1584 Aesop’s FABLES Greek & Latin Slavery Tales Aesopi Fabulae Folklore Children’s

Aesop

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Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with Aesop’s name have descended to modern times through a number of sources. They continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic mediums.

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1584 Aesop’s FABLES Greek & Latin Slavery Tales Aesopi Fabulae Folklore Children’s

 

Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with Aesop’s name have descended to modern times through a number of sources. They continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic mediums.

 

We do not find another example of this edition for sale worldwide!

 

Main author: Aesop

 

Title: Aesopi Phrygis fabulae : Graece et Latinè, cum aliis quibusdam opusculis.

Published: Basileae : Bryling, 1584.

 

Language: Greek & Latin

 

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Wear: wear as seen in photos

Binding: tight and secure leather binding

Pages: complete with all 472 pages; plus indexes, prefaces, and such

Publisher: Basileae : Bryling, 1584.

Size: ~4.25in X 3in (10cm x 8cm)

 

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Aesop’s Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with Aesop’s name have descended to modern times through a number of sources. They continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic mediums.

Contents [hide]

1 Fictions that point to the truth

1.1 Fable as a genre

1.2 Origins

2 Translation and transmission

2.1 Greek versions

2.2 Latin versions

3 Aesop’s Fables in other languages

4 Versions in regional languages

4.1 Creole

4.2 Slang

5 Children

6 Dramatised fables

7 Musical treatments

8 List of some fables by Aesop

8.1 Fables wrongly attributed to Aesop

9 References

10 Further reading

11 External links

Fictions that point to the truth[edit]

Fable as a genre[edit]

Apollonius of Tyana, a 1st-century CE philosopher, is recorded as having said about Aesop:

… like those who dine well off the plainest dishes, he made use of humble incidents to teach great truths, and after serving up a story he adds to it the advice to do a thing or not to do it. Then, too, he was really more attached to truth than the poets are; for the latter do violence to their own stories in order to make them probable; but he by announcing a story which everyone knows not to be true, told the truth by the very fact that he did not claim to be relating real events.

—Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Book V:14

The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned in passing that “Aesop the fable writer” was a slave who lived in Ancient Greece during the 5th century BCE.[1] Among references in other writers, Aristophanes, in his comedy The Wasps, represented the protagonist Philocleon as having learnt the “absurdities” of Aesop from conversation at banquets; Plato wrote in Phaedo that Socrates whiled away his jail time turning some of Aesop’s fables “which he knew” into verses. Nonetheless, for two main reasons[2] – because numerous morals within Aesop’s attributed fables contradict each other, and because ancient accounts of Aesop’s life contradict each other – the modern view is that Aesop did not solely compose all those fables attributed to him, if he even existed at all.[2] Instead, any fable tended to be ascribed to the name of Aesop if there was no known alternative literary source.[3]

In Classical times there were various theorists who tried to differentiate these fables from other kinds of narration. They had to be short and unaffected;[4] in addition, they are fictitious, useful to life and true to nature.[5] In them could be found talking animals and plants, although humans interacting only with humans figure in a few. Typically they might begin with a contextual introduction, followed by the story, often with the moral underlined at the end. Setting the context was often necessary as a guide to the story’s interpretation, as in the case of the political meaning of The Frogs Who Desired a King and The Frogs and the Sun.

Sometimes the titles given later to the fables have become proverbial, as in the case of ‘killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs or the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. In fact some fables, such as The Young Man and the Swallow, appear to have been invented as illustrations of already existing proverbs. One theorist, indeed, went so far as to define fables as extended proverbs.[6] In this they have an aetiological function, the explaining of origins such as, in another context, why the ant is a mean, thieving creature. Other fables, also verging on this function, are outright jokes, as in the case of The Old Woman and the Doctor, aimed at greedy practitioners of medicine.

Origins[edit]

The contradictions between fables already mentioned and alternative versions of much the same fable – as in the case of The Woodcutter and the Trees, are best explained by the ascription to Aesop of all examples of the genre. Some are demonstrably of West Asian origin, others have analogues even further to the East. Modern scholarship reveals fables and proverbs of Aesopic form existing in both ancient Sumer and Akkad, as early as the third millennium BCE.[7] Aesop’s fables and the Indian tradition, as represented by the Buddhist Jataka Tales and the Hindu Panchatantra, share about a dozen tales in common although often widely differing in detail. There is therefore some debate over whether the Greeks learned these fables from Indian storytellers or the other way, or if the influences were mutual. Loeb editor Ben E. Perry took the extreme position in his book Babrius and Phaedrus that

In the entire Greek tradition there is not, so far as I can see, a single fable that can be said to come either directly or indirectly from an Indian source; but many fables or fable-motifs that first appear in Greek or Near Eastern literature are found later in the Panchatantra and other Indian story-books, including the Buddhist Jatakas.[8]

Although Aesop and the Buddha were near contemporaries, the stories of neither were recorded in writing until some centuries after their death and few disinterested scholars would now be prepared to make so absolute a stand about their origin in view of the conflicting and still emerging evidence.[9][10]

Translation and transmission[edit]

Greek versions[edit]

 

 

A Greek manuscript of the fables of Babrius

When and how the fables arrived in and travelled from ancient Greece remains uncertain. Some cannot be dated any earlier than Babrius and Phaedrus, several centuries after Aesop, and yet others even later. The earliest mentioned collection was by Demetrius of Phalerum, an Athenian orator and statesman of the 4th century BCE, who compiled the fables into a set of ten books for the use of orators. A follower of Aristotle, he simply catalogued all the fables that earlier Greek writers had used in isolation as exempla, putting them into prose. At least it was evidence of what was attributed to Aesop by others; but this may have included any ascription to him from the oral tradition in the way of animal fables, fictitious anecdotes, etiological or satirical myths, possibly even any proverb or joke, that these writers transmitted. It is more a proof of the power of Aesop’s name to attract such stories to it than evidence of his actual authorship. In any case, although the work of Demetrius was mentioned frequently for the next twelve centuries, and was considered the official Aesop, no copy now survives.

Present day collections evolved from the later Greek version of Babrius, of which there now exists an incomplete manuscript of some 160 fables in choliambic verse. Current opinion is that he lived in the 1st century CE. In the 11th century appear the fables of ‘Syntipas’, now thought to be the work of the Greek scholar Michael Andreopulos. These are translations of a Syriac version, itself translated from a much earlier Greek collection, and contain some fables unrecorded before. The version of 55 fables in choliambic tetrameters by the 9th century CE Ignatius the Deacon is also worth mentioning for its early inclusion of stories from Oriental sources.[11]

Some light is thrown on the entry of stories from Oriental sources into the Aesopic canon by their appearance in Jewish commentaries on the Talmud and in Midrashic literature from the 1st century CE. Some 30 fables appear there,[12] of which twelve resemble those that are common to both Greek and Indian sources, six are parallel to those only in Indian sources, and six others in Greek only. Where similar fables exist in Greece, India, and in the Talmud, the Talmudic form approaches more nearly the Indian. Thus, the fable “The Wolf and the Crane” is told in India of a lion and another bird. When Joshua ben Hananiah told that fable to the Jews, to prevent their rebelling against Rome and once more putting their heads into the lion’s jaws (Gen. R. lxiv.), he shows familiarity with some form derived from India.

 

Categories

Children's

Classical Greco-Roman

Literature

Authors

Aesop

Printing Date

16th Century

Language

Greek

Binding

Leather

Book Condition

Good

Collation

Complete