Courtroom Drama: Apuleius’ Apologia
Abstract and Keywords
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.
In the year ad 158–9 1 Apuleius had to stand trial for his life before the proconsul of Africa. His crime was to have married 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 was a crime under Sulla’s lex Cornelia de sicariis et veneficis 2 and punishable with death. If Apuleius’ opponents had succeeded in convincing the judge of his guilt, Pudentilla’s relatives would have been effectively—and definitively—relieved of his troublesome presence. 3
This chapter deals with Apuleius’ speech in his self-defence against the accusation of using magic. 4 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. 5 His opponents, however, (p. 74 ) apparently only managed to concoct an overhasty and badly prepared accusation (according to Apuleius). Thus it was much easier for him to use invective against their more ludicrous points and get the judge on to his side by ridiculing his opponents constantly. Apuleius makes his opponents look ridiculous by using many methods, 6 and it is beyond the scope of this investigation even to summarize these traditional or innovative techniques; instead, I shall concentrate on his use of one particular aspect of rhetorical invective: 7 drama, and especially comedy. 8 Comedy in its origin according to Aristotle is close enough to invective and the წαμβικὴ ἰδέα to be used effectively in invective. 9 This use of comedy against one’s opponents is of course not unique in ancient oratory; 10 it is also very powerfully employed in Cicero’s Against Piso 11 and the second Philippic, 12 and both speeches are pure invectives, not speeches for the defence. Also in his oratorical theory 13 Cicero describes the use of comedy in rhetoric but warns against the imitation of mime, which is too farcical. The most famous defence speech, however, an exemplary instance of transforming a weak case into a strong one, and turning all the blame from the accused to the accusers and their witnesses, is Cicero’s Pro Caelio (‘In Defence of Caelius’), which is unique in taking comedy as its most prominent and important foil for invective defence. 14 Both speeches, that of Apuleius and that of Cicero, end with the acquittal of the accused, and more importantly, both speakers use the force of ridicule, the invective power of comic citations, to draw the judges to their side.
(p. 75 ) Recently, some Apuleian scholars have denied any substantial influence of Cicero on Apuleius, arguing that the reminiscences and verbal affinities we find in the Apologia 15 go back to common court practice. So Hijmans and Hunink do not believe that Apuleius emulates another great speaker for the defence, 16 but it will appear that there are many close reminiscences not only in the use of vocabulary, which is surprising considering the very divergent views on language these two orators have, but also in their tactics in the use of comedy.
Before the speech by Apuleius is analysed in greater detail, it is appropriate to give a short overview of Cicero’s masterpiece of comic invective defence. Cicero’s Pro Caelio 17 is in defence of a young man who is most probably guilty of some of the charges brought against him. 18 The timing of the accusation was against him: because of the particular nature of his crime, it could be dealt with even during public holidays, and thus the trial of Caelius took place during the ludi Megalenses (a festival in honour of the Great Goddess), at a time when the rest of the Roman public was involved in going to the theatre and (for example) watching comedies. 19 Cicero turns this to his own advantage, draws the disgruntled judges on to his side and with his speech makes up for their loss of comic entertainment; he chooses to do this by marshalling stock characters of the comic stage before the judges, to entertain his audience as the comedians would have done. 20 Apuleius’ use of dramatic genres is also easily conceivable: like drama, the Apologia was delivered in a public space in Sabratha before a large and attentive audience. 21 Both speakers could draw on (p. 76 ) a long tradition of comparing comic acting with rhetoric, and forensic litigations are a considerable element in Graeco-Roman comedy. 22
Bergson in his influential study on ‘Le rire’ stresses that an individual who does not conform to society is humiliated and excluded from it by laughter, 23 and Segal 24 provides ample evidence that these ridiculed individuals in Plautine comedy are usually the blocking characters: pimps, misers, the braggart soldiers (milites gloriosi) in Terentian comedy, and, as in Caecilius’, the strict fathers (duri patres). 25 Cicero’s Pro Caelio follows the same routine for his effect. Having impersonated the roles of strict and mild fathers 26 from comedy (37 and 38), he proceeds to cast other participants in the trial in comic roles, 27 Clodia as the meretrix procax (the wanton courtesan) of comedy, her brother Clodius as her pimp, and himself in the role of the mild father of the adulescentulus (the comic young man), Caelius. 28 He contrives a constantly degrading portrait of Clodia throughout the speech by associating her at first ironically with characters from tragedy (‘the Medea from the Palatine’ Cael. 18). Tragedy in this speech, as later in Apuleius, is used for negative characterization of the opponents: here Clodia is linked to the mythical Medea, but already in a derisive, comicized way, since the murderous character is transferred from mythological Greece to contemporary Rome.
Then she is compared with heroines from Roman Comedy with decreasing amounts of virtue, from matronae (married women) to meretrices (courtesans), and finally with the despicable mime actress. 29 The part of the meretrix, the prostitute, is indeed Clodia’s real profession, Cicero claims, (p. 77 ) and by associating her with the literary figure, he manages to blacken her character by implication as well as by naming her outright as a meretrix, a courtesan. 30
Caelius, finally, is easily linked with the adulescens amans (the young man in love) of Roman comedy, 31 who has fallen for a slightly older meretrix and has done foolish things under her instigation. Not only is a relationship with a meretrix condoned in comedy, it is also by definition temporary, since there can be no marriage in the end. Thus lenient fathers allow their sons to have their meretrices, but want them to settle down with a suitable wife and children after the affair is over. Cicero uses this concept to explain the termination of the affair between Clodia and Caelius and her desire for revenge on him. 32
It is evident that Cicero manages to convey a comic atmosphere in two very different ways. First, he directly quotes Roman comedy, seemingly in order to entertain his audience and display his literary learning. Then, when he launches into the invective proper, he exploits the comic colouring of these quotations. Having created a certain readiness in his audience to accept comedy in the proceedings of the speech, he takes the more daring step. He likens real-life people to stock characters of comedy to make them look ridiculous, and to imply that they should lose—because blocking characters in comedy always do lose 33 while the adulescens Caelius, he implies, should indulgently be set free.
(p. 78 ) Interestingly, Cicero casts the courtesan amongst the negatively portrayed characters; this is against comic tradition, but in line with the general force of a speech full of straight-laced Roman ideology. Thus two things are remarkable in the light of Apuleius’ use of this strategy: firstly, the meretrix is here portrayed extremely negatively. Secondly, Cicero provides himself with a role to play within this ‘courtroom drama’: as Caelius’ ‘indulgent father’ he implies he already has forgiven the wayward youth. Setting himself up as an identification point for the jury and the meretrix mala (‘the wicked courtesan’) as the focal point for righteous condemnation, he is at variance with the customs of comedy, but evidently succeeded with these tactics in achieving Caelius’ acquittal.
Outline of the Apologia
In comparing Apuleius’ tactics to those of Cicero, the question arises whether Apuleius follows similar techniques or is innovative in certain aspects of his invective. Language, although archaizing and sometimes comic, 34 may not be the prime means of giving the speech a comic flavour, especially since some of these expressions may have found their way into the sermo cotidianus. 35 It is however remarkable that whenever Apuleius derides his opponents’ lack of learning by a burlesque reference to comedy, he also increases the frequency of his use of comic words. Plautus is never named or quoted directly, but his style and words are integrated into the rhetorical strategy. 36
Thus it may be assumed that Apuleius uses words taken from the Roman comic writers and archaisms not only for the sake of introducing a rather extravagant style into his speech, but also as potential markers for comic invective against his opponents. Apuleius, especially in the first part, manages to make his audience laugh with him and about his opponents, by using comedy.
(p. 79 ) The speech’s structure and argumentation fall basically into three sections, each containing three subsections. 37 The first main section (4–25.4) deals with the subsidiary, non-magical charges which were brought against Apuleius in order to discredit his character generally; they range from his profession as a philosopher and rhetorician to his personal hygiene. The next (25.5–65) deals with a potpourri of ‘minor’ magical charges, which seem indeed to link Apuleius with the practice of what antiquity would regard as ‘magic’, and the last main part (66–101) deals with Apuleius’ alleged employment of this magic to persuade Pudentilla to marry him.
Comedy is used in all three main parts, but in different ways. In the first part it suffices for Apuleius to draw the judges and his audience on to his side by displaying his superior learning, which involves entertaining the audience with quotations and reminiscences from Roman poets in a similar manner to the use of quotations of archaic poets in his other works. Comedy is mentioned there amongst other (dramatic and non-dramatic) genres, without gaining an importance of its own. The occasional allusion to Caecilius Statius is sufficient to establish that Apuleius is versed in comedy as well as in Catullus.
The use of comedy in the second part of the speech is very different. It is no longer ornamental, showing off Apuleius’ superior knowledge, but functions as part of his counter-attack. The charges against him start to get serious, and Apuleius has to switch his tactics. By having quoted enough comedy in the first part, he has alerted his audience to the fact that there might be more to come. The network of literary allusions cunningly introduced in the first part is now built on further. He exploits his audience’s knowledge of comedy and its stock characters against his accusers. He effectively emulates Cicero’s approach to the defence of (the equally guilty) Caelius in defending himself. Cicero had managed to make the weaker argument the better one by laughing his opponents out of court. It will be shown that Apuleius connects negative comic allusion with his opponents, whilst he avoids any extended link between himself and comedy in this part of the speech. It is only in the third main part of the speech (66–101) that he unleashes a full-blown invective against his opponents, using comedy as his central invective technique and banning any other technique of deriding his opponents firmly to the background.
In order to follow the development of his comic invective, we had best discuss the different sections of Apuleius’ speech in order. This will also show that Apuleius manages to structure his speech by literary allusions and invective involving comedy and make it more easily digestible for his audience.
(p. 80 ) 4.2. EXORDIUM (‘INTRODUCTION’) 1–3
In the exordium, which Apuleius shapes in good Ciceronian manner, 38 he presents himself as the unjustly accused philosopher (a leitmotif of the speech), who has to defend his innocence against a trumped-up accusation by Sicinius Aemilianus, the main villain of the piece, who uses Apuleius’ stepson Pudens as a shield behind which to hide, since the minor Pudens could not be punished if the accusation against Apuleius were judged unsubstantiated. The first time Aemilianus is mentioned, he becomes (1.1) ‘senem notissimae temeritatis’ (‘an old man well known for his recklessness’); this reference to age and rashness is standard invective, 39 found already in Cicero, but it also opens the field for further characterizations of Apuleius’ main opponent as a senex, an old man, who bears some links with comedy. 40 Temeritas, ‘rashness’ is usually the prerogative of youth, 41 but it should be noted that during the whole speech Aemilianus is built up as a boorish senex from the countryside, (an impression enhanced by his later characterization as rustic, stupid, and old) 42 like for example Demipho, the senex of Plautus’ Mercator, 43 who loses his head over a woman, 44 becomes quite childish again and has to relearn how to read since love has made him very foolish and rash. 45
Aemilianus as the arch-villain of the Apologia is called (2.8) ‘professor et machinator’ (‘instructor and inventor’) and auctor (‘author’) of the accusation. Considering that in the further course of the speech Aemilianus is portrayed as lacking the technical expertise these words suggest, they have to (p. 81 ) be taken ironically. 46 The metaphor of machinari is used seven times in Plautus for the comic intrigue (for example in Bacch. 232); the inventor of it is usually called auctor (cf. for example Mil. 1094). 47
4.3. REFUTATION OF SUBSIDIARY, NON-MAGICAL CHARGES 4–24
The defence against the minor magical charges is conducted from a superior standpoint, that of the eloquent sophist and orator who can use his wide knowledge against his boorish 48 accusers and easily ward off their attacks. Apuleius does this by quoting a wide range of literary sources to display his vast erudition. His first example is Greek, from the Iliad, quoted in extenso in order to win over to his side the learned philosopher Maximus, who is sitting as the judge over the trial, and to some extent Apuleius’ audience, too. 49 The second quotation used, however, and the first one in Latin, is derived from the comic writer Caecilius (5.3):
This is the only quotation of Caecilius in the extant work of Apuleius. Caecilius was in antiquity known for his gravity, 51 and the dicunt distances Apuleius from the quotation.
Sane quidem, si verum est quod Statium Caecilium in suis poematibus scripsisse dicunt, innocentiam eloquentiam esse, 50
(Indeed, if it is true what Caecilius Statius is said to have written in one of his comedies, that ‘innocence is eloquence’,)
(p. 82 ) It seems unlikely, however, that Apuleius was not familiar with the works of Caecilius, which is what Hunink and Mattiacci maintain. 52 On the contrary, since the whole age of the Latin Second Sophistic preferred archaic to classical poets generally, there is no reason to assume that Apuleius, and possibly also the more educated members of his audience, did not know exactly what he was quoting. Gellius knows Caecilius sufficiently, and Apuleius could have known the comic poet either from direct study or from excerpts. His careful phrasing only hides a play with the quotation which is lost to us since we do not have the context any longer. 53
It is remarkable, too, that Apuleius starts from the same standpoint as Cicero, from the comic gravity of Caecilius. Cicero casts himself in one of Caecilius’ roles, that of the durus pater, objecting to Caelius’ lifestyle, cf. (Cael. 37): ‘quem patrem potissimum sumam, Caecilianumne aliquem vehementem atque durum’ (‘which father should I best take up, one of Caecilius’, vehement and harsh?’) Thence Cicero will enter the more benign world of some of the more indulgent fathers of Terence, as the following quotation from Ter. Ad. 120f. (Cael. 38) shows. Apuleius, on the other hand, although he refrains from any identification, still uses the proverbial gravity and sincerity of Caecilius to strengthen his own argument about his innocence. His rare use of Caecilius here mirrors his equally rare reference to Terence in De Deo Socratis when he needs to find a less frivolous comic writer. 54
Comedy in quotation and reference, however, is at this stage only one among many literary references Apuleius employs in his defence. In the section about his dental hygiene, he refers to poems written by himself emulating Catullus (Apol. 6) and quotes common knowledge about the tooth-cleaning of crocodiles (Apol. 9) taken from Hdt. 2.68, Aris., HA 7, 612a20ff. and other zoological sources. When he has to defend his own (p. 83 ) homoerotic poetry he quotes extensively from Solon’s (Apol. 9.9) and Plato’s elegiacs (Apol. 10) in addition to his own ludicra (‘playful poems’) on the subject; 55 thus it is not surprising that this passage in itself contains several references to Greek epigrams by Plato and others (Apol. 10.8–10), 56 all with a homoerotic context, and statements by Catullus and Hadrian (Apol. 11) 57 on the essential chastity of poets, who nevertheless might write lascivious verses.
Just before he finishes his section on homoerotic poetry, however, Apuleius quotes a line by Lucius Afranius, another archaic Roman writer of comedy, this time of fabulae togatae, after some brief allusions to the Platonic concepts of beauty and anamnesis: 58 ‘ut semper, eleganter Afranius hoc scriptum relinquat: “amabit sapiens, cupient ceteri” ’ (‘as always Afranius has left it rather elegantly in his writings: “the wise man will love, the rest will feel lust” ’; trans. adapted). 59
Quintilian remarks that Afranius was known for his interest in boys: ‘utinam non inquinasset argumenta puerorum foedis amoribus mores suos fassus’ (‘If only he had not defiled his plots with loathsome love affairs with boys, professing his own inclinations!’). 60 There are, however, no clear pederastic references in his extant fragments, and perhaps Quintilian is exaggerating his claim, basing it on one or two comedies of Afranius. It is generally accepted that Apuleius assumes his audience knows that Afranius showed this predilection though he cannot himself offer a matching quotation. It suffices for him to flatter their supposed learning by alluding to this author’s life and works and to quote a phrase which on the surface corroborates his Platonic approach to the issue. Although traces of homoerotic poetry are found in archaic Roman poetry and are alluded to by Apuleius, 61 to quote Afranius is more suitably archaic and flattering to his audience’s capacity to catch allusions. 62
In its full form the line runs. ‘philosophari mihi necesse, paucis, nam omnino haud placet’ (‘I must needs be a philosopher—in a few things; for to be so in all ways—that displeases me’). 64 This apparently well-known line is quoted three times by Cicero in a philosophical context and Gellius, 65 and Apuleius seems to expect his audience to know either its original context in the tragedy 66 or its use in the arguments of the philosopher Cicero, since Apuleius alludes to the line and rephrases it by the substitution of paucis (‘in a few words’) for pluribus (‘at length’), and perhaps even changes the meaning by manipulating his audience into taking paucis in the original quotation to refer to the number of words used. Thus Apuleius invites the learned members of his audience, especially the presiding judge, who probably also knows Cicero’s and Gellius’ references to this particular phrase, to join him again in his witty derision of his boorish accusers. He uses a similar strategy in Flor. 2. 67
Da igitur veniam Platoni philosopho versuum eius de amore, ne ego necesse habeam contra sententiam Neoptolemi Enniani pluribus philosophari.
(So please forgive Plato the philosopher for his love poems! Otherwise I will need to act against the opinion of Neoptolemus in Ennius and ‘philosophize at length’.)
The next passage among the subsidiary charges is concerned with Apuleius’ possession of mirrors (13–16). In a sophistic argument Apuleius suggests that owning a mirror does not imply using it, and the example with which he illustrates this is taken from drama again (Apol. 13.7):
The first phrase, describing theatrical equipment, 69 is split up into the three main dramatic genres on the Roman stage, the costume of the tragic, comic and mime actors, with a possible fourth element missing between comedy and mime. Its use may soften us up for further dramatic reference. At the end of his mirror argument, Apuleius closely associates by implication his opponent Aemilianus with exactly the theatrical equipment the possession of which is so negatively charged (Apol. 16.7):
Si choragium thymelicum possiderem, num ex eo argumentarere etiam uti me consuesse tragoedi[i] syrmate, histrionis crocota, † orgia, mimi centunculo? Non opinor. Nam et contra plurimis rebus possessu careo, usu fruor. 68
(Look, if I possessed an actor’s equipment, would you argue that I was regularly wearing the long cloak of tragedy, the saffron-coloured dress of the stage, or the (p. 85 ) patchwork robe of mime? I do not think so. On the other hand there are many things I do not possess, but use none the less.)
Whilst Apuleius in 13.7 does not usually (consuesse) wear any dramatic equipment, it is his opponent who wears his tragic mask on a permanent basis. Again, drama is used to illustrate, here even visualize, Apuleius’ supposed innocence. The by now familiar invective against Aemilianus’ age and boorishness is put to good use here, as Apuleius suggests that Aemilianus should take up a mirror to recognize his own character, that is, that he should make good use of a commodity that he himself has accused Apuleius of possessing, to take a good look at his own dramatic equipment. 70 This ‘throwing back’ of the argument into the face of his opponent is also done by the association of the tragic mask of Thyestes 71 with the ugly and wrinkled Aemilianus. Like Cicero in Pro Caelio, Apuleius here refers to tragedy, but only to alienate the associated character (Clodia and Medea in Cicero, Aemilianus and Thyestes in Apuleius) from the audience’s sympathies, and to prepare the audience for more daring dramatic identifications to come.
Teterrimum [sic] os tuum minimum a Thyesta tragico demutet, tamen profecto discendi cupidine speculum inviseres et aliquando relicto aratro mirarere tot in facie tua sulcos rugarum.
(although your hideous face differs only a little from the mask of tragic Thyestes, curiosity would certainly have made you look into a mirror. Yes, finally you would have left your plough and wondered about all those furrows in your face.)
The fifth subsidiary charge against Apuleius is his poverty and his lack of slaves, which his opponents of course exploited in order to prove his need for a rich marriage. Apuleius turns this argument into a defence of the conventionally poor philosopher against mistrust, and inserts rhetorical set-pieces (p. 86 ) such as the ‘Praise of Poverty’, the laus paupertatis. He claims to have inherited some money from his father, and to have spent it on honourable causes like education and his friends. As he arrived in Oea, a foreign town, all alone except for a single slave, it would have been possible for him to conjure up comic references about a young man with only one slave arriving in a strange city, such as Menaechmus II in Plautus’ Menaechmi. 72 Apuleius however refrains from any identification of himself with the stock comedy type of the young man in love, as he had also in the last section dissociated himself from any stage costume. Although this young man is generally a sympathetic character, 73 he often squanders his father’s inheritance on a courtesan or other irresponsible activities. Apuleius is careful not to be associated with this lifestyle, since he wants to avoid any allegation that he wished to marry Pudentilla, a mulier dotata (a richly dowered woman), only for her money, as is sometimes done by men in comedy. 74 He is careful to avoid any association of himself with drama at all, as will be seen more clearly later, and his usual closural invective against Aemilianus this time (23.7) likens his opponent to Vergil’s Charon, an epic character as well as a dramatic one: Apol. 23.7: ‘unde tibi potius quam ob istam teterrimam faciem Charon nomen est 75 (‘This circumstance, rather than your hideous face, has earned you the nickname of “Charon”’).
The last subsidiary charge brought against Apuleius is his native region, since he comes from Madauros, from between Numidia and Gaetulia. 76 Both this invective against one’s place of birth and Apuleius’ counter-attack, setting it off against Aemilianus’ even more barbarian birthplace Zarath, is conventional. 77 Conventional also is the assertion that even the clever Athenians have the proverbially dumb Meletides as a countryman: ‘apud Athenienses catos Meletides fatuus’ (‘the foolish Meletides among the clever Athenians’; Apol. 24). This Meletides, proverbial for his stupidity, occurs in Athenian comedy, (p. 87 ) such as Aristophanes’ Frogs and Menander’s Aspis, as Hunink notes, 78 but not only there.
The first section contains many elements which are quite alien to a forensic speech, but which might well have been included in Apuleius’ declamatory Florida speeches. Comedy is only one of many displays of erudition. Towards its end, Apuleius has managed to show his learning by quoting, among other genres, different manifestations of Roman drama, that is the fabula palliata (comedy with Greek content), the fabula togata, and tragedy in a speech which is supposed to be a self-defence against the accusation of magic.
By showing his own wide reading and claiming that he is on trial because he is a philosopher and thus far more erudite than his boorish opponents, he wants to draw the educated judge onto his side. Drama, however, is only one of the many genres used. Whenever Apuleius employs it, he does so with a particular purpose, but he has similar purposes in quoting Catullus or zoological treatises. Even when he refers to the dramatic genres by quoting tragedy and comedy, he firmly disassociates himself from comedy, although, as seen in the Ennius example, he links the philosopher (and by implication himself) with the tragedian. This strategy changes only slightly in the next section.
4.4. REFUTATION OF ‘MINOR’ MAGICAL CHARGES 25.5–65
With a rhetorical division, in which he separates out his several arguments, Apuleius launches into the second main section, the discussion of the ‘minor’ magical charges he is accused of, some of which seem strange to our modern eyes, like the buying of fish. This is, however, not as harmless as Apuleius portrays it, since different fish were indeed used in love magic. 79
Already in the division (25–8) Apuleius manages to make the fish argument look ridiculous, by using comedy as a reference. In 27.12, when he sums up the charges against him with ‘Hiscine argumentis magian probatis, casu puerili et matrimonio mulieris et obsonio piscium?’ (‘Is this the sort of (p. 88 ) argument you prove magic with: the fall of a boy, the marriage of a woman, the buying of fish?’) he uses a word, as Hildebrand ( 1842 : ad loc.) observes, which is used only for purchasing food, making the purchase of fish look extremely harmless, since fish bought for food is not used for magic purposes. One could add that this is the usual word for buying the typical comedy food for the typical comic dinner. 80 Comic fish-buying is put into the mouth of the opponent (cf. probatis), ensuring that the accusation looks trumped-up and ridiculous. 81
It is also telling that the second point, the marriage with Pudentilla, receives some comic colouring, but seen through the eyes of the old Aemilianus: ‘Quod quidem matrimonium nostrum Aemiliano huic immane quanto angori quantaeque dividiae fuit’ (‘but this marriage of ours has brought Aemilianus here an awful lot of anguish and vexation’; Apol. 28.6) recalls similar passages from Plautus. 82
The argument about the fish takes up a tenth of the whole speech. Apuleius’ opponents surely suggested that he bought these fish in order to perform some magic ritual, that is, to use them for love-magic, which Apuleius flatly denies.
At first he argues that buying fish is an everyday business, and he creates a slightly comic atmosphere in his argument. He lists other food he could have bought (29.5f.):
The list of four edible things is not in itself a comic food catalogue, 83 since this is not the food provided for a comic dinner, but it is reinforced by a list of luxurious food added shortly afterwards in 30.1: ‘lepores quaererem vel apros vel altilia’ (‘I sought to acquire hares, boars, or fattened fowls’). Together with the Plautine alliteration 84 and two definitely comic words within two (p. 89 ) sentences (obsonare (‘to purchase provisions’) and cuppedinariis (‘sellers of delicacies’ 85 )), the first list creates a comic environment upon which Apuleius can elaborate in the beginning of the section. Anyone who buys fish, he argues, does so for provender, not for magic. Its strategy resembles that of the mirror argument: he begins a section of his defence by saying that he has indeed done the act that he is accused of (i.e. he does own a mirror or buy fish), but then proceeds to argue that this is absolutely harmless (i.e. he does not use the mirror, or fish, for magical purposes 86 ). Instead, he has his own, philosophical or oratorical, purpose for it, that is, he uses the mirror to practise oratory with it just like Demosthenes, and he cuts up fish to study their zoological features just like Aristotle. Indeed, as soon as he launches into his scientific excuse for dealing with fish, he leaves fish in comedy right behind. 87 He quotes Vergil 88 for love-magic not involving fish, and says he could cite other examples of love-magic in Greek comedies and tragedies which do not mention fish either: 89
Nam saepe numero et vinum et holus et pomum et panem pretio mutavi. Eo pacto cuppedinariis omnibus famem decernis: quis enim ab illis obsonare audebit, si quidem statuitur omnia edulia quae depenso para<n>tur non cenae, sed magiae desiderari?
(For I have often obtained wine, vegetables, fruit, and bread in exchange for money! This way you condemn all grocers to hunger. For who will dare to buy from them once it has been established that all eatables acquired for payment are not served at dinner but serve magical purposes?)
He claims that he refrains from doing so under the pretext that his opponent Aemilianus is too illiterate to understand Greek (a point which will not keep (p. 90 ) him from quoting Homer in the original 90 in the very next chapter, and on precisely the same subject), and then cites Laevius 91 as a specifically Latin example for this kind of non-fishy love-magic in comedy and as another link with the élite who read this archaic Latin author:
Memorassem tibi etiam Theocriti paria et alia Homeri et Orphei plurima, et ex comoediis et tragoediis Graecis et ex historiis multa repetissem, ni te dudum animadvertissem Graecam Pudentillae epistulam legere nequivisse.
(I would have referred to similar places in Theocritus, others in Homer, and many more in Orpheus, and I would have drawn many parallels from Greek comedy and tragedy as well as from historiography, if I had not noticed long before that you were not able to read a Greek letter of Pudentilla’s; Apol. 30.11)
Apuleius refers to comedy by quotation or allusion for the last time in this section at 30.11, although he keeps up a light-hearted tone in what follows. He sums up the food argument by the ‘naive’ statement (31.1) ‘Enimvero piscis ad quam rem facit captus nisi ad epulas coctus?’ (‘really, what is the use of a fish that is caught, except to be cooked for dinner?’). This is the last we hear about fish as food; then he leaves the sphere of food-buying, and turns to philosophy.
Igitur unum etiam poetam Latinum attingam, versus ipsos, quos agnoscent qui Laevium legere:(So I will just touch upon one more Latin poet. Those who have read Laevius will recognize his lines:
Philtra omnia undique eruunt:
Antipathes illud quaeritur,
Trochiscili, ung<u>es, taeniae,
Radiculae, herbae, surculi,
Saurae inlices bicodulae,
Philtres are brought out from everywhere:
they look for love-charms, magic wheels and nails,
ribbons, rootlets, herbs and twigs,
enticing lizards with two-forked tails 92
and then the neighing animal’s hippomanes.)
After a short anecdote about his fellow philosopher Pythagoras who also buys fish, 93 but for a non-magical and non-dietary purpose, and some references to Homer, he goes into detail about the fish he is accused of dealing with. The list of fish is headed by ‘piscis [ … ] quem mihi Themis[c]on servus noster medicinae non ignarus, ut ex ipso audisti, ultro attulit ad inspiciundum’ (‘My slave Themison, who is not unpractised in medicine (as you have (p. 91 ) heard from the man himself), brought the fish to me on his own initiative’; Apol. 33.3). Apuleius does not elaborate this, but he makes no claim that it is bought as food—the lepus marinus or sea-hare is well known as a poisonous dish 94 —nor does he make anything of the fact that his own slave provided him with it (the verb is neutral: attulit, ‘he brought’). Apuleius remains remarkably reticent here, with no verbal or structural allusion to the potential comic situation. Fish-shopping is a common activity for slaves in Roman comedy, and even the catching of a fish could be linked to comedy (for example Plautus’ Rudens). 95 References to fish-shopping also occur in the ‘lesser’ genre mime. 96 Reference to comedy or mime would easily have been possible by verbal allusion, but neither he himself nor his slave is associated with comic action. Furthermore, he does give some fish catalogues later on, both in Greek and in Latin, but none of them is taken from the plentiful resource of Greek comedy, despite the vast availability of fish catalogues especially in Greek Middle Comedy, and the link between philosophy and fish offered by Terence (Ad. 373–81).
Apol. 35.3 and 4 feature comic-sounding catalogues; yet Apuleius does not pronounce them in propria persona, for they are put into the mouth of his opponents:
Similarly, in the earlier discussion about Virgil’s references to love-magic, it is his opponent, not himself, Apuleius insists, who talks about the magic purposes of fish, in a passage full of comic language 97 (Apol. 30.10): (p. 92 )
Quin ergo dicitis me [ … ] quaesisse de litore conchlam striatam testam habentem, calculum teretem, praeterea cancrorum furcas, echin<or>um caliculos, lolliginum ligulas, postremo assulas, festucas, resticulas et ostrea Pergami vermiculata, denique muscum et algam, cetera maris eiectamenta.
(So why not say that at the same time I hired a large number of fishermen to search the coast for grooved shells, blunt-edged scales, and smooth pebbles? And further for crab-claws, sea-urchin suckers, and squid tentacles? And finally for splinters, stalks, cords, molluscs with wavy lines, or even moss and seaweed and other waste of the sea.)
Apuleius wants to avoid being associated with the men who order fish to be bought in comedy, often enough the adulescentes amantes, who need extravagant food for a dinner with a courtesan, who irresponsibly squander their inheritance on a girl and extremely expensive fish dishes, who are ‘gulones omnes, qui inpendio a piscatoribus merguntur’ 98 (‘all gourmands, who are sunk by the prices they pay to fishermen’; Apol. 32.6).
Postremo in maleficio ille [sc. Virgilius] venenum nominat, tu [sc. Tannonius Pudens] pulmentum, ille herbas et surculos, tu squamas et ossa, ille pratum decerpit, tu fluctum scrutaris.
(Finally, for black magic he [i.e. Vergil] names poison, you [i.e. Tannonius Pudens] a piece of fish, he mentions herbs and twigs, you scales and bones, he plucks in the field, you explore the deep.)
Instead, Apuleius casts himself in two completely different roles, first in that of the philosopher and follower of Aristotle interested in natural science (Apol. 36.3):
To prove his philosophical involvement, he sends off one of his attendants to get the book he has written about Naturales Quaestiones. 99 In the meantime, he proclaims, he will entertain his audience with a story about Sophocles. This well-known anecdote supplies not only a moment of rest for his audience, as scholars have pointed out, but also offers the second model for Apuleius to identify himself with, a great tragedian, who like Apuleius himself is falsely accused by a relative and defends himself by reading from his own work—the fact that Sophocles was acquitted is clearly to influence the judge on Apuleius’ behalf, too (Apol. 37):
Legat [sc. the opposition] veterum philosophorum monumenta, tandem ut intellegat non me primum haec requisisse, sed iam pridem maiores meos, Aristotelen dico et Theop<h>rastum et [t]Eudemum et Lyconem ceterosque Platonis minores, qui plurimos libros de genito animalium deque victu deque particulis deque omni differentia reliquerunt.
(Let him read the monumental works of ancient philosophers, so that he finally understands that I am not the first one to have looked for these things. For a long time my masters have done so—I mean Aristotle, Theophrastus, Eudemus, Lyco, and the other successor Platonists, who have left on record many books on the origin of animals, their diet, anatomy, and differentiating characteristics.)
This is not simply a banal literary judgement, as Marache claims; 100 it is not accidental that Apuleius claims the judgement was given in favour of Sophocles due to his coturnum facundiae (‘solemn style’), a technique that Apuleius prides himself on mastering. 101 Apuleius associates himself with Sophocles for tactical purposes.
Sophocles poeta Euripidi aemulus et superstes—vixit enim ad extremam senectam—, cum igitur accusaretur a filio suomet dementiae, quasi iam per aetatem desiperet, protulisse dicitur Coloneum suam, peregregiam tragoediarum, quam forte tum in eo (p. 93 ) tempore conscribebat, eam iudicibus nec quicquam amplius pro defensione sua addidisse, nisi ut audacter dementiae condemnarent, si carmina senis displicerent. Ibi ego comperior omnis iudices tanto poetae adsurrexisse, miris laudibus eum tulisse ob argumentum sollertiam et coturnum facundiae, nec ita multum omnis afuisse quin accusatorem potius dementiae condemnarent.
(The poet Sophocles, the rival of Euripides, whom he also survived (for he became extremely old), was accused by his son of insanity. It was alleged that he was ‘out of his mind’ due to his age. Then, it is said, he took a copy of his Oedipus in Colonus, that most excellent tragedy, which he happened to be writing at the time. He read it aloud to the judges, without adding a word in his defence, except that they should not hesitate to declare him ‘insane’, if they disliked the poem of an old man. At that point, so I read, all the judges rose for this great poet and praised him highly for the skilful plot and the solemn style. They all very nearly declared the accuser himself ‘insane’!)
The philosophical stance is taken up again after this interlude and Apuleius launches first into a full-length discussion on the generation of fish (38–9), which culminates in his own, philosophical, catalogue of fish (and related species) with the words taken from Aristotle and an ironic warning directed at Aemilianus not to take this as a magic incantation (38.7f.):
Apuleius implies that he utters catalogues of inedible fish in the interests of philosophy and science only; after that he finally offers a literary catalogue of fish used for food, and again not from comedy, 102 but eleven lines from Ennius, whom he had before cited as a tragedian. This Ennian translation (p. 94 ) of Archestratus of Gela, the Hedyphagetica, is a mock-didactic poem 103 on where to buy and how to cook fish. Its function as the climax of Apuleius’ fish argument is clear: besides offering an erudite point of relaxation, it stresses that writing about fish has nothing to do with magic, even if it is translated from Greek. Moreover, it enables Apuleius tacitly to identify with an author previously introduced as a tragedian who is also a philosopher, perhaps of the Pythagorean school. 104
Ausculta igitur quae dicam. Iam me clamabis magica nomina Aegyptio vel Babylonico ritu percensere—σελάχεια, μαλάκεια, μαλακόστρακα, χονδράκανθα, ὀστρακόδερμα, καρχαρόδοντα, ἀμφίβια, λεπιδωτά, δολιδωτά, δερμόπτερα, στεγανόποδα, μονήρη, αυναγελαστικά
(Listen then to what I say. You will probably shout that I am giving a full list of magical words in Egyptian or Babylonic fashion: selacheia, malakeia, malakostraka, chondrakantha, ostrakoderma, karcharodonta, amphibia, lepidota, pholidota, dermoptera, steganopoda, monere, sunagelastika)
Finally he even claims that a philosopher should not eat fish (maybe harking back to his Pythagorean example which he may have recalled to his audience by the reference to Ennius), but rather inspect it for scientific curiosity (Apol. 41.2):
Not Apuleius but Pudens, the young ward of Aemilianus and official accuser in this trial, is the one who learns how to indulge in gourmandism involving fish, all under the instruction of Aemilianus. Again Apuleius uses the word obsonium (‘purchasing of food; provisions’) within a comic context, as the associations of wasting money and irresponsibility going along with the emerging identification of Sicinius Pudens with a young man from comedy started in Apol. 30.10. This might explain why Apuleius took good care to dissociate himself from comic fish after the introductory section on fish-shopping. Instead, Apuleius identifies himself with famous philosophers and a tragedian, and leaves comic identification completely to his opponents. He ends this section with a flourish when he repeats his major line of defence with ‘quis enim fando audivit ad magica maleficia disquamari et exdorsari piscis solere?’ (‘For who has ever heard of fish being scaled and stripped of their (p. 95 ) backbones for magical purposes?’) 105 and cunningly implies that only his opponents could think of something as ridiculous as magic. This line is in addition a close reminiscence of the fish-cooking scene in Plaut. Aul. 398f., again firmly associating his opponents with characters from comedy:
‘Piscem proscidisti’ [says Aemilianus]. Quod crudum, id accusas? Si cocto ventrem rusparer, hepatia suffoderem, ita ut apud te puerulus ille Sicinius Pudens suomet obson<i>o discit, eam rem non putares accusandam. Atqui maius crimen est philosopho comesse piscis quam inspicere.
(‘You cut up a fish’. That it was raw: is that your point? If it were cooked and I scrutinized its stomach and pierced its liver (just like young Sicinius Pudens is now learning to do so with you in his luxurious dining), you would not regard this as a possible accusation. In fact, for a philosopher it is a more serious charge to eat fish than to examine them!; trans. adapted)
This technique of rendering his opponents comic and even ridiculous cannot be kept up during the discussion of the other minor magical charges Apuleius is accused of, since no element of comedy offers itself for comparison. Still, Apuleius manages to insert the occasional characterization in a comic style. So Thallus, the unfortunate epileptic slave whose fits Apuleius is accused of having caused, is portrayed in a manner resembling comic or mimic descriptions: 106 ‘facie ulcerosus, fronte et occipitio conquassatus, oculis hebes, naribus hiulcus, pedibus caducus’ (‘his face is full of sores, his brow and the back of his head are bruised, his sight is dim, his nostrils wide open, and he can hardly stand on his feet’). Fictional characterization through comedy is something Apuleius could have learned in his rhetorical training, and he employs it as Cicero had done before him. Apuleius later on draws close parallels between Aemilianus and Thallus, and thus indirectly characterizes Aemilianus as similarly unpleasant, for example in Apol. 44.7: 107 ‘turpissimum puerum, corpore putri et morbido, caducum, barbarum, rusticanum’ (‘the boy is very ugly and has a decrepit and crippled body, [ … ] he is unsteady, barbaric, boorish’) recalls the description of Aemilianus as barbarus and rusticus (‘boorish’ and ‘uncivilized’) in Apol. 10.6. 108
anthrax Dromo, desquama piscis. Tu, Machaerio, congrum, murenam exdorsua quantum potest.
(anthrax Dromo, scale the fish. You, Machaerio, bone the conger and the lamprey as much as possible.)
Another member of the opponent’s group, Tannonius Pudens, is also linked with a bad actor of drama at the end of the Thallus episode (Apol. 46.1):
Hildebrand (ad loc.) notes the dramatic metaphor in frigere, which is the proper term for actors, musicians, or rhetoricians who displease their audience (p. 96 ) and do not receive applause, 109 and murmure explosum is the technical term for an audience booing an actor off the stage. 110 Apuleius makes sure that the image of his opponents as comedy actors, and bad actors for that matter, is never forgotten.
Tannonius Pudens, cum hoc quoque mendacium frigere ac prope iam omnium vultu et murmure explosum videret…
(When Tannonius Pudens saw that even this lie was given a cool reception and was rejected with the frowns and murmurs of nearly all…)
The incident of the linen cloth, which apparently covers a sacred object in Apuleius’ library—a ground for some suspicion—has little comic potential in itself, and Apuleius restricts himself to occasional comic vocabulary, 111 and the invective against Aemilianus which closes this section alludes to epic, as he is compared to Charon and Mezentius (Apol. 56.7).
This reticence in comic invective does not last long. In the next section, on nocturnal sacrifices, Apuleius lashes out wildly against the prosecution witness. Crassus, while absent on a journey to Alexandria, had lent his house to Apuleius’ friend Quintianus. On coming back, Crassus claims to have found traces of nocturnal sacrifices in his house, smoke on the walls and bird feathers on the floor. Apuleius’ defence is twofold (and not very convincing): first he claims that it is not very likely that he would leave a house in this state if he had really done something illegal involving magic (57–58.10), and secondly he makes the most of the fact that the witness Crassus is not in court by unleashing the worst possible invective on him, which is already hinted at in the first sentences of the section. The abuse follows the traditional pattern of invective, as found in Cicero’s In Pisonem, 112 but comedy is the main source: as his name unfortunately suggests ‘fat’ 113 , he is immediately portrayed accordingly, with abusive words found in comedy 114 but which may also have survived in everyday language. 115 He is given all conceivable titles for ‘glutton’: gumia, lurco 116 (57.1), helluo (‘squanderer’) 117 (58.6 and 59.1), (p. 97 ) belua (‘monster’) 118 (59.6), and characterized as someone who likes to spend most of his time in cheap eateries. Apuleius even claims that Crassus was only able to smell the smoke on his return because he had gone straight into the kitchen: ‘nisi forte Crassus non in cubiculum reversus perrexit, sed suo more recta ad focum’ (‘unless Crassus on his return did not go to the bedroom but, as usual, straight to the kitchen!’). 119 His sense of smell is so highly developed that he even smelled his Oea kitchen smoke all the way from Alexandria, surpassing even the keen noses of beasts of prey (57.5):
The invective culminates in a description which, though generically derived from Cicero’s invective, is reminiscent of that of the slave Thallus and generally of comedy. 120 We may note that the mask of the parasite is listed in Pollux 121 under those of the young men. It is beardless, balding, perhaps with a puffy face, and the parasite spends much of his time in the wrestling-school: 122
Sin vero naribus nidorem domesticum praesensit, vincit idem sagacitate odorandi canes et vulturios. Cui enim cani, cui vulturio Alexandrini caeli quicquam abusque Oeensium finibus oboleat?
(If he literally smelled the odour of his house, he also has a far better nose than dogs and vultures. For what dog, what vulture in the Alexandrian sky, can smell anything all the way from the land of Oea?)
caput iuvenis barba et capillo populatum, madentis oculos, cilia turgentia, rictum <…>, salivosa labia vocem absonam, manuum tremorem, ructus <po>pinam. 123 Patrimonium omne iam abligurrivit, nec quicquam ei de bonis paternis superest.
(You would notice a young man’s head bereaved of beard and hair, watery eyes, swollen eyelids, a broad grin, slobbering lips, and ugly voice, trembling hands, and a breath smelling of cheap eating-places. He squandered all of his patrimony long ago and nothing of his paternal property is left.)
(p. 98 ) Abligurrire (‘to eat up dainties; to squander’) is a comic word: in Terence it is found in the mouth of a parasite, in a phrase which seems to be recalled in Apuleius’ version: 124 ‘itidem patria qui abligurrierat bona’ (‘someone who had guzzled up his patrimony like me’). Ligurrire (‘to lick off, to sponge on’) is also used by Plautus in a parasite’s monologue describing his ‘job’: 125
This parasite, Ergasilus, also compares himself to several beasts of prey in the same monologue: mures (‘mice’, 77), cocleae (‘snails’, 80), and finally Molossan hunting dogs: venatici j Molossici (85f.) 126 The comparison with hunting dogs implies a good sense of smell, an asset parasites are believed to have, 127 and parasites are often metaphorically associated with greedy animals. Crassus, Apuleius argues, acts much like a parasite, especially since he is absent from the court in order to pursue his usual parasitical business: gluttony, drinking, and bathing, cf. Apol. 59: ‘dico Crassum iam dudum ebrium stertere, aut secundo lavacro ad repotia cenae obeunda vinulentum sudorem in balneo desudare’ (‘I am sure that Crassus has long been drunk and snoring, or is taking a second bath and sweating out his inebriated sweat in the bathhouse, to prepare for an after-dinner drinking bout’).
parasiti rebus prolatis latent
in occulto miseri, victitant suco suo,
dum ruri rurant homines quos ligurriant.
(when there are bank holidays, the poor parasites hide in their hiding places and live off their own juices, while the people from whom they usually sponge escape to the country.)
Evidently Apuleius has the stock comic type of the parasite in mind when he describes Crassus as a food- and wine-devouring glutton whose sense of smell when food is concerned is keener than that of dogs (cf. Apol. 57.5). Furthermore, in 100.4 the entourage of Aemilianus and Rufinus is called ‘temulentum illud collegium, parasitos tuos’ ‘the whole drunken collection, those parasites of yours!’, and Apuleius had made much of the drunkenness of Crassus.
Scholars, probably under the influence of 81.4, ‘si cum hac una Rufini fallacia contendantur, macc[h]i prorsus et bucc[h]ones videbuntur’ (‘if compared with this single deceit of Rufinus, will seem no more than clowns and jokers’) have inferred that Crassus is here depicted as a maccus, a figure of the (p. 99 ) Roman Atellana, 128 and the literary parallels point also to the mimic or comic parasite at this stage. There was already some conflation between the two types in Roman comedy, 129 and Apuleius makes sure that the parasitical (and, since he is, as Apuleius claims, lying, sycophantic) behaviour of Crassus is portrayed in the crassest way by referencing the Atellana.
This stock character is not exactly a sympathetic figure in Roman comedy, and with this mask Crassus will be good company for the assorted disagreeable comedy cast that Apuleius is going to put on the Sabrathan stage in the third great section of his defence, the argument against his seduction of Pudentilla by magic. 130
4.5. REFUTATION OF ‘MAJOR’ CHARGES CONCERNING PUDENTILLA’S MARRIAGE 66–101
Some scholars have noted (though not in great detail) that in this section the main opponents, Rufinus, the father-in-law of the dead Pontianus, and his wife and daughter, are portrayed as stock characters from comedy. 131 This greedy group is unleashed on the little boy (puerulus) Sicinius Pudens (the second son of Pudentilla) after the death of the girl’s first husband, Pontianus, Pudens’ elder brother and Pudentilla’s firstborn, in order to turn Sicinius Pudens against his own mother and her husband Apuleius. Apuleius makes sure that they are described in a most unfavourable way, and the literary allusions to the greedy pimps (lenones) and wicked courtesans (meretrices malae) abundant in Plautus and Terence naturally are helpful for his argument.
However, before this trio infernale is considered, it is necessary to see how Apuleius describes his own wife, Pudentilla. She is a rich widow in her early forties, thus ten or fifteen years his senior. 132 Apuleius, whose trial is ostensibly about magic but effectively about being a legacy hunter trying to enrich himself by her dowry, has to make sure from the beginning that he does not (p. 100 ) represent himself as gaining anything through the marriage. Already in the division, and repeated many times afterwards, is the statement (Apol. 66.2), that he stands to lose from the marriage:
Here as well as later on in his narratio about her reasons for remarriage, he downplays his monetary gain and stresses her virtues, as it is in his interests to exaggerate exactly these aspects of their marriage. The vocabulary used to describe her is not taken from comedy. This, too, excludes Pudentilla firmly from any comic association with the stock figure of the mulier dotata (a richly dowered woman), which the audience might have suspected her to be in real life. The mulier dotata is a rich woman only married for her dowry, whose virtues are few and maledictions (usually of her poor husband) abundant. 133 Since this is a negatively cast character in comedy, Apuleius avoids association with it by stressing the opposite characteristics in Pudentilla throughout the narratio, and later (Apol.90ff., esp. 92) makes it clear that there is no dowry to speak of coming with his wife. Again it is evident that Apuleius tries to keep himself and his side out of the comedy of which he is the stage-manager.
me, quem lucri cupiditate invasisse Pudentillae domum dictitant, si ullum lucrum cogitarem, fugere semper a domo ista debuisse; quin et in ceteris causis minime pros-perum matrimonium, nisi ipsa mulier tot incommoda virtutibus suis repensaret, inimicum.
(They keep on saying that I ‘invaded Pudentilla’s house’ in pursuit of profit, but it should become fully clear to everyone that, had I really set my mind on profit, I would have had to keep away from that house at all times. For in general terms this marriage would not be advantageous at all, or would even harm my interests, if the woman herself did not compensate for all discomforts through her virtues.)
His enemies, however, are again not spared: Rufinus looks like a full-blown leno from comedy. Pollux in his description of masks from New Comedy describes the brothelkeeper in a way that is highly reminiscent of Rufinus, as balding or bald: 134
Compare Rufinus’ description in 74.7: ‘olim in pueritia, priusquam isto calvitio deformaretur’ (‘long ago, before this baldness started to disfigure him’) 135 Plautine lenones are ‘characterized by greed and accused of impiety, (p. 101 ) perjury, faithlessness, cruelty and inhumanity’ as well as ‘boastful and stupid’, 136 and Rufinus is accused of sharing some of these features: 137
Ὃ δὲ πορνοβοσκὸς τᾆλλα μὲν ἔοικε τῷ Λνκομηδείῳ, τὰ δε χείλη ὑποαέσηρε και συνάγει τὰς ὀφρυς, καὶ ἀναφαλαντίας ἢ φαλακρός.
(The Brothelkeeper in other respects is like the Lycomedian, but he has a smile on his lips and draws his brows together; he has receding hair or is bald; trans. Webster, Green, and Seeberg)
Worse than this is his profession as an effeminate pantomime dancer in his early years (Apol. 74): 138
Hic est enim pueruli huius instigator, hic accusationis auctor [ … ] hic testium coemptor, hic totius calumniae fornacula [ … ] idque apud omnis intemperantissime gloriatur, me suo machinatu reum postulatum. [ … ] omnium simulationum architectus.
(he is the instigator of this little boy, he is the bringer of this accusation, [ … ] the buyer of witnesses; he is the furnace where this whole calumny was forged [ … ]. In front of everyone he keeps boasting without any self-control that it is through his machinations that I have been indicted. [ … ] the architect of all pretences.)
Rufinus’ effeminacy continues into his adult life, and again a member of the opposition is compared to an unskilled actor, this time of pantomime, where (Apuleius implies) effeminacy might be useful in the portrayal of female characters, as he later on suggests (cf. Apol. 78.3ff.). Rufinus and his wife own an extremely unvirtuous house, and have an equally unvirtuous and adulterous marriage (75):
Mox in iuventute saltandis fabulis exossis plane et enervis, sed, ut audio, indocta et rudi mollitia; negatur enim quicquam histrionis habuisse praeter impudicitiam.
(Later, as a youth, he turned to performing pantomime; he seemed to be without bones or sinews, but this softness (so it is said) was both unskilled and unrefined. For it is said that he possessed nothing of an actor’s character except for sexual impurity.)
Domus eius tota lenonia, tota familia contaminata; ipse propudiosus, uxor lupa, filii similes. Prorsus diebus ac noctibus ludibrio iuventutis ianua calcibus propulsata, fenestrae canticis circumstrepitae, triclinium comisatoribus inquietum, cubiculum adulteris pervium. Neque enim ulli ad introeundum metus est, nisi qui pretium marito non attulit.
(His whole house is that of a pimp, his whole household corrupt. He himself is infamous, his wife a whore, and his sons are of the same calibre. All day and night young people have their fling; there is kicking at the doors and noisy singing at the windows, the dining room is swarming with revellers, the bedroom open to adulterers. For nobody needs to fear going in, provided he has paid the price to the husband.)
(p. 102 ) This is an explicit description of a brothel displaying some parallels from comedy, 139 complete with the cantica 140 which the young men who want to be let in sing outside its doors. Long invectives full of Plautine vocabulary sketch Rufinus’ family in bold colours; 141 Rufinus, the pimp of his own wife (perhaps the outcome of his effeminacy?), manages to entrap first Pontianus, who is explicitly called amans adulescentulus (‘the young lover’) 142 (another stock character), with his daughter’s meretricious skills, and after Pontianus’ death manages to get young Sicinius Pudens under his control, too. Sicinius Pudens is to fall into the same trap and marry the undeserving meretrix, too, as the second young man to do so in this comedy. Pudens’ ‘education’ runs on the lines of a young man from comedy: he indulges in expensive food, notably fish (see above), and in the older meretrix 143 kindly offered to him by a leno with the hope of further profit; he turns his back on his family in order to live with his girl (Apol. 97.7–98.1):
admodum puero [sc. Sicinio] eandem illam fliae suae machinam Rufinus admovet ac mulierem aliquam multo natu maiorem, nuperrime uxorem fratris, misero puero obicit et obsternit. A[i]t ille puellae meretricis blandimentis et lenonis patris illectamentis captus et possessus.
(Although the latter is still a boy, as you see, Rufinus is moving the same siege-engine into place: his daughter. So a considerably older woman, who until very recently was the wife of his brother, is pressed and imposed upon the poor boy. The lad was conquered and mastered by the allurements of the whorish girl and the enticements of her pimping father.)
and (Apol. 98.6):
Cum a nobis regeretur, ad magistros itabat; ab iis nunc magna fugela in ganeum fugit, amicos serios aspernatur, cum adulescentulis postremissumis inter scorta et pocula puer hoc aevi convivium agitat.
(As long as he was governed by us, he used to go to school. Now he rapidly flees from there to go to the taverns. Spurning serious friends, he joins the most depraved youths to feast and party (at his age!) with whores and drink.)
(p. 103 ) This is highly reminiscent of the sins of young men in comedy: for example Plaut. Most. 959f.: ‘Triduom unum est haud intermissum hic esse et bibi, scorta duci, pergraecari’ (‘there were not three days when there was no eating and drinking, wenching and doing things the Greek way’) 144 The phrase in ganeum fugit (‘he flees [ … ] to the taverns’) picks up Apuleius’ criticism of Pudens’ extravagant and wasteful eating habits (cf. above on fish), that Aemilianus has taught him. This is comic, too: Plaut. Most. 22f.:
Usually the young man is a sympathetic character, not beyond reform, and the audience is led to hope that he gets the girl in the end. Sicinius Pudens, however, is far from that stage. His education under Rufinus and Aemilianus reduced him to a barbarian, Apuleius claims, who wastes his money on tarts. There might be reminiscences from Terence, Adelphoe at 98: ‘at nunc adeo patientem te ei praebes itaque eum indulgentia corrumpis, adeo ei nulla re adversare’ (‘But now you are patient with him and spoil him by your indulgence and oppose him in nothing whatever’), a notion also uttered by Terence’s Demea (Ad. 96ff.) in accusing the lenient Micio, who has adopted and spoilt his nephew.
Dies noctesque bibite, pergraecamini,
Amicas emite et liberate, pascite
Parasitos, obsonate pollucibiliter
(You drink day and night, do Greek things, buy girlfriends and set them free, feed parasites and go shopping for sumptuous food!)
Callebat ( 1998 : 211ff.= 1984 ) points out that Apuleius’ recourse to dramatic literature can even be paralleled by his employment of comic metre: Apol. 85.7, in a comic context, namely the description of a young man scolding his mother, starts in the form of a Roman canticum (that is in anapaests, molossi, and bacchiacs). Pudens’ accusations against his mother as Apuleius phrases them are comic, and thus, Apuleius implies, should not be taken seriously. Pudens’ description as a debauched comic adulescens is however best brought out in Apuleius’ malicious quotation from an unknown palliata 145
Est ille poetae versus non ignotus: ‘odi puerulos praecoqui sapientia’, sed enim malitia praecoqui puerum qui non aversetur atque oderit, cum videat velut monstrum quoddam prius robustum scelere quam tempore, ante nocentem quam potentem, viridi pueritia, cana malitia?
(There is this well-known verse ‘I hate little boys who are wise before their age’, but what about a boy who is wicked before his age? Who would not turn away from him and hate him, seeing a sort of monster that is more swiftly mature in crime than in age, culpable before he is capable, green in youth but grey in wickedness?)
(p. 104 ) Pudens is even worse and more loathsome than a young boy who is wise before his years, since he is malicious at a young age, with the debauchery of a grey-haired old man. The latter links Pudens very closely with the grey-haired Aemilianus.
Interestingly, Apuleius’ opponents undergo a metamorphosis of character during the course of the speech. Aemilianus, at one instant linked with a tragic mask, even though the repulsive one of Thyestes, later on becomes a morally debased and greedy caricature of an old man. Rufinus goes through a similar degradation. From a fully fledged leno in the brothel cameo, Apuleius reduces him to an emasculated and effeminate pantomime dancer acting the part of women (78.3f.):
Finally, as already mentioned, Rufinus is linked with the stupid macci and buccones of the fabula Atellana and low comedy (81.4). As he moves across Apuleius’ stage, he is—not unlike Cicero’s Clodia—slowly degraded from a character of Roman comedy—a leno, but still a member of a respectable genre, to a pantomime dancer, and finally to the depths of Atellan farce.
Tune effeminatissime, tua manu cuidam viro mortem minitari<s>? At qua tandem manu? Philomelae an Medeae an Clytemnestrae? Quas tamen cum saltas—tanta mo<l>litia animi, tanta formido ferri est—, sine cludine saltas.
(So you, the most effeminate of men, are threatening death to a real male with your own hand? But what hand will it be? That of Philomela, or Medea, of Clytemnestra? But if you perform these roles, you do so without a dagger: such is your weakness, such your fear of steel!)
Against this background of opponents reduced from membership of respectable dramatic genres to participants in non-respectable subliterary farces, Apuleius can fall back into comedy for a single instant. Only once does Apuleius use comedy to describe himself and Pudentilla: when he looks for an explanation for the marriage taking place in the countryside, he claims that this is done to save money (87.10), and to enhance the bride’s fertility, ending the argument with a metaphorical quotation from an unknown Greek comic writer, which resembles the Greek engagement formulae (88.6): 146
Ibi et ille celeberrimus in comoediis versus de proximo congruit: παίδων ἐπ ἀρότῳ, γνησ ων ἐπὶ σπορᾷ
(Here this well-known verse from comedy is quite appropriate: ‘To produce children, to generate legal offspring.’)
(p. 105 ) This is quite a different comedy from the low-life scenario with brothel-keepers and meretrices of the Rufinus family, whose main object is not the procreation of children (as Apuleius claims his is, by quoting this text), but the enriching of themselves. 147
If there is a young married couple at the end of a comedy, they stay together happily ever after; marriages with Rufinus’ promiscuous flia are doomed and, as Apuleius darkly hints, life-threatening. Apuleius’ ‘happy ending’ with Pudentilla is that of respectable (and possibly Menandrean) comedies, not that of low-life scenarios also found in the more exuberant Roman comedies. It is thus perhaps significant that the one quotation linking him with comedy is taken from a Greek, not a Latin, text and echoes the wedding ritual.
In this context, finally, one other element of drama in connection to Pudentilla’s letter is important: an invited comparison of Pudentilla with Phaedra (Apol. 97). Apuleius, certain of his victory over his opponents once this letter will have been read out completely, pretends that her letter may be considered as written under duress or as proof of her insanity: (Apol. 79): ‘an sola Phaedra falsum epistolium de amore commenta est’ (‘Or is Phaedra the only woman who made up a false letter about love?’). This is a reference to Phaedra’s letter to Theseus (cf. E. Hipp. 856ff.) and fleetingly associates Pudentilla with an exemplary unsympathetic heroine from tragedy. Since Apuleius immediately proceeds to use the (Greek) letter in his defence, proving that neither allegation was true, he in fact disassociates Pudentilla from Phaedra (an older woman besotted with a younger man): her letter is truthful, and thus the disassociation from Phaedra functions as another, rather drastic, proof of Pudentilla’s sanity and his own innocence.
The letter itself is then personified: (Apol. 81.1): ‘superest ea pars epistulae, quae similiter pro me scripta in memet ipsum vertit cornua’ (‘What remains is the part of the letter that was equally written in my defence but has turned its horns against me’). ‘Turning horns against someone’ is a metaphor from comedy: 148 cf. Pseud. 1020f. (scil. formido) ‘ne malus item erga me sit ut erga illum fuit, | ne in re secunda nunc mi obvortat cornua’ (‘I fear that this evil fellow will act against me as he has acted against him, and now when he is lucky he might turn his horns against me.’). This is Pseudolus’ praise for Simia, who has successfully deceived Ballio with a letter. Apuleius again (p. 106 ) portrays himself as an innocent victim of a machinator of a comic intrigue, since the harmless letter is used against him unjustly. To link Rufinus once again with the comic genre from which Apuleius disassociates himself, he also turns him into the arch-deviser of dangerous plots, and again associates his enemy with comic stock types (Apol. 81.4):
Rufinus is more dangerous than the fools found in Atellan farce—he is compared unflatteringly with characters from low comedy.
Omnes isti quos nominavi et si qui praeterea fuerunt dolo memorandi, si cum hac una Rufini fallacia contendantur, macc[h]i prorsus et bucc[h]ones videbuntur.
(All those whom I mentioned and any other legendary crooks, if compared with this single deceit of Rufinus, will seem no more than clowns and jokers.)
Generally Apuleius, who portrays himself as a philosopher or a serious litteratus, such as an author of drama (cf. the Sophocles episode), studiously avoids associating himself too closely with stock comic figures, although he could have done this in some parts of his defence. There would have been an obvious opportunity when the matter of the liberation of the three slaves was discussed (Apol. 17). A young man arriving in a strange city with only one slave is comic material, and it is exploited for example in the Menaechmi. Liberation of slaves at weddings is another stock situation at the end of a comedy, which results in the liberation of the servus callidus who brought about the wedding. 149 If Apuleius had wanted to make a reference to comedy here, he could have done so by quoting Plautus or by using words taken from comedy. Instead, he most studiously avoids the association, which would cast him in the role of the young (and sometimes irresponsible) adulescens, a role which he firmly associates with the young Sicinius Pudens. Pudens, instead, is the young man who has his band of parasites for aid against Apuleius (cf. Apol. 100.4). 150
Another unexploited opportunity for comic associations is the long discussion about buying fish. There are many catalogues of food, especially fish, in Greek or—to a lesser extent—in Roman comedy. Instead of quoting one of (p. 107 ) them, which he surely could have done, Apuleius quotes an Ennian translation of Archestratus of Gela, which is a didactic poem and not comedy.
A third instance of avoidance of Roman comedy is the country wedding. The fact that he had actually received a large patrimony and spent it before coming to Oea (23) could also have been embellished by comic references, but instead Apuleius gives a philosopher’s answer and a Praise of Poverty in 17ff. He stresses that he reduced his inherited fortune by ‘longa peregrinatione et diutinis studiis et crebris liberalitatibus’ (‘travelling abroad for a long time, extended studies, and frequent instances of generosity’; Apol. 23.2), that is on honourable and socially accepted causes. This is far from the things the young Pudens is said to have spent his money on: food and a meretrix, the usual drains on a comic young man. 151 Again it is Pudens, not Apuleius, who is cast in the role of the irresponsible adulescens of comedy. 152
Naturally, it is Apuleius’ opponents who are continuously associated with comedy. It is the opposition which uses (as Apuleius maintains) comic language, which is urged to speak fish catalogues, but which ironically denies at the same time that fish is food and food only, which is its sole purpose in comedy. Aemilianus is a rash and silly senex rusticus (‘rustic old man’), and Crassus, Rufinus, his family, and Pudentilla’s young sons form the perfect unsympathetic cast for a low-life comedy (with the two sons not without possible redemption, as such characters are usually forgiven and reformed characters at the end of the comedies). Apuleius hopes that this association will have the same effect as that employed by Cicero: the unsympathetic characters of comedy will be laughed out of court, or even booed off the stage, since, as Apuleius constantly reminds us, they are bad actors, too. On the other hand, Apuleius suggests that he himself is to be identified with philosophers and tragedians.
To return to Cicero’s example set in the Pro Caelio: some of the invective tactics employed by Apuleius to win his similarly dangerous case are the same. Both speeches start with quotations from comedy and portray their opponents as stock characters who descend lower and lower. They are all unsym-pathetic characters portrayed in a similar situation, a comic brothel, and it is the judges who decree the happy ending of the comedy in favour of the speaker.
Two major differences are evident, though, the portrayal of the adulescentes and the speaker’s own self-portrait. The sympathetically portrayed Caelius is mirrored in Apuleius’ friend Pontianus, who erred first with the meretrix and left Apuleius’ side but then came back to him. Sicinius Pudens is by contrast (p. 108 ) in the more debased state of the adulescens’ progress, still under the spell of the prostitute. Furthermore, Cicero stars in his play in the role of an indulgent father, 153 but Apuleius takes care to stay outside the low farce. 154 There is no sympathetic stock role for him to play, and he prefers his chosen role as a philosopher and litteratus to one of a mere participant in his own, slowly developing but nevertheless highly successful, comedy.
(2) ‘Cornelian law about murderers and poisoners’. For the legal proceedings involved: Hunink ( 1997 : i.13); Norden ( 1912 ). Liebs ( 1996 ) is sceptical about Apuleius’ exact knowledge of Roman law, and shows that Apuleius’ conviction on the grounds brought against him could have been possible. For a different identification of the law involved in prosecuting Apuleius cf. Lamberti ( 2002 ) in Hammerstaedt, for the argument that there was no trial at all cf. Elsom ( 1984 ).
(4) Since mine is a completely literary approach, I do not consider it necessary to distinguish between the speech as delivered and the speech as published. I take the speech to have been delivered at a real occasion in a real case of self-defence, but reworked afterwards for publication, against Winter’s thesis ( 1969 : 607–12) of a published literal stenograph. Sallmann ( 1995 : 140) also considers this question as irrelevant for his literary theoretical approach; cf. also Schindel ( 1996 ) for a completely literary analysis. Compare, on Cicero, Vasaly ( 1993 : 9); Classen ( 1973 : 60–94) on the reality of such accusations and Cicero’s response; and especially Stroh ( 1975 : 31–54) on the futility of trawling published speeches for their ‘original’ version.
(6) McCreight ( 1990 : 36): ‘He combines an inventiveness at coining new words or using familiar words in unusual ways with a firm command of the traditional transitional devices found in the rhetorical handbooks’.
(7) Invective is an open form, which steps beyond the limits of genres: Koster ( 1980 : 354); and 279 n. p. 1010 for further (sparse) literature on the use of comedy as invective, generally only noted in passing.
(8) When Sallmann ( 1995 : 143) gives a short summary of Apuleius’ narratio (‘narrative part (sc. of the speech)’) and remarks ‘Das hört sich an wie der Stoff zu einer Komödie oder wie ein Schwank’, he seems to speak of the modern varieties of the genres, not so much of their ancient equivalents. Hunink ( 1998 : 97–113) gives an overview of Apuleius’ use of comedy outside the Metamorphoses but errs sometimes because he rather mechanically wants to liken stock characters described in Flor. 16 to the cast of the Apologia. For instance, his assumption that ‘For the servulus callidus one may think of Rufinus, who controls the young lovers, or of Apuleius’ slave Themison’ (p. 106 with n. 29) is refuted in the course of this chapter.
(13) Cf. De Orat. 2.241, Part. 31ff.
(14) May ( 1988 : 115). On Apuleius’ use of Cael.: McCreight ( 1990 : 35f.), referring to Winter ( 1968 : 5–8). Also Sallmann ( 1995 : 148) and Harrison ( 2000 : 45) draw comparisons with Cicero’s speech, without elaborating on the specifically comic reverberations.
(15) e.g. the long lists compiled in Helm’s edition (1910: pp. xxii–xxviii), the commentary by Butler and Owen ( 1914 : passim), and Carbonero ( 1977 : 247), not all of whose parallels between the treatment of poetry and philosophy in Cic. Arch. and the Apologia are convincing. McCreight ( 1990 : 43) refers to the same speech without detailed analysis; Sallmann ( 1995 : 148).
(16) Cf. Hunink ( 1997 ), ( 1998 ) for his views, which build heavily on Hijmans’( 1994 ) scepticism. Harrison ( 2000 : 45), however, sees close links between the Apologia and Cicero’s Pro Caelio, and draws comparisons between the Apologia and several of Cicero’s speeches.
(21) The speech gives no indication as to where it was held. The theatre was not yet built at the time. It is however possible that events drawing a large audience would be held in a theatre if one was available. The infrastructure of the Sabrathan forum, at any rate, was highly developed at the time of the speech, and the speech was almost certainly delivered in the Basilica, cf. Caputo ( 1959 : 9f.). Cf. Guey ( 1951 : 313ff.), for the use of theatres for non-theatrical performances, which is corroborated by Apuleius’ own description of the mock trial at the Risus Festival in Met. 3, which takes place in the theatre of Hypata. The theatrical setting of the Florida is also obvious in many instances.—The theatre in Sabratha at least inspired Ward ( 1969 ) to write his booklet about Apuleius’ trial.
(22) Geffcken ( 1973 : 7); generally on theatre and Cicero: Wright ( 1931 ), especially pp. 61–4 for Plautus and 65–70 for Terence, Dumont ( 1975 ); generally for Cicero’s use of comedy in his speeches: Hughes ( 1997 ). Quotations in Cicero: Brut. 290; De Orat. 1.129–30, 236, 251, 258–9, 2.242; cf. Austin ( 1960 : 141–3, 173–5). Cicero refers only to four plays of Plautus (Pseudolus, Truculentus, Aulularia, Trinummus). His references to Terence and his praise for him are much more common (all plays except the Hecyra are quoted). In this respect Apuleius differs widely from Cicero. From the other perspective of the interface, comedy often uses forensic or rhetorical knowledge: Cf. Scafuro ( 1997 : e.g. 7–10 for Greek, 11–14 for Roman comedy and their interaction).
(29) In section 18 she was a parody of a tragic heroine, in sections 33–6 in a series of family scenes she was a matrona too familiaris and too molesta to the wrong young man, in sections 64f. she is a poetess who sets in motion fabellae or mimi that have no plot, no dénouement, no dramatic truth. From the Medea to the mime is a downward leap in incongruity, and this degradation helps to put the finishing touches to Cicero’s portrait of Clodia as a meretrix, for prostitutes frequently played in mimes and the plot and style of mimes could never be said to have enhanced the moral and social stature of female participants. (Geffcken ( 1973 : 24)). Geffcken ( 1973 : 24 n. 2) also refers to mine plots which contain scenes of poisoning.
(30) Detailed discussion, with some interesting Plautine parallels: Geffcken ( 1973 : 30ff.) A summary of all relevant passages linking Clodia with a meretrix: Geffcken ( 1973 : 34 n. 1).—Geffcken furthermore maintains (p. 39f.) that by military imagery linked with Clodia, Cicero manages to stylize her as a female miles gloriosus (‘a braggart soldier’, p. 37ff.), thus making her another blocking and unsympathetic character from comedy, e.g. in the very beginning by saying that the adulescens Caelius was ‘oppugnari … opibus meretriciis’ (‘attacked owing to the influence of a courtesan’; Cael. 1), culminating in the fruitless attack in the baths, led by Clodia as an imperatrix (‘a female commander’). Unnoticed by Geffcken is the parallel to Truc. 157, where the courtesan Phronesium and her servant Astaphium are called gloriosae, thus offering an extremely unpleasant courtesan as a point of comparison for Clodia.
(33) ‘In the legal drama of the Pro Caelio, all of the prosecuting advocates represent “blocking characters” who must be either drawn into the comic play or, more likely, since we are dealing with a real case, excluded from the festivities through victory from the defence.’—thus Geffcken ( 1973 : 44).
(34) e.g. occepit (‘to begin’, Apol. 1), denuo (‘over again, for a second time’, Apol. 2), quippe qui (‘inasmuch as’, Apol. 3, cf. Aul. 348), cuia (‘of whom?’, Apol. 3, cf. Met. 5.15 with Zimmerman et al. ( 2004 : 221)), the archaisms sedulo (‘sincerely’) and ut ne (‘lest’, Apol. 3), the ablative impendio (‘greatly’, Ter. Eun. 587), multo tanta (Plaut. Bacch. 310, Rud. 521, Stich. 339; for the comic nature cf. also Callebat ( 1968 : 525)), oppido (‘utterly’, with adjectives in Terence) only in the first three chapters of the Apology, before the first literary reference to Caecilius. Cf. Butler and Owen ( 1914 : ad locc. to the quoted passages), and Callebat ( 1968 : 519) on the comic association of oppido.
(40) In his language, Apuleius manages the act of balance between Ciceronian high style rhetoric and some colloquial expressions which are also found in comedy, e.g. archaisms and colloquialisms like medius fidius (‘so help me god’, 1.3, also in e.g. Plaut. Asin. 23 and Cic. Fam. 5.21.1; S. Rosc. 95, three times in De Domo) oppido (‘utterly’, 3.12), the diminutive aetatulae (‘youth’, 2.4; five times in Plautus), the proverbial expression pudor veluti vestis (‘a sense of decency is like clothing’, 3.3, cf. the related simile in Plaut. Most. 162f. that Hildebrand ( 1842 : ad loc.) points out).
(42) Rusticity: 10.6; 23.5; 30.3 etc.; stupidity and lack of education: 10.8; 23.7; 30.3 etc.
(44) The incident of Pudentilla’s letter allows Apuleius to hint darkly that Aemilianus himself had a certain interest in her.
(45) For his regression to school age Merc. 292ff., 303ff.—Another boorish old man of comedy is Terence’s Demea (Ad.). For an old man in love cf. Lysidamus in Plaut. Cas., the senes in Bacch., and to a lesser extent Demaenetus in Asin.
(46) Cf. Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad loc.)—Harrison ( 2000 : 51) links the expression with Cicero’s description of Chrysogonus (Cic. S. Rosc. 132 ‘omnium architectum et machinatorem’, ‘the architect and inventor of all things’); I take it, however, that both eventually go back to the usage of comedy, since the name of the slave in Cicero lends itself to association with Greek slave names from comedy, such as Chrysalus in Pseudolus.
(48) Interestingly, Appius Claudius Caecus, Clodia’s ancestor, whom Cicero uses as part of his onslaught on Clodia, is also characterized as boorish (36: ‘senem durum ac paene agrestem’, ‘a hard and almost boorish old man’), cf. Vasaly ( 1993 : 175).
(49) Apol. 4.4f. from Il. 3.65f., a phrase also quoted by other sophists, e.g. Diog. Sinop. [Plu.]Hom., Dio.Prus., Luc./An. Dial., Apollon., cf. the testimonia in West ( 1998 : ad loc.) (who does not mention Apuleius). Apuleius as a learned philosopher: explicitly 5.1.
(51) Hor. Ep. 2.1.59.
(52) For the whole discussion and scepticism: Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad loc.), Mattiacci ( 1986 : 191): ‘forse parte dell’ opera di Cecilio era ormai andata perduta ed era impossibile un riferimento diretto, ma la notizia rimane ugualmente cosi vaga’. For Gellius’ knowledge of Caecilius cf. NA 2.23.
(53) Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad loc.) seems to have misunderstood Warmington (= Guardì fr. 250 with n. p. 194). There is no indication in Warmington that Cic. Tusc. 3.23.56 (‘Saepe est etiam sub palliolo sordido sapientia’, (‘often wisdom is hidden even underneath a dirty cloak’)) and this Apuleian quotation come from the same passage or even the same comedy; they are simply grouped together because they share a common sentiment. It may even be possible that Apuleius is manipulating the quotation, i.e. inverting the grammar and original meaning, as he has done under similar circumstances in his philosophical works (cf. above Ch. 3.2), Flor. 2, and will be shown to do with an Ennian quotation shortly after this passage. This is of course speculative, but it is tempting to assume that he has twisted a rather sarcastic and utilitarian ‘eloquence is innocence’ into the claim that it is due to his innocence alone that his rhetoric is so brilliant. Cf. Butler and Owen’s ( 1914 ) summary of Caecilius’ fragments.
(54) Cf. above Ch. 3.2 on Socr. 165.
(55) His own poems quoted in Ch. 9 contain many Plautine words and turn of phrases, which makes the identification of the writer of the Anechomenos with Apuleius much more likely. Commentary on the ludicra: Courtney ( 1993 : 392ff.); Harrison ( 2000 : 16–20).
(56) The name Alexis occurs in Apol. 10.9, an epigram by Plato (AP 7.100, no. 6 Page). Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad loc). mentions the author of Greek comedy by that name, but has to admit that the name occurs in epigrams and bucolic poetry, too. I cannot take its presence here as relevant to the use of comedy in the Apology at all.
(59) Fr. 221 Ribbeck = 225 Daviault ( 1981 ).—The passage (the only quotation from this author in Apuleius) is apparently a well-known sententia, also quoted in Nonius 421.19 (as deriving from Omen) and Serv. Aen. 4.194 (as deriving from Cinerarius). On the high praise for Afranius displayed in the term eleganter cf. Marache ( 1952 : 329).
(65) Cic. Tusc. 2.1, De Orat. 2.156, Rep. 1.30; Gell. 5.16.5, 5.15.9. The latter passage gives the full quotation and is especially remarkable since Gellius points out that he is in full agreement with Neoptolemus (probabamus). Apuleius in effect shares this preference. Cicero has old-fashioned Romans quote this remark (Antonius, the grandfather of the triumvir, in De Orat., Aelius Sextus in Rep.), and uses it as an introduction to the long philosophical treatise Tusc. 2 (Wright ( 1931 : 52).
(67) Cf. Ch. 3.4 above.
(71) Ennius’ Thyestes is quoted frequently by Cicero, although he does not approve of its philosophy or language: Wright ( 1931 : 51f.) Cicero e.g. uses the curse of Atreus against Piso, for whom Thyestes’ fate would have been equally appropriate (Pis. 43).
(72) This is also in the background of Bacchides and Hecyra.
(74) Cf. Aulularia, Menaechmi.
(75) Charon: Verg. Aen. 6.299 is likely to be the most immediate foil here, given the references to Mezentius later in Apol. 63 and 98. However, he too is a prominent figure in drama, remarkable for his ugliness, which is one of the leitmotifs for Aemilianus throughout the whole speech. Dramatic occurrences of Charon: E. HF 32; Alk. 255, 361; Ar. Ra. 182, Lys. 606, Pl. 278; Antiphanes b. Stob. Flor. 121.4; Sen. HF 64ff. and often in Lucian.—Cf. Schwartz in RE (5. Halbband 1897) and Roscher ( 1884 –1937) s.v. ‘Charon’; Abt ( 1908 : 28f.).
(77) Cf. Hunink ( 1997 : ii. 81); Koster ( 1980 : 2) lists several common topoi of invective. Apuleius uses nos. 2 (non-Greek origin), 5 (culpable sexual behaviour), 8 (unusual appearance) and 10 (bankruptcy) against his opponents. Koster ( 1980 : 62–71) gives evidence for the use of invective in tragedy, and pp. 72–6 in (Greek Old) Comedy. For boorish origins as a matter for accusation cf. Opelt ( 1965 : 149f.).
(78) Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad loc.) refers to Ar. Ra. 990f.: ‘κεχηνότες μαμμάκυθοι, | Mελιτίδαι καθῆντο ’ (‘with open mouths and dull-brained, they would sit like Meletides’) and Men. Aspis 269f. ‘Mελετίδῃ | λαλεῖν ὑπείληϕας ’ (‘Do you think you are talking to Meletides?’); Apuleius at least takes it as a proper name for a halfwit, cf. Dover ( 1993 : 316). This, however, need not be a reference to comedy, since Meletides also occurs in rhetoric and other literature in the same function, i.e. as a stupid man born in a city of intelligent philosophers (e.g. Ael. VH 13.15.6, Eust. Od. 395.21 and 2.42). Aelian did know comedy quite well, as his letters show, but even so the reference to comedy is not clear at this point in Apuleius’ speech.
(80) Obsono (‘to go shopping’): only used in Cato (Orat. 133; obsonito in Orat. 139, prompts Festus verb. 201 to comment on it) and Plautus, besides Apuleius. Noun derivatives are common to more authors.
(81) For the comicality of fish-buying cf. the discussion in Ch. 7.2 below.
(85) Ter. Eun. 256: ‘concurrunt mihi obviam cuppedinarii omnes’ (‘all sellers of delicacies came running towards me’); cf. cuppedia and cuppedo at Plaut. Stich. 714, Apul. Met. 1.24. For obsonare and the general comicality of the scene cf. Callebat ( 1968 : 484).
(86) Cf. Apol. 32 for the argument that owning something potentially dangerous does not equal using it for a sinister purpose.
(87) Hunink ( 1997 : ii. 106 on 32.1 Salacia) refers to Mattiaci ( 1994 : 67 with n. 52), who sees a link with Pacuvius here (Pacuv. trag. 418 Ribbeck, but this is a misleading reference. A search of the PHI CD-ROM gives eighteen instances of Salacia’s name, e.g. in Cic. Tim. 39.3 or Gell. NA. 13.23: this passage makes it evident that Salacia is an archaic Latin name for a sea-goddess; Apuleius may just have been interested in both her Latinity and her age.
(88) Verg. Ecl. 8.64f. in Apol. 30.6f. and Aen. 4.513–6 in 30.8.
(89) Apol. 30.11. Cf. Abt ( 1908 : 95–9) for examples of magic in Greek drama, and generally for Apuleius’ wide knowledge of magic in the Apologia. Magic in general cf. Faraone and Obbink ( 1991 ); Graf ( 1997 : esp. 65–88); love-magic in particular: Faraone ( 1999 ), magic in the 2nd cent. ad: Annequin ( 1973 : 106–16) on the Apologia. Cf. Dickie ( 2001 : 147ff.) for Apuleius’ trial and the underlying law.—Whereas Annequin tries to find parallels between the philosopher and the magician (p. 15), Graf is surely right in seeing this relationship as a dichotomy, at least in Apuleius’ eyes.
(90) Il. 11.741 and Od. 4.229f.
(93) Apol. 31.2f.: Pythagoras of course buys the fish and has them released because of his belief in metempsychosis, which Apuleius does not mention. Cf. Hunink ( 1997 : ii.104) for Apuleius’ manipulation of the anecdote, and n. 102 for a link with Ennius.
(94) Greek τρύγων; cf. Plin. Nat. 9.155, 20.223, 32.8.9.—Philostratus even reports that Titus was killed by Domitian with a dish prepared from lepus marinus, a tactic also employed by Nero (Philostr. Apol. Tyan. 6.32); cf. Graf ( 1997 : 73 with n. 20).
(95) The slave Gripus boasts about catching an extraordinary fish (Rud. 906–37). Shopping expeditions by slaves to obtain fish (sometimes abortive) occur in Plautus’ Casina, Menaechmi, Miles, Mostellaria, Stichus, in Terence’s Andria and Adelphoe.
(96) Cf. e.g. Laberius’ Piscator, and the reference to fish in his mimes (cf. Plin. NH 9.61; J. Lydus, De Magistr. 3.61 = p. 154.13 Wünsch; thanks to Costas Panayotakis for pointing these parallels out to me).
(99) Cf. Apol. 36.8.
(101) Cf Met. 10.2 and especially Flor. 16.7, the passage on Philemon, a passage which in many ways resembles this one, for the choice of words.
(103) Fr. 28 Courtney ( 1993 ) has some reminiscences of Archestratus fr. 56 Brandt. Archestratus’ latest editors, Olson and Sens ( 2000 ) give a detailed commentary on this fragment (pp. 241–5), arguing convincingly that it is an adaptation rather than an exact translation of Archestratus’ poem.—Fish as luxury food: Wilkins and Hill ( 1994 : 21f.); Davidson ( 1997 ); Dohm ( 1964 : passim).
(105) Apol. 42; cf. also Ter. Ad. 373ff. for some linguistic parallels.
(108) Cf. also Apol. 52 for the identification of Aemilianus and Thallus.
(109) ‘ita dicuntur proprie actores, musici, rhetores, qui plausum non ferunt et displicent’.
(111) e.g. cella promptaria (‘store-room’; Apol. 54.8; cf. Plaut. Amph. 156); crepundia (literally ‘rattle’ or ‘child’s toy’; Apol. 56.1) here used as the religious amulets of an initiate, is more often used for the recognition tokens in comedy.—Of seventeen other instances in the PHI CDROM, twelve are Plautine, one from Plautine argumenta. Cf. the notes in Butler and Owen ( 1914 ) and Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad locc.).
(113) Cf. Plaut. Pseud. 659.
(114) List of similar terms of abuse: Naevius 118 Ribbeck: ‘pessimorum pessime, audax, ganeo, lustro, aleo!’ (‘Blackest of utter blackguards, barefaced gorger! You loafer, gambler!’). Cf. Opelt ( 1965 : 157ff.) on greedy eating habits as part of invective, and on ganeo and helluo.On crassus as an insult cf. Corbeill ( 1996 : 141).
(115) Butler and Owen ( 1914 : p. lxv) warn against unreflectingly assuming the derivation of these words from comedy, but the cumulative evidence of comic references argues for at least comic consciousness on Apuleius’ part when using these words.
(116) Cf. Plaut. Persa 421.
(117) Ter. Haut. 1033, but also in Cicero.
(118) Ten times in Plautus, three times in Terence.
(119) Apol. 58.7—Other instances of the same gluttony: 58.10 etc.
(121) Cf. Ch 2.1 above.
(122) Webster, Green, and Seeberg ( 1995 : i. 22ff.): Pollux mask nos 17 and 18: ‘Kόλαξ δὲ καὶ παράσιτος μέλανες, οὐ μὴν ἔξω παλαίστρας, ἐπίγρυποι, εὐπαθεῖς. τῳ δὲ παρασίτῳ μᾶλλον κατέαγε τὰᾦτα, καί ϕαιδρότερός ἐστιν, ὥσπερ ὁ κόλαξ ἀνατέταται κακοηθέστερον τὰς ὀπρυς. (‘The Flatterer and the Parasite are dark-skinned, but not more so than frequenters of the palaestra: they are hook-nosed, comfortable; the Parasite’s ears are more battered, and he looks more cheerful, while the Flatterer raises his brows more maliciously.’; trans. Webster, Green, and Seeberg)—This more than vague description is explained in pp. 22ff. by comparing it with extant masks. Their mask no. 18 (the parasite) allows for considerable variation of masks, but the four specimens which Pollux seems to link with the parasite are all beardless, and some representations in art are balding (cf. p. 23f.). The parasite’s gluttony is however a Plautine invention and would thus not be portrayed overtly on Greek masks (cf. Lowe ( 1989 : 164)).
(124) Ter. Eun. 235. Cf. 936, where ligurrire is used disparagingly of voracious meretrices. Cf. also above Ch. 2.6. On the metaphor of eating away one’s riches and generally on deformities in oratory cf. Corbeill ( 1996 : 131ff.).
(125) Ergasilus in Capt. 82ff.
(127) Plaut. Men. 163–70, Mil. 41.
(129) Lowe ( 1989 : 164, 168) argues that Plautine additions to the parasite type, like greediness, might derive from his integration of Atellan characters into his comedies. Bac. 1088 shows familiarity with the bucco, Asin. 11 and Merc. 10 with the maccus.
(130) I cannot find any comic elements in the last section of the ‘minor’ magical charges, dealing with Apuleius’ wooden statuette of Hermes.
(131) Cf. the short analysis in Callebat ( 1984 : 165f.), who describes Rufinus as the leno, his daughter as the meretrix, Sicinius Pudens as the adulescens amans, and Crassus as the Maccus from the Atellana Hunink ( 1998 : passim) is at times imprecise in his definition of comic characters; Sallmann’s ( 1995 : 143) remark is made in passing, and only briefly elaborated upon p. 147.
(137) Apol. 74.5ff.
(139) Hunink ( 1997 : ii. ad 75.2) notes that the style is comic, but does not explain why. Some words, e.g. propudiosus, are Plautine, cf. Callebat ( 1968 : 512) (cf. e.g. Truc. 271, Stich. 334). McGinn ( 1998 : 188–92) discusses the legal dimension of the passage. On the effeminatus cf. Corbeill ( 1996 : 127–73).
(140) Cantica sung by exclusi amatores (locked-out lovers) do not appear in comedy alone, but some of their most noticeable instances derive from this genre, e.g. Plaut. Curc. 147ff. Cf. Copley ( 1956 : 28–42).
(141) Cf. the commentaries passim.
(142) Apol. 77. 3, in the dative.
(144) Instances are legion; cf. Asin. 602, Most. 64, 235, Truc. 904 etc.
(145) Apol. 85 = pall. incert. 95 Ribbeck.
(147) He actually uses comic imagery to contrast Pudentilla with a young girl in order to stress his lack of interest in her dowry: Apol. 92 ‘virgo formosa, quamquam sit oppido pauper, tamen abunde dotata est’ (‘a beautiful virgin, although very poor, is still well enough dowered’; adapted). Cf. Norden ( 1912 : 95 n. 3), who states that this notion occurs in comedy, too. Pudentilla, Apuleius argues, does not have this gift of virginity any longer, which is the only type of dowry that would remain with the husband anyway. He is thus to receive no dowry of any kind from Pudentilla.
(149) Cf. e.g. Plaut. Epid. 721ff. Cf. Thompson ( 1977 –8: 3f.) for a discussion of Apuleius’ familia and the small chance that Apuleius would have manumitted three of Pudentilla’s slaves after the wedding.
(150) ‘temulentum illud collegium, parasitos tuos’ (‘the whole drunken collection, those parasites of yours’).
(153) May ( 1988 : 109) aptly remarks: ‘One of the strongest corroborating tactics that gives credence to this picture of Caelius’ character [sc. as a recently reformed young man ready to take responsibility in the state] is Cicero’s identification with his client.’ Cf. also id. p. 116.
(154) Sallmann ( 1995 : 154) reaches a similar conclusion by analysing the narrative strategy: ‘Das ist kein Satyrspiel wie Ciceros Caelius-Story oder der Rufinus-Comic: [ … ] Pudentillas und Apuleius’ Gestalten bleiben makellos, die des Pontianus wird reingewaschen, Pudens vom enttaäuschten Stiefvater zurechtgewiesen, Aemilianus und Rufinus werden als Teufel entlarvt.’