A commentary with introduction on the Florida of Apuleius
The most recent, and in many ways the best, text of the Florida of Apuleius is that of P. Vallette in the Budé series (Paris, 1924). I have, however, used the Teubner text by R. Helm (Leipzig, 1910, reprinted with addenda 195 and 1959) as the basis for this Commentary, mainly because of the usefulness of Helm's critical apparatus, which is considerably fuller than Vallette's. I have discussed variant readings where the sense appears to be affected, but I have made no independent study of the MSS. This Commentary makes no claim to be a critical edition. I have been more concerned with interpretation and elucidation than with matters of style, though in an author like Apuleius the two aspects cannot always be separated. A commentary is not, however, the most convenient medium for a stylistic study. I have commented mainly on subject matter, on the language (including points of grammar), and on anything of general or special interest that appeared to throw light on the meaning and intention of the author. In the Introduction I have considered the question of the composition of the Florida. My conclusion is that the passages, as we now have them, are excerpts from an earlier collection made by Apuleius himself, and that the division into four books goes back to this original collection. I have also tried to show that, even in its present mutilated state, the Florida gives a unique insight into Apulelus' manner as a public speaker and his relations with his Carthaginian audience. For convenience, I have inserted the Bibliography at the beginning of the work, so that the reader may more easily refer back to the list of older editions, which are discussed in the first section of the Introduction.