Author Topic: Aesop's Fables or Aesopica  (Read 1224 times)


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Aesop's Fables or Aesopica
« on: May 16, 2009, 01:45:20 pm »
Aesop's Fables or Aesopica

Very little is known with certainty about the man called Aesop (6th century BC), but several accounts & many traditions survive from antiquity.  According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Aesop was a slave on the island of Samos.  He gained great fame from his fables, but he somehow met his death at the hands of the people of Delphi.  The later historian Plutarch claims the Delphians hurled the author to his death from a cliff as a punishment for sacrilege.  According to a less reliable source, Aesop was an ugly & misshapen man who charmed & amused people with his stories.  No one knows if Aesop himself wrote down any of his fables, but they circulated widely in ancient Greece & were praised by Plato, Aristotle, & numerous other authors.  His short & witty tales with their incisive morals influenced innumerable later writers.  For two & a half millennia Aesop’s fables have maintained constant popularity.

The Fox & the Grapes, 6th century BC

A hungry fox saw some fine bunches of grapes hanging from a vine that was trained along a high trellis, & did his best to reach them by jumping as high as he could into the air.  But it was all in vain, for they were just out of reach: so he gave up trying, & walked away with an air of dignity & unconcern, remarking, “I thought those grapes were ripe, but I see now they are quite sour.”

-above translation from Literature, An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry & Drama by X.J. Kennedy & Dana Gioia, 2005
« Last Edit: May 16, 2009, 01:52:38 pm by Honey »
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