An Ass from Oxyrhynchus: P.Oxy. LXX.4762, Loukios of Patrae and the Milesian Tales


  • Regine May


This paper discusses text and authorship of P.Oxy. LXX.4762. The papyrus, portraying a woman kissing a donkey, seems to portray a sexually explicit scene similar to that between Lucius turned ass and the matron known from Apuleius Metamorphoses 10,21 and Onos 51. Although it is in some ways very close to both these scenes in choice of words and content, important discrepancies indicate it is probably not a fragment of the lost Greek original by “Loukios of Patrae”, but more likely a prosimetric Milesian Tale by Aristeides of Miletus. The relationship between novel and Milesian Tale may need to be reassessed.

Regine Mayis Lecturer in Classics at the Universityof Leeds. She has published Apuleius and Drama. The Ass on Stage. Oxford 2006, as well as articles on women and medicine in the ancient novel, and the prologue of Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Current research includes a translation and commentary on Apuleius Metamorphoses I for Aris & Phillips.