Aesop's Fables

Aesop's Fables

by Aesop, ZC Editors

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Overview

The fables of Aesop have become one of the most enduring traditions of European culture, ever since they were first written down nearly two millennia ago. Aesop was reputedly a tongue-tied slave who miraculously received the power of speech; from his legendary storytelling came the collections of prose and verse fables scattered throughout Greek and Roman literature. First published in English by Caxton in 1484, the fables and their morals continue to charm modern readers: who does not know the story of the tortoise and the hare, or the boy who cried wolf? This new translation is the first to represent all the main fable collections in ancient Latin and Greek, arranged according to the fables' contents and themes. It includes 600 fables, many of which come from sources never before translated into English.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9782377930012
Publisher: Zongo
Publication date: 05/28/2017
Sold by: Bookwire
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 104
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 3 - 12 Years

About the Author

Laura Gibbs completed her M.Phil. in European Literature at St Antony's College, Oxford and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. She has also studied and taught at the Centre for the Study of Anthropology and the Ancient World at the University of Siena in Italy. She is currently employed as a specialist in academic computing at the University of Oklahoma where she is developing Latin and Greek teaching tools for use on the Internet.

Read an Excerpt

Aesop, according to legend, was born either in Sardis, on the Greek island of Samos, or in Cotiaeum, the chief city in a province of Phrygia, and lived from about 620 to 560 B.C. Little is known about his life, but Aristotle mentioned his acting as a public defender, and Plutarch numbered him as one of the “Seven Wise Men.” It is generally believed he was a slave, freed by his master because of his wit and wisdom. As a free man, he went to Athens, ruled at that time by the tyrant Peisistratus, an enemy of free speech. As Aesop became famous for his fables, which used animals as a code to tell the truth about political injustice, he incurred the wrath of Peisistratus. Eventually, Aesop was condemned to death for sacrilege and thrown over a cliff. Later, the Athenians erected a statue in his honor. In about 300 B.C., Demetrius Phalereus of Athens made the first known collection of Aesop’s fables, which then spread far beyond the Greek world.

Jack Zipes is a professor of German at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of several books of fairy tales, including Breaking the Magic Spell and Don’t Bet on the Prince. He is also the editor of several volumes of fairy tales, including Beauties, Beasts and Enchantment: Classic French Fairy Tales, The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, The Fairy Tales of Frank Stockton, and Arabian Nights.

Sam Pickering teaches English at the University of Connecticut. He has written seventeen books, fourteen of which are collections of essays. His most recent books are Waltzing the Magpies, an account of a year he and his family spent in Western Australia, and The Best of Pickering, both published by the University of Michigan Press.

A Note on the

Text and Illustrations

This edition of Aesop’s Fables is based on the Reverend Thomas James’s Aesop’s Fables: A New Version, Chiefly from Original Sources (New York: Robert B. Collins, 1848). While adapting this version of the fables, I consulted numerous other nineteenth-century translations and made various changes in keeping with the traditional plots. As has been the custom with translators and adapters of Aesop’s fables, I have taken a good deal of poetic license at times. Since Mr. James’s style is somewhat archaic, I have used a more modern American idiom in adapting them and have occasionally conceived new morals so that the fables might ring more “true” to the situation of the contemporary reader.

The illustrations are from Fables de La Fontaine illustrated by J.J. Grandville (Paris: H. Fournier, 1838). Grandville was a pseudonym for Jean Ignace Isidore Gérard (1803–1847). Born in Nancy, he arrived in Paris during the 1820s and soon made a name for himself as a lithographer and political caricaturist. He was especially interested the theater and animals and was known for incorporating political satire into his complex and fastidious drawings. During the 1830s he turned to book illustration and composed 120 woodcuts for La Fontaine’s fables, which were largely based on Aesop’s work; he caused quite a stir by turning many of the animals into types of human beings. In doing this, Grandville’s figures often appear grotesque and have a surreal quality to them. The distinction between beast and human is blurred, or rather, Grandville’s keen eye captures stunning similarities between humans and animals that often make humans appear in a ridiculous light. In addition, Grandville takes pains to give a clear indication of the social status of the figures through their clothing and behavior to comment on the French mores of his time. There are many emblematic references to urban life in Paris, and in this respect Grandville was one of the first artists to address modern problems of the city and industrialization. Grandville also illustrated the Fables de S. Lavalette (1841) and theFables de Florian (1842), two minor French fabulists, in the same unique manner and is considered one of the greatest interpreters of Aesop’s fables (through La Fontaine) for the modern age.

—J.Z.

Introduction

Little is known about Aesop, except that he lived in Greece, probably between 600 and 500 B.C. Happily for readers, scribblers can rarely resist adorning empty biographies with tales—appropriate in Aesop’s case, since generations have celebrated him as the archetypal storyteller. “What Aesop was by birth,” Nathaniel Crouch wrote in 1737, “authors don’t agree, but that he was of a mean condition, and his person deformed to the highest degree, is what all affirm: he was flat-nos’d, hunch-back’d, bloober-lip’d, jolt-headed: his body crooked all over, big-belly’d, badger-legg’d, and of a swarthy complexion. But the excellency and beauty of his mind made a sufficient atonement for the outward appearance of his person.” Add that he stuttered terribly, quite a handicap for a philosophic raconteur, and Aesop becomes a man delightful to discover on the page, no matter the quality of his mind.

Fictional accounts of Aesop’s life usually relate that he was sold as a slave in Ephesus. Later, in Samos, he behaved like Solomon, his wisdom reconciling the irreconcilable. After accusing magistrates at Delos of tomfoolery and corruption, however, he met a stony end. A gold cup pilfered from the shrine to the Oracle having been planted in his baggage, he was convicted of sacrilege and tossed “head-long from a high rock.” The moral being, I suppose, the wages of tale-telling will out.

In the literary underworld, lie and truth twine fruitfully together through generations, spawning page after page. Crouch lifted his life from the introduction of Roger L’Estrange’s famous collection of some five hundred fables published in 1692. In his collection published in 1722, Samuel Croxall took L’Estrange to task, declaring, “There were never so many blunders and childish dreams mixt up together, as are to be met with in the short compass of that piece.” Knowing “the little trifling circumstances” of Aesop’s life, Croxall said, was insignificant, “whether he was a slave or a freeman, whether handsome or ugly. He has left us a legacy in his writings that will preserve his memory clean and perpetual among us.”

Croxall also got matters wrong. Aesop told but did not write down fables. Much as The Thousand and One Nightsis a miscellany of stories drawn from diverse cultures stretching from Egypt to China, so the origins of Aesop’s fables are various, all editions being mongrel blends of tales taken from countries around the Mediterranean and to the east.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Aesop's Fables"
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Copyright © 2004 Sam Aesop.
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Table of Contents

Aesop's FablesA Note on the Text and Illustrations

Introduction

I. The Fox and the Grapes
II. The Wolf and the Crane
III. The Archer and the Lion
IV. The Woman and the Fat Hen
V. The Kid and the Wolf
VI. The Hawk and the Pigeons
VII. The Eagle and the Fox
VIII. The Boy and the Scorpion
IX. The Fox and the Goat
X. The Old Hound
XI. The Ants and the Grasshopper
XII. The Fawn and Her Mother
XIII. The Horse and the Groom
XIV. The Mountain in Labor
XV. The Flies and the Honey Jar
XVI. The Two Bags
XVII. The Vain Crow
XVIII. The Wolf and the Lamb
XIX. The Bear and the Fox
XX. The Dog, the Cock and the Fox
XXI. The Cock and the Jewel
XXII. The Sea Gull and the Hawk
XXIII. The Fox and the Lion
XXIV. The Creaking Wheels
XXV. The Frog and the Ox
XXVI. The Farmer and the Snake
XXVII. The Lion and the Fox
XXVIII. The Fisherman and His Music
XXIX. The Domesticated Dog and the Wolf
XXX. The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse
XXXI. The Dog and the Shadow
XXXII. The Moon and Her Mother
XXXIII. The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle
XXXIV. The Man and the Satyr
XXXV. The Tortoise and the Eagle
XXXVI. The Mule
XXXVII. The Hen and the Cat
XXXVIII. The Old Woman and the Wine Bottle
XXXIX. The Hare and the Tortoise
XL. The Ass and the Grasshopper
XLI. The Lamb and the Camel
XLII. The Crab and Its Mother
XLIII. Jupiter and the Camel
XLIV. The Mouse and the Frog
XLV. The Shepherd Boy and the Wolf
XLVI. The Peach, the Apple, and the Blackberry
XLVII. The Hare and the Hound
XLVIII. The Stag in the Ox Stall
XLIX. The Crow and the Pitcher
L. The Lion and the Mouse
LI. The One-Eyed Doe
LII. The Trees and the Ax
LIII. The Lion, the Ass, and the Fox Who Went Hunting
LIV. The Travelers and the Bear
LV. The Belly and the Members
LVI. The Dolphins and the Sprat
LVII. The Blind Man and the Whelp
LVIII. The Sick Stag
LIX. Hercules and the Wagoner
LX. The Fox and the Woodcutter
LXI. The Monkey and the Camel
LXII. The Dove and the Crow
LXIII. The Ass and the Lap Dog
LXIV. The Hares and the Frogs
LXV. The Fisherman and the Little Fish
LXVI. The Wind and the Sun
LXVII. The Farmer and the Stork
LXVIII. The Lioness
LXIX. The Brash Candlelight
LXX. The Old Woman and the Physician
LXXI. The Charcoal-Burner and the Cloth-Fuller
LXXII. The Wolf and the Sheep
LXXIII. The Farmer and His Sons
LXXIV. The Wolves and the Sheep
LXXV. The Mole and Her Mother
LXXVI. The Swallow and the Crow
LXXVII. The Man Bitten by a Dog
LXXVIII. The Man and the Lion
LXXIX. The Monkey and the Dolphin
LXXXI. The Viper and the File
LXXXII. The Bundle of Sticks
LXXXIII. Jupiter, Neptune, Minerva, and Momus
LXXXIV. The Lion in Love
LXXXV. The Nurse and the Wolf
LXXXVI. The Birdcatcher and the Lark
LXXXVII. Jupiter and the Bee
LXXXVIII. The Travelers and the Plane Tree
LXXXIX. The Fox Without a Tail
XC. The Horse and the Stag
XCI. The Mischievous Dog
XCII. The Geese and the Cranes
XCIII. The Quack Frog
XCIV. Mercury and the Woodcutter
XCV. The Oxen and the Butchers
XCVI. The Goatherd and the Goats
XCVII. The Widow and the Sheep
XCVIII. The Marriage of the Sun
XCIX. The Theif and His Mother
C. The Gnat and the Bull
CI. The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox
CII. The Oak and the Reed
CIII. The Dog in the Manger
CIV. The Goose with the Golden Eggs
CV. The Lion and the Dolphin
CVI. The Comedian and the Farmer
CVII. The Dog Invited to Supper
CVIII. The Ass Loaded with Salt
CIX. The Theif and the Dog
CX. The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner
CXI. The Hunter and the Fisherman
CXII. The Fir Tree and the Bramble
CXIII. The Eagle and the Arrow
CXIV. The Two Pets
CXV. The Fisherman and Troubled Water
CXVI. The Lark and Her Young Ones
CXVII. The Arab and the Camel
CXVIII. The Travelers and the Hatchet
CXIX. The Doctor and His Patient
CXX. The Maid and the Pail of Milk
CXXI. The Ass, the Fox, and the Lion
CXXII. The Ass and His Driver
CXXIII. The Travelers and the Hatchet
CXXIV. The Hedge and the Vineyard
CXXV. The Frogs Who Desired a King
CXXVI. The Lion and the Goat
CXXVII. The Mice in Council
CXXVIII. The Fox and the Mask
CXXIX. The Thirsty Pigeon
CXXX. The Farmer and the Cranes
CXXXI. The Falconer and the Partridge
CXXXII. The Cat and the Mice
CXXXIII. The Father and His Two Daughters
CXXXIV. The Heifer and the Ox
CXXXV. The Fox and the Hedgehog
CXXXVI. The Lion and the Ass
CXXXVII. The Bald Knight
CXXXVIII. The Ass and His Masters
CXXXIX. The Farmer and the Sea
CXL. The Hart and the Vine
CXLI. The Pig and the Sheep
CXLII. The Bull and the Goat
CXLIII. The Old Man and Death
CXLIV. The Dog and the Hare
CXLV. The Boy and the Hazel Nuts
CXLVI. The Wolf and the Shepherd
CXLVII. The Jackass and the Statue
CXLVIII. The Blacksmith and His Dog
CXLIX. The Herdsman and the Lost Calf
CL. The Lion and the Other Beasts Who Went Out Hunting
CLI. The Bees, the Drones, and the Wasp
CLII. The Kid and the Piping Ass
CLIII. The Stallion and the Ass
CLIV. The Mice and the Weasels
CLV. The Stubborn Goat and the Goatherd
CLVI. The Boys and the Frogs
CLVII. The Mouse and the Weasel
CLVIII. The Farmer and the Lion
CLIX. The Horse and the Loaded Ass
CLX. The Wolf and the Lion
CLXI. The Farmer and the Dogs
CLXII. The Eagle and the Crow
CLXIII. The Lion and His Three Councillors
CLXIV. The Great and Little Fish
CLXV. The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion
CLXVI. The Wolf and the Goat
CLXVII. The Fox and the Stork
CLXVIII. The Leopard and the Fox
CLXIX. The Vine and the Goat
CLXX. The Sick Lion
CLXXI. The Rivers and the Sea
CLXXII. The Blackamoor
CLXXIII. The Boy and the Nettle
CLXXIV. The Seaside Travelers
CLXXV. The Boy Who Went Swimming
CLXXVI. The Sick Hawk
CLXXVII. The Monkey and the Fisherman
CLXXVIII. Venus and the Cat
CLXXIX. The Three Tradesmen
CLXXX. The Ass's Shadow
CLXXXI. The Eagle and the Beetle
CLXXXII. The Lion and the Three Bulls
CLXXXIII. The Old Woman and Her Maids
CLXXXIV. The Dogs and the Hides
CLXXXV. The Dove and the Ant
CLXXXVI. The Old Lion
CLXXXVII. The Wolf and the Shepherds
CLXXXVIII. The Ass in the Lion's Skin
CLXXXIX. The Swallow in Chancery
CXC. The Raven and the Swan
CXCI. The Wild Boar and the Fox
CXCII. The Stag at the Pool
CXCIII. The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
CXCIV. The Boasting Traveler
CXCV. The Man and his Two Wives
CXCVI. The Shepherd and the Sea
CXCVII. The Miser
CXCVIII. Mercury and the Sculptor
CXCIX. The Miller, His Son, and Their Ass
CC. The Wolf and the Horse
CCI. The Astronomer
CCII. The Hunter and the Woodcutter
CCIII. The Fox and the Crow

Afterword
Selected Bibliography
Index

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"Jonathan Kent's reading revives the original oral tradition, and his voices for the animal characters make the little stories entertaining as well as enlightening." —-AudioFile

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