The prologue establishes an audience and a speaker, who defines himself by location, education, occupation, and his kinship with the philosophers Plutarch and Sextus of Chaeronea. The narrator journeys to Thessaly on business. On the way, he runs into Aristomenes and an unnamed traveler. The unnamed traveler refuses to believe Aristomenes’ story. The narrator insults the unnamed traveler and tells a short story about a sword swallower. He promises Aristomenes a free lunch if he will retell his tale. The narrator believes Aristomenes’ tale and becomes more eager to learn about magic. The narrator arrives at Hypata, where he stays with Milo, a friend and miser, and his wife Pamphile. Photis, a serving girl in Milo’s household, takes the narrator to the baths, after which the narrator goes to the marketplace. There, he buys some fish and runs into his old friend Pytheas, who is now a market official. Pytheas reveals the narrator’s name as Lucius. Pytheas says that Lucius overpaid for the fish and humiliates the fish-monger by trampling on the fish. Lucius returns to Milo’s house, hungry and empty-handed. Milo asks Lucius about his life, his friends, and his wanderings, which Lucius grows bored with. Lucius goes to sleep hungry.
Stuff happened before 1850 ? ? ?