This paper re-examines what many scholars have seen as the problematic intrusion of the monstrous serpent into the narrative of Cupid and Psyche. Psyche seems far too easily convinced by her sisters that her unseen husband is a horrendous creature intent on devouring her. Psyche’s extreme credulity, terror, and willingness to kill her husband are more understandable if her reaction is interpreted in the context of Lamia lore, with which Apuleius and his audience were clearly familiar. Relevant evidence includes Dio’s fifth Oration and Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius, as well as tales of anguipedal males such as Typhoeus and Cecrops.

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