The paper explores the contribution of Petru Caraman’s work on identifying the folkloric sources of the Latin novelist Apuleius in writing the tale of Cupid and Psyché – part of his novel The Metamorphoses. The Romanian ethnologist’s thorough research on the historical and geographical origins of this type of tale is discussed within the broader context of the scholarly literature on the theme, starting with literary analysts or philosophers which found other sources than the folkloric one were more plausible to document Apuleius’ inspiration, to the ones which supported the general assumption that the narration reflects type 425 in the classification system Aarne-Thompson. It is also put under scrutiny the connection of these interpretations to the various theories on fairy-tales origins, such as the anthropological theory, the historical analysis of Propp, the Indianist or migrational theory. At last, Caraman’s perspective is shown to have brought a new and persuasive view on an intricate subject of research due to his intuition to discuss the archaic rituals which stand beyond Apuleius’ narrative.
Keywords: Petru Caraman, Apuleius, Cupid and Psyché, Aarne-Thompson typology, theories of fairy-tales origin, ritualist interpretation.
Cuvinte-cheie: Petru Caraman, Apuleius, Cupidon şi Psyché, tipologia Aarne-Thompson, teoriile originii basmelor, interpretarea ritualistă.