The date of composition of the Metamorphoses is uncertain. It has variously been considered by scholars as a youthful work preceding Apuleius' Apology of 158/9 AD, or as the climax of his literary career and perhaps as late as the 170s or 180s. Apuleius adapted the story from a Greek original of which the author's name is said to be Lucius of Patrae (the name of the lead character and narrator). This Greek text has been lost, but there is Λούκιος ἢ ὄνος (Loúkios è ónos, Loukios/Lucius or The Ass), a similar tale of disputed authorship, traditionally attributed to Lucian of Samosata, a contemporary of Apuleius. This surviving Greek text appears to be an abridgement or epitome of "Lucius of Patrae's" text. Possibly the original lost story was written by Lucian and the abridged version was later transmitted under his name.
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