissertation (1887), when it became 
fairly certain that both the "Ovos and the Metamorphoses of 
Apuleius were derived from a common source, viz., the Mera- 
tJt,op<p6)(T€Ls, there was very little speculation among scholars con- 
cerning the exact nature of the lost work. The misleading 
statement of Photius, already discussed, had raised the question 
whether or not the tone of the original story was superstitious, 

38 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

and so long as even this point seemed debatable, little attention, 
naturally, was devoted to its classification among ancient literary 
types, and to possible ulterior motives on the part of its author. 
When, however, the interrelationships between the several ver- 
sions at length came to be firmly established, these questions 
began to assume more significance, and to admit of at least a 
conditional answer. With the knowledge that both of our 
extant versions are derived from the Mera/xop-ypcbo-ets, the investi- 
gation of the nature of the lost work is facilitated and placed 
upon a surer basis. The first result of this condition, as we have 
already seen, is to make it forever impossible to regard the work 
in question as a bona fide story. Other questions remain to be 
settled. Was the original Luciad a "mere Milesian tale," the 
only satirical tendency of which was against society, or was it 
written partly as a satire upon a real person or class of persons? 
The former view has been taken from time to time with regard 
to the "Ovos, and the advocates of this idea presumably thought 
of the Mera/xop<^cbcrets in the same way. On the other hand, after 
Burger had made his analysis of the contents of the lost version, 
he was led to believe that instead of being merely a lepida fabula 
the original story had the further purpose of satirizing a writer 
on mirahilia. Of a similar opinion are E. Schwartz in his Filnf 
Vortrdge iiber den griech. Roman, and Schanz in his Romische 
Litteraturgeschichte. This view, however, has been called into 
question by Rothstein, and retracted by Burger himself. But 
we shall return to this subject later (p. 52). Meanwhile a con- 
sideration of the scope of the original version, and of its salient 
literary qualities, will enable us to judge more intelligently of its 
particular satirical tendencies. 

For this purpose it is first of all important to outline the 
principles upon which a reconstruction of the original story from 
the extant derivatives must necessarily be based. The Meta- 
morphoses of Apuleius and the ''Ovos differ considerably, both in 
range of subject-matter and in artistic effect. How much of the 
Latin text can be ascribed with probability to the Greek original, 
and to which of the two extant versions was the Mera/xop(^ajcr€ts 
more akin in tone and literary spirit? 

The Nature of the Mera/xop(pajo-ets 39 

Concerning the subject-matter in general, there is little differ- 
ence of scholarly opinion. The main results of Burger's careful 
investigation, supplemented and confirmed by the work of 
Rothstein, have met with general approval. Burger justly 
concluded that the "Oi^os is nothing more than a syncopated 
copy of the MerafxapipoicreLs, that it has no noteworthy individual 
tendencies, and that practically everything in it comes from the 
original. This view has already been vindicated in our extracts 
from the demonstrations of Burger and Rothstein, and by the 
refutation of the theory that the '^Ovos is a parody. In the case 
of the Apuleian version. Burger assigns to the 'M.€TafjLop(p6)aeLs only 
such passages as are directly concerned with the adventures of 
Lucius. Here also we are treading on firm ground. Besides 
the fact that a large number of the episodes are foreign to the 
plot, it is clear from the manner in which Apuleius introduces 
some of his digressions that he is departing from his original. 
Thus, in Met. VI, 25, Apuleius represents Lucius as having 
remained in the robbers' cave listening to the old woman's tale 
of Cupid and Psyche until the robbers returned from a foraging 
expedition. In the "Ovos, however, Lucius accompanies the 
robbers and helps bring back the spoil. Beyond all question 
Apuleius has here altered his original in order to insert the 
story of Cupid and Psyche within the hearing of the ass.^ Some- 
times the method employed in introducing a digression is more 
clumsy, as in VIII, 22, where a short story is unexpectedly 
introduced with the words inibi coeptum f acinus oppido memor- 
abile narrare cupio} Again Book XI of the Metamorphoses is 
certainly original with Apuleius, because it differs radically 
from the "Ovos in the account given of the experiences of Lucius 
in regaining the human form. Instead of the farcical ending 
consistent with the rest of the story, which we find in the "Ovosy 

1 Cf. H. E. Butler, The Metamorphoses or Golden Ass of Apuleius of Madaura^ 
pp. 15-16. 

2 Cf. Met. IX, 14: fabulam denique bonam prae ceteris, suavem, comptam ad 
auris vestras adferre decrevi, et en occipio; X, 2: Post dies plusculos ibidem 
dissignatum scelestum ac nefarium f acinus memini, sed ut vos etiam legatis, ad 
librum profero. 

40 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Apuleius rescues his hero from the beast through the intervention 
of Isis, and makes Lucius become a devotee of that deity, and 
later on an initiate. Not only is this ending inconsistent with 
the main plot, and a departure from the Merajuop^obo-ets (as we 
see from the epitome), but it is exactly what we might expect 
from Apuleius, who tells us elsewhere that he took a great 
interest in mysteries.^ Since, therefore, Apuleius says at the 
beginning of the Metamorphoses that he will weave together 
various stories, since throughout he shows a distinct fondness 
for story telling, no trace of which is preserved in the "Ovos, 
and since a number of the episodes are unquestionably his own 
additions, it is safe to conclude that none of those digressions 
which delay the progress of the main narrative, come from the 
original version, but, as in the case of the tale of Cupid and 
Psyche, were added by Apuleius.^ On the other hand, such 
incidents as deal more or less directly with the adventures of 
Lucius may be assigned to the Mera/xopi^cbcrets, provided there is 
nothing in the "Ovos to offset them. Great caution is necessary 
even here. Reconstructing the 'M.ejaixopipdoatis on this basis, we 
may think of it as a straight-forward story, describing only the 
adventures of Lucius, and unencumbered by any of that 
volume of Milesian lore which has flowed into the Apuleian 
ocean of story,, and which has been instrumental in giving his 
romance as a whole an effect quite different from that of the 

But even if we confine our attention to the main story in 
Apuleius, the difference in subjective treatment when compared 
with the "Ovos is still noticeable. Unlike the Greek author, 
Apuleius does not content himself with developing amusing or 
ludicrous situations, but aims also to produce a variety of artistic 
effects. This is best seen in the more lengthy digressions, such 
as the description of Byrrhaena's house in II, 4, or the short 

1 Apologia, 55. 

2 For a list of seventeen such additions, see Schanz, Rom. Litt., Ill, pp^ 
I13-114. Apuleius has made numerous minor alterations, additions, and 
omissions even in the Luciad proper; cf. Menzel, De Lucio Patrensi, pp. 15-16. 

The Nature of the MeraMopi^coo-ets 41 

essay on human hair in II, 8-9,1 where the reader's aesthetic 
or speculative fancy is called into play by the contemplation 
of objects or ideas claiming an independent interest. An 
independent interest likewise attaches to the style itself — 
conspicuous for its poetic glamour, its singular opulence of 
phraseology, the abundance of imagery, and the wonderful pro- 
fusion of detail which clothes even minor objects in a picturesque 
dress and makes them stand out as aesthetic units. Now these 
features of the Metamorphoses tend to divert the reader's attention 
from the purely comic aspect of things, and to render the irony 
of the story at times less conspicuous, and on the whole less 
sustained than in the straight-forward ''Ovos. In the latter 
version, however, the style is plain and does not obtrude itself. 
Here our attention is concentrated throughout upon Lucius, 
while other persons or objects are of little interest except insofar 
as their actions or presence effect the principal character. The 
narrative progresses rapidly, leaving little room for the play of 
fancy, and the reader is never allowed to lose sight of the ridicu- 
lous aspects of Lucius' situation. 

A marked difference may be noted also in the attitude of the 
two writers toward the character Lucius. In the Metamorphoses 
Lucius at times serves as a mere mouthpiece for Apuleius; and 
he is often credited with idiosyncrasies and reflections which we 
are bound to associate with the author himself rather than with 
the hero of the story in his proper dramatic character. Like 
Apuleius, Lucius loves a good story for its own sake,^ and never 
loses an opportunity of telling or listening to one; like Apuleius 
he has been initiated into many mysteries,^ and in the end, even 

1 Cf. also Met. IV, 6: Res ac tempus ipsum locorum speluncaeque illius, quam 
latrones inhabitabant, descriptionem exponere flagitat. Nam et meum simul 
periclitabor ingenium, etfaxo vos guogue, an mente etiam sensuque fuerim asinus, 
sedulo sentiatis. Mons horridus, etc. See also IX, 12 and X, 33 for similar 
digressions with apology. 

2 E.g., Met. I, 2: simul iugi quod insurgimus aspritudinem fabularum lepida 
iucunditas levigabit. 

3 Ibid. Ill, 15 (Fotis to Lucius): Sed melius de te doctrinaque tua praesumo, 
qui praeter generosam natalium dignitatem^ praeter sublime ingenium sacris 
pluribus initiatus profecto nosti sanctam silentii fidem. 

42 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

calls himself Madaurensis} Moreover, when Lucius discourses 
philosophically upon the aesthetic importance of hair, when he 
becomes sincerely disgusted with what appears to be th^ de- 
pravity of the female sex, ^ or when he inveighs with righteous 
indignation against the corrupt practices of judges, ^ we realize 
clearly that it is the Carthaginian senator and Platonic phil- 
osopher, the man versed in all the Muses, to whom these senti- 
ments properly belong, and not the mere dramatis persona Lucius, 
whose character elsewhere in the Metamorphoses, and throughout 
the "Ows, appears incompatible with such earnest reflection. 
Apuleius thus closely associates himself with his principal char- 
acter, and by endowing the latter with some of his own person- 
ality and ideas has made him appear more dignified and re- 
spectable than the Lucius of the Greek version. This again 
softens the irony of the story as a whole ; as does also the genial 
and sympathetic tone which Apuleius maintains even when the 
burlesque is most extravagant and when Lucius appears most 
ridiculous. The author of the "Oj^os, on the other hand, holds 
himself strictly aloof. He has not allowed the thoughts and 
feelings of his principal character to become contaminated with 
any of his own sympathies or personal views. Everything is 
presented dramatically from the point of view of the naive and 
worldly Lucius, whose only concern is the immediate situation, 
and whose personality, aside from his TepLepyla and his interest 
in metamorphoses, is given very little attention. And so, on 
the whole, we feel that this Greek author, with his aloofness and 
his undivided attention to burlesque, has much less sympathy 
with Lucius and the subject of magic than the mystic Apuleius; 
although even the latter, through pure love of fun, never spares 
an ironical, though good-natured joke at Lucius' expense. 

We may ask ourselves to which of the two versions the Mera- 
fjLop(p6)a€Ls was more akin in spirit. The answer is obvious. 

^ Ibid. XI, 27. It is really very doubtful whether Apuleius wrote Madau- 
rensem in this passage, but the mistake, if such it is, could have been made 
very easily owing to the dignified character of Lucius in this part of the story. 

2 Ibid. VII, 10. 

' Ibid. X, 33- 

The Nature of the Meraixopcpoiaas 43 

Inasmuch as the picturesque style, the variety of interest, and 
the sympathetic treatment of Lucius are quite foreign to the 
epitome, and are characteristic of Apuleius, as may be seen from 
his own additions (e.g., Bk. XI), and since at times (especially 
where the Latin text corresponds closely with the Greek) Apuleius 
exhibits the same style and tone of narrative that characterize 
the Greek epitome, there can be no doubt that the Merajuopi^coo-ets 
was written in much the same style and spirit as the "Ovos, that 
is, straight-forward and uniformly ironical.^ In thinking of the 
M€TaiJLop(p6)aeLs, therefore, we must constantly bear in mind the 
analogy of the "Ovos, making some allowance for the brevity of 
the epitome, but not allowing our conception of the longer 
original to become warped by incautious comparison with the 
fancifully interpolated romance of Apuleius. 

Before attempting to define more accurately the nature of the 
Mera/iop^coo-ets, let us pause to consider briefly its relation to folk- 
lore and to formal literature. For this purpose the epitome 
must be our guide, and may be referred to synonymously with 
the original. 

K. Weinhold has pointed out that other stories of Eselmenschen 
were known in Europe, particularly in Germany, in mediaeval 
and, modern times, and at least one in India.^ A comparison of 
these for the purpose of determining the normal outlines and 
motifs of the popular ass-legend is interesting, inasmuch as it 
enables us to contrast the ancient Luciad as represented by the 
"Ovos with its presumable folk-lore prototype. "Das Urge- 

1 " De colore et habitu narrationis," says Burger (Diss., p. 57), *' iam vix 
quisquam poterit dubitare quin ea eadem ratione perscripta fuerit atque 
Asinus * Lucianeus,' iocosa ilia et ironica et a posterioribus fabularum Roman- 
ensium scriptoribus diversissima." 

2 Sitzungsberichte d. konig. Preuss. Acad. d. Wissen. zu Berlin, 1893, pp. 
475 ff. For similar legends not discussed by Weinhold, cf. the story of Peter 
the Huntsman in Grimm's Fairy Tales, and that of the rogue Ali of Cairo in 
the Arabian Nights (Burton's translation, Vol. VII, pp. 197-199). One of 
the incidents in the latter affords an interesting parallel to the Luciad: Ali, 
while an ass, makes an amorous attack upon his owner's wife. The reader will 
remember that in the ''Ovos (ch. 32) Lucius is accused of the same kind of 

44 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

schichtchen," says Weinhold, "mag so gelautet haben: ein 
junger Mann kommt mit Frauen in zu vertraute Beziehung, 
und wird zur Busse in einen Esel verwandelt, dem gewisse seiner 
Anlagen entsprechen. Nur sein Ausseres, nicht seine innere 
Natur wird von der Verwandlung betroffen. Er hat ein miih- 
sames Leben zu fiihren, bis ihm gelingt, die Krauter zu geniessen, 
welche bestimmt sind, ihn zu entzaubern." 

The fundamental outHnes of the folk- tale, it will be observed, 
correspond exactly with those of the ancient Luciad. Lucius, 
like the central figure of the folk-tale, is a young man, has 
intimate relations with a female, and is soon afterward changed 
into an ass, the proverbial adtkyeia of which animal is reflected 
in his erotic experiences both before and after his metamorphosis. 
Only his outward form suffers change; and, after a period of 
misadventure, the restoration is effected by the eating of roses. 
In view of this remarkable correspondence, we are bound to 
conclude, either that the ancient versions gave rise to the later 
folk-tales, or that the plot of the original Luciad was suggested 
by a prototype in ancient folk-lore. The former possibility 
may be safely eliminated, not only because of the improbability 
of such relationships existing between classical literature and 
later peasants' tales, but because the outlines of the story bear 
the unmistakable marks of folk-lore, and must have had a 
popular rather than a purely literary origin. There can be little 
doubt, therefore, that the author of the MeraixopipCiaeis was 
familiar with some legend similar to those cited by Weinhold.^ 

But we should greatly err, were we to suppose that the "Ovos 
represents a mere folk-story reduced to writing in its original 
character, like the fairy tales in Grimm, or like the story of 
Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius. Aside from the elementary 
factors mentioned above, the popular legends would appear to 
offer few points of contact with the detailed experiences of Lucius ; 
and the ancient author's treatment of the popular theme is 
decidedly original. One of the most radical elements of the 

1 Rohde had previously arrived at the same conclusion {Rh. Mus., 40 
(1885), pp. 93-95). 

The Nature of the Merajuopi^coa-ets 45 

story consists in the motif underlying the change of form. In 
all of the legends cited by Weinhold, this change is brought 
about by the witches as a means of revenge or punishment for 
some offence against themselves. But in the case of Lucius, 
the metamorphosis takes place at his own persistent request, 
and with the aid of Palaestra, the only sorceress' with whom he 
has any dealings, and who, so far from being malignant, is 
honestly in sympathy with him and regrets her mistake. Lucius' 
transformation is represented, not as the result of offending a 
sinister power, nor yet as a punishment for wanton beharvior, 
but as the outcome of his self-appointed investigation of meta- 
morphoses. The restoration to human form ends the folk-tale 
in an edifying way, but the farce in the ''Ovos reaches its climax 
after Lucius has regained his proper form. While the popular 
legend generally centers about some frankly mythical character, 
introduced in the third person, once upon a time, or in a far-off 
land, the hero of the Luciad, on the contrary, is a Roman gentle- 
man of high social station, who claims to be a writer, and who 
speaks in his own person. Accordingly, the Luciad may be 
recognized at once as a piece of intentional extravaganza, the 
sophistic tone of which presents a strong contrast with the 
naively humorous, though essentially superstitious folk-tales, 
where the atmosphere savors of magic whispers and wierd possi- 
bilities quite as much as of comedy. The author of the Mera- 
fjLop<pcoaeLs, it will be seen, has handled the popular material in a 
free manner. He has altered the primary motif (i.e. the motif 
underlying the change) to suit his own purposes, and has given 
the story quite a different dress. The majority of the incidents, 
moreover, are doubtless his own inventions.^ Besides this, the 
masterly style in which it is written, and the felicitous humor that 
enlivens the story throughout, give to the "Ovos and its original a 
fair claim to be counted among the masterpieces of ancient comic 

^ A number of them, however, appear to have been suggested by Aesopic 
fables; see Crusius in Philologus, 47 (1888), p. 448. 

2 Cf. Burger, Studien, p. 20: " Zunachst darf man wohl mit einem Worte 
darauf hinweisen, dass der Roman in seiner Art ein kleines Meisterwerk 
ist . . ." 

46 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

The Satirae of Petronius is regarded by Burger as the nearest 
parallel to the Liiciad among the ancient literary types of which 
specimens are extant.^ The points of similarity which he empha- 
sizes are the realistic portrayal of contemporary life, and the 
seeming parody upon the serious romance. That the technic 
of the ass-story bears a resemblance to that of the romance 
cannot be denied. The consultation of the oracle (Diopbanes, 
in Met. II, 12), the encounter with Palaestra, and the robbers, 
remind one of what may be called the rkxvn epoiTLKi], But it is 
very doubtful whether such points of similarity, which seem 
accidental rather than intentional, may be regarded as consti- 
tuting parody; more doubtful at any rate in the case of the ^'Ovos 
than in the case of the Satirae. Lucius' encounter with Palaestra 
is only one of a series of incidents, and the subsequent period of 
misadventure is not, as in the serious romance and in the bur- 
lesque episodes of Petronius, regarded as a painful separation 
from a loved one brought about by Fortune, but as the lamentable 
result of the folly of the mock-heroic principal. Lucius shows 
not the slightest trace of regret in parting with a maid whose 
acquaintance he had made solely for the purpose of satisfying an 
intellectual curiosity. The only thing that resembles the ro- 
mance in this episode is the detail with which the amour is 
described, and this is burlesque of a very doubtful kind. But 
in the Satirae, the mock-pathetic separations and reunions of 
the rogues Encolpius and Giton are constant, and much of the 
action centers about them. The erotic scenes in the "Oj^os, 
though possibly suggested by similar scenes in the serious 
romance, are, withal, merely incidental, and not a dominant 
motif; whereas the erotic element in the Satirae, as Heinze has 
illustrated,^ is an obvious and deliberate parody on romantic 
love and recurs constantly. The consultation with the Chal- 
daean represents another feature commonly employed by the 
writers of romance ; but the casual way in which the prophecy is 
mentioned bears little resemblance to the formal procedure as 

1 Studien, pp. 21, 22. 

2 Hermes, 34 (1899), pp. 499 ff. 

The Nature of the Mera/xop^coo-^ts 47 

described in the erotic writers. The prophet's profession 
chances to be the theme of conversation, and Lucius' experience 
is a reminiscence dismissed in a single sentence.^ In carrying 
off Lucius and the other animals, and in their dealings with 
Charite, the robbers play the same part as in such novels as that 
of Xenophon of Ephesus. But we would not call this parody. 
In short, these points of similarity in the materials of the plot 
would seem to be due more to the natural influence which the 
contemporary novel would necessarily exert upon any comic 
story of adventure, than to a deliberate design on the part of the 
author in composing the Luciad to parody a serious romance. 
Now and then, to be sure, he may have parodied intentionally, 
but it is only in passing, and such parody cannot, as in the 
Satirae, be regarded as a major motif. 

The novel of Petronius is peculiarly realistic. Beyond such 
realism as is inseparable from a story whose back-ground is 
common life, the author shows a particular fondness for depicting 
graphically, upon all occasions, and from a satirical point of 
view, the life and manners of contemporary society, especially 
low society. And these realistic descriptions are often quite 
independent of the plot. Thus, in the case of Trimalchio's 
Dinner, Petronius abandons for the time being the intrigues of 
Encolpius, Giton, and Ascyltus, in order to give us a vivid de- 
scription of parvenu society in the Neronian age. In the "Oj'os, 
however, we fail to discover any such interest in realism for its 
own sake. Such close glimpses as we do get of men and manners 
are supplied by situations that are inseparably connected with 
the misadventures of Lucius, upon whom attention is always 
concentrated. The "audacity of brigands, the impostures of 
the priests, the insolence of soldiers under a violent and despotic 
government, the cruelty of slave-masters, and the misery of 
slaves continually in danger of punishment for minor offences,"^ 
all of which scenes pass rapidly before us in the "Ows, constitute 
the necessary machinery of the plot, and are given no more 

1 Met. II, 12. 

2 From Courier, as quoted by Burger, Diss., p. 7. 

48 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

independent consideration than the same scenes in the erotic 
romance or the comedy. While it is true that the author's 
outlook sometimes appears more cynical than that of the erotic 
writers, yet this cynicism is never paraded as in the Satirae; 
and even where it is most conspicuous (in Lucius' adventures 
with the priests and the woman who preferred him as a beast) 
it still remains subordinate in interest to the fortunes of Lucius. 
Had the author of the Mera^opi^cocrets entertained any primary 
motives similar to those which may be ascribed to Petronius, he 
must have devoted more attention to realistic description than 
appears to have been the case, judging by the "Ovos. The Roman 
Apuleius describes with exaggerated precision the miserliness of 
Lucius' host Milo, while in the "Oj^os, though Hipparchus ( = 
Milo) is said to be (pLXapyvpcoraTos, nevertheless Lucius tells us 
that his dinner was fair enough and that his wine was sweet 
and old. Many excellent opportunities for the realistic por- 
trayal of men and manners, offered by the plot, are passed by in 
the ''Ovos and taken advantage of by Apuleius; e.g., the descrip- 
tion of the fellow slaves of Lucius in the mill (Met. IX, 12, 13). 
Inasmuch as Apuleius, in his own digressions, shows a fondness 
for realistic description, it is probable that he alone is responsible 
for most of the realism in that part of the Metamorphoses which 
deals primarily with Lucius, and that his original, the lost 
MeraiiopcpcoffeLs, was scarcely more marked in this respect than 
the "Oj/os. We are therefore inclined to agree with Schwartz, ^ 
that what realism there was in the original version was only 
incidental, and did not arise from any preconceived desire of the 
author to hold up the mirror to society. 

The presence in the Luciad of the characteristics of which 
we have been speaking probably justifies Burger in saying that 
the Satirae affords the nearest parallel among ancient literary 
types. Both works show a kinship in technic with the erotic 
romance. Both are comic and, in varying degrees, realistic, 
thus representing a kind of reaction to the serious and idealized 
romance, and a relation thereto analogous to the relation of 

1 Fiinf Vortrdge iiher den griechischen Roman, Bedin, 1896, p. 136. 

The Nature of the MerajLiop^cbcrets 49 

comedy to tragedy, or, to use an illustration from later literature, 
the relation that exists between such works as Don Quixote, 
Gil Bias, or Lazarillo de Tormes on the one hand, and the ro- 
mances of chivalry on the other. But while the Luciad and the 
Satirae may be classified together under the broad heading of 
comic romances, and while their technic and piquant realism 
may point to a similar line of development and influences,^ 
nevertheless, the two works considered individually are each 
sui generis, and differ from each other quite as essentially in 
their broader aspects as do the respective works of Cervantes 
and Lesage to which we have just referred. 

The efficient motif of the Satirae is erotic, while that of the 
MerafjLopcpcoaeLs {"Ovos) consists in the irepiepyla of Lucius (cf. 
infra). Encolpius owes his misfortunes to the wrath of an 
offended deity, Priapus; Lucius blames his own curiosity. The 
principal character in the Satirae often remains in the back- 

^ According to Burger, both the Luciad and the Satirae are essentially the 
same type of composition as the MtXTjo-iaKct of Aristides; that is to say, each 
may be regarded as comprising a series of novellae, woven together more 
closely perhaps, owing to the presence of the same hero throughout, than were 
the stories of Aristides, yet developed from the same composite species of 
writings, a typical example of which is afforded by the Metamorphoses of 
Apuleius, considered as a collection of different stories {Hermes, 27 (1892),' pp. 
345 ff., and Studien, pp. 20 ff.). If this theory of the origin of the comic 
romance is the correct one, then the Luciad must represent a very advanced 
stage of development, since it shows more plot and a much greater unity than 
either the Metamorphoses or the Satirae. As regards the nature of the subject- 
matter, scarcely any one will deny that it sometimes savors distinctly of the 
Milesian Tales (ctKoXao-ra bt-qy-qnaTa) or the novella. Yet we would by no 
means go so far as to say with Burger (Diss., p. 7) that the "Ovos amounts to 
nothing more than a " mera fabula Milesia." The piquant erotic motif is 
only incidental; the central figure is a fairly honest fool, instead of the bold 
rascal, or immoral woman, who figures so frequently in the novella; the basic 
situation, instead of being drawn from the realm of possibility and real life, 
as is invariably the case in the novella, is supplied by an invention of pure 
imagination, which defies all pretense to reality or possibility, and which 
reminds us more of the Vera Historia or Menippus than of the realistic novella ; 
and finally, as Burger himself concludes in speaking of the MeranopipojaeLs, the 
outlines of the story and the literary character of the ass, as revealed in 
chapter 55 of the epitome, give it the appearance of being a personal satire.' 
cf. infra, pp. 52 ff. 

50 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

ground, giving place to other important and interesting figures, 
such as Trimalchio and Eumolpus, whose actions, characters, 
and declamations in prose and poetry on a variety of subjects 
are described at length for their own sake, although they have 
little or nothing to do with the fortunes of Encolpius and Giton. 
The degeneracy of Encolpius, though remarkable, does not 
single him out for special attention or personal disparagement, 
since it is represented in a cynical way as being quite normal. 
He introduces us to a world of rascals and degenerates like him- 
self, where his own personality, aside from his superior education, 
becomes merged in that of the group. Indeed, apart from the 
romantic interest, the main outlook of the Satirae is toward 
society. In the M€ra/xop(^cb(r€ts, on the other hand, the main 
outlook is toward an individual — a fool. Lucius, like Don 
Quixote, stands forth as an unique clown, dominating the stage 
at all times, and eclipsing the less remarkable, or perfectly 
normal figures in the background. If, then, we are to look for 
an ulterior motive on the part of the author of the Merajuopv^coo-ets, 
we must confine our attention to the person of Lucius, not to 
the society in which he moves. 

The keynote of Lucius' character is his irepLepyla. The day 
after arriving at the house of Hipparchus, he goes about town 
searching for a witch, in order that he may see some strange 
sight — "a flying man, or one being changed into stone." Learn- 
ing that the wife of his host is a sorceress, he is delighted, and on 
the way home decides to pry into the secrets of magic by forming 
an intimate acquaintance with the maid Palaestra. This he does, 
and, with her assistance, soon has the opportunity of witnessing 
the wife of Hipparchus transform herself into a bird. Thereupon 
Lucius himself wishes to be changed into a bird and allowed to 
fly, — i]^ov\biJLr]v yap irelpa ixaSelv el jjLeraiJLopipcjodels €K rod avdpoiirov Kal 
TTju \pvxvv opvLs eaofjLai. Being metamorphosed into an ass instead, 
he regrets his curiosity : ravra 5' ap hevoovv irpos kixavTov ' cj ttjs 
cLKaipov ravTTjs irepiepylas. But he must pay the price of his folly, 
and throughout the story he remains a ridiculous and comic 
figure. In chapter 45 his Trepuepyla again proves fatal, and 
finally, he arrives home safely, e^ ovov rtpiepyias. 

The Nature of the Mera/iop^coo-ets 51 

This Trepiepyia of Lucius is of a particular kind. It consists in 
an undue interest in strange phenomena, especially metamor- 
phoses. Note the following passages from the ''Ovos: dXXd 
TOVTO fjL€V rjv crK7]\l/Ls ' ewedvixovv 8e (npobpa. fxelvas kvTavda k^evpeiv riva 
Ta)v iJLayeveLV eTLCTTanhccv yvvaiKcov Kal Beaaaadal n Trapado^ov, ij 
ireTOfxevov avOpcowov rj \LdovfjL€vov (ch. 4) ; e7cb 8e irvOofxevos otl to 
TrdXat fJLOL ^'qrovjievov (magic) olkol Trap kfiol Kadr]Tai, irpoatixov 
ov8ev avTxi (Abroia) ert (ch. 5) ;i In the same chapter Lucius says 
to himself: d7€ 5^7 av 6 (pdaKOiv eTnBviielv ravrrjs rrjs irapado^ov Okas 
(i.e., a metamorphosis), 'iyeupe jjlol aeavrbv Kal rkxvrjv evpiaKe crocprjv, 
XI rev^xi TOVT03V Siv epas, ktX. ; /cat iroTe eTrt vovv ijlol rjXde to fxadeiv o)v 
eVe/ca ridXovv, Kal (prjfxl irpos avrrjv, ' 12 ipikrarf], bei^bv jjlol jxayyavevovaav 
^ IJ,eTafjLop<poviJ,evr]v Trjv beairoivav ' TrdXat yap rrys irapado^ov raurr/s 
^eas eTnOvfJia). ^ fjLoWov d' et tl av otSas, avrrj nayyavevaov, coare 
(pavTJval fjLOL aX\r]v e^ dXXr/s oxf/LV (ch. li;) NC^, 'iiprjv, 6 Kaupos, 00 
IldKalffTpa, rrjs els kfik x^-pi'TOS, y vvv exets rbv aavTrjs lK€Tr]v avairavaaL 
TrdKvxpoviov eindvfjLlas (ch. 12). The curiosity of Lucius, his 
credulity, and his particular interest in metamorphoses may be 
further illustrated from the pages of Apuleius. Note the fol- 
lowing in passages assigned by Burger to the MeraMop^cbtrets: 
Isto accepto sititor alioquin novitatis: 'immo vero,^ inquam, ^im- 
pertite sermonis non quidem curio sum, sed qui velim scire vel 
cuncta vel certe plurima' {Met. I, 2); 'accedis huic fabulae?' 
*Ego vero,^ inquam, 'nihil impossible arbitror' (I, 20); anxius 
alioquin et nimis cupidus cognoscendi quae rara miraque sunt 
(II, i); nee fuit in ilia civitate quod aspiciens id esse crederem, 
quod esset, sed omnia prorsus ferali murmure in aliam effigiem 
translata, etc. (ibid., for the passage in full see p. 30, note i);^ 

^ Cf. Met. II, 6: At ego curiosus alioquin, ut primum artis magicae semper 
optatum nomen audivi, tantum a cautela Pamphiles ( = Abroia) afui, tit etiam 
ultra gestirem tali magisterio me volens ampla cum mercede tradere et prorsus in 
ipsum barathrum saltu concito praecipitare. 

2 Cf. Met. Ill, 19: Sum namgue coram magiae noscendae ardentissimus 

3 Compare the statement of Photius that Lucius "believed credible the 
metamorphoses of men into each other (Pythagoraean?), and of beasts into 
men and vice versa, and the rest of the drivel and nonsense of ancient myths." 
Burger very justly observes that the§e words must have been based upon 
some detailed and explicit representations of Lucius himself. 

52 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Sic attonitus, immo vero cruciabili desiderio stupidus nullo quidem 
initio vel omnino vestigio cupidinis meae reperto cuncta circumiham 
tamen (II, 2)} In Met. I, 3 Lucius takes his fellow traveler to 
task for his unwillingness to believe strange stories ; he reminds 
him that many things seemingly impossible turn out to be true 
on closer inquiry, and by way of illustration describes some 
marvellous jugglers' tricks which he had recently seen at Athens.^ 
Thus we see that Lucius is clearly represented as a miracle- 
munger, and that his credulous interest in metamorphoses con- 
stitutes the efficient motive of the story. Now if we bear in 
mind the fact that this miracle-munger, who has been trans- 
formed into an ass as the result of investigating metamorphoses, 
and of seeking to learn by experiment whether his mind will be 
effected by an outward change, is represented as no ordinary 
young man, but a writer laropLibv /cat aK\o3v, that his brother is a 
poet and a good prophet, and that the members of his distinguished 
family presumably never tell lies,^ the satirical import of the 
story as a whole becomes altogether too evident to be ignored.^ 

^ Cf. ''Ovos 4: Kal Tc^ epuTL TTJs deas ravTijs (a metamorphosis) Sous eixavrbv 
irepiTjeLv ri}v ttoKiv, invopdv fih rrjs apxv^ tov ^r\Ti}p.aTO$, ofxois de irepifieLV. 

2 His whole-hearted interest and faith in the prophetic utterances of the 
Chaldaean Diophanes is also noteworthy {Met. II, 12). 

^ ''Ovos 55 (quoted in full on p. 16). To interpret this passage as a refer- 
ence to the identity of the author of the Mera^op ^cbo-ets is, as we have already 
seen, quite out of the question. Until someone offers a better hypothesis, 
only one alternative is at hand: we must take the passage to mean what it 
says. Lucius, the ass, is a writer, and his brother, not the author's, is a poet 
of elegies and a good prophet — doubtless "egregious " like Diophanes. 

* Cf. E. Schwartz, Filnf Vortrdge iiber den griech. Roman, p. 136: " Es 
liegt auf der Hand dass der ganze Roman eine dem Cervantes Ehre machende 
Satire auf die mit der Pythagoraischen Seelenwanderungslehre zusammen- 
hangenden Zaubergeschichten ist, und zwar zielt die Satire auf einen ganz 
bestimmten Schriftsteller" ; and Schanz, Rom. Litt., Ill, p. ill (2nd ed., 
1905): "Es ist wahrscheinlich, dass die Metamorphosen des unbekannten 
Verfassers nebenbei auch bezweckten, Lucius wegen seiner Schriftstellerei 
zu verhohnen." This view, as we have previously intimated, originated with 
Burger (Diss., p. 59). The reason which led him to surrender it appears to 
have been this: He supposed that the MeraMop^wo-eis, if it was a literary satire, 
must have been directed against a real contemporary writer (cf. p. 56). Re- 
garding ch. 55 as the only indication of such a personal satire, and feeling 

The Nature of the MeTafiop<p6}aeLs 53 

We need not suppose, of course, that the Mera/iop^cbo-ets, like 
Lucian's Philopseudes, was written primarily for the sake of the 
satire, or that the author was not interested quite as much, or 
probably more in the pure fun of his story than in its satirical 
significance; but that he did have an ulterior motive, however 
subordinate it may have been, and that the story as a whole 
amounts to a clear-cut satire on Lucius, either as a real person 
or as the representative of a class of persons, can scarcely be. 

Had it been the author's purpose to tell a comic story and 
nothing more, there would have been no need to insist upon 
Lucius' credulity, nor to alter the folk-lore motif, according to 
which the change was wrought by way of revenge or punishment 
for lascivious conduct. It is probable, moreover, that the 
disenchantment as described by Apuleius in Bk. XI represents 
in a general way the ending of the popular legend,^ and if so, 
it is easy to see what motive the author had in mind in sub- 
stituting a farcical conclusion in place of a more edifying one: 
he intended Lucius to appear ridiculous not only as an ass but 
as a man. The same tendency to make sport of Lucius as a 
stupid fellow appears elsewhere ,2 and particularly in the account 
of the festival of Risus, where he furnishes the entire populace 
with amusement at his own expense as the butt of an immense 
hoax. 2 But these considerations, though they strengthen the 
position we have taken, are withal of secondary importance; 
that which proves that the Mera/xopi^ajo-ets had a satirical signifi- 
cance is the simple fact that the Eselmensch is a litterateur and 
an investigator of marvels. 

that more than one personal reference was to be expected in a satire of this 
kind, he was willing to accept another interpretation provided it seemed 
plausible. Accordingly he adopted that of Rothstein, which we have else- 
where shown to be untenable (pp. i6 ff.). 

^ In six of the eight parallel legends cited by Weinhold, the ass finds the 
flowers or holy water during some church festival or sacred occasion. In no 
case is the ending farcical as in the "Ows. 

2 Cf. "Ofos 40, 42, 45. 

^ Met. Ill, 2-11. 

54 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

In chapter 55 of the epitome, Lucius calls himself laropLchv /cat 
aXXcoi^ avyypaipevs. As Burger observes, laropioiv in this pas- 
sage need not, and probably does not mean history in the ordi- 
nary sense of the word.^ It is often used in the titles of books 
on curiosities, such as Aelian, ttolkIXt] laTopla, Apollonius, to-roptat 
davfidcnaL, ^ Philo of Heraclea, taropla TraprxSo^os, ^ Antigonus 
Carystius, iaropiQiv irapa86^o)v avvaycayr}, ^ so that in view of 
Lucius' great interest in TrapdSo^a,^ and his youthful character, 
we may conclude that the laroplai to which he refers are some- 
what of this kind.^ Such being the case, Diophanes' prophecy 
appears particularly pointed: Lucius is told that as a result of 
his journey to Thessaly, his personal history will be recorded in 
books, and that he will become the subject of an incredible 
story ;^ in other words, he will furnish material for the kind of 
books that he himself writes. The same ironical motif reappears 
in Met. VI, 29, where the captive maiden, seeking to escape on 
the back of the ass, proposes to commemorate the occasion with a 
painting, and says to Lucius: accedes antiquis et ipse miraculis, 

1 Diss., p. 58, n. 2. 

2 See Westermann, Paradoxographi Graeci, pp. xx f . and 103 ff. 

^ Suidas, s. v. Ila\ai<paTos 'A^vStjuos. For his identity, Westermann, op. 
cit., p. xxxvi. 

* Westermann, pp. xix and 61 ff. 

^ Burger calls attention to the unusual frequency of this adjective in the 
"Ovos, particularly toward the end, where Lucius himself, in accordance with 
Diophanes' prophecy, becomes famous — as a curiosity. Cf. deacraadai n 
irapaSo^oP, ch. 4; irapaSo^ov deas, $, II ; KTrj^a irapado^op, 48; irpdyfia irapa- 
do^ov, ibid.; to. TapaSo^a bcetva ra kv eixol iraiypia, 49; ra/jia irapado^a epya, 50; 
roj TrapaSo^o} tcov k/xuv kiriTrjdevfJLaTuv, 50; Trj irapabb^c^ ravrxt — Qkq., 545 t^^ irapadS^qp, 
olfJLai, Tov IT p ay fxaros eTrtrepTro/xej'r;, 56. 

^ It is quite probable that in the Mera/jLopcpuaeis this fact was somewhere 
stated more explicitly. Apuleius has no equivalent for ch. 55, and the epi- 
tomizer may have glossed over a fuller statement concerning the nature of 
Lucius' writings with the words Kai aWcov, or he may have misread Kal aWuv 
for KaLvCiv (cf. Ptolemaios Chennus, xept r^s els irokvuadlav Kaivrjs laroplas, ap. 
Phot. Bibl., cod. 190). The possibility also suggests itself that the lacuna in 
ch. 55 was intentional; that the original contained satirical reflections upon 
the family of Lucius which the epitomizer thought best to omit. 

■^ Met. II, 12: mihi denique proventum huius peregrinationis inquirenti multa 
respondii et oppido mira et satis varia; nuncenim gloriam satis floridam, nunc his- 
toriam magnam et incredundam fabulam et libros me futurum. 

The Nature of the Mera/iop^cbo-ets 55 

et iam credemus exemplo tuae veritatis et Frixum arieti super- 
natasse et Arionem delphinum guhernasse et Europam tauro 
supercuhasse} . 

The efficient motif of the Luciad, as already noted, consists 
in a certain writer's curious interest in the subject of meta- 
morphoses. That this motif was regarded by the author him- 
self as the central idea of his work, and hence that the work 
must have been intended satirically, may be seen from the title 
itself. Obviously ^eraixopipicaeis cannot be understood in a 
purely concrete sense as referring to different stories of change. 
It therefore must be generic in meaning. It is intended to call 
attention, not to particular instances of metamorphosis, as in 
other books of this title, but to the subject of metamorphoses in 
general, the subject in which the curious writer Lucius is inter- 
ested and which proves to be his undoing. To put it in another 
way, the generic title shows that the author regarded his stofy 
as a kind of commentary on the subject of metamorphoses, and 
writers who interested themselves in such things. 

The MerajL6op<pa)cr€ts was a satire on a literary man. But was 
it necessarily directed against a real writer? The question is 
invariably answered in the affirmative for the reason that in 
the passage corresponding to ch. 55 of the epitome the nomen 
and cognomen of Lucius appear to have been withheld.^ This 
suggests that the author wished to make it clear to every one 
who the object of his satire was, without naming him explicitly. 

1 It Is not improbable, although there is no need to make the assumption, 
that the original Mera/xop^'wo'eis contained other such ironical references to 
Lucius' interest in miracles. The epitomizer appears to have been interested 
merely in the story as such, and hence would tend to leave out passages of 
this kind as not very relevant to his purpose. Burger has shown that he was 
not content with omitting episodes en bloc, but that he also thinned out 
single paragraphs and even sentences. Of the two Apuleian passages cited 
above, the first occurs in a part of the Luciad which the epitomizer has omitted 
altogether, and the second in one which, as we have already seen, has suffered 
condensation in the "Opos (p. 10). Apuleius, though he has retained distinct 
traces of this ironical motif, may have omitted or altered other such passages 
of his original. His handling of the original appears to have been quite free. 

^ Loc. cit.: YLariip ixkvy i(pr]v, * * * tart, {jloi Ao6/ctos, rw dk dSeX^ tc^ kixc^ Fdios' 
&H(poi 8k TO. XoLira 8vo dvonara kolvcl 2xoAf^^« 

56 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Now it is not at all improbable that in the preceding lacuna both 
names were originally stated.' The father's name must have 
been given, and probably in full, since the magistrate had just 
asked Lucius to tell him the names of his relatives. If so, it 
would not be necessary (at least for the epitomizer) to repeat 
the two names twice in giving the brothers' names, but only to 
indicate that they were the same as those already given in the 
father's name. Burger claims that the full name could not 
have been given, otherwise, instead of Lucius of Patrae on the 
title-page of the Meraiiopipoiaeis, this full name would have 
appeared and been mentioned by Photius. But this does not 
necessarily follow. The same lacuna may have been in an early 
manuscript of the Mera/iop^cocets, before the epitome was made 
and before Lucius was mistaken for the author. Furthermore, 
since Lucius' three names were not stated consecutively, the 
person responsible for Lucius of Patrae on the title-page, might 
easily have overlooked the last two names which had been 
stated above. Again, the name Lucius of Patrae as author 
might have been inferred from the passage in the ^erayiopipoiaeis 
corresponding to ch. 2 of the "Ovos. We are quite justified, 
therefore, in supposing that Lucius' nomen and cognomen were 
originally indicated in ch. 55, or its archetype. This places 
the matter in a new light. There is no longer any necessity of 
supposing that Lucius was a real person.^ We think it quite 
likely that he is merely a fictitious character like Don Quixote, 
typifying a class of persons, namely, marvel-seekers, or para- 

For the sake of a comprehensive view, the argument of the 
Merajuop<^cbo-ets may be summed up here as follows:^ A writer 

1 So Rohde, somewhat to the disadvantage of his own theory that the "Ovos 
was a satire upon a real Lucius. 

2 Rohde made a study of the possibility of identifying this Lucius with any 
of the known persons by that name, but the result obtained proved negative 
{tJher Lucians Schrift Aovklos v "Ovos, pp. 13-20). The statement that 
Lucius' brother is a poet and a "good prophet" sounds more like fiction than 

3 The outline given below is based on the epitome except for two episodes: 
the discussion of witchcraft by Lucius' companions (Met. I, 2-4 and 20), and 

The Nature of the ^eTaiioptpdoaeis 57 

named Lucius makes a journey to Thessaly, having been pre- 
viously informed by a Chaldaean in whom he trusts that as a 
result of his journey he will become famous and will furnish 
material for an incredible story. Now this Lucius is a great 
student of marvels; so after one of his two fellow travelers has 
related some miraculous anecdotes about the arts of Thessalian 
witches, and has been scornfully laughed at by the other, Lucius 
protests that he believes these stories, and after arriving at 
Hypata devotes all his energies to a search for miraculous 
phenomena of this kind. By good luck the wife of his host 
chances to be a sorceress; and Lucius, having formed a friend- 
ship with her maid for the purpose, implores the latter to reveal 
to him the arts of her mistress. The maid complies by giving 
him the opportunity of seeing her mistress change into a bird. 
But Lucius' curiosity is still unsatisfied; he wishes to be changed 
into a bird himself, in order that he may learn whether a meta- 
morphosis effects the mind. His curiosity proves costly. Look- 
ing around "in a circle," after being annointed, he finds himself 
no bird, indeed, but an ass. After many humiliating experiences 
he becomes famous as a marvellous curiosity, and is put on 
public exhibition, even in the theater. Here he suddenly regains 
his proper form, and tells his story to the provincial governor 
who happens to be present. When the latter inquires about his 
identity, Lucius announces that he is a writer of (marvellous) 
histories, belonging to a distinguished family in Patrae known 
to the governor himself. On hearing this, the governor is satis- 
fied that Lucius cannot lie, and frees him from the charge of 
witchcraft to which his sudden transformation had made him, 
liable. Thereafter his Trepiepyia leads him to visit the woman 
who had favored him as an ass, the idea being that he will 
appear more pleasing to her in human form. She assures him, 
however, that this is not the case, adding that he has been 
metamorphosed {ix€Tafiop(p(jodeis) from a good and useful beast 
into an ape. 

the account of Diophanes (Met. II, 12). Both belong unquestionably to the 
original story; cf. Burger, Diss., pp. 28-29 and 33. See also Burger's summary 
of the story {ibid., p. 58) essentially the same as that given below. 

58 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

The author of the Mera/iop<^a)o-€ts does not appear to have 
taken his satire very seriously. It was not primarily a deter- 
mination to ridicule magic or the students of magic that called 
forth his literary effort, but rather the desire to write a humorous 
story. At the same time, however, being of a satirical turn of 
mind, and desiring to strike a side blow at the exponents of 
mirahilia — perhaps also in order to redeem what might other- 
wise be thought a frivolous composition by giving it a sophistic 
and polemical tendency — the author moulded the broad outlines 
of his story in the form of a satire on a paradoxographer. 

Such was the nature, so far as we are able to determine it, 
of the Meraixopipuiaeis falsely ascribed to an unknown Lucius of 
Patrae. We should expect the author of this work to be a man 
of some literary genius and reputation. .It is not every one who 
could write so excellent and original a story. That he wrote 
not long before Apuleius is generally conceded to be probable; 
that he was an Atticist is certain •} that he was of a satirical turn 
of mind, and above all an able humorist, no one can deny; that 
he had a quick imagination and plenty of originality (rare in 
his age), is patent from any page of the epitome of his work. 
Who this second century Atticist, humorist, and satirist probably 
was, we shall see in the following chapter. 

1 Vid. infra, pp. 65 fif. 


The Authorship of the METAMOP<i>fiSEis 

In his dissertation Burger dismissed the problem of the author- 
ship of the MerafjiopcpcoaeLs in a single sentence: "De huius 
auctoris nomine et vita nihil sciri potest." ^ Scholars generally 
are of the same opinion, and it appears to be taken for granted 
that, owing to a supposed want of evidence or clue, even a con- 
ditional solution of the problem is out of the question. Specu- 
lation, however, has not been entirely wanting. In the early 
part of the last century, Pauly suggested that the ''Ovos was an 
epitome of an extensive romance like the Metamorphoses of 
Apuleius, and that this original, i.e. the Merajuop^cbo-ets, was 
written by Lucian.^ Little attention seems to have been given 
to this conjecture, and today it is almost forgotten. More 
recently Dilthey has offered the strange and unsupported hy- 
pothesis that Apuleius published the original version anony- 
mously in Greek, and later revised and rewrote the story in 
Latin. ^ Of these two conjectures, the latter calls for no dis- 
cussion; but in the suggestion of Pauly is to be found, we are 
convinced, the true solution of a long-standing riddle in the 
history of Greek literature. 

In the preceding chapters we have seen that the MeTa/xop<^w(r€ts 
was a single story, about seventy-five or eighty pages long, 
written by an unknown genius, primarily to amuse, but with 
the further purpose of satirizing a class of writers interested in 

1 Op. cit., p. 59. 

2 Pauly's remarks are inaccessible to me accept through the mention of 
Rohde, Diss., p. 6: "Noch weiter von Photius entfernt sich Pauly, der in 
einer kurzen Bemerkung zu seiner Uebersetzung des "Ovos (IX, p. 1045 der 
Stuttg. Uebers. des Lucian) dem Lucian einen weitlaiiftigen Roman nach 
Art der Metamorphosen des Apuleius zuschreibt, aus dem dann der vor- 
liegende "Otos ein 'schwerlich achter,' das soil wohl heissen nicht von Lucian 
selbst besorgter Auszug sei." 

3 Gottinger Festrede, 1879, p. 12. 


6o The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

strange phenomena. With this in mind, let us consider, in the 
first place the evidence of the manuscripts, and secondly the 
internal evidence to be derived from a study of the ''Ovos. 

We have in the manuscripts of Lucian an epitome (the ''Ovos) 
of a lost work (the Mera)Uop(pcbo-ets) written by an author at 
present entirely unknown or unidentified. This fact may be 
explained in one of three ways: (i) The epitome was made by 
Lucian himself from the work of another writer. (2) The ''Ovos 
is an epitome of a Lucianic original. (3) The '^Ovos owes its 
presence in the Lucianic manuscripts to a mistake or to an 
attempt to deceive. To accept the third possibility would 
involve us in a violation of the manuscript evidence, and we 
are justified in making such an assumption only when both 
of the first two possibilities are shown to involve great difii- 
culty. Of these, the first may be safely eliminated. Besides 
the linguistic imperfections, the fact that the "Oi^os is an epi- 
tome precludes at once the supposition that it was compiled 
by Lucian, unless, indeed, we suppose that Lucian epitomized 
his own work. That the brilliant Syrian, by far the most 
original genius of his age, should have copied another writer's 
work word for word, and, without a hint as to his obligations, 
represented what he had copied as his own, is absolutely out 
of the question. 1 In enumerating the characteristics of Pro- 
metheus, in an attempt to discover what his critic means 
by comparing him to that god, he comes last of all to theft: 
TO yap rrjs k\€ttlk7Js — /cat yap KKeirrLKrjs 6 6'eos — a7ra7e, tovto jjlovov 
ovK av etTTots kvelvai rots rjfierepoLs.^ Only one alternative remains, 
if we are to accept the authority of the manuscripts: The '^Ovos 
must be an epitome, not of an unknown writer's work, but of a 
work written by Lucian himself.^ The burden of proof rests 

^ The theory that the "Ovos Is a satire on the MeTa^top^wcr€ls or its author 
has already been shown to be untenable (pp. 34 ff.). 

^ Prom, es in verb., 7; ci. Pseudol. $: krvyxo-ve 8k 6 \6yos avrui Kara top 
'AwrcoTTou KoKoLov avfKpoprjTos oiv €K TTOiKikoiv kWoTpiiov TTTepcov. The plagiarist 
becomes a laughing stock. 

3 In the same way the mss. of Xenophon of Ephesus have preserved, with- 
out any indication of the fact, only an epitome of the original work; probably 
also in the case of the edition of lamblichus read by Photius; cf. p. 12, note i. 

The Authorship of the MerafiopipwceLs 6i 

entirely with those who assume an error in the manuscript 
tradition. Unless the MerafjLopcpcoaeLs can be proved to have 
been a very different kind of composition from that which we 
have already described on the basis of good evidence, there is 
no reason why the authorship may not be assigned to Lucian 
with considerable probability. 

Our study of the nature of the Mera/xop^cbo-ets has shown us 
that it was the kind of work that Lucian would be likely to 
write. Like the Vera Historia, it was an aveats from more 
serious pursuits, containing at the same time a pointed criticism 
of contemporary literary activity and intellectual interests.^ 
As Lucian's TrepLepyla is alleged to be the starting point of his 
remarkable adventures in the Vera Historia,^ so in the Mera- 
IJiopcpcodeLSj the adventures of Lucius are the result of a similar 
TrepLepyla. Like the Philopseudes, the Merajuopvjcoo-ets made sport 
of a class of persons who took a credulous interest in magic 
phenomena. Like the Alexander, it showed a contempt for 
prophets, and somewhat like the Syria Dea, it poked fun at 
the priests of the Syrian Goddess. Like many of Lucian's 
works it was a masterpiece of humorous writing. Though 
it may have lacked the elegance of the Timon, or the Menippus, 
yet certainly it was no more unworthy of the stilus rudis^ of 
Lucian than the Metamorphoses was of Apuleius, or the Mile- 
sian Tales of Sisenna, nay, much more worthy. A number 
of considerations, moreover, seem to make it probable that 
Lucian would have conceived such a story. He visited Mace- 
donia, in which the scene of much of the Luciad is laid, at least 
once.^ He mentions two men from Patrae,^ and since both 

1 See Ver. Hist. I, 1-2. 

^I, 5' airia 8e ixol tt\s aTTodrjixias Kal vwodea-Ls 17 ttjs diavoias wepLepyia Kal 
irpaynarcop KaivCiv eircdvixLa Kal t6 fiovXeadai, ixaduv, kt\. 

^ Cf. Apuleius, Met. VI, 29: visetur (imago) et infabulis audietur doctorumque 
stills rudis perpetuabitur historia ^' asino vector e virgo regia fugiens captivitatemJ'* 

^ Herod. 7 • ore yap to -wpCiTov kirebrjixtjaa rfi M.aK€doviq.. 

^ Pseudol. 5: ^ovKonevos 8ri /jlt} ecoXa 56^ai Xeyeiv, dW avToa-x^Sia^eLv rd kK 
Tov jSijSXtou, Setrat rcov avvrjOoiv tlvos — ^v de e/c Harpcav bcelvoSf d^t^t dUas ix(jiv to. 
TToXXd — ^TrecSdj' alTrja-r} riJ'ds virodkans rois X6701S, tov Ilvdayopav avT<a irpoeXeadaL 
. . . 7eXajs 5^ iroXvs irapa tcov Slkovovtuv; Peregr. 36: /cat /xaXiora 6 ytvvabas 6 kK 
Harpcof, . . . OX) (pavXos devrepayccuLaTrjs (to Peregrinus) ; cf. ibid. 30: kv KaXatj 
UdrpaLaiv exojv Tpls irkvTe TaXavTa. 

62 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

of them are frauds, it may well be supposed that he had an 
unfavorable impression of the Patraeans. He compares men to 
asses very frequently; it is one of his favorite similes. ^ The fol- 
lowing passage from the Menippus (ch. 20) is a good illustration: 
TO. fiev aco/jLara avTCov (the rich) KoKa^eadau Kadairep Kal tcl Tchv oKKoiV 
irovqpoiv, rds 5e xpvxcLS avairefjiipdelaas avoi es rbv ^lov Karadveadai ks 
Tovs ovovs, axpt olv eu rw tolovtco biayayoicn fxvpLadas erchv Tevre Kal 
eUoaiv, ovoi k^ bvoiv yiyvbiievoi Kal ax^ocpopovvres Kal vwo rcov irevhroiv 
eKavvojjLevoL, kt\. 

The date of composition of the Mera/xopi^cbo-ets cannot be fixed 
with any certainty on the basis of internal evidence. The pre- 
vailing opinion seems to be that it was written not long before 
the Metamorphoses of Apuleius.^ As a terminus ante quern, 
however, this is somewhat indefinite, since we do not know 
just when the latter work was published. Some scholars, fol- 
lowing Rohde,^ believe that it preceded the Apologia (156-158 
A.D.), while a number of others take the view that the Meta- 
morphoses was written considerably later. ^ The case for the 

^See lupp. Trag. 31; Fugit. 13, 14, 33; Piscat. 32, 34; De Merc. Cond. 25; 
Cyn. 10; Pseudol. 3, 7; Dial. Marin. I, 4; Eun. 13; Dial. Meret. XIV, 4; 
cf. the 'OvoaKekkai in Ver. Hist. II, 6. 

2 So Burger, Diss., p. 59, and E. Schwartz, op. ciL, p. 133. Knaut (Op. cit., 
ad init.) attempts to establish a terminus post quern for the date of composition 
of the original Luciad, but without much success. We may observe, how- 
ever, that the comparison of Lucius to Pasiphae's bull in ch. 51, and the 
project of exhibiting Lucius in a similar capacity in the theater (52, 53) were 
probably suggested by the memory of actual exhibitions of this kind in the 
Roman arena — exhibitions which appear to be a novelty in the time of Martial 
(i.e., 80 A.D.); cf. Lih. Spect. 5: 

lunctam Pasiphaen Dictaeo credite tauro: 

vidimus, accepit fabula prisca fidem 
nee se miretur, Caesar, longaeva vetustas: 

quidquid fama canit, praestat harena tibi. 

A similar exhibition in the reign of Nero is recorded by Suetonius (Nero, 12). 

^ Rh. Mus., 40 (1885), pp. 75 ff.; cf. also .Schanz, Rom. Litt. Ill, p. 107, 
and Purser, Cupid and Psyche, pp. xv-xvi. 

4 So Helm, in the preface to his edition of the Florida, pp. viii, ix; Hesky, 
Wiener Studien, 26 (1904), p. 71; Butler and Owen, Apulei Apologia, pp. 
xxii-xxiii, who assign the composition of the Metamorphoses to about 180 A.D. ; 
Betolaud would have it still later, between 185 and 190 {Oeuvres d'Apulee, 
Vol. I, p. xxii). 

The Authorship of the Mera/xopvjwcrcts 63 

earlier date is generally based upon the freshness of style, which 
is supposed to indicate youth, and upon the fact that in Bk. XI 
Apuleius describes very vividly, as if of recent memory, his (or 
Lucius') initiation into the mysteries of Isis and Osiris, events 
in his life which are plainly alluded to in the Apologia. The 
freshness of style does not necessarily indicate the youth of 
Apuleius, nor does the vivid description of mysteries necessarily 
mean that they were recent experiences. Apuleius is vivid and 
realistic at all times in the Metamorphoses, and the philosophical 
dignity of Bk. XI is quite as appropriate to age as to youth. 
The balance of probability, we believe, points to a later date. 
If the Metamorphoses were written before the Apologia, it is 
strange that no reference is made to it in Apuleius' defence of 
himself in the Apologia against the charge of magic. Some use 
of the fact must have been made by his accusers, inasmuch as 
the attitude toward magic in the Metamorphoses is rather sympa- 
thetic.^ At the beginning of the story (I, 2), Lucius claims to 
be descended from the family of Plutarch and his nephew Sextus. 
Since Sextus was living, though very old, in 160 A.D.,^ it seems 
improbable that Apuleius would have made Lucius, the ass, 
claim him as a relative during his life-time. In view of this, 
it is probable that the Metamorphoses was not composed until 
about 170 A.D. or later, and if so, the Lucianic Merafjiopipc^aeis 
may be assigned to the later period of Lucian's literary activity.^ 

1 Schanz (loc. cit.) objects to this argument on the ground that 'the Meta- 
morphoses was probably pubHshed anonymously; but even so, Apuleius' 
accusers might be expected to be aware of the fact, since in spite of the alleged 
anonymous publication of the work, the Metamorphoses was ascribed in 
antiquity without any hesitation to Apuleius, at least from the time of Augus- 

2 Helm, loc. cit. Apuleius may have taken this reference to Sextus from his 
original, and if so, the following argument applies equally as well to the 
Mera/xop v?aJ(T€is. 

3 The date of Lucian's birth is also uncertain. Theories range from about 
115 (Suidas, 5. ?;. A.ovKLav6$ I^a/jLoaarevs: ykyovt bk kirl rod Kaiaapos Tpalavov, Kal 
kirkKtiva) to 125 A.D. (inferred from doubtful references in the text of Lucian's 
works). For the former view, see Boldermann, Studia Lucianea, pp. 16-19; 
for the latter, Dindorf, preface to the Tauchnitz edition, p. vi. But even if 
we grant that Lucian was not born until 125 A.D., and that Apuleius wrote 

64 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Although the Lucianic authorship of the "Ovos, on the basis 
of Unguis tic considerations, is generally denied, nevertheless 
there have not been wanting those who, in spite of the linguistic 
imperfections, and in spite of the fact that it is an epitome, 
believe that Lucian was its author. Knaut believes that the 
"Ovos was written by Lucian because of the Lucianic usages and 
peculiarities which he finds in the text;^ W. Schmid, the author 
of Atiicismus, because he thinks the linguistic imperfections may 
be due to "mimische Erzahlung," to be expected in an unpre- 
tentious work of this kind,^ and also because of the Lucianic 
peculiarities;^ Boldermann, because he thinks Lucian would 
write a story like the "Oj/os, and because the vulgarisms may 
come from the original ; ^ and Neukamm, because, in an exhaus- 
tive study of the language and style, he finds so many Lucianic 
peculiarities that, in spite of other, serious difficulties, he is 
convinced that Lucian must have been its author.^ 

It appears that the critics of the ''Ovos face a serious dilemma: 
If Lucian did write this work, how shall we explain the fact 
that it is an epitome, and how shall we overcome the linguistic 
difficulties? It is doubtful whether the theory of "mimische 
Erzahlung will entirely account for the comparatively large 
number of kolvtj and later Greek usages, and even if it does, we 
are still faced with the fact that the "Ows is an epitome, a fact 

the Metamorphoses as eady as 151 (Rohde's terminus post quern), it is still 
possible, and not at all improbable, that Lucian wrote the MeTanopipua-ecs in 
the earlier period of his life, before he began writing dialogues (cf. Bis Accus, 


1 Op. cit., ad fin. 

2 Philologus, 50 (1891), pp. 315 f.; cf. Christ-Schmid, Griech. Litter aturgesch.t 
Vol. I, p. 16. By "mimische Erzahlung" Schmid means the adaptation of 
style to subject matter. In the case of a story like the '^Ovos, which was 
probably intended more to be heard than to be read and admired as an 
epideictic composition, literary convention would require a popular rather 
than a learned style. For the sake of increasing the comic effect, it was 
customary in works of this kind, as in the Ancient Comedy and in Petronius, 
to introduce poetic words; hence the unusual number of such words in the 

3 BPHW, 39 (1919), p. 168. 
^ Op. cit., pp. 106 ff. 

^ De Luciano Asini Auctore, Diss., Lipsiae, 19 14. 

The Authorship of the Mera/xopi^cbo-ets 65 

that remains inexplicable, unless we resort to such far-fetched 
hypotheses as those of Rohde and von Arnim which involve us 
in difficulties equally as great. On the other hand, if, as many 
scholars suppose, Lucian had nothing to do with the composition 
of either the ''Ovos or its original, how shall we account for the 
Lucianic element which, as we shall see, is very striking, and for 
the presence of the "Oj/os in the best manuscripts of Lucian? 
There is but one escape from this dilemma: We must conclude 
that the original of the '^Ovos, i.e., the Merajuop^cbo-ets, was written 
by Lucian, and that the greater part of the philological errors 
are due to the epitomizer. 

To this conclusion, which harmonizes with all the other 
considerations, we are, in fact, forced by the "horns" of the 
dilemma. We have already seen how impossible it is to believe 
that Lucian wrote the '^Ovos. A survey of the Lucianic elements 
in the language and style will serve to illustrate the equal diffi- 
culty of believing that Lucian had no hand in the composition 
of the "Ovos or its original. This material has been so carefully 
collected by Neukamm, and is so extensive, that only a summary 
can be given here, together with a few additions of our own. 

As regards the details of grammar, since we have nothing 
new to add, we can scarcely do better than to quote Neukamm's 
summary at length, referring the reader for detailed discussions 
to the pages of the work quoted : ^ 

"Quae in syntaxi tractavi si propius inspexeris, haud pauca 
feperiri facile concedas, quae Atticistam esse asini auctorem 
significent, ut nihil causae sit, cur hunc libellum Luciano non 
tribuamus. Hue referam singularem collectivum, genetivum 
relativum quinquies ex adiectivis semel e verbo davfid^co aptum, 
neutri generis adiectiva saepenumero modalem vim exhibentia, 
frequentem pronominis indefiniti rts usum, participia ad verba 
finita accuratius explicanda adhibita, pronomen indefinitum 
negationibus antecedentibus non immutatum, magnam sub- 
stantivorum attributi locum tenendum copiam. 

^ Vincentius Neukamm, De Luciano Asini Auctore, Diss., Lipsiae, 1914, 
PP- 77i 78. The references in the body of the quotation are also Neukamm's. 

66 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

At contra dixerit quispiam eos attlcismos omnes vel omnes 
fere etiam apud Atticistarum imitatores inveniri. Quod haud 
abnuerim. Sed quantum hi cum asini auctore discreparent cum 
in optativi (cf. p. 56 sq.), tum in particularum usu (cf. p. 74), 
supra satis demonstrasse mihi videor. 

Accedit quod manifesta quaedam similitudo intercedit inter 
Lucianum et asini auctore in collocatione praedicativa (cf. p. 
42), in accusativo relationis (p. 34), in accusativo obiecti interni 
(p- 33) > ii^ appositionibus superlativis (p. 74), in ellipsi adhibendis 
(p. 75 sqq.), in frequentando suffixo locativo -dev, in vi positivi 
meris adverbiis augenda (p. 36), in vocula iiaKpc^ comparativo 
addita (p. 31), in genetivo parti tivo structurae attributivae 
praelato (p. 29), in coniunctione tva numquam pro infinitivo 
posita (p. 58), in plusquamperfecto in sententiis ab kirel in- 
cipientibus pro aoristo in usum vocato (p. 44), in indicative in 
apodosi sententiae condicionalis pro optativo cum av adhibito 
(cf. p. 54) > in verborum eviropovixaif aaxokovixai, biaKovoviiai medio 
genere activo anteposito (cf. p. 43), in coniunctionibus av, eireibav, 
eTTCLv, ear av (p. 47), cos (p. 49) cum optativo iungendis, in evitando 
finali infinitivi genetivo (cf. p. 58), in simplici negatione ovd^ 
poetarum more pro ovre . . . ovde usurpanda, in praepositionibus 
verba ptTrrco et Tratco insequentibus (cf. p. 68), in praepositione utto 
cum irpos (sq. gen.) vel dat. auct. in verbis passivis commutanda 
(p. 32), in praepositione eirl genetivo temporis addenda (cf. 
p. 67), in praepositione ev ad causam significandam ascita (p. 64), 
in praepos. /xerd adhibenda (cf. p. 65), in utendis quibusdam 
particulis a Luciano maxime adamatis (cf. p. 74), in locutione 
d's TO eUos usurpanda (cf. p. 40). Quae omnia imitatori alicui 
tribuenda esse existimantibus vix quisquam assentiatur, qui 
quam difficile sit Lucianei stili proprietates eruere consideraverit 
idque eo magis, quod permultae in asino reperiuntur, quas haud 
scio an nemo simul omnes tam soUerter adhibuerit. 

His addo ea quae, quamquam etiam apud elegantiores rrjs kolvtjs 
scriptores in usu sunt, tamen cum a ceteris Atticistis tum a 
Luciano potissimum frequententur ut neutri generis adiectiva 
in substantivorum formam redacta, pluralis modestiae, pluralis 

The Authorship of the Mera/xopi^coo-ets 67 

nomlnum abstractorum, pluralis praeter necessitatem positus ..." 
Neukamm deals with the vocabulary of the '^Ovos at some 
length. Among other statistics, ^ he finds (a) ' that the chief 
sources from which the more uncommon Attic words have been 
taken are Plato, Xenophon, and the Comedians, for the most 
part the very writers to whom Lucian is most indebted for his 
poetic Attic vocabulary (Schmid, Atticismus, I, p. 401); {h) 17 
words recommended by the grammarian Moeris to those wishing 
to write good Attic ;2 (c) 7 Attic prose words (eTrto-drrco, x^^^Xeuco, 
TTLTvpov, Sta/cuTTTCo, avvapLaTCLO), (TUY/cara/cXetco, eindopv^eco) , all of 
which are found elsewhere in Lucian, but which are wanting in 
the other Atticists, in Poly bins, in Plutarch, and in the New 
Testament;^ (d) 5 poetic words (kvptoo), /idxXos, \a(pvaao), 
o-(pr]K6co, (hKvs) used by several of the Atticists, and by Lucian 
elsewhere, but not found in Polybius, Plutarch, or the New 
Testament. ^ 

But it is not so much in the vocabulary of the "Ows that the 
hand of Lucian becomes evident as in the numerous Lucianic 
peculiarities of style and phraseology. Observe the following 
miscellaneous expressions cited by Knaut and Neukamm : 

^'Ovos 3. 'ioLKa 8e hravda 5ta- Pro Lapsu 19. eot/ca 5' evravda 
rplxpeLP. ^dr] yevofxevos et/corcos aXXo tl 

(po^rjaeadaL. For the first per- 
son eoLKa with the future in- 

^ Neukamm finds an unusually large number of late and poetic words, 
which he thinks are due largely to "mimische Erzahlung," and also to the 
fact that Lucian employs not a few such words in his other writings (cf. 
Schmid, Atticismus, I, 402 f.). He cites fifty words from the Vera Historia, 
in use among later writers, which Lucian uses nowhere else. 

2 Such words as vdwv for the Hellenistic crivrjTn; n{)\r] for nvXos', ovs for 
utLov; xo-f^^vPLov for \piados, kt\. See Neukamm, pp. 98, 99. 

^ According to Neukamm, none of these words are found in Achilles Tatius, 
although in Heliodorus BiaKvirTca occurs twice and <Tvy KaTaKke'ua once. kiri<TaTTOi 
and x^oXeuco each occur twice in the ''Ovo$. 

^ Cf. Schmid, Atticismus, IV, 675: "Diese Worter (including those men- 
tioned above) konnen grossenteils als Kennworter des attizistische Stils 
betrachtet werden." Neukamm states that only a<p7]K6oi occurs in Heliodorus 
(four times), and in Achilles Tatius only juax^os (once). 

68 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

"0^0$ 4. TrpdyiJLa evKaraippovrj- 


Ibid. aWa rfi yvcxtjiy . . . /card- 
yojjLai Trapd aol. 

"O^os 5- oUoL Trap e/xot; cf. 42 
oUade rfKavvev cos eavrov. 

Ibid, aye drj crv 6 (paaKcov . . . 
eyeipk jjlol aeavrov. 

"Oj^os 6. depairevcei bk ae ovdels 
dXX' ovde Beds iarpos; cf. Homer, 
Od. 9, 525? ^5 o^'^ b(pBa\yLbv 7' 
IrjareTaL ov8^ kvoalxBoiV . 
Ibid, ov KaraKavjiari /xd At* 
aWa oXco e/jLTprjajjicc. 

Ibid, ixkya . . . avaKayx^-craaa] 
cf. ch. 10, fxkya avayeKGiv. 

^'Ovos II. /cat TTore kirl vovv jjlol 
^\d€ t6 ixaBdv. 

finitive, see also Dips. 9; Char- 
on 6; Anacharsis 40; Lexiph. 

Navig. II. evKaTa(pp6vrjrov irpd- 
yixa. evKaraippbvriTov is a favor- 
ite word with Lucian. We 
have noted 15 other instances. 
Phal. I, 5* '^Xl yvdoixxi « ^ kKpa- 
yavTa irap ejie dTrodrjiiyjaavTes. 
Philops. 17. ot/cot Trap aurw; 
Ga//. 10. ot/cot Trapd o-aurqj; 
-j&ifi. 32. ot/caSe Trap i7juas. 
Timon 41. 0,76, co SkeXXa, j^Oi^ 
/xot eirlppuidov (jeavT7]v. Both are 
uttered in soHloquy. 
Dial. Marin. II, 4. ovbk 6 
irarrjp, (prjalv, 6 Hoaeidoov IdaeTal 
ae; Dial. Deor. XIII, 4. &aTe 
ixribk Tov natcoi^a idaaadal ae. 
Herod. 8. ov Kara Ilto'ai' jud At' 
. . . dXXd. Herod. 2. ov vcp' 
evos fid At' . . . dXXd. De Merc, 
Cond. 33. ov x^XtSoi'a jud At' . . . 
dXXd, Likewise De Luct. 24; 
Demon. Vit. 2; Cyn. 2. 
De Luct. 19. Jlaiijikyedes eirijeL 
dvaKayxdaai. Cf. Plato, Euth. 
300 D, iJikya irdvv dvaKayxdaas 
(the only example of this 
phrase cited by Stephanus out- 
side of Lucian). For dva- 
Kayxd^o) alone, see Pseudol. 7 
and lupp. Trag. 31; for d^a- 
7€Xdco, Herm. 33, Tox. 26. 
Somn. 14. exet ^lot els vovv rfKdev 
Tj cKVTdXr}. Hale. 5* TratStots 

The Authorship of the M€Taiiop(pa<rei.s 


"Oj'os 13. ov Tnarevoiv rots 
kiiavTov 6(pddKiJLOLs (cf. Hdt. I, 8). 

"Oi'os 15. TToXXd ovv /car' ejiavTov 

jjiefx^pafxevos rrjv UdXaiaTpav eirl 

rfi anaprla 8aK0)v to x^tXos 


"Ovos 18. TOVTO 8rj TO Tov \6yov. 

^'Ovos 19. aWd TLs dalfjioov 

^daKavos cvveis . . . es tovvolvtIov 


^'Ovos 20. rd kv TToal. 

"Ows 24. aapduivLov yekcovTes. 

"Ows 30. rore drj t6t€. 

ov8' els vovv kXdelv; cf. Pseudol. 4, 
€7rt (JTopia croL eXdeiv. 
Dial. Marin. IV, 3. tLvl dv dXXo) 
TTLaTevaeLas rots eauroD OipdaXnoXs 
dinaTcov; Dial. Meret. XI, 3. 
cu 5^ xorepots TTKJTevaeias av^ 
ToXs eKelvrjs opKOLS fj rots creauroO 

Calumn. non Tem. Cred. 24. 
kvdaKovTa to x^tXos VTOTpecpeLV 
Tr}v xo^vv. 

lupp. Trag. 3. rouro Siy ro roO 

X670U; So also Herm. 28, Cowz;. 

28, Pseudol. 7; cf. Pseudol. 19, 

roOro 5i) ro e/c rr^s rpaycoStas; 

Pseudol. 32, roDro Si) ro dp- 


i^e Merc. Cond. 13, roOro 5t) 

TO r^s eux^s. 

Navig. 26. d'KO(TT€pr]dkvT as oiv 

elxop VTTO TLVos ^aaKavov irpos Ta 

rotaOra dalfxovos. 

Quom. Hist. Conscr. 2, Tdev Toal 

raOra; so also Dial. Mort, 

XIII, 3; lupp. Trag. 31; 

Nigrinus 7. 

/w/?^. Trag. 16. 6 Aa/xts 5e roi/ 

(japboiviov eTnfJLOJKevoov (Etl [jlolWov 

irapoj^vve tov Tt/xo/cXea. 

This phrase occurs in De Merc. 

Cond. II; Quom. Hist. Conscr, 

si; De Luctu 24 ; De Sacrif. 14 ; 

Vit. Auct. 27; Imag. 13; Dem. 

Encom. 48. 

70 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

''Ovos 37. h aKapel (without So lupp. Conf. 8; Peregr. 21; 

Xpovov or an equivalent). Fugit. 21 ; Scyth. 8; Dial. Meret. 

II, I. Without xPovov this 
phrase is very rare. Schmid 
cites no examples among the 
other Atticists, and all of the 
examples cited by Stephanus 
and Liddell and Scott are from 

^'Ovos 47- TO de depfia . . . Alex. 40. depfxaros . . . oLTrocrrtX- 

dTrecrrtXjSe. ^ovtos. 

''Ovos 51. fxri . . . KoKrjv doicro) Timon 18. bihoaai yap ti/x^co 

dUrjv. KaXrjv rr]v 81k7]V. 

Some of the more subtle mannerisms of Lucian exhibited in 
the '^Ovos are especially noteworthy. Neukamm adduces, among 
others, the following (pp. 104-105) : 

(a) Whenever Lucian joins the adjectives irds and aXXos 
(except in a few cases which occur in the doubtfully authentic 
works), Tras always (33 times) follows dXXos, as in the two in- 
stances of this combination in the "Ovos (12, 25). 

(b) With few exceptions, ovtos (or eKelvos), whenever it is joined 
with two other adjectives in Lucian, stands between them im- 
mediately following the first, as in "Opos 5, to fxeya tovto Kal 
KoKov; 31, TO dep/jLov eKeivo Kal iriKpov epiol (popTiov, 54> ^xi irapado^co 
TavTy Kal fxrjdeTTOTe eXincrdelari Ska] Timon 37, rd bpylXa raOra Kal 
HeipaKLcodrj ] Nigrin. 28, to aTeppov tovto Kal airaSks, kt\} 

(c) Lucian uses the adjective piovos nearly always when the 
adverb ixovov might have been used instead.^ Cf. "Ovos i, plav 
Bepairaivav rpe^et Kal ttju avTOV yafxeTrjv fxovas; I4> poda yap pova 
el (payoLs; similarly 6 (twice), 22, 35, 39. 

(d) Parenthetical clauses occur more frequently in Lucian, 
perhaps, than in any other ancient writer.^ Cf. '^Ovos 5, Kal kirl 

^ Neukamm says that he has found no examples of this in Achilles Tatius 
and only three in Heliodorus. 

2 Cf. Guttentag, De suhdito qui inter Lucianeos legi solet dialogo Toxaride, 
BerHn, i860, p. 44. 

2 Guttentag, op. cit., p. 37. 

The Authorship of the MerajLiop^coo-ets 71 

TTiv depdiraLvav rrjv HaKalaTpav t/St; cnrodvov — rijs yap yvvaLKOs rod 
^evov Kal <piKov iroppoi taraao — kolttI raurr/s, kt\. Similarly in 6, 28, 

31, 36, 54- 

Under the heading of rhetorical embellishments, Neukamm 
mentions the use of proverbs, of which Lucian is particularly- 
fond. The following examples are found in the "Ovos: iroKivbpo- 
lirjaai [jlSXKov rj /ca/ccos bpaixeiv (ch. 18); e^ ovov TrapaKvif/eois (45) > 

€K KVVOS TpCOKTOV (56) .^ 

In addition to the foregoing extracts from the evidence adduced 
by Neukamm and Knaut, we would call attention to the fol- 

"Oi'os 25. ew \ey€Lv, "I need not mention," is one of Lucian's 
favorite expressions. We have noted i6 examples in his other 
works; see Timon 4; Navig. 27, etc. According to Schmid, 
this phrase is used four times by Aristides, but it appears to be 
wanting in the other Atticists. It is not found in Polybius, 
Plutarch, or the New Testament, and no citations are given by 

''Ovos 29. TOVTO de rju to Ke(pa\aiov rcov efjL(bv KaKcbv. Cf. lupp. 
Trag. 2, TO K€(paKaLOV avTo o)v Trdo-x^ts; Gall. 24, to Ke(pa\aLOV . . . 
Toiv dYa^oji' airavTOiv. We have counted 23 instances of the use of 
KecpoKaiov in Lucian. 

''Ovos 28. Kal TOVTO fxev rjv fxeTpcov KaKov . . . rj 5e . . . e^efjiiadov 
TOP k/jLou a&Kiov rpdx'yXoi'. ^ Cf. Navig. 19, Kal to, fieu rjneTepa fxeTpLa, 
TO fxeupaKLOv 8e, kt\.; De Sacrif. 14, raOra fxev 617 tVcos juerpta, tjv 8e, 
kt\.; So also Deor. Concil. 10; De Sacrif 6; De Merc. Cond. 35; 
Epist. Cron. 38. 

"Oi'os 24. NO?/, ecpaaav, xcoXos 6t€ airohiBpaffKOiv edXco/cas; dXX' 
OTe (pevyeLP edoKeu (tol, vyualvoiv I'ttttou coKVTepos Kal ireTeLVOs ^ada. 

^ Neukamm also observes (p. 81) that AXXd ns balpxav fiaa-Kavos avvels tG)v 
k/xoov fiovXev/jLaTOJu es Tovvavrlov irepL-qveyKtv {^'Ovos 1 9) is reminiscent of the proverb 
Kal t6 ajiuvov es rovvavriov iLirorekevrq. (see Corp. Paroem. Graec, ed. Leutsch et 
Schneidewin, Vol. II, p. 474), and cites a very similar expression' in Pro Laps, 
15. On the subject of proverbs in Lucian, cf. Th. Rein, Sprickworter und 
sprichwortliche Redensarten bei Lukian, Diss., Tubingen, 1894. 

^ Cf . ibid. 38 : Kal tovto tikv LveKrhv t6 beivov rju, . . . dXXA ra /xera tovto 

oijKiT &V€Kt6.. 

72 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

Cf. Timon 20, where Hermes says to Plutus t'i tovto\ vwoaKa^eLs; 
e\e\rjdeLs lie, w yevvada, ov TV(p\6s fxovov, dXXa Kal x^Xos oov. Plutus 
replies, that when sent to any person, ovkoW ottojs jSpaSus etjut Kat 
XcoX6s cLfxcporepoLs, but when it is time to leave, you will see him 
TTTrjvdv, TToXu Ta}V bveipoiv coKVTepov. 

^'Ovos 51' evvoovfjievos cos ov8ev eir^v KaKicov rod ttjs Uacncpcnjs (jlolxov. 
Cf. Eun. 13, ^J' kiridel^ei cos ovdev x^'^P^v earl TcJov rds tTTTrous dva- 
^aLvovTcov ovcjov. Compare this last with the situation in ^'Ovos 28, 
where Lucius, the ass, finds himself among the mares. 

"Oj/os 26. irapdXa^ojv ovv rrjv irapdkvov Kal Kadiaas ex' ejue ourcos 
^761^ oUade. ol de Kco/jLrJTaL cos etdov rj/jids en iroppoodev, eyvo^aav 
evTVXovvras, evayyekiov avrots efxov irpooyKrjaaiJLevov. Cf . Bacch. 4, 
Kal 6 rod SetXiyj'oO ovos evvakLov tl ooy ktj a aro; Ver. Hist. I, I7> eireLdij 
TCL (T7]ixeia ripBt] Kal oiy Krjaavro eKarepcov ol ovol — tovtols yap clvtI 
aakinyKTOiv xP^^T^f- — efxaxovTO. The corresponding passage in 
Apuleius has been thought to be a mild burlesque upon the 
story of Christ's entrance into Jerusalem (Matt. 21 f.),^ and 
the word evayyeXiov suggests this. If so, we should think it 
natural in Lucian, who alludes elsewhere to the Christians, and 
who, though he was probably not acquainted with the early 
Scriptures, may very well have heard the story from Christians 
in Syria. 

"Ovos 36. cos 8e etdov ovov ovra top 8ov\ov, T]8r] ravra es tov 
^i\r)^ov eaKccTTTUiv, Tovtov ov 8ov\ov, aWa vvfjicplov aavrrj irodev ayeLS 
\a^ovaa; ovaio 8^ rovroov tcov Ka\cov yajio^v Kal re/cots raxecos rj/jilv 
TTcoXous TOLOVTOvs. Cf. Dial. Meret. XIV, 4: Kal ixakiara biroTav 
a8rj Kal a^pos elvai OeKxi, ovos avroKvpl^ojv, (paalv. aWa ovaio 
avTOV a^ia ye ovaa Kal yevoiTO vjuv Trai8lov ojjloiov tco Trarpt. For 
the ironical ovaio, see also Pseudol. 22 and Conviv. 23. Neukamm 
mentions bvaio under the heading of irony, but fails to call 
attention to the passages quoted above and their remarkable 

A number of the episodes in the "Ovos, as we have previously 
observed (p. 45, n. i), are Aesopic in character. Aesopic remin- 

^ Met. VII, 13: Quam (sc. patriam) simul accessimus, tola civitas ad votivum 
conspectum effunditur. pompam cerneres omnis sexus et omnis aetatis novumque 
et hercules memorandum spectamen, virginem asino triumphantem, etc. 

The Authorship of the Merafiopipcoaeis 73 

iscences or references to Aesop occur frequently in Luclan. 
See Ver. Hist. II, 18; Herm. 84; Pseudol. 3, 5; Fugit. 13, 33; 
Icarom.iO; Piscat.2>2; ApoL/\.; Quom. Hist. Conscr.22,; Gall. 11 ; 
Philops. 5; Adv. Indoct. 30; De Dom. 12. 

The Luclanic element in the "Ovos, of which we have here 
given only an incomplete account, is quite sufficient, when 
taken together with the manuscript tradition, to preclude 
absolutely the unnecessary supposition that Lucian had no 
hand in the composition of the Greek Luciad. Since we cannot 
assign the epitome to Lucian, it follows inevitably that the 
original, the Mera^uopi^coo-ets, was written by Lucian. The ob- 
jection that the Lucianic peculiarities may be due to an imitator 
is not a serious one. The "Ovo^ was a close copy of the Mera- 
iiopipdcaeis. That an epitomizer should copy one man's work 
avTOLs re \e^eaL Kal avvra^eai, and at the same time imitate another 
writer, is extremely improbable, if not impossible. The Mera- 
fjLop<p63a€Ls, on the other hand, could scarcely have been an imita- 
tion, since it was written before the death of Lucian, and since 
nearly all of the imitations of Lucian, as might be expected, 
model after his more characteristic literary forms, the dialogue 
and the sophistic fxeXeTrj. Furthermore, as Neukamm observes, 
the Lucianic peculiarities in usage which we find in the '^Ovos are 
too numerous, and many of them altogether too subtle for an 
imitator to reproduce.^ 

The KOLvr] element, which is more extensive in the '^Ovos than 
in the other genuine works of Lucian, is doubtless due in no 
small measure to the epitomizer. We do not think, however, 
that this is the sole explanation. Something must be attributed 
to Schmid's ''mimische Erzahlung," and to the fact Lucian 
elsewhere uses quite a number of late and poetic words. A few 
of the vulgarisms, moreover, are doubtless merely scribal infil- 

1 We may add also that a man who was clever and original enough to write 
the M€Tafxop<p6}(Teis would not be likely to set about imitating the style of a 
contemporary writer. 

2 Cf. R. J. Deferrari, Lucian' s Atticism; The Morphology of the Verb, 
Princeton, 191 6, p. VII. 

74 The Metamorphoses Ascribed to Lucius of Patrae 

In conclusion let us turn once more to Photius' description of 
the lost text {BibL cod. 129). The interpretation of this passage 
which we have given in the foregoing dissertation, and to which 
we have been led by the evidence of the extant versions, postu- 
lates only one mistake on the part of Photius, and that a very 
natural one: He thought that the writer Lucius of Patrae 
speaking in the first person in the text was identical with the 
alleged author Lucius of Patrae on the title-page (cf. p. 33). 
Everything else that Photius says we have found to be literally 
true. The "Ovos is an epitome of the (entire) Merajuop^coo-ets and, 
in its broader aspects, a satire on Greek superstition. Lucius 
was credulous and believed in the metamorphoses of men into 
animals and of animals into men; and although Photius did not 
look close enough to see Lucian grinning in the background 
against this relief of vd\os and (pXrjvaiposj he was nevertheless 
much nearer the truth than he suspected when he referred to the 
author of the Mera/xop^codets as aXXos AovKuavos. ^ 

^ In saying this, Photius seems to have in mind the style and extravagant 
nature of the subject-matter rather than the similarity to the "Opos; cf. Bibl. 
cod. 82: * Aveyvojadrj 8i airrov (Dexippus) Kal to. XKvdLKit. . . . iari, 8k rifv <ppaaiv 
&7repiTT6s re Kal d^iw/iart xo-^P^^^ "a^ <^^ &" Tts eLiroi AXXos /xerd tlvos aa<pr]V€Las 


PA Psriy, Ben Edwin 

4^230 The Metamorphoses 

L8P4. ascribed to Lucius of Patrae