Apuleius, Cupido et Psyche

Course Expectations and Objectives

We will read Apuleius' Cupido et Psyche, focusing closely on the grammar, vocabulary, and style of the text, with significant comment on the historical and cultural background. The student is expected to have mastered a basic second year vocabulary and to be prepared to absorb a considerable quantity of new vocabulary. Complete familiarity with basic forms (declension patterns, pronouns, verb tenses, infinitives, participles, and gerundives) is required.

Time permitting, we may read a few other tales (particularly the salacious and hilariously funny Tale of the Tub).

Apuleius' style is generally straightforward, although his vocabulary is diverse, with many ante- and post-classical words (and more than a few which he likely coined himself). His fluidity matches Livy and, although he is capable of complex periodic structure, he is equally fond of complex ablative constructions. As with all authors, Apuleius' style will become easier as you progress through the text.

Students are expected to have prepared the assigned text well enough to read it with minimal difficulty and discuss grammatical constructions.

Text and Commentary

I have prepared the texts and vocabulary aids for your use:

Cupido et Psyche
Vocabulary Notes

The Tale of the Tub
Vocabulary Notes

The Tale of the Lost Slippers
Vocabulary Notes

Thelyphron's Tale of the Witches
Vocabulary Notes

Grammar Resources

A systematic grammar of Latin is recommended. Bennett's New Latin Grammar or, better, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Both are available for on-line purchase. Handouts on basic grammar and vocabulary are available at the Latin Handout Page.

A good Latin dictionary is suggested. The complete Lewis & Short is now on-line at the Perseus site. It is also available as an invaluable application for your iPad or iPhone.

Do not hesitate to make use of a modern translation if needed to comprehend fully the grammar of the Latin. Remember that English translations are not grammatically faithful to the original. The Loeb edition (found often at Borders) has a facing English translation, which may be useful for those tackling Silver Age Latin for the first time.

Quizzes and Examinations

There will be regular vocabulary quizzes, with the cumulative grade counting as an exam.

There will be 4 exams. Detailed information on what is expected on the examinations will be provided.

Article Critique

Students will chose an article from the Article List and write a short critique for presentation in class. Here are the Guidelines for the Critique.

The Instructor

William L. Carey, Esq.
Blankingship & Keith, P.C.
4020 University Drive, Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Other Resources:

Apuleius Website
Short Article on Apuleius (Wiki)