The Golden Ass

1 page from book

The tale, originally written in the 2nd Century AD, narrates the adventures of a young man changed by magic into an ass. Although this work was denounced by St. Augustine in The City of God, The Golden Ass was very successful in the medieval period and became a best seller in Renaissance Italy.

This book is a fine example from the press of Conrad Sweynheym, one of the first printers known to be active in Italy. The library has a small collection of incunabula, books printed within the first fifty years of the advent of the printing press.

This copy, which lacks signatures, is from the library of the book collector Michael Woodhull, who wrote bibliographical comments, dated May 10, 1802, on the front fly-leaf. This earliest printed edition of The Golden Ass dates from 1469. It was printed in Rome by Conrad Sweynheyn and is the oldest book in The Fine printing & Private Press Collection.

The Golden Ass.
Lucius Apuleius Platonicus
Rome: Conrad Sweynheyn, 1469

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