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Title: Magic in court : understanding the forensic strategies and the charges against Apuleius in the 'Apologia'
Author: Costantini, Leonardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 4474
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation focuses on the "Apologia", a speech delivered in AD 158-159 by the Latin sophist Apuleius of Madauros. The aim of this study is to shed new light on the extent to which Apuleius’ speech betrays his own knowledge of magic, and it also focuses on implications of the serious charges brought against Apuleius. By analysing the "Apologia" sequentially, I reconstruct, on the one hand, the content of the prosecution’s case which Apuleius heavily distorts to avoid any threatening innuendos. In order to do so, I examine various aspects of Greco-Roman magic and introduce a new semantic taxonomy to describe the term magus and its cognates according to the viewpoint of the ancients. On the other hand, I explore Apuleius’ forensic techniques and assess the Platonic ideology underpinning his speech; this enables me to demonstrate that a Platonising reasoning – distinguishing between higher and lower concepts – lies at the core of Apuleius’ rhetorical strategy, and that Apuleius aims to charm the judge, the audience and, ultimately, his readers with the irresistible power of his arguments.
Supervisor: May, Regine ; Heath, Malcolm Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available