ON APULEIUS' APOLOGY' *
text published in: Mnemosyne 49, 1996, 159-67
the transmission of Apuleius' Apology, Florida and Metamorphoses,
our main witness is a Florentine MS (F = Laur. 68,2), on which all other MSS
depend1). Closely related to F is φ (= Laur. 29,2), which often presents the correct
reading when F is illegible. Some more recent MSS appear useful in other cases
where Fφ agree in obviously wrong readings. On the whole, the
authority of Fφ has been widely accepted in
modern Apuleian scholarship. In individual places, their readings are
As far as the Apology is concerned, the same tendency can be observed,
but many editors and other scholars still allow much room for emendations3).
this article, I will examine some passages in the Apology. In most of
them, emendation can be discarded in favour of readings found in the MSS4).
For each passage, the text as printed in the edition of Butler and Owen5)
is given, followed by variant readings and a brief discussion.
apertum immundum δ et m.rec. in mg. φ;
aperti immundum Helm
correction is generally accepted. Immundum is indeed necessary,
considering the context, and has some evidence in the MSS; the error in F may
have arisen in synaloephe of -um im-. However, the change to aperti
seems less imperative. At least here, the MSS' reading can be retained: nihil
uspiam corporis apertum would then mean 'no open spot anywhere on the body',
which fits perfectly. This is how the passage is quoted in TLL II,221,39-40,
though with the addition "(aspectu) E. Rohde" to the last word.
des Krüger; dans Bywater; da v / animum Fφ;
animam Colvius / dona et Fφ;
donaci Haupt / nam F, in iam mut. eadem manus φ
poet has listed his gifts to a boy, and now continues with what he receives, or
is to receive. Fφ
read das, which is defended by Helm ("Ap. exponit se omnibus
muneribus a puero superari"); but consequently, Helm is forced to change
the unproblematic redde to a future redde<s>. Therefore,
this does not bring us much further. The emendations des and dans
both make good sense, though the latter would produce a rather complex sentence
of four lines. Alternatively, we may return to one of the 'lectiones uulgatae'
(v): da. This reading puts the word on one line with redde,
producing a clear and natural exhortation to the boy. Less attractive, but
equally possible would be retaining both readings of F, das and redde;
we would then have a descriptive couplet, as Helm suggests, followed by an
the first line of the final couplet, which is the climax of the poem, the text
has been considered corrupt by scholars expecting the image of 'playing the
flute' here. Accordingly, changes were made to animam 'breath' and donaci
'reed'. Neither is necessary.
fact, an erotic detail rather than a strictly musical one would be more to the
point within the hellenistic atmosphere of this epigram. For this, F's reading animum
seems to offer some possibilities. One is tempted to think of the erotic topos
'a lover's soul passing his lips and wanting to come over to the beloved'; cf.
e.g. Plato A.P. 5,786); further Catulus Fr. 1 (Courtney) aufugit
mi animus..., an imitation of Callim. Epigr. 41 (Pfeiffer)(=4
Gow-Page)7). However, here the poet rather than the boy is the lover.
Alternatively, we might start from the sense "concupiscendi facultas,
uoluntas; 1.cupido, libido" (TLL II,95,74 ff), as in Apol. 71. In
that case, this line would again express the poet's hope for attention and love
on the part of the boy: 'if you put your heart (in your music), I will become
silent'. But as fitting as this sense would be, such usage of animum
inspirare seems unparalleled.
most simply, we can adduce animum inspirare as used in Verg. A.
6,11-2 and Sen. Thy. 275 for divine inspiration of a soul. Here, this
would mean that the adored boy is addressed as a divine person, who is asked to
inspire the soul of the poet by his music. That seems fine.
other change to donaci is clever indeed, but F's text dona et
makes excellent sense8). The poet has just mentioned several of his
gifts, which are to be answered by corresponding (and actually: greater) gifts
of the boy. Presently, the poet is finishing his epigram, which will equally be
surpassed once the boy will play his inspiring music: 'If you can really inspire
me, my gifts and even my poem will be surpassed, conquered by your
music'. The galant poet is only too eager to have his poem outdone by the beauty
of the boy's talents and gifts. There may be even a stronger paradox: as soon as
the poet will perceive the divine inspiration he so longs for, -- he will rather
fall silent than produce new verses. Such an exquisite pointe seems not
misplaced in a learned epigram as this.
F; acti Helm; coacti Purser and most editors
is part of a complex text dealing with various explanations of visual
perception. In the clause on the Stoic view, F reads facti, which seemed
problematical to most editors. The preceding word is given by F as ueris,
where the emendation to aeris seems beyond reasonable doubt. However,
none of the solutions proposed for facti seems satisfactory on a
philosophical level. In a study on the Stoic theory of vision, Ingenkamp9)
discusses the present passage, but is unable to decide whether or not Apuleius
has correctly understood the Stoic theory. If he has, all conjectures are to be
rejected, Ingenkamp argues, since they mistakenly assume an emission of rays
from the eyes; if he has not, all attempts at conjecture seem rather pointless.
His conclusion is that we should probably come to terms with facti.
agree with this: in the absence of strong arguments against a reading in F, it
is best to retain it. A crux is not absolutely necessary; the sense of the Latin
words might be that the radii are formed in some way by the tension of
the air. Apuleius may even have used the rather vague facti on purpose,
in order to avoid a technical point too difficult for his public, and perhaps
even for himself. It should not be forgotten that Apuleius' aim is rhetorical
rather than academic. He wants to impress his audience, not to annoy it with
matters too abstruse10).
suda soli Fφ;
edd. alii alia
awkward soli is probably the most frequently discussed textual point in
the Apology and many emendations have been proposed11). Scholars who
refrain from emendation have interpreted it either as gen.sg. of solum
'soil'; or as dat.sg. or nom.pl. of solus 'only'; or as dat.sg. of sol
'sun', but none of these will do. Recently, Lucifora (1993) has tried to reopen
the discussion by defending soli once again as nom.pl. to be taken with philosophia,
interpreted as a collective noun. Philosophers, then, would be 'the only ones'
who must examine all kinds of mirrors. However, this solution is syntactically
harsh, even for Apuleius, and the parallels adduced are not convincing.
Moreover, I fail to see why this study should be said to be the exclusive
concern of philosophers. Therefore, I cannot accept Lucifora's proposal.
Penna (1952) regards soli as an interpolation: a scribe did not
understand suda and added soli above su, to make the
perfectly normal solida, which was then taken into the text. The same
solution has been defended by Traina (1986). Modern Italian editors of the Apology
accordingly delete the word, and this is probably the best solution.
<ac> simplicia Hildebrand; simpliciter Helm
emendation has been almost universally accepted, but the adverb seems a bit
strange with uereor or with vana et inepta. Butler and Owen also
suggest adding et before simplicia or reading inepte simplicia
with Bywater. However, we may simply keep the text of F as it is and read: uana
et inepta, simplicia,; here simplex would not be strongly negative as
'stupid', as Butler and Owen suggest, but mildly negative as 'naive,
simple-minded'; cfr OLD s.v. 8b. There is a close parallel in Met. 4,1 deuius
et protectus, absconditus; there too, the reading has been wrongly doubted12);
see also GCA a.l..
seems a relatively simple case, where emendation can be dispensed with. Apuleius
often uses an adjective instead of a noun in the gen. pl. For puerilis,
cf. Met. 3,20 puerile... corollarium; Apol. 43 animus...
puerilis. Hijmans (1994), 1775n218 compares Met. 6,31 uirginalis
fugae with CGA a.l..
si quo eat Helm; si qua eat Van der Vliet
emendation is commonly accepted, but in fact quite unnecessary. Similarly, we
can avoid that proposed by Van der Vliet, for which Augello wrongly claims
credit. The argument that such emendations give a stronger sense is not a
sufficient reason to change the MSS' text. In addition, it may be argued that
the statement becomes more universal with the traditional reading: one's face
should reflect one's mind whenever possible, that is: not merely in public.
Van der Vliet; dicerit F; dixerit φ
der Vliet's conjecture is now generally accepted. It makes the point that the
advocate Tannonius 'has forgotten the evidence with which he was primed by the
accusers', as Butler and Owen paraphrase. This point will be made explicitly a
few lines later, in dic quid advocato tuo mandaueris. Admittedly, the
passage is not without repetitions, and it is possible that this strong point is
made twice on purpose. On the other hand, φ's
reading dixerit, which remains closest to F's obviously incorrect
reading, makes excellent sense: Tannonius has announced that he would bring some
witnesses, but when requested to present them, it seems that he 'does not know
what he has said himself, or has forgotten their names'. With this reading of φ, the sarcasm of the passage is even sharper.
V1 V3 V5; laruans Fφ;
most other editors, Butler and Owen B/O choose larvatus, a form attested
in Apuleius' Met.13). However, laruans may be retained.
Its defenders seem to interpret it as participle of a deponent laruari or
an intransitive verb laruare 'to be fearful, haunted by ghosts' or 'to be
one of the ghosts'. But it seems better to take it as a participle of an active
verb 'to haunt with ghosts', 'to evoke ghosts'; cf. TLL VII,978,65-67 larvis
terreo; OLD s.v.; and Marchesi's translation 'le fa lui le larve'14).
This projects the charge on the accuser himself, who is now pictured as an
'actively bad man' rather than a 'passive victim'. For a similar Apuleian pun,
cf. a few lines before: Em uobis quem scelestus ille sceletum nominabat.
interpretationem F; inter procationem Casaubonus; inter precationem M1
editors accept Casaubon's emendation15), but it involves serious
difficulties. Firstly, it is a hapax legomenon. Apuleius' works show many of
these, but it seems dangerous if scholars create them. Secondly, its sense seems
not quite clear. Translations remain rather vague: 'les projets matrimoniaux de
la mčre' (Vallette); 'il desiderio di maritarsi' (Mosca), 'matrimonial
intentions' (Butler). But since it is to be derived from procare
'demand', its sense is 'the act of wooing, suit' (OLD s.v.), which requires a
male subject16), and makes matris an objective genitive. But
this would produce a awkward lack of balance with fili, a subjective
genitive. More importantly, in this passage Pudentilla is not suitored at all,
but is rather actively looking for a husband.
we look for an alternative, the reading of F seems impossible to defend.
McCreight (1991),284 briefly discusses electionem, but admits that it is
difficult to explain paleographically. Here we may follow M1 and read inter
precationem. The word precatio is regular, though in the Apuleian
corpus it occurs only in Ascl. 4117). Furthermore, it involves
only a very small difference from F, and it would retain the balance with metum
word does not refer to marriage plans in general, but to the ardent appeal
Pudentilla has made to her son. After a number of years, she had expressed the
wish to remarry and had sent a letter to him in Rome (70,15 ff), exposing her
intentions and demanding his sympathy for her case (cf. 70,22 ff tandem
aliquando se quoque paterentur solitudini suae et aegritudini subuenire). It
is this letter which has prompted Pontianus to come from Rome (71,11-2). Now,
the way in which mother and son react upon each other are contrasted: she
is praying his help and consent, while he is afraid about her plan for financial
Novák; at Fφ;
emendation ac connects two thoughts in one sentence. This is not
necessary. If we follow F's reading and print a question mark after commenta
est, the two sentences make excellent sense, and the rhetorical force
becomes even stronger. The adversative at counters any possible doubt
after the first question: 'Or is Phaedra the only woman who forged a love
letter? But is it not the case that all women...?'. It may be added that
short, pressing questions are much to Apuleius' taste (some examples can be
found in the same chapter). For at non as introduction for such a
question, cf. 25,3 At non contraria accusastis?
a case could be made for an. We would then have two parallel questions: an...?
an...?, as in 15,7-8 an...? an non...?; 59,2 ff. But in view of the
stronger authority of F, at seems preferable here.
necesse Novák; necesse
necesse F (non add.m.rec.)
without reason Novák inserts the necessary non before necesse:
"secundum usum Apuleianum". Indeed, not a single instance of the order
necesse non is extant in his works. (I notice that in the great majority
of cases, there is no negation at all). But this seems not enough to justify
transposing the correction in Fφ.
Necesse non est seems perfectly acceptable.
addit Purser; creditam addit Helm; alii alia; promissam addunt L3
V1 V5 et m.saec.XVI in φ
word seems required for something less than 'given'. Many solutions have been
brought forward. Butler and Owen print Purser's commodatam. Mainly on the
basis of the legal aspects, F. Norden defended sed <dictam> tantum18),
as in c.102 uti dotem mihi...diceret. It may be added that inserting dictam
produces an Apuleian sound effect with datam.
has been pointed out that there was a minor, formal distinction between dotem
dicere and dotem promittere: the first did not include a formal
question, but only a one-sided statement. Both are legal methods of contracting
to give a dowry, not just plain, common terms19). Furthermore,
Augello says that in the course of time dictio of the dos was
replaced by promissio. Given these facts, the old conjecture promissam
may be supported as well20).
omnibus Mineruae Fφ;
in omnibus <minor> Mineruae Butler; in omnibus minor
u<it>ae Van Lennep; alii alia
can retain the text of F, with Hildebrand, Marchesi, Mosca and TLL IV,1511,28 ff
("modo sanus sit locus"). Mineruae curriculum is an accusative
with currat, in a rare figura etymologica (TLL gives as parallel only
Stat.Theb. 3,116 certamen). But one problem of interpretation remains:
where is the 'negative' element in the comparison between both brothers if we do
not add minor? The translations of Marchesi and Mosca here seem to
suggest that we should take quam as rather ironically: 'let him see how
(i.e. how little)21) he competes ... with his brother'.
Alternatively, the element of comparison might be implicit in currat or
in optumae memoriae uiro. However, nothing of this would adequately
explain the expressions used in the middle of the sentence. Actually, quam in
omnibus, and especially the striking phrase Mineruae curriculum carry
more weight than the rest.
is closely associated with Minerva (cf. TLL's paraphrase: "nunquam
Pontianum quicquam inuita Minerua scripsisse"). Possibly, it is in this
bond that we have the negative implication for Pudens. In all things, he runs
not a simple course against his brother, but a 'Minerva's course', which is
impossible for him to win, since he lacks the erudition and culture of his
brother. Pudens, who does not know Latin and speaks mostly Punic (c.98), simply
does not stand a chance in a Minerva's course. Recitation of Pontianus'
flattering and polite letter will show that Pudens runs such a course in
omnibus, that is: in the field of letter writing too. Shortly before,
Apuleius had referred to a letter by Pudens: quam nimis contumeliose et
turpiter de matre tua scriptam (c.86), the very opposite of Pontianus'
sui potens ac uir
<qui> add. Helm
text is perfectly sound and no emendation is required. Still, Helm's addition
has crept into all modern editions, surprisingly also that of Butler and Owen,
although they explicitly reject Helm's suggestion in their commentary.
natu is est Fφ.
and Owen very rightly point out that we need two words (binis uerbis) for
each element. It may be added that this is apparent until the very end of the
section quoted here. Accordingly, they print natu'st, which is accepted
by many other editors22). However, Butler and Owen shrink back before
sectatu's (already proposed by Purser), although they give this form in
the commentary, arguing that Apuleius is likely to have at least pronounced it
in this way. Here, we must surely print it as well, if the effect is not to be
spoiled. Admittedly, aphaeresis of es is less common than of est,
but examples can be found in comedy, e.g. Plaut. Pers.146 facturu's;
237 odiosu's; Curc.407 quioati's; Epid.630 remoratu's23).
A parallel within the Apology might be 46,10 pollicitu's, for F's pollicitus,
to which most editors add <es>.
This article is a preliminary study for a new edition with commentary of
Apuleius' Pro se de magia (Apologia), Amsterdam 1997. Research was
supported by the Foundation for Literary Studies, Musicology and Drama Research,
which is subsidized by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
(NWO). I wish to express my thanks to the Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana at
Firenze (Italy) for granting me permission to consult F (Laur.68,2). I also
thank Prof. J.H. Brouwers (Catholic University Nijmegen), Dr. R. van der
Paardt (State University Leiden and member of the Apuleius Research Group at the
State University Groningen), and Prof. E.J. Kenney (Cambridge University), whose
critical comments have been of great use to me. Of course, they are in no way
responsable for any of my statements or proposals.
Recently, this position has been challenged by O. Pecere, Qualche riflessione
sulla tradizione di Apuleio a Montecassino, in: G. Cavallo (ed.), Le
strade del testo (Roma 1987), 97‑124. Pecere argues for an tradition
independent from F, of which the so called Assisi fragments (C) would be an
example. However, his examples are hardly of any consequence for our
constitution of the text. For this, not even Pecere denies the central
importance of F.
For the Metamorphoses, cf. especially the Groningen Commentaries on
Apuleius (GCA), where readings of Fφ
are consistently defended wherever possible.
The practice of making new emendations still continues even for the Apology.
Recently, a number of them have been brought forward by W.S. Watt, Ten notes
on Apuleius, Apologia, Mnemosyne 47 (1994), 517‑20. Most of Watt's
proposals to change the text are superfluous, since they concern passages where
F's reading makes good sense and is undisputed. In one or two other cases, where
F is probably corrupt (e.g. 16,1), I cannot agree with Watt's
Here I follow the general principles set out by B.L. Hijmans jr, Apuleius
orator: 'Pro se de Magia' and 'Florida', in: ANRW II 34,2, (1994),
1708‑84, esp. 1770-80. Among earlier scholars defending F in difficult
places, I mention Harry Armini, Studia Apuleiana, Eranos 26 (1928),
H.E. Butler, A.S. Owen, Apulei apologia sive Pro se de magia liber with
introduction and commentary (Oxford 1914). Reference is made to paragraphs and
lines in this edition also. The most important other editions are: P. Vallette, Apulée,
Apologie, Florides (Paris 1924) (Budé series) and R. Helm, Apulei
Platonici Madaurensis Pro se De Magia liber (Apologia) (Leipzig 1972)
(Teubner; 5th impr.).
In the next chapter (Apol.10) Apuleius actually quotes some Platonic
epigrams in Greek. See especially Gellius 19,11, where Plato A.P. 5,78 is
quoted along with a free Latin translation made by amicus meus, ouk amousos
adulescens (dum seihiulco sauio / meo puellum sauior...). This amicus
can be identified as Apuleius: cf. S.J. Harrison, Apuleius Eroticus: Anth.
Lat.712 Riese, Hermes 120 (1992), 83‑89. This Latin translation is
given as an Apuleian fragment by E. Courtney, The fragmentary Latin poets
(Oxford 1993), 392-400. Here, the poet uses anima 'soul'. For animus
used as anima, see TLL II,105,7 ff; further Pease on Cic. N.D.
2,18 animum spirabilem.
In his defence, Apuleius explicitly mentions Catulus as one of the Latin poets
of erotic verse (Apol. 9).
Hildebrand a.l. (p.464) retains both animum and dona et, but he
suggests that Critias must inspire his own soul, which seems an awkward
idea. Hildebrand's interpretation of dona does not appear clearly from
his concluding paraphrase: "Si velis, o Critia, ipse tibi inspirare vim
illam divinam carminum, quam poetae alii ab Apolline et Musis petunt, tu vero
tibi ipse praestare potes, dona mihi vicissim carmina pro carminibus, quae non
minus cederit [sic!] tuo calamo, quam serta et rosae non sunt comparandae cum
complexu et melitissimis tuis saviis". One may get the impression that he
takes it as the imperative of donare, which seems impossible here.
Cf. H.G. Ingenkamp, Zur stoischen Lehre vom Sehen, RhM 114 (1971),
240‑246, esp. 245-6n8.
If we compare similar 'technical' passages, e.g. that in c.49-50 on epilepsy, we
find Apuleius taking great care to make his exposition lucid and easy to follow
for his non-specialist audience.
For various solutions, cf. especially: A. La Penna, Marginalia et
hariolationes philologicae, Maia 6 (1952),108‑9; A. Traina, Vel uda
vel suda. Apul. Apol. 16, MD 16 (1986),147‑51; R.M. Lucifora, Ipotesi
d'interpretazione per Apuleio "Apologia" 16,3, Orpheus 14
(1993),129‑134; all with further references. The latest attempt at
emendation has been made by Watt (1994),518, who proposes o<cu>lis.
Cf. Armini (1928), 273‑339, esp.327‑328; for the passage in the Met.,
see GCA a.l..
Cf. also Thomas D. McCreight, Rhetorical strategies and word choice in
Apuleius' Apology (Diss. Duke University 1991), 453-6, with lexicographical
discussion on laruatus. Recently, P. Frassinetti (Note testuali ad
Apuleio (Apol. Flor.), in: Studi di filologia classica in honore di
Giusto Monaco, III (Palermo 1991), 1205‑8 proposed larualis.
For periphrastic expressions of a participle with est, cf. Louis
Callebat, Sermo cotidianus dans les Métamorphoses d'Apulée (Caen 1968),
Earlier, I have also followed it in my Dutch translation of the Apology.
Cf. Apuleius, Toverkunsten, vertaald (...) door Vincent Hunink, met een
inleiding van Rudi van der Paardt (Amsterdam 1992), 75.
The noun procus 'suitor' is actually used in the context of Pudentilla's
marriage in 68,14 ceteros procos absterrebat (sc. Pudentilla) and 92,35 ob
haec et alia uiduae dote aucta procos sollicitant (it also occurs in 76,4).
These passages from the Apology clearly show that Roman women can deter
or attract suitors, but not 'suitor' them.
On the question of the authenticity of the Asclepius, see: Vincent
Hunink, Apuleius and the 'Asclepius' (forthc.).
Fritz Norden, Apulejus von Madaura und das römische Privatrecht (Leipzig
1912), 97; on dotem dicere, see 96-8. For the present passage, Norden
explains the omission as paleographically easy between seD TANtummodo.
Cf. also A.J. Kronenberg, Ad Apuleium, Mnemosyne 56 (1928),29-54. esp.46.
Without reference to Norden, Kronenberg proposes sed tantummodo
Cf. Jane F. Gardner, Women in Roman law & society (London 1990),
Admittedly, by itself the value of these late MSS is limited; cf. Butler and
Owen (1914), xxxvi-xxxix. Augello a.l. defends promissam too, but his
objection to dictam is rather apodictic ("la dotis dictio č in
decadenza fin dall' epoca classica") and comes without any proof.
Marchesi actually renders 'quanto poco egli sia compagno al fratello...'; Mosca
prints 'quanto (...) resti indietro rispetto a suo fratello'.
Slightly less irregular are: 50,1 praecipuast and 50,24 sanctissimast.
Cf. W.M. Lindsay, The Latin language (...) (Oxford 1894),121; further
Lindsay on Plautus' Captivi, p.24-5. The phenomenon seems to be neglected
in the standard grammars. It is also called 'procope' or 'prodelision'.
latest changes here: