Isis is one of the most significant goddesses in ancient Egypt, and later in Greece and Rome. Isis is her Greek name, while in Egypt she was referred to as Aset. She was beloved by the rich and the poor, by maidens, artisans, and sinners. In depictions of Isis, she is occasionally seen as a goddess with a headdress with an empty throne upon it, suggesting the pharaoh of whom she was the progenitor and protectress.
The Golden Ass
The Golden Ass – Apuleius' The Golden Ass
This religious significance is thought to be based on, but not biographically related to, the solemnity of Apuleius in his later life. The conversion to Isis can be separated into three parts: the first sighting of the goddess, the prayer to the goddess, the revelation the goddess bestows upon Lucius. Lucius begs Isis to restore his human form or give him death in a formulaic prayer standard to Roman customs. Finally, Isis decides to help the wretched Lucius and tells him how he will regain human shape. In return for this, Lucius must devote the rest of his life to Isis. Moreover, be an obedient servant now that his life can be prolonged beyond the limits set by fate.
The Golden Ass Isis
Support my broken life, and give me rest and peace after the tribulations of my lot. Let there be an end to the toils that weary me, and an end to the snares that beset me. Remove from me the hateful shape of a beast, and restore me to the sight of those that love me. Restore me to Lucius, my lost self. But if an offended god pursues me implacably, then grant me death at least since life is denied me.
The protagonist of the novel is called Lucius. The plot revolves around the protagonist's curiosity curiositas and insatiable desire to see and practice magic. While trying to perform a spell to transform into a vulture, he is accidentally transformed into an ass. This leads to a long journey, literal and metaphorical, filled with inset tales. He finally finds salvation through the intervention of the goddess Isis , whose cult he joins.