Articles with keyword: Metamorphoses

Schizophrenia in the Golden Ass
Michael Fontaine Cornell University


Volume 4, Issue 1

 | pp.



Lucius, the narrator of Apuleius’ Golden Ass, meets the diagnostic criteria of schizophrenia. This observation suggests (1) that schizophrenia is not a recent disease, as historians of psychiatry assert, but that—whatever its origin and nature—it is at least ancient and probably eternal. It also suggests (2) that Lucius is an unreliable narrator of the novel because he believes his own delusions even more sincerely than most readers do.
Subjects:Ancient Rome, Latin Literature