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Aesop (ē`səp, ē`sŏp), legendary Greek fabulist. According to Herodotus, he was a slave who lived in Samos in the 6th cent. B.C. and eventually was freed by his master. Other accounts associate him with many wild adventures and connect him with such rulers as Solon and Croesus. The fables called Aesop's fables were preserved principally through Babrius Babrius , fl. 2d cent.?, Greek fabulist, versifier of the fables of Aesop. Many of the medieval prose collections of Aesop were based on Babrius. He may have been a Hellenized Roman.
..... Click the link for more information. , Phaedrus Phaedrus , fl. 1st cent. A.D., Latin writer, a Thracian slave, possibly a freedman of Augustus. He wrote fables in verse based largely on those of Aesop. The prose collections of fables that were popular throughout Western Europe in the Middle Ages were probably
..... Click the link for more information. , Planudes Maximus Planudes Maximus or Maximus Planudes, c.1260–c.1330, Byzantine scholar, an exceptionally learned monk. His edition of the Greek Anthology was long the standard. His prose collection of Aesop's Fables is outstanding.
..... Click the link for more information. , and La Fontaine La Fontaine, Jean de , 1621–95, French poet, whose celebrated fables place him among the masters of world literature. He was born at Château-Thierry to a bourgeois family. A restless dilettante as a youth, he settled at last in Paris.
..... Click the link for more information. 's verse translations. The most famous of these fables include "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Tortoise and the Hare." See fable fable, brief allegorical narrative, in verse or prose, illustrating a moral thesis or satirizing human beings. The characters of a fable are usually animals who talk and act like people while retaining their animal traits.
..... Click the link for more information. .
AesopSupposed author of a collection of Greek fables, almost certainly a legendary figure. Though Herodotus, in the 5th century BC, said that he was an actual personage, “Aesop” was probably no more than a name invented to provide an author for fables centring on beasts. Aesopian fables emphasize the social interactions of human beings, and the morals they draw tend to embody advice on how to deal with the competitive realities of life. The Western fable tradition effectively begins with these tales. Modern editions list some 200 Aesopian fables.
?620--564 bc, Greek author of fables in which animals are given human characters and used to satirize human failings
semi-legendary fabulist of ancient Greece. [Gk. Lit.: Harvey, 10]
See : Storytelling
Greek author of fables in the sixth century B.C. According to legend, Aesop was a Phrygian freedman who was employed at the court of the Lydian king Croesus and died a violent death in Delphi. Biographical information on Aesop is drawn from legend.
Aesop has been credited with supplying the themes of most of the fables known in antiquity. Short written versions of these fables were collected in the fourth and third centuries B.C.; more than 300 fables with short “morals” appear in many later manuscripts ranging in time from the tenth to the 15th century. Ideologically, Aesop’s fables are skeptical and pessimistic; their protagonists—mainly animals—are avowedly conventional figures, the narrative is concise and straightforward, and the language is simple and close to the colloquial. Aesop’s fables are the basic source of themes for the European literary fable from Phaedrus and Babrius to La Fontaine and I. A. Krylov.
PUBLICATIONAesopica, vol. 1. Edited by B. E. Perry. Urbana, 1952.
In Russian translation:
Basni Esopa. Moscow, 1968.
REFERENCESGasparov, M. L. Antichnye literaturnye basni, Moscow, 1971.
Nøjgaard, M. La Fable antique, vol. 1. Copenhagen, 1964.
M. L. GASPAROV
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THE LIFE and History of Aesop is involved, like that of Homer, the most famous of Greek poets, in much obscurity.
Do you know, you speak Greek as well as AEsop did, my dear La Fontaine.
AEsop was a Greek slave who could not even write down his wonderful fables; yet all the world reads them.
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