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Lucius Apuleius was born somewhere between 123 and 125 AD in Madaurus, a Roman colony in Numidia, and died sometime after 180 AD. His father was a provincial magistrate and he inherited a substantial fortune from him. Apuleius went to university at Carthage and later at Athens where he studied Platonic philosophy among other subjects. After being initiated as a worshipper of Isis, he went to Rome to study Latin oratory. Later he travelled extensively in Asia Minor and Egypt, studying philosophy and religion.

After being accused of using magic to gain the attentions (and fortune) of a widow, he wrote the Apologia (A Discourse on Magic). His other works include On the God of Socrates, Florida, On Plato and his Doctrine, The Golden Ass, and possibly On the Universe.