Then a "scribe or interpreter of letters" appears before the "Pastophores." Isiac
By revising Isiac
myth in context with Britomart's patriotic heritage, Spenser follows Plutarch in establishing a new--and English--hermeneutic with which his readers will interpret his poem.
(7) Others have seen Isiac
hints early in the novel in the names of Socrates' and Aristomenes' supernatural tormentors, Meroe and Panthia--Meroe, the name of an Isiac
sanctuary on the Upper Nile; and Panthia, strikingly close to "Panthea" ("All-Divine"), a common epithet applied to the goddess Isis.
(33) The very asinine form of Lucius may foreshadow his eventual Isiac
salvation: at Met.
(18) Lucius, as a speechless animal, could not have related this information to anyone, so the double-dream of the Isiac
high priest and Lucius has to be god-sent.
hanc fuisse summam vel culpae vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire, "this was the worst of their guilt or error, that they were accustomed on a fixed day to gather before light ..." (42) Secret worship services in the dark seem to have been part of the errores of which unbelievers are accused: the openness of the Isiac
worship will be a lesson to them.
Stoic or Cynic diatribes, in particular, are set out as parallels for Lucius' life story, especially since the Isiac
religion in Met.
The summit of Lucius' educational journey is the Gottesschau he experiences during his Isiac
initiation (11,23,7, quoted further below), where he is not only initiated into the mysteries of a religious cult, in the sense of an adolescent's rite of passage, but also depicts himself as acquiring knowledge and power, as the initiation allows him to attain a superior state of perception, which is only reserved to a privileged few.
then splits the 'religio-philosophical' reading into two, emphasizing a distinction between the bald Isiac
initiate and the bald wise man.
I also liked the idea behind the Appendix, suggesting an interesting metaphorical association in Book 11 between Lucius' Isiac
initiation after multifarious hardships and the launching of the ship at the Ploiaphesia festival, marking the beginning of spring.
A different kind of religious enigma in Apuleius comes from an episode which has received much attention in recent criticism because it relates to the meaning and tone of the Isiac
intervention in Book 11, an intervention which leads to Lucius' transformation back into a man and his devotion to the cult of Isis.
Winkler, Harrison), Finkelpearl points out that they base their most compelling arguments on what happens in the Epilogue, one year after the Isiac
portion of the book (1-26); the repeated 'ecce's in the Epilogue, Finkelpearl argues, indicate narrative trickery and literary evasiveness rather than a satire of gullibility and belief, and reflect deeper thematic patterns of continuity and rebirth in Apuleius' novel.