Synopses & Reviews
'Many people are not in the least disturbed at the harm that befalls them, provided they can see their enemies’ downfall first’
In a series of pithy, amusing vignettes, Aesop created a vivid cast of characters to demonstrate different aspects of human nature. Here we see a wily fox outwitted by a quick-thinking cicada, a tortoise triumphing over a self-confident hare and a fable-teller named Aesop silencing those who mock him. Each jewel-like fable provides a warning about the consequences of wrong-doing, as well as offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of Ancient Greeks.
This definitive edition is the first translation into English of the entire corpus of 358 unbowdlerized fables. It is fully annotated, with an introduction that rescues the fables from a tradition of moralistic interpretation.
This definitive and fully annotated modern edition of the Fables is the first translation ever to make available the complete corpus of 358 fables attributed to Aesop, displaying his humor, insight, and savage wit, as well as affording fascinating glimpses of everyday life in ancient Greece. Earlier English versions have been both sanitized and highly selective. Aesop was probably a prisoner of war, sold into slavery in the early sixth century B.C., who represented his masters in court and relied on animal stories to put across his key points. These tales are brought together with other Aesop-inspired satirical tales, probably originating in Libya and Egypt.
A translation of the complete Aesopian fables. The introduction looks at the nature of the animals who appear in these fables, and tries to rescue the fables both from a tradition of moralistic interpretation and from the academic perception of the genre as an exclusively populist one.
About the Author
Aesop probably lived in the middle part of the sixth century BC. A statement in Herodotus gives ground for thinking that he was a slave belonging to a citizen of Samos called Iadmon. Legend says that he was ugly and misshapen. There are many references to Aesop found in the Athenian writers: Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle and others. It is not known whether he wrote down his Fables himself, nor indeed how many of them are correctly attributed to his invention.
Table of Contents
A Note on the Text
THE COMPLETE FABLES