Courtroom Drama: Apuleius’ Apologia
In the year ad 158–91 Apuleius had to stand trial for his life before the proconsul of Africa. His crime was to be being married to the wealthy widow Pudentilla who was ten, perhaps fifteen, years his senior. This was of course not an offence, so her relations who saw her money going to the comparatively poor philosopher and sophist had to think of another accusation to bring against Apuleius. They accused him of employing magical means in order to win Pudentilla’s hand. This chapter deals with Apuleius’ speech in his self-defence against the accusation of using magic. His case was problematic, because it seems that Apuleius was indeed interested in magical procedures and may have been guilty of some of the ‘crimes’ he was accused of.
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