Vision and Light in Apuleius' Tale of Psyche and Her Mysterious Husband Author(s): Costas Panayotakis Source: The

Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 51, No. 2 (2001), pp. 576-583 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association Stable URL: Accessed: 04/03/2010 06:50
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G. 1998). who identify in the charming narrative of the old hag to the captive Charite elements that bear a striking similarity to specific thoughts or passages in Plato. (Groningen. the case of Cupidand Psyche'. Penwill.Forthe dangers Novel(Cambridge.'Cupidand Psyche: Ass II Golden et al. Sandy. testifiesto the popularityof this topic in currentApuleianresearch. and in his paperat ICAN 2000 entitled'Spectator .and (especially) Apuleius. (Oxford. Panayotakis. as well as its influence on The Golden Ass and. in The Golden Apuleius. I am especially on theseoccasions. ' Recentstudieson the issueof Platonism Ass includeE.Classical Quarterly51. (edd.H. Zimmerman hersisters'. 23-34. 136-209. I am indebtedto I. 2000). with text is by J. Kenney. Apuleius 1990).19-22. Walsh. especially. '"Foreverytatterin its mortaldress": love. 167-8and on a "happy 'Reflections ending": 177-8. namely the importance of vision as a means for Psyche to approach the light of truth and wisdom. S. 176-232. G. and the distinction between the heavenly and the vulgar types of love are Platonic ideas. J. Keulen. O'Brien.1995). G. of in the studyof thistopic. M.Aspects in M.Vallette Assby D. the tale of Psyche and her mysterious husband.220-1. The tripartite division of the soul.).whosefriendly in to important fordrawing referee form. the portrayal of her character in relation to her two sisters.and at the thirdInternational and many F. resemble specific events in the tale of Psyche.repr. (1998). and the ambiguous role the goddess Venus and her son Cupid play in the heroine's life are themes that seem to transform Apuleius' literary fairytale into a philosophical allegory.1-22.andto CQ'sanonymous my attention passages original fromApuleius' here. Dowden. J. Cupid a question theSecondSophistic (Leiden. 1996-8).252-9. A.Bristol.the soul and 1998).S. on Platonism in TheGolden of papers Theunexpectedly Ass. thus Psyche's name.see the cautiousremarks inherent 86-7 and 111-12. Slater. grateful helpful of this paperin its most of the foundations criticism demolished to P.).which has undeservedly received no scholarly attention so far.Harrison. the fall of the winged soul to the earth because of its evil burden.1997). Marinos.Aspectsof Apuleius' in M. Zimmerman of the vision of Apuleius'. Zimmerman.22-36.-G. Groningenin 2000. P. at ICAN 2000. her futile attempt to seize Cupid and fly with him to the sky. 18-48. Novelin Context andW. comments whooffered friends andcolleagues. Panayotakis. which. the gaze in Apuleius'. Robertson textarebasedon theBud6editionof TheGolden (1940-5). 2 N. and to achieve the longed-for union with the divine. of Apuleius' A LatinSophist S. the desire of the soul to be united with the divine. whichwerepresented largenumber see M. Golden Ass II (Groningen. 2000). Although I do not subscribe to the category of scholars who interpret from a Platonist perspective every event and all the characters of this complex tale.2I will argue that Psyche's ardent desire to see her husband should be * Shorter Association versions of thispaperweregivenat theannual meetingof The Classical on the AncientNovel(ICAN)at Conference at Liverpool in 1999. Hansonin the Loebseries(repr.TheRoman 1970. fromApuleius' of extracts The translation corrections.Quotations fortheviewsexpressed text. L. Walsh. (Groningen. and World andPsyche of Apuleius. according to some scholars.CPh93 article'Passionand petrifaction: in his penetrating and spectaclein Apuleius'.K. my intention in this article is to complement the aforementioned approach to Apuleius' multilayered text by following another fruitful line of enquiry. and J. are issues that have rightly been at the centre of recent Apuleian studies and continue to draw the attention of scholars.TheAncient S.OnlyI remain responsible Apuleius' andP.2 576-583 (2001) Printed in Great Britain 576 VISION AND LIGHT IN APULEIUS' TALE OF PSYCHE AND HER MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND* The importance of Platonism in Apuleius' studies and career.Ramus27 (1998). (edd.Herrmann. et al.TheGreek (Cambridge.

MD 25 to earlierbibliography on the (n. it grows heavy.It was a happycoincidencethat at ICAN allegorical interpretation his use of times of day to articulate 2000 J.Harrison of light in Apuleius' novel).89 attacheslittle importance Psycheis namedforthe firsttime. 1987). loses its wings.131-9. Socrates likens the human soul to a pair of horses-one of noble the other of low breed (246b)-led by a chariotbreed. 174(withmorereferences (1990).Apuleius' see Zimmerman et al.P. but also in the recurring juxtaposition in the narrative of the motifs of eternal light and of everlasting knowledge versus the blindness of ignorance and the darkness of witchcraft. which occurs in Ovid'stelling of both familiarmythictales and reconditestories. winged eer. On the other hand. 249. 519b). Bodelexplored. where. and falls to the earth (Ph. Auctor of Apuleius's Reading stamped to the circumstances in which The Golden Ass (Berkeley. burdened with evil. A similarly intense yearning to see dominates the character and motivates many of the actions of Apuleius' heroine.3 Psyche's disobedience to the repeated warnings of her the themeof visionin relation to Luciusfromquitea different Themotif perspective.Winkler. nor to argue that Apuleius. 248b-c. united with the divine. cf. that I wish neither to impose a complex Platonic scheme throughout the narrative of this tale.1989). (n. 248c. and to pronounce a religious message in the eleventh book.representing the soul. TheMetamorphoses of Apuleius (New York. narrative. et ses fonctions dansles Metamorphoses of thetopicso faris by R. James. cf. and which Apuleius exploits selectively in order both to unite. which he &ActorA Narratological withhis ownmark. the climax of Lucius' adventures. Had Apuleius wished to engage in Platonist propaganda.Socrates' conclusion is described explicitly: a soul that does not follow God. from which truth and all other good things stem. light. yearn to reach the upper regions (248a). even if the result is comically incongruous and sometimes illogical. at the outset of this article. blindness. Vision plays an important role in Plato's well-known account of Socrates' discussion of the soul and its form (Phaedrus246a fE. exploited the motifs of vision and/of light in his novel to advertise and promote Platonist philosophy.with fascinating results. 2000). for. pertinentia d'Apule'. he would not have chosen a novel as the narrativevehicle to convey his message to his audience. and that Psyche's inability to grasp the real essence of her husband's nature is due to her poorly focused vision.).and it is to this I turn now. . it seems to me that Apuleius cannot resist the temptation to enrich the dense literary texture of his amusing fictional creation by introducing reminiscences of Platonist philosophy.J. 1987). My belief is that this erudite sophist from North Africa entertains himself and his audience with narrativemotifs (vision.J. fails to realize its ultimate aim. the philosophus Platonicus who took his Platonism seriously. and asserts that all winged horses with their charioteer. 165-77. Ph.30. in a subtle and firm fashion. they may behold truth and view reality. in Studia variaBruxellensia of lightin Platonist See also J.10-11. Rep. whose name is revealed only when Cupid sees her for the first time (4. namely to gain a view of reality (Ph. Krabbe. 1. 1).PSYCHE AND HER MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND 577 primarilyexplained in terms of the continuous struggle of the soul to view divine light. The anonymousrefereerightly Unityin Diversity (Hildesheim.Citati. I shall further demonstrate how Cupid's identification with divine light can be clearly seen in the text not only in the prominence of expressions denoting bright light in connection with him. the first ten books of his novel. Vision is one of these Platonist reminiscences. the namesof the heroesis also an Ovidiannarrative remindsme that withholding technique. approaches themostcomprehensive treatment of lightin the taleof Psychehasbeenonlypartially discussed.5). de Smet. 29-41 (withbibliography on the significance philosophy).'La luce nellanotte'.'Lanotionde lumiere ad orbemGraeco-Latinum (Leuven. which can be closely paralleled in Plato's theory of the soul.145-6. 3 See P. 247d-e). n. 1985). It is important to emphasize. darkness).

348-9. in Psyche'sseductivespeech to Cupidjust In fact. s. 247d. her own light. viderete diversorium.and the carefulpositionin the narrative at in the accountof Psyche's arrival of qualifying andprepositional adjectives phrases the enchantedvalley.11. namelythatshe longs to see parents. light(redde (consequently) as the way in whichthe in the Phaedrus vision is mentionedrepeatedly Moreover.3. meum lumen.110-11.1987).158. owethe last two references 7 meos. 5.O. si videris.3.Die rimischenVornamen. prolectante studiopulcherrimae visionis rimatursingula.6). PANAYOTAKIS husbandthat she shouldnot set eyes on him (5.see Kenney( that momentPsycheherself declares. truth(Ph. 248a-c). 178(Sandbach). Jr. (n. ironicallyforeshadows of Psyche's character. 5. Th. 1).c). Hijmans.578 C.2.4. andKenney 6 On Lucius' function in Apuleius' names andtheir name see B. 5 iam nil officiunt mihi nec ipsae nocturnae tenebrae: teneo te.4-6) oughtnot to comeas a surprise wayfor this climaxthrougha seriesof actionsperformed by (or relatedto) Psyche. praysto Isis to self and himbackto his former asinineformandto render freehimfromhisloathsome to his former memeoLucio.4).'Significant Golden Ass (Groningen. 248b. 5. of the soulto reachthe divineregionsis expressed doubtin Plato'saccountthatfailure in termsof failureof the soul to see ( those actions expressionsof seeing or observingwith amazementabound in the and can be found alreadyin the tragicprincess'sopening speech to her narrative.A Lexicon Studien zurromischen Salomies. this impressionis reinforced before the third visit of her sisters. concluding the events of the fatal night in her noble spouse (4. speechless but as a soul'sardentdesirefor the divinelight.11.5Likewise.5.2. conjunctionwith the views expressedabout the soul in the imageryof the cave in are essentialin understanding Plato'sRepublic. nonvidebis 5.namelythatif she seeshis face she will not see it:7 so is dazzledwhenit comesout of its caveto facea luminousworld.34. 1). vultus.justice. the statement of her bittersoliloquy..1.6.ut tibisaepepraedixi.1.2. see Walsh fr.. hastilyand with thoughtless husband's face does not pose a threatto her happinessand does not arousein her becauseshecan at leasthold on to herhusbandand havehimas feelingsof curiositas. 5. in the extantfragments of Plutarch's soul is expressed of a to thecourse andlightin relation A similar of darkness 518a-b..6providessome excitingword-play. loosely rendered to Psyche's haveso oftenbeencompared whosemisfortunes sufferings.3-6. for the narrator has pavedthe 5. conspicit.. Cupid'soxymoronicwarningto his just as a soul whichwasliving seemsplausibleto me that Socrates'ideas in the Phaedrus. AlthoughI wouldbe unwillingto novelbear or may be seen to beara of seeingin Apuleius' arguethat all expressions in Platonicmeaning. 5. of Ancient 1978).2.205.2-3. most charming landscape. I Namengebung to JohnBodel.2-3. and R. juxtaposition .4 seem to me to indicatethat.5. of Apuleius' Aspects Metamorphoses'.11.4. 5. in id. 5. and in fact embrace temperance.Psyche's Apuleius'rhetorical as not simplythe amazement of a withhimshouldbe regarded brightitemsconnected the of a beautiful situated in a who is at sight building simpleyounggirl.the fact that the name of the hero of this novel could be as 'man of light'.1991).rather of nightthat veilsher thateventhe darkness enthusiasm. even if we make allowancesfor to Cupid'sshiningpalaceand to all attraction writing.thereis no and knowledge.2. quos. SeeRep. Maltby.v. L. soul-by means of the mind-may grasp abstractconceptssuch as reality.R. 1). 155.12. LatinEtymologies (Leeds.1. when Lucius.34.. De Anima. ei summacum voluptate visenti. mysterious to the reader. videtfontem. (Helsinki.n. 8 4 videt lucum. 5.1.8 in deepignorance (n. van der Paardt.13. The multitude perception Cupid's palaceandshapesthereaders' of nounsand verbsor verbalformsof seeing.

5.1999). her initialreactionof shockwhenshe actuallysees the god (5. for this reason her vision is limited. hancautem.200 Moreschini: rerum binasesseet earumalteram esse.perenni of the soul.3. 5.'CURIOSITAS'.'0It is instructive to read Apuleius' account.and J. for it seems to me that Psyche perceives everything that happens around her with haste and by means of her mortal eyes rather than with careful consideration and by means of her mind and the eyes of her soul. although she feels ashamed of her murderous plans." This is clearly relevant in our case. the other aspect of nature. also De Plat.288-9. 168. cogitabilem et superiorem mutabilem esseac facilemcontuenti. L.23.See Penwill (n. to Psyche. having not yet been disciplined to see Cupid as the true reality. can only be understood after careful thinking by means of the sharp vision of the mind.13. admiration. if she saw Cupid's greaterbrightness. even dazzled. Metamorphoses Book IX (Groningen. Psyche is impressed.see n. givento Psyche's many people have actually seen the monster (plurimi viderunteum.Oxford in populartopic).PSYCHE AND HER MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND 579 Psyche. 193. she seems to absorb avidly every little detail of this majestic sight.. and a rigid distinction is drawn between the two ways in which one approaches each side of this dual nature.4).12 and hastily follows the instructions of both of them. constantemeandemque et semperesse.and othercharacters with reference in this '0 On the themeof curiositas in id.22. DeFilippo's replyto Hijman's Readings the Roman Novel(Oxford. through an elegant Apuleian pun. By that point in the narrativeit has become clear to the reader that the sisters are a poor substitute for Cupid.6).'Cf. For example. We are told that she feels devastated when her husband asks her not to see her sisters (5.1. the material world is perceived by the mortal eyes and can be even felt by means of the hands. alteram quae veniat in mentem.5. J. but it is also clear. her curiositas and her simplicitas. by the radiance of the palace and the items in it. 5.Lucius. " De Plat. Apuleius Madaurensis. She readily and without thinking accepts the conflicting pieces of advice her husband and her sisters give her.recreatur animi. Harrison.3. that Psyche's overwhelming desire to see is so vital to her that it would be the sole remedy to restore her psyche with joy (tibi devotae Psychae animam gaudio recrea. Hijmans.4). 13 saepius divini vultus intuetur pulchritudinem. novel. however. the nature of things is dual.4.1995).5. of the function of mortal eyes and the eyes of the mind: according to this passage. et al.4).incorruptam. 2 S. in his treatise De Platone. whichknowwhatis good andwhatis evil.immutabilem.9 But why is Psyche not ready yet to understand the true nature of Love? The answer to this difficult question lies beyond the well-known flaws of Psyche's character. the permanent and everlasting one.2).quaementisacie quidempartem videtur et penetrabilicogitatione percipituratque concipitur. quae dum insatiabili animo Psyche. hinc et duplicemrationeminterpretationemque dicit. at haec intellegibilis namqueilla visibilisfortuitaet non ita perseveranti suspicionecolligitur.22) is not enough for Psyche to satisfy her insatiablecuriosity about the identity of her spouse.22.17. she would be dazzled. but her ability to understand or question the origin and significance of it all stops at the stage of mere observation. 5. Jr.see B.22. rimatur atque pertrectat et mariti sui miratur arma.Forreferences to the eyes vera.13. and that she even begs her spouse to allow her to see her sisters' faces instead of his face (5.quamquidem 'Naturasque et intellegibilem: deturenimvenianovitativerborum rerum obscuritatibus servienti. et constantirationeprobatur esse. 5. and astonishment. 362-79 (with copious references to earlierbibliography on this viewsin S.13 9 Cf. the sight of Cupid asleep in all his glory (5. Furthermore. 14. The Soeaar-v appellat ille et quae videri oculis et attingi manu possit. is rightly warned that. . 1). Panayotakis of the points out to me that Psychenaivelybelievesher sisters'portrayal unknownhusbandas an immense serpentnot only becauseit squareswith the Pythianoracle but also becausethe sisterssupporttheirthesiswith the argument that father.12. satis et curiosa.

We are told that one of Psyche's sisters. 197-9 15 On the removal of sightas a linkingmotif for Psycheand Charite. The value judgement that Lucius. and who punishes her husband's murdererby blinding him. 5).17. according to Plato in the Republicand to Apuleius in De Platone. 5.1.17 Furthermore. Les Metamorphoses. Apuleius 14See Rep. their own 'blind' and ambitious desires will secure them a fittingly gruesome death.6). and it is no accident that blindness as a concept features also in Photis' apologetic account to Lucius about the magic forces that gave life to the inanimate wine-skins. Maeder. and with the way in which he visualizes the avenging spirit that chases him. just like the impatient behaviour of Lucius before his transformation (3.2. Psyche's limited vision neither makes her a bad character nor implies that a person whose soul is endowed with penetrating vision is necessarily good. when Lucius eventually hears that.1. Lucius confesses that he is greatly afraid of the blind dens of witchcraft.1. on blind eyes (Rep.24. 31. Her action is rash16and leads to disaster. Similarviews are expressedin Apuleius'De Platone236 and251 (Moreschini).n. stark blind and without eyes.3. Apulee.5. 519a.32. cf. of use a Platonic diminutive (Rep.14.286.2). The motif of blindness is.18.'8 he comically imagines himself as one of those decent and honest people who have fallen victims to a Fortune that Psyche from her 'blindness'.21. On the diversenuancesof caecus.'4 and it is so misguided and misdirected that it metaphorically becomes a vision wasted. 18 The anonymous that Luciushad to the false'vision' of burglary drawsmy attention referee drunkfromByrrhaena's whenreturning banquet (2. They possess a little soul (ivXadplov).however. K. 518b-c). 518d. (Moreschini) see James(n. in their blind haste (8.1). (Photis to Lucius) tuneprotinusinexpugnabili magicaedisciplinae potestateet caeca coactorum 3. The sisters rightly guess the divine quality of the light projected at Cupid's palace (5. 1-20 (Groningen. makes about his owners is important. verbsrimatur andmiratur (withtheirassonance they give to equal numberof syllables)have not been chosen here only for the opportunity to displayhis writing skills. Before his transformation into an ass. as Plato says. to whom the tale is narrated.3.15 but also in the whole of The GoldenAss. 16 Haste is a characteristic of the sisters'actions(5.16.20. their vision is sharp but also enlisted in the service of evil. 1998). 519a). PANAYOTAKIS On the other hand. like Psyche'sevil and 'blind' sisters.16. Livre II.580 C.see D. throws herself from the cliff and falls victim to Psyche's vindictive plans. and232. on the direction of the soul's conversion or shift. but attempt to approach it for the wrong reasons. besotted with blind hope to marry Cupid (5.27. 17(Luciusto Byrrhaena) caecaset inevitabiles latebras Sedoppidoformido magicae disciplinae. or indeed in the life of Charite. this pompous and apparentlycomic declaration is made again by Lucius later in the narrativein relation to his lewd experiences as a vehicle for the image of the theirhomoeoteleuton. in his asinine form.1. .2) or the thoughtless actions of Lucius' owners. andtheir andalliteration. who.2-6). 5.12. people believe him to be responsible for the robbery at the house of his former host Milo. 3). van Malnuminum violentia.1.5. 2.27. decide to ignore people's warnings to them not to travelduring the night through an area plagued by wolves.9.14.1. in spite of all he has suffered. 5. which caused him so much trouble and humiliation. 5. Psyche's cunning sisters are an excellent example of souls that do not direct rightly their vision and do not look where they should.7. ironically.3. because it squares with his perception of his own rash and thoughtless actions regardingwitchcraft. crucial not only in the events of Psyche'slife.2). it is statedevenat thetimeof theirdeath(5. The usefulness or harmfulness of a soul's vision depends. Through mad envy and malignant vanity they will. Rep.

7).4.fromwhich 1992). and gleamed.she revealsto dumbfounded Luciusvery see now. are variously described as objects.).see B.1.21 tale. L.her hair.3).1.surelylinksthe role of Venusin tribesand tribulations. (edd. othergods.Darkness revealtheirmalignantplans and devisetheirdark schemes(5.25. respectand in Pseudo-Lucian's abridged envioussisters is also the temporal background againstwhichPsyche's ively).1975). His trueand divinenatureis expressed kind of punishmentfor his unruly light is suggestedby Venusas the appropriate and is associatedwith lonelinessand suffering(5. placare outside of Fortune of the blindness andthe fickleness to the themes 8.6. the priestwho was instructed whenAsiniusMarcellus.respectively.1. relate in the restof the novel.3). to Fortunewitheyes and the correlation The reference the readeris left in no doubt that her primary of course. All things behaviour to Cupidradiate blissfullight. 1). 11.We light of Psyche's lamp(5.241-4. exoculatam esseFortunam.24 and 12.2. is her brightness. . once more.30.3).1. 169.5). 2). Schlam.and her identifying characteristic which shone. eyes lightensby goddessIsis. Her intricateclothing.11. see Isis appearshereto be brighter of the divineCupidand the divineIsis to areinvitedto link the importance as readers the fortunesof the mortalsPsycheand Lucius. blazed.The Isis Book (MetaOn BookXI) (Leiden.involvecoalescence described in termsof light(11. and.Apuleiusof Madauros. of light with divinitypoint.3)-indeed. As Cupidseemedeven brighter amongthe most far reaching thanlight itself.But perhaps Her realmsof influence are similarly to her divinelight comes whenLuciussays to her image reference the most revealing 'you . Jr.58-62.6. puts the abstractfigureof the blind Fortuneinto with the figureof a Fortune and contrasts it. described the eventsof the tale to the adventures Thereis no doubt thatCupidis the only sourceof genuineand eternallight in the of while deprivation in termsof light. morphoses.she is instructing as and her in the darkness of initiation-rituals. both in Apuleius (3.4-5). Makingan Ass of Oneself Psycheis desperately (thoughin vain)tryingto escape(6. thus implying that Isis' powers are than the in the universe.C. Hijmans. Metamorphoses Apuleius' 20 Met.20 perspective means of her clearlight even the and the has like that.PSYCHE AND HER MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND 581 devicethatlinks Lucius'adventures Syriangoddess. acquirea religious to initiate Lucius into Isis' Isis. withthe roleof Fortune (andof Isis)in Lucius' Psyche's wanderings 21 See 5.3.whichis quiteseparate light of the sun (5.5. Books Madaurensis. related fromthe thewholeof the palace-generatea lightof theirown. experienced lucidly of dark night and brightsunlight(11. (11. dimension.17. revealedby Lucius. inevitabiles oculos.Forreferences 91-2.23.TheMetamorphoses of Apuleius. respectively).24.2). in an often-quoted passage. glowed. versionof the Greekoriginal(3. of nightin which is the darkness to the lightthatCupidprojects contrasted Sharply wife in Pseudo-Lucian the witchesPamphilein Apuleiusand Hipparchus' operate and duringwhichLuciusbecomesan ass. Venus' (NorthCarolina.shiningamongthe shadesof Acheron' (11. whom you sheen(11.22.21 and 12. Whenshe appears. et prorsus 7.6). whichis gleamingwith dark deep-black dazzlinggarmentis a breathtaking.5-6and Kenney (n.6). .Apuleius novel. Her most 'glisteningwith white light' and 'shiningwith white brilliance' cloak.sed illa Fortuna quam per tot regiones inmecaecosdetorsit nonpotui.The gold columnsof his palace(5. 11.5).1.15. light the sun' (luminas solem.22. (Groningen.22. night (11.and thus functionsas a narrative to a blindFortune Lucius'references beforeand afterhis metamorphosis19 al. Luciusthat 'you will find me.2-3.rursum malis velpraecedentibus iamfugienseffugere oculos. andVII VI25-32 1981). The evil plan 19 caecam ac pronuntiasse doctrinae menondenihiloveteris virosfinxisse subibatque priscaeque measaevissima.2). 6. .3. Gwyn Griffiths.

the narratorof the tale prefersnot to take any decision.and the behindbars. of evil. causein givingsuchinstructions natureof the sisters' role of the lamp in folk-talesand in elegiaclove-poetry24 The conventional may make an allegoricalreadingof this Apuleianpassagerathercontrived. 'a shining deed' or a 'shining crime' (5. but by the author Apuleius. These the question night are not the only illogicaldetails in the old woman'stale.whichtemporarily represented the light is freed(5. as murderbut as a husbandwill no longer be considered slayingof the mysterious facinus.5).if it had not been for the accomplice Psyche's would not have woken up.In wouldenablePsycheto pickthe rightmomentto cut herhusband's fact. 101.4). and the lamp are involved as a plan or a game set not by Cupid or by the narrator(s) of the tale. the jar. 5. sinceit In the tale the lamp is clearlypresented initiallyas an instrument throat(5. Cupid used by Psyche'ssister. Apuleius:Pro se de magia (Amsterdam.25 allegorical the sistersarerightly Psycheto usethelightof thelampto freeherselffromher urging as harmful 'blind'status(5. V. light versus and truthversuslies.22 whyPsycheshould interprets logicallytheeventsin the taleof Psychemaywellwonder as a sourceof brightlight. Owen. is hereexploitedfalselyto stressthe allegedly just and righteous to Psyche. and knowledge prison.of course.1.11. Comments made by the tale's narrator: lucernailla. 206. 170.20. the lucerna illa. casu scilicet pessumo lucernafervens oleum rebullivit in eius umerum. whichhas no locksor bolts.Readersare ultimately required device. Hunink. 1997). See H. One may even need a lamp to see a god who is described is able to how darkness of concealtheidentityof sucha god.12. ad loc.23 once. and they are only partly explainedby referencesto the traditionalassociationof Cupid with darknessin instrument that they concoctrequires withwitchcraft in the firstthreebooks of TheGolden Ass (1. Butler and A.20. S. de Smet (n. I view the events in which Psyche. 1914).aboutthe lamp'srolein the events.2). Psyche's sisters.30.4). see Penwill (n. is terminology as a dark detainslight.4. however. freedom darkness. and in Apuleius' Pseudo-Lucian's Apology.yet the lampis perceived by both Psycheandthe old remark that Cupid's locks the narrator's the tale. versusslavery. 2.4. such as good versusevil.26. beenassociated of Hipparchus'wife into an owl in 3.28.the truthwill shine. evomuit de summa luminis sui stillam ferventis olei super umerum dei dexterum. who interweavesthe various threads of the narrativeand controls the actions of his characters. Cupid. the motif of the light praeclarum of the lamp.that level.2. 25 . then.26. (n. thatthelight of thelampPsychewasholdingflickered shoneso brilliantly uncertainly 22 Apol. 5.582 C. 26 Psyche's words to her sisters: conscio lumine vultus eius aspexi.5. PANAYOTAKIS that has the illuminating servicesof a lamp. 24SeeWalsh 1). in the episode of the transformation The readerwho Luciusor TheAss (12).26 womanwho narrates Furthermore. n.whichenables Apuleiusexploitingthe elegiacmotif of the lampas a narrative him to play with a host of conflictingideas. 5. hem audax et temerarialucernaet amoris vile ministerium.or to Cupid'sportrayalwhen he first appearedin the tale to suspendtheirdisbeliefin orderto watch (4. 2 It is worth noting here that both Psyche and Charite are also supposed to be imprisoned.the latterin thecaveof the of Cupid's former in the darkness palace. 5.4). at ille vulnere lucernaedolens. which would conceal the lamp. 1). E. robbers. 37-8.21).23.23. 42. 2). Apulei Apologia (Oxford. either on a literal or on an Onecouldargue.26. it may be arguedthat the lamp acquiresan identityof its own and becomes to Cupid'sattempted murder(5. vision.4). 5. Although I share Penwill's scepticism about the unlikely hypothesis that the lamp acted in accordance with Cupid's orders. sive perfidia pessima sive invidianoxia sive quod tale corpus contingereet quasi basiare et ipsa gestiebat.22.20. According to the alluring yet deceitful lamp.4.

by means of which people like Psyche and Lucius should not be seeking knowledge of the divine. 296-8. in an attractively misleading fashion. when the narrator Lucius contrasts it to the divine.5) emphasizes strongly not only the superhuman quality of Cupid's light but also the temporary and poor value of the light of Psyche's lamp. whose name promises. and that eternal light should be approached by mortal souls with the right means and at the right time. The message conveyed so far is that knowledge of the divine secrets should not be attained by recourse to dark schemes. Likewise.12. These beliefs and his affairs with Photis. gatheredand assessedby van Mal-Maeder Harrison(n.Although I havefailedto findin the text attractive.arts. 6). who are said to carry 'lamps. associated sistersor withwitchcraft is beneficial . n.PSYCHE AND HER MYSTERIOUS HUSBAND 583 (5. 110. In spite of the reservations expressed above about the allegorical meaning of the lamp in the tale of Psyche. It stands for the false and inferior light of witchcraft. c. 174and 253. she harms both herself and Cupid. consequently. Psyche approaches Cupid's bright light thoughtlessly and hastily by means of her mortal eyes and with the aid of the artificial light of a lamp.panayotakis@classics. 249. the inferior quality of the light of the lamp is clearly demonstrated. who in the Greek original does not have this significant name. torches.22. the servant-girl.4). is a descendant of the greater fire of the Sun in heavens. will eventually lead to his transformation into an ass Universityof Glasgow COSTAS PANAYOTAKIS gla.27 the light of everlasting knowledge. does not acceptthe view that Photisconstitutesa I findthisargument 'false'anticipation of Isis. and possesses not only knowledge of the future but also the power to communicate to people the secrets of that future (2. thatCupid's andIsis'brightlightsareharmful andpotentially or anycogentevidence dangerous. it is as unworthy as the false light of eroticism and magic represented in the early part of Lucius' adventures by Photis. 27 On and on her Photis'namesee Hijmans on Photis'character (n. n. 17). 204. Lucius believes that the light of the lamp. thatdarkness withPsyche's and rewarding.The bibliography contrast with Isis is conveniently ( heavenly light in the account of the procession of the devotees of Isis. and other sorts of artificial light to honour the source of the heavenly stars' (11. 1).2). In fact. I would argue that the light of the lamp links the misfortunes of the naive Psyche with the misadventures of the curious Lucius. though insignificant and fashioned by human hands.