eCite Digital Repository

Magic and Property: The Legal Context of Apuleius’ Apologia *


Taylor, T, Magic and Property: The Legal Context of Apuleius' Apologia *, Antichthon, 45 pp. 149-166. ISSN 0066-4774 (2011) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 Australasian Society for Classical Studies

DOI: doi:10.1017/S0066477400000095


This paper examines Apuleius’ Apologia from the perspective of its legal context. The paper asks three questions: first, what was the legal situation in relation to the property issues central to the motivations of Apuleius’ accusers? Second, what would the legal effects of a conviction have been on these property concerns? And, finally, what light do our answers to these questions shed on the Apologia itself? The applicable legal rules suggest both that some of the concerns of the prosecutors were ill-founded and that the prosecution would have achieved little in a legal sense in terms advancing their alleged ends. These observations suggest several potential conclusions: first, that Apuleius’ accusers sincerely believed their accusation of magic and thought that it was only the magical skill of Apuleius that threatened their aspirations to Pudentilla’s estate. Conversely, it may be that the accusers were simply ignorant about the law, vindictive towards Apuleius, or both. Third, that Apuleius has misrepresented his accusers’ motivations. Finally, these conclusions on matters of law could even be taken to suggest that the speech does not represent a genuine case, but rather is a work of fiction concocted by Apuleius for literary purposes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Roman Law
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Latin and classical Greek literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Europe's past
UTAS Author:Taylor, T (Dr Tristan Taylor)
ID Code:121886
Year Published:2011
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-10-19
Last Modified:2017-12-18

Repository Staff Only: item control page