Title

Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Costume and Identity in Apuleius' Metamorphoses, Florida, and Apology

Publication Date

2017

Journal

Arethusa

Volume

50

Issue

3

First Page

335

Last Page

367

Department

Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies

Abstract

In the Roman empire the connection between physical appearances and socio-political identity was especially pronounced because bodily adornment was a primary vehicle through which status was communicated. This article offers a sustained examination of Apuleius’ treatment of appearances in his Metamorphoses, Florida, and Apology, arguing that he uses the clothed body to explore the mutability of identity in his fictional and lived worlds and that he links this to the ambiguity of language itself. By demonstrating the mismatch between appearance and reality, Apuleius expresses ambivalence about the use of costume to position others within the social sphere.

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