Aesop (/ˈiːsɒp/ EE-sop; Greek: Αἴσωπος, Aisōpos; c. 620
– 564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a
number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although
his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous
tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many
languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many
of the tales are characterized by animals and inanimate objects that
speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics.
Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources,
including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work
Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional
version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a
strikingly ugly slave (δοῦλος) who by his cleverness acquires
freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older
spellings of his name have included Esop(e) and Isope. Depictions of
Aesop in popular culture over the last 2500 years have included many
works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books,
films, plays, and television programs.
4 Physical appearance and the question of African origin
5.1 Art and literature
5.2 20th century and popular culture
6 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
The name of
Aesop is as widely known as any that has come down from
Graeco-Roman antiquity [yet] it is far from certain whether a
Aesop ever existed ... in the latter part of the fifth
century something like a coherent
Aesop legend appears, and Samos
seems to be its home.
— Martin Litchfield West
A woodcut from La vida del
Ysopet con sus fabulas historiadas (Spain,
1489) depicting a hunchbacked
Aesop surrounded by events from the
stories in Planudes' version of his life
The earliest Greek sources, including Aristotle, indicate that Aesop
was born around 620 BCE in
Thrace at a site on the
Black Sea coast
which would later become the city Mesembria. A number of later writers
from the Roman imperial period (including Phaedrus, who adapted the
fables into Latin) say that he was born in Phrygia. The 3rd-century
Callimachus called him "
Aesop of Sardis," and the later writer
Maximus of Tyre called him "the sage of Lydia."
From Aristotle and Herodotus we learn that
Aesop was a slave in
Samos and that his masters were first a man named Xanthus and then a
man named Iadmon; that he must eventually have been freed, because he
argued as an advocate for a wealthy Samian; and that he met his end in
the city of Delphi. Plutarch tells us that
Aesop had come to Delphi
on a diplomatic mission from King
Croesus of Lydia, that he insulted
the Delphians, was sentenced to death on a trumped-up charge of temple
theft, and was thrown from a cliff (after which the Delphians suffered
pestilence and famine). Before this fatal episode,
Aesop met with
Periander of Corinth, where
Plutarch has him dining with the Seven
Sages of Greece, sitting beside his friend Solon, whom he had met in
Sardis. (Leslie Kurke suggests that
Aesop himself "was a popular
contender for inclusion" in the list of Seven Sages.)
Problems of chronological reconciliation dating the death of
the reign of
Croesus led the
Aesop scholar (and compiler of the Perry
Index) Ben Edwin Perry in 1965 to conclude that "everything in the
ancient testimony about
Aesop that pertains to his associations with
Croesus or with any of the so-called Seven Wise Men of Greece
must be reckoned as literary fiction," and Perry likewise dismissed
Aesop's death in
Delphi as legendary; but subsequent research has
established that a possible diplomatic mission for
Croesus and a visit
Periander "are consistent with the year of Aesop's death."
Still problematic is the story by Phaedrus which has
Aesop in Athens,
telling the fable of the frogs who asked for a king, during the reign
of Peisistratos, which occurred decades after the presumed date of
Along with the scattered references in the ancient sources regarding
the life and death of Aesop, there is a highly fictional biography now
commonly called The
Aesop Romance (also known as the Vita or The Life
Aesop or The Book of Xanthus the Philosopher and
Aesop His Slave),
"an anonymous work of Greek popular literature composed around the
second century of our era ... Like The Alexander Romance, The
Aesop Romance became a folkbook, a work that belonged to no one, and
the occasional writer felt free to modify as it might suit him."
Multiple, sometimes contradictory, versions of this work exist. The
earliest known version was probably composed in the 1st century CE,
but the story may have circulated in different versions for centuries
before it was committed to writing, and certain elements can be
shown to originate in the 4th century BCE. Scholars long dismissed
any historical or biographical validity in The
widespread study of the work began only toward the end of the 20th
Aesop is a slave of Phrygian origin on the
island of Samos, and extremely ugly. At first he lacks the power of
speech, but after showing kindness to a priestess of Isis, is granted
by the goddess not only speech but a gift for clever storytelling,
which he uses alternately to assist and confound his master, Xanthus,
embarrassing the philosopher in front of his students and even
sleeping with his wife. After interpreting a portent for the people of
Aesop is given his freedom and acts as an emissary between the
Samians and King Croesus. Later he travels to the courts of Lycurgus
of Babylon and Nectanabo of Egypt – both imaginary
rulers – in a section that appears to borrow heavily from the
romance of Ahiqar. The story ends with Aesop's journey to Delphi,
where he angers the citizens by telling insulting fables, is sentenced
to death and, after cursing the people of Delphi, is forced to jump to
Aesop as depicted by Francis Barlow in the 1687 edition of Aesop's
Fables with His Life
Aesop may not have written his fables. The
Aesop Romance claims that
he wrote them down and deposited them in the library of Croesus;
Aesop a "writer of fables" and
Aristophanes speaks of
"reading" Aesop, but no writings by
Aesop have survived. Scholars
speculate that "there probably existed in the fifth century [BCE] a
written book containing various fables of Aesop, set in a biographical
Sophocles in a poem addressed to
reference to Aesop's fable of the North Wind and the Sun. Socrates
while in prison turned some of the fables into verse, of which
Diogenes Laertius records a small fragment. The early Roman
playwright and poet
Ennius also rendered at least one of Aesop's
fables in Latin verse, of which the last two lines still exist.
The body of work identified as
Aesop's Fables was transmitted by a
series of authors writing in both Greek and Latin. Demetrius of
Phalerum made a collection in ten books, probably in prose
(Αισοπείων α) for the use of orators, which has been
lost. Next appeared an edition in elegiac verse, cited by the
Suda, but the author's name is unknown. Phaedrus, a freedman of
Augustus, rendered the fables into Latin in the 1st century CE. At
about the same time
Babrius turned the fables into Greek choliambics.
A 3rd-century author, Titianus, is said to have rendered the fables
into prose in a work now lost.
Avianus (of uncertain date, perhaps
the 4th century) translated 42 of the fables into Latin elegiacs. The
Dositheus Magister also made a collection of
Aesop's Fables, now lost.
Aesop's Fables continued to be revised and translated through the
ensuing centuries, with the addition of material from other cultures,
so that the body of fables known today bears little relation to those
Aesop originally told. With a surge in scholarly interest beginning
toward the end of the 20th century, some attempt has been made to
determine the nature and content of the very earliest fables which may
be most closely linked to the historic Aesop.
Physical appearance and the question of African origin
The anonymously authored
Aesop Romance (usually dated to the 1st or
2nd centuries CE) begins with a vivid description of Aesop's
appearance, saying he was "of loathsome aspect... potbellied,
misshapen of head, snub-nosed, swarthy, dwarfish, bandy-legged,
short-armed, squint-eyed, liver-lipped—a portentous
monstrosity," or as another translation has it, "a faulty creation
Prometheus when half-asleep." The earliest text by a known
author that refers to Aesop's appearance is
Himerius in the 4th
century, who says that
Aesop "was laughed at and made fun of, not
because of some of his tales but on account of his looks and the sound
of his voice." The evidence from both of these sources is dubious,
Himerius lived some 800 years after
Aesop and his image of Aesop
may have come from The
Aesop Romance, which is essentially fiction;
but whether based on fact or not, at some point the idea of an ugly,
Aesop took hold in popular imagination. Scholars have
begun to examine why and how this "physiognomic tradition"
Example of a coin image from ancient
Delphi thought by one antiquarian
to represent Aesop.
A much later tradition depicts
Aesop as a black African from Ethiopia.
The first known promulgator of the idea was Planudes, a Byzantine
scholar of the 13th century who wrote a biography of
Aesop based on
Aesop Romance and conjectured that
Aesop might have been
Ethiopian, given his name. An English translation of Planudes'
biography from 1687 says that "his Complexion [was] black, from which
dark Tincture he contracted his Name (Aesopus being the same with
Aethiops)". When asked his origin by a prospective new master, Aesop
replies, "I am a Negro"; numerous illustrations by Francis Barlow
accompany this text and depict
Aesop accordingly. But according to
Gert-Jan van Dijk, "Planudes' derivation of 'Aesop' from 'Aethiopian'
is... etymologically incorrect," and
Frank Snowden says that
Planudes' account is "worthless as to the reliability of
The tradition of Aesop's African origin was continued in Britain, as
attested by the lively figurine of a negro from the Chelsea porcelain
factory which appeared in its
Aesop series in the mid-18th
century. It then carried forward into the 19th century. The
frontispiece of William Godwin's Fables Ancient and Modern (1805) has
a copperplate illustration of
Aesop relating his stories to little
children that gives his features a distinctly African appearance.
The collection includes the fable of "Washing the Blackamoor white",
although updating it and making the Ethiopian 'a black footman'. In
William Martin Leake
William Martin Leake repeated the false etymological linkage of
"Aesop" with "Aethiop" when he suggested that the "head of a negro"
found on several coins from ancient
Delphi (with specimens dated as
early as 520 BCE) might depict Aesop, presumably to commemorate
(and atone for) his execution at Delphi, but Theodor Panofka
supposed the head to be a portrait of Delphos, founder of Delphi,
a view more widely repeated by later historians.
The idea that
Aesop was Ethiopian seems supported by the presence of
camels, elephants and apes in the fables, even though these African
elements are more likely to have come from Egypt and Libya than from
Ethiopia, and the fables featuring African animals may have entered
the body of Aesopic fables long after
Aesop actually lived.
Nevertheless, in 1932 the anthropologist J. H. Driberg, repeating the
Aesop/Aethiop linkage, asserted that, while "some say he [Aesop] was a
Phrygian... the more general view... is that he was an African", and
Aesop was not an African, he ought to have been;" and in 2002
Richard A. Lobban cited the number of African animals and "artifacts"
in the Aesopic fables as "circumstantial evidence" that
Aesop may have
been a Nubian folkteller.
Aesop shown in Japanese dress in a 1659 edition of the fables from
Popular perception of
Aesop as black was to be encouraged by
comparison between his fables and the stories of the trickster Br'er
Rabbit told by African-American slaves. In Ian Colvin's introduction
Aesop in Politics (1914), for example, the fabulist is bracketed
with Uncle Remus, "For both were slaves, and both were black". The
traditional role of the slave
Aesop as "a kind of culture hero of the
oppressed" is further promoted by the fictional Life, emerging "as a
how-to handbook for the successful manipulation of superiors".
Such a perception was reinforced at the popular level by the 1971 TV
production Aesop's Fables in which
Bill Cosby played Aesop. In
that mixture of live action and animation,
Aesop tells fables that
differentiate between realistic and unrealistic ambition and his
version there of "The Tortoise and the Hare" illustrates how to take
advantage of an opponent's over-confidence.
On other continents
Aesop has occasionally undergone a degree of
acculturation. This is evident in Isango Portobello's 2010 production
of the play
Aesop's Fables at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, South
Africa. Based on a script by British playwright Peter Terson
(1983), it was radically adapted by the director Mark Dornford-May
as a musical using native African instrumentation, dance and stage
Aesop is portrayed as Greek, and dressed in
the short Greek tunic, the all-black production contextualises the
story in the recent history of South Africa. The former slave, we are
told "learns that liberty comes with responsibility as he journeys to
his own freedom, joined by the animal characters of his parable-like
fables." One might compare with this Brian Seward's Aesop's
Fabulous Fables (2009), which first played in Singapore with a
cast of mixed ethnicities. In it Chinese theatrical routines are
merged with those of a standard musical.
There had already been an example of Asian acculturation in
17th-century Japan. There Portuguese missionaries had introduced a
translation of the fables (Esopo no Fabulas, 1593) that included the
biography of Aesop. This was then taken up by Japanese printers and
taken through several editions under the title Isopo Monogatari. Even
when Europeans were expelled from Japan and Christianity proscribed,
this text survived, in part because the figure of
Aesop had been
assimilated into the culture and depicted in woodcuts as dressed in
Art and literature
Ancient sources mention two statues of Aesop, one by Aristodemus and
another by Lysippus, and Philostratus describes a painting of
Aesop surrounded by the animals of his fables. None of these
images have survived. According to Philostratus,
The Fables are gathering about Aesop, being fond of him because he
devotes himself to them. For... he checks greed and rebukes insolence
and deceit, and in all this some animal is his mouthpiece — a lion
or a fox or a horse... and not even the tortoise is dumb — that
through them children may learn the business of life. So the Fables,
honoured because of Aesop, gather at the doors of the wise man to bind
fillets about his head and to crown him with a victor’s crown of
wild olive. And Aesop, methinks, is weaving some fable; at any rate
his smile and his eyes fixed on the ground indicate this. The painter
knows that for the composition of fables relaxation of the spirit is
needed. And the painting is clever in representing the persons of the
Fables. For it combines animals with men to make a chorus about Aesop,
composed of the actors in his fables; and the fox is painted as leader
of the chorus.
With the advent of printing in Europe, various illustrators tried to
recreate this scene. One of the earliest was in Spain's La vida del
Ysopet con sus fabulas historiadas (1489, see above). In France there
was I. Baudoin's Fables d’Ésope Phrygien (1631) and Matthieu
Guillemot's Les images ou tableaux de platte peinture des deux
Philostrates (1637). In England there was Francis Cleyn's
frontispiece to John Ogilby's The Fables of Aesop and the much
later frontispiece to Godwin's Fables Ancient and Modern mentioned
above in which the swarthy fabulist points out three of his characters
to the children seated about him.
Early on, the representation of
Aesop as an ugly slave emerged. The
later tradition which makes
Aesop a black African resulted in
depictions ranging from 17th-century engravings to a television
portrayal by a black comedian. In general, beginning in the 20th
century, plays have shown
Aesop as a slave, but not ugly, while movies
and television shows (such as The Bullwinkle Show) have depicted
him as neither ugly nor a slave.
In 1843, the archaeologist
Otto Jahn suggested that
Aesop was the
person depicted on a Greek red-figure cup, c.450 BCE, in the
Vatican Museums. Paul Zanker describes the figure as a man with
"emaciated body and oversized head... furrowed brow and open mouth",
who "listens carefully to the teachings of the fox sitting before him.
He has pulled his mantle tightly around his meager body, as if he were
shivering... he is ugly, with long hair, bald head, and unkempt,
scraggly beard, and is clearly uncaring of his appearance." Some
archaeologists have suggested that the Hellenistic statue of a bearded
hunchback with an intellectual appearance, discovered in the 18th
century and pictured at the head of this article, also depicts Aesop,
although alternative identifications have since been put forward.
Aesop by Velázquez in the Prado.
Aesop began to appear equally early in literary works. The
4th-century-BCE Athenian playwright Alexis put
Aesop on the stage in
his comedy "Aesop", of which a few lines survive (Athenaeus
10.432); conversing with Solon,
Aesop praises the Athenian
practice of adding water to wine. Leslie Kurke suggests that Aesop
may have been "a staple of the comic stage" of this era.
The 3rd-century-BCE poet
Poseidippus of Pella wrote a narrative poem
entitled "Aesopia" (now lost), in which Aesop's fellow slave Rhodopis
(under her original name Doricha) was frequently mentioned, according
Athenaeus 13.596. Pliny would later identify Rhodopis as
Aesop's lover, a romantic motif that would be repeated in
subsequent popular depictions of Aesop.
Aesop plays a fairly prominent part in Plutarch's conversation piece
"The Banquet of the Seven Sages" in the 1st century AD and is there
identified as the teller of amusing but moralistic fables. The
fabulist then makes a cameo appearance in the novel A True Story by
the 2nd-century satirist Lucian; when the narrator arrives at the
Island of the Blessed, he finds that "
Aesop the Phrygian was there,
too; he acts as their jester."
Beginning with the
Heinrich Steinhowel edition of 1476, many
translations of the fables into European languages, which also
incorporated Planudes' Life of Aesop, featured illustrations depicting
him as a hunchback. The 1687 edition of
Aesop's Fables with His Life:
in English, French and Latin included 28 engravings by Francis
Barlow that show him as a dwarfish hunchback (see in the section
above), and his facial features appear to accord with his statement in
the text (p. 7), "I am a Negro".
Diego Velázquez painted a portrait of Aesop, dated
1639–40 and now in the collection of the Museo del Prado. The
presentation is anachronistic and Aesop, while arguably not handsome,
displays no physical deformities. It was partnered by another portrait
of Menippus, a satirical philosopher equally of slave-origin. A
similar philosophers series was painted by fellow Spaniard Jusepe de
Ribera, who is credited with two portraits of Aesop. "Aesop, poet
of the fables" is in the El Escorial gallery and pictures him as an
author leaning on a staff by a table which holds copies of his work,
one of them a book with the name Hissopo on the cover. The other
is in the Museo de Prado, dated 1640–50 and titled "
beggar’s rags". There he is also shown at a table, holding a sheet
of paper in his left hand and writing with the other. While the
former hints at his lameness and deformed back, the latter only
emphasises his poverty.
In 1690, French playwright Edmé Boursault's Les fables d'Esope (later
known as Esope à la ville) premiered in Paris. A sequel, Esope à la
Aesop at Court), was first performed in 1701; drawing on a
Herodotus 2.134-5 that
Aesop had once been owned by the
same master as Rhodopis, and the statement in Pliny 36.17 that she
was Aesop's concubine as well, the play introduced Rodope as Aesop's
mistress, a romantic motif that would be repeated in later popular
depictions of Aesop.
The beautiful Rhodope, in love with Aesop; engraving by Bartolozzi,
1782, after Kauffman's original
Sir John Vanbrugh's comedy "Aesop" was premièred at the Theatre
Royal in Drury Lane, London, in 1697 and was frequently performed
there for the next twenty years. A translation and adaptation of
Boursault's Les fables d'Esope, Vanbrugh's play depicted a physically
Aesop acting as adviser to Learchus, governor of Cyzicus under
King Croesus, and using his fables to solve romantic problems and
quiet political unrest.
In 1780, the anonymously authored novelette The History and Amours of
Rhodope was published in London. The story casts the two slaves
Aesop as unlikely lovers, one ugly and the other
beautiful; ultimately Rhodope is parted from
Aesop and marries the
Pharaoh of Egypt. Some editions of the volume were illustrated with an
Francesco Bartolozzi of a work by the painter Angelica
Kauffman. Titled "The beautiful Rhodope in love with Aesop", it
pictures Rhodope leaning on an urn; she holds out her hand to Aesop,
who is seated under a tree and turns his head to look at her. His
right arm rests on a cage of doves, towards which he gestures. There
is some ambiguity here, for while the cage suggests the captive state
of both of them, a raven perched outside the cage may allude to his
supposed colour. In fact, the whole picture is planned to suggest
how different the couple are. Rhodope and
Aesop lean on opposite
elbows, gesture with opposite hands, and while Rhodope's hand is held
palm upwards, Aesop's is held palm downwards. She stands while he
sits; he is dressed in dark clothes, she in white. The theme of their
relationship was taken up again in 1844 by Walter Savage Landor
(author of Imaginary Conversations), who published two fictional
Aesop and Rhodope.
Later in the 19th century the subject of
Aesop telling his tales was
made popular by the painting of him entertaining the maids of Xanthus
by Roberto Fontana (1844–1907). A depiction of the fabulist
surrounded by laughing young women, it went on to win a prize at the
Brera Academy in 1876 and was then shown at the 1878
International Exhibition and the 11th exhibition of the Società di
Belle Arti di Trieste in 1879. A later painting by Julian Russell
Story widens Aesop's audience by showing people of both sexes and all
ages enjoying his narration. Though
Aesop is pictured as ugly in
both, his winning personality is suggested by his smiling face and
20th century and popular culture
The 20th century saw the publication of three novels about Aesop. A.D.
Aesop (London, 1943) was a plodding fictional biography
described in a review of the time as so boring that it makes the
fables embedded in it seem ‘complacent and exasperating’. The
two others, preferring the fictional 'life' to any approach to
veracity, are genre works. The most recent is John Vornholt's The
Fabulist (1993) in which ‘an ugly, mute slave is delivered from
wretchedness by the gods and blessed with a wondrous voice. [It is]
the tale of a most unlikely adventurer, dispatched to far and perilous
realms to battle impossible beasts and terrible magicks.’
The other novel was George S. Hellman’s Peacock's Feather (published
in California in 1931). Its unlikely plot made it the perfect vehicle
for the 1946 Hollywood spectacular, Night in Paradise. The perennial
Aesop as an ugly slave is kept up in the movie, with a
Turhan Bey cast in the role. In a plot containing
‘some of the most nonsensical screen doings of the year’, he
becomes entangled with the intended bride of King Croesus, a Persian
princess played by Merle Oberon, and makes such a hash of it that he
has to be rescued by the gods. The 1953 teleplay
Aesop and Rhodope
takes up another theme of his fictional history. Written by Helene
Hanff, it was broadcast on
Hallmark Hall of Fame
Hallmark Hall of Fame with Lamont Johnson
The three-act A raposa e as uvas ("The Fox and the Grapes" 1953),
marks Aesop's entry into Brazilian theatre. The three-act play was by
Guilherme Figueiredo and has been performed in many countries,
including a videotaped production in China in 2000 under the title Hu
li yu pu tao or 狐狸与葡萄. The play is described as an
allegory about freedom with
Aesop as the main character.
Beginning in 1959, animated shorts under the title
Aesop and Son
appeared as a recurring segment in the TV series Rocky and His Friends
and its successor, The Bullwinkle Show. The image of
ugly slave was abandoned;
Aesop (voiced by Charles Ruggles), a Greek
citizen, would recount a fable for the edification of his son, Aesop
Jr., who would then deliver the moral in the form of an atrocious pun.
Aesop's 1998 appearance in the episode "Hercules and the Kids" in
the animated TV series Hercules (voiced by Robert Keeshan)
amounted to little more than a cameo.
Occasions on which
Aesop is portrayed as black include Richard
Durham's Destination Freedom radio show broadcast (1949), where
the drama "The Death of Aesop," portrays him as an Ethiopian. In
Bill Cosby played
Aesop in the TV production Aesop's Fables.
Aesop's Fables by British playwright
Peter Terson was
first produced in 1983. In 2010, the play was staged at the Fugard
Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa, with Mhlekahi Mosiea as Aesop.
List of Aesop's Fables
List of slaves
^ West, pp. 106 and 119.
^ Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World (hereafter
^ Callimachus. Iambus 2 (Loeb fragment 192)
^ Maximus of Tyre, Oration 36.1
^ Aristotle. Rhetoric 2.20 Archived 2011-05-24 at the Wayback
^ Herodotus. Histories 2.134 Archived 2012-05-21 at the Wayback
^ Plutarch. On the Delays of Divine Vengeance; Banquet of the Seven
Sages; Life of Solon.
^ Kurke 2010, p. 135.
^ Perry, Ben Edwin. Introduction to
Babrius and Phaedrus, pp.
^ BNP 1:256.
^ Phaedrus 1.2
^ William Hansen, review of Vita Aesopi: Ueberlieferung, Sprach und
Edition einer fruehbyzantinischen Fassung des Aesopromans by
Grammatiki A. Karla in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.09.39 Archived
2010-05-05 at the Wayback Machine..
^ Leslie Kurke, "
Aesop and the Contestation of Delphic Authority", in
The Cultures Within
Ancient Greek Culture: Contact, Conflict,
Collaboration, ed. Carol Dougherty and Leslie Kurke, p. 77.
^ François Lissarrague, "Aesop, Between Man and Beast: Ancient
Portraits and Illustrations", in Not the Classical Ideal: Athens and
the Construction of the Other in Greek Art, ed. Beth Cohen (hereafter,
Lissarrague), p. 133.
^ Lissarrague, p. 113.
^ BNP 1:257; West, p. 121; Hägg, p. 47.
^ Hägg, p. 47; also West, p. 122.
Athenaeus 13.82 Archived 2010-12-12 at the Wayback Machine..
^ Plato, Phaedo 61b Archived 2010-01-23 at the Wayback Machine..
^ Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers 2.5.42
Archived 2010-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.: "He also composed a
fable, in the style of Aesop, not very artistically, and it
Aesop one day did this sage counsel give / To the Corinthian
magistrates: not to trust / The cause of virtue to the people's
^ Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 2.29.
^ Perry, Ben E. "
Demetrius of Phalerum
Demetrius of Phalerum and the Aesopic Fables",
Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association,
Vol. 93, 1962, pp. 287–346.
^ Ausonius, Epistles 12 Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine..
^ BNP 1:258–9; West; Niklas Holzberg, The Ancient Fable: An
Introduction, pp. 12–13; see also Ainoi, Logoi, Mythoi: Fables in
Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Greek by Gert-Jan van Dijk and
History of the Graeco-Latin
Fable by Francisco Rodríguez Adrados.
Aesop Romance, translated by Lloyd W. Daly, in Anthology of
Ancient Greek Popular Literature, ed. William Hansen, p. 111.
^ Papademetriou, pp. 14–15.
^ Himerius, Orations 46.4, translated by Robert J. Penella in Man and
the Word: The Orations of Himerius, p. 250.
^ See Lissarrage; Papademetriou; Compton, Victim of the Muses;
Lefkowitz, "Ugliness and Value in the Life of Aesop" in Kakos: Badness
and Anti-value in Classical Antiquity ed. Sluiter and Rosen.
^ "... niger, unde & nomen adeptus est (idem enim Aesopus quod
Aethiops)" is one Latin translation of Planudes' Greek; see Aesopi
Phrygis Fabulae Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine., p. 9.
^ Tho. Philipott (translating Planudes),
Aesop's Fables with His Life:
in English, French and Latin, pp. 1 and 7.
^ Gert-Jan van Dijk, "Aesop" entry in The Encyclopedia of Ancient
Greece, ed. Nigel Wilson, p. 18.
^ Frank M. Snowden, Jr., Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the
Greco-Roman Experience (hereafter Snowden), p. 264.
^ "The Fitzwilliam Museum : The Art Fund". cam.ac.uk. Archived
from the original on 2015-04-11.
^ Godwin then used the nom de plume of Edward Baldwin. The cover can
be viewed online Archived 2012-10-14 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Ancient Coins of Phocis Archived 2010-08-28 at the Wayback Machine.
web page, accessed 11-12-2010.
^ William Martin Leake, Numismata Hellenica: A Catalogue of Greek
Coins, p. 45. Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Theodor Panofka, Antikenkranz zum fünften Berliner
Delphi und Melaine, p. 7 Archived 2016-12-29 at the
Wayback Machine.; an illustration of the coin in question follows p.
^ Snowden, pp. 150–51 and 307-8.
^ Robert Temple, Introduction to Aesop: The Complete Fables, pp.
^ Driberg, 1932.
^ Lobban, 2002.
^ Colvin, Ian Duncan. "
Aesop in politics / by Ian D. Colvin".
^ Kurke 2010, pp. 11–12.
^ a b "
Aesop's Fables (TV Movie 1971)". IMDb. 31 October 1971.
Archived from the original on 17 April 2010.
^ Available in two sections, beginning at "The Tortoise and the Hare"
Archived 2016-01-05 at the Wayback Machine. at YouTube
^ a b "Playwrights and Their Stage Works: Peter Terson". 4-wall.com.
1932-02-24. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ ""Backstage with 'Aesop's Fables' Director Mark Dornford-May",
''Sunday Times'' (Cape Town), June 7, 2010". Timeslive.co.za.
^ "welcome to the arts mag". whatsonsa.co.za. [dead link]
^ "Doollee.com". Doollee.com. 2002-11-15. Archived from the original
on 2012-01-30. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ There are short excerpts on
YouTube here Archived 2016-12-01 at the
^ Elisonas, J.S.A. "Fables and Imitations: Kirishitan literature in
the forest of simple letters" Archived 2012-09-24 at the Wayback
Machine., Bulletin of Portuguese Japanese Studies, Lisbon, 2002, pp.
^ Marceau, Lawrence. From
Aesop to Esopo to Isopo: Adapting the Fables
in Late Medieval Japan, 2009. See abstract at p. 277 Archived
2012-03-22 at the Wayback Machine..
^ van Dijk, Geert. "Aesop" in Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece, New
York, 2006, p. 18. Archived 2016-12-29 at the Wayback Machine.
^ BNP 1:257.
^ "'Imagines' 1.3". Theoi.com. Archived from the original on
2012-08-23. Retrieved 2012-07-15.
^ Antonio Bernat Vistarini, Tamás Sajó: Imago Veritatis. La
circulación de la imagen simbólica entre fábula y emblema,
Universitat de les Illes Balears, Studia Aurea 5 (2007), figures 2 and
1 Archived 2011-02-22 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "British Museum site". Archived from the original on 2013-05-11.
^ a b The Bullwinkle Show on IMDb
^ "Kids.britannica.com". Kids.britannica.com. Archived from the
original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ Lissarrague, p.137.
^ Paul Zanker, The Mask of Socrates, pp. 33–34.
^ The question is discussed by Lisa Trentin in "What's in a hump?
Re-examining the hunchback in the Villa-Albani-Torlonia" in The
Cambridge Classical Journal (New Series) December 2009 55 : pp
130–156; available as an academic reprint online
^ "Digicoll.library.wisc.edu". Digicoll.library.wisc.edu. Archived
from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ Attribution of these lines to
Aesop is conjectural; see the
reference and footnote in Kurke 2010, p 356.
^ Kurke 2010, p. 356.
^ "Digicoll.library.wisc.edu". Digicoll.library.wisc.edu. Archived
from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ "Pliny 36.17". Perseus.tufts.edu. Archived from the original on
2012-10-04. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ Moralia vol. II Loeb translation
^ Lucian, Verae Historiae (A True Story) 2.18 (Reardon translation).
^ "Magic.lib.msu.edu". Magic.lib.msu.edu. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ There is a note on another from this series on the Christies site
Archived 2012-10-26 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Lessing-photo.com". Archived from the original on 2012-03-18.
^ "Fineart-china.com". Archived from the original on 2012-03-18.
^ Books.google.co.uk. Books.google.co.uk. Archived from the original
on 2016-12-29. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ "Old.perseus.tufts.edu". Old.perseus.tufts.edu. Retrieved
^ "Perseus.tufts.edu". Perseus.tufts.edu. Archived from the original
on 2012-10-04. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ "Archive.org". Archive.org. Archived from the original on
2012-11-07. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ Mark Loveridge, A History of Augustan
Fable (hereafter Loveridge),
^ View online; Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine. there is a
copy in the Metropolitan Museum, NY
^ The second of these is included in Selections from the Imaginary
conversations of Walter Savage Landor, New York 1899, archived online,
pp. 1–14 Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Fr Greg Carlson. "Creighton University". creighton.edu. Archived
from the original on 2015-04-03.
^ "Aesop's Fables", Blouin art sales.
^ "Fiction". The Spectator Archive. Archived from the original on
^ "The Fabulist by
John Vornholt – FictionDB". fictiondb.com.
Archived from the original on 2014-07-27.
^ Universal Horrors, McFarland, 2007, pp. 531–5 Archived 2016-12-30
at the Wayback Machine.
Aesop and Rhodope Archived 2012-04-04 at the Wayback Machine. at the
Internet Movie Database
^ Figueiredo, Guilherme. "Hu li yu pu tao". youku.com. Archived from
the original on 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ Encyclopedia of Latin American Theater, Greenwood 2003, p.72
Archived 2016-12-30 at the Wayback Machine.
Rocky and His Friends
Rocky and His Friends on IMDb
^ "Hercules and the Kids" Archived 2011-12-15 at the Wayback Machine.
at the Internet Movie Database
^ Hercules Archived 2010-06-03 at the Wayback Machine. at the Internet
^ "Destination Freedom". RichardDurham.com. Archived from the original
on 2010-03-09. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ "The Death of Aesop". RichardDurham.com. 1949-02-13. Archived from
the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
^ "AESOP'S FABLES opens at the Fugard Theatre".
portobellopictures.com. Archived from the original on
Adrado, Francisco Rodriguez, 1999–2003. History of the Graeco-Latin
Fable (three volumes). Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic Publishers.
Anthony, Mayvis, 2006. The Legendary Life and Fables of Aesop.
Cancik, Hubert, et al., 2002. Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the
Ancient World. Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic Publishers.
Cohen, Beth (editor), 2000. Not the Classical Ideal: Athens and the
Construction of the Other in Greek Art. Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic
Publishers. Includes "Aesop, Between Man and Beast: Ancient Portraits
and Illustrations" by François Lissarrague.
Dougherty, Carol and Leslie Kurke (editors), 2003. The Cultures Within
Ancient Greek Culture: Contact, Conflict, Collaboration. Cambridge
University Press. Includes "
Aesop and the Contestation of Delphic
Authority" by Leslie Kurke.
Driberg, J. H., 1932. "Aesop", The Spectator, vol. 148 #5425, June 18,
1932, pp. 857–8.
Hansen, William (editor), 1998. Anthology of
Ancient Greek Popular
Literature. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Includes The Aesop
Romance (The Book of Xanthus the Philosopher and
Aesop His Slave or
The Career of Aesop), translated by Lloyd W. Daly.
Hägg, Tomas, 2004. Parthenope: Selected Studies in Ancient Greek
Fiction (1969–2004). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Includes
Hägg's "A Professor and his Slave: Conventions and Values in The Life
of Aesop", first published in 1997.
Hansen, William, 2004. Review of Vita Aesopi: Ueberlieferung, Sprach
und Edition einer fruehbyzantinischen Fassung des Aesopromans by
Grammatiki A. Karla. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2004.09.39.
Holzberg, Niklas, 2002. The Ancient Fable: An Introduction, translated
by Christine Jackson-Holzberg. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana
Keller, John E., and Keating, L. Clark, 1993. Aesop's Fables, with a
Life of Aesop. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. English
translation of the first Spanish edition of
Aesop from 1489, La vida
Ysopet con sus fabulas historiadas including original woodcut
illustrations; the Life of
Aesop is a version from Planudes.
Kurke, Leslie, 2010. Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition,
Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose. Princeton
Leake, William Martin, 1856. Numismata Hellenica: A Catalogue of Greek
Coins. London: John Murray.
Loveridge, Mark, 1998. A History of Augustan Fable. Cambridge
Lobban, Richard A., Jr., 2002. "Was
Aesop a Nubian Kummaji
(Folkteller)?", Northeast African Studies, 9:1 (2002),
Lobban, Richard A., Jr., 2004. Historical Dictionary of Ancient and
Medieval Nubia. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press.
Panofka, Theodor, 1849. Antikenkranz zum fünften Berliner
Delphi und Melaine. Berlin: J. Guttentag.
Papademetriou, J. Th., 1997.
Aesop as an Archetypal Hero. Studies and
Research 39. Athens: Hellenic Society for Humanistic Studies.
Penella, Robert J., 2007. Man and the Word: The Orations of Himerius."
Berkeley: University of California Press.
Perry, Ben Edwin (translator), 1965.
Babrius and Phaedrus. Cambridge:
Harvard University Press.
Philipott, Tho. (translator), 1687.
Aesop's Fables with His Life: in
English, French and Latin. London: printed for H. Hills jun. for
Francis Barlow. Includes Philipott's English translation of Planudes'
Aesop with illustrations by Francis Barlow.
Reardon, B. P. (editor), 1989. Collected
Ancient Greek Novels.
Berkeley: University of California Press. Includes An Ethiopian Story
by Heliodorus, translated by J.R. Morgan, and A True Story by Lucian,
translated by B.P. Reardon.
Snowden, Jr., Frank M., 1970. Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the
Greco-Roman Experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Temple, Robert and Olivia (translators), 1998. Aesop: The Complete
Fables. New York: Penguin Books.
van Dijk, Gert-Jan, 1997. Ainoi, Logoi, Mythoi: Fables in Archaic,
Classical, and Hellenistic Greek. Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic
West, M. L., 1984. "The Ascription of Fables to
Aesop in Archaic and
Classical Greece", La
Fable (Vandœuvres–Genève: Fondation Hardt,
Entretiens XXX), pp. 105–36.
Wilson, Nigel, 2006. Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. New York:
Zanker, Paul, 1995. The Mask of Socrates: The Image of the
Intellectual in Antiquity. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Anonymous, 1780. The History and Amours of Rhodope. London: Printed
for E.M Diemer.
Caxton, William, 1484. The history and fables of Aesop, Westminster.
Modern reprint edited by Robert T. Lenaghan (Harvard University Press:
Cambridge, 1967). Includes Caxton's Epilogue to the Fables, dated
March 26, 1484.
Compton, Todd, 1990. "The Trial of the Satirist: Poetic Vitae (Aesop,
Archilochus, Homer) as Background for Plato's Apology", The American
Journal of Philology, Vol. 111, No. 3 (Autumn 1990),
pp. 330–347. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Daly, Lloyd W., 1961.
Aesop without Morals: The Famous Fables, and a
Life of Aesop, Newly Translated and Edited. New York and London:
Thomas Yoseloff. Includes Daly's translation of The
Gibbs, Laura. "Life of Aesop: The Wise Fool and the Philosopher",
Journey to the Sea (online journal), issue 9, March 1, 2009.
Sluiter, Ineke and Rosen, Ralph M. (editors), 2008. Kakos: Badness and
Anti-value in Classical Antiquity. Mnemosyne: Supplements. History and
Archaeology of Classical Antiquity; 307. Leiden/Boston: Brill Academic
Publishers. Includes "Ugliness and Value in the Life of Aesop" by
Jeremy B. Lefkowitz.
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Aesopica.net Over 600 fables in English, with Latin and Greek texts
The Ant and the Grasshopper
The Ass and his Masters
The Ass and the Pig
The Ass Carrying an Image
The Ass in the Lion's Skin
The Astrologer who Fell into a Well
The Bear and the Travelers
The Belly and the Members
The Bird-catcher and the Blackbird
The Bird in Borrowed Feathers
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The Cat and the Mice
The Cock and the Jewel
The Cock, the Dog and the Fox
The Crow and the Pitcher
The Crow and the Snake
The Deer without a Heart
The Dog and Its Reflection
The Dog and the Wolf
The Dove and the Ant
The Farmer and the Stork
The Farmer and the Viper
The Fir and the Bramble
The Fisherman and the Little Fish
The Fowler and the Snake
The Fox and the Crow
The Fox and the Grapes
The Fox and the Mask
The Fox and the Sick Lion
The Fox and the Stork
The Fox and the Weasel
The Fox and the Woodman
The Frog and the Ox
The Frogs Who Desired a King
The Goat and the Vine
The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs
The Honest Woodcutter
The Horse and the Donkey
The Lion and the Fox
The Lion and the Mouse
The Lion, the Bear and the Fox
The Man with two Mistresses
The Mischievous Dog
The Miser and his Gold
The Mountain in Labour
The Mouse and the Oyster
The North Wind and the Sun
The Oak and the Reed
The Old Man and Death
The Old Woman and the Doctor
The Rose and the Amaranth
The Satyr and the Traveller
The Sick Kite
The Snake and the Crab
The Snake in the Thorn Bush
The Tortoise and the Hare
Town Mouse and Country Mouse
The Travellers and the Plane Tree
The Trees and the Bramble
The Two Pots
The Walnut Tree
Washing the Ethiopian white
The Wolf and the Crane
The Wolf and the Lamb
The Woodcutter and the Trees
The Young Man and the Swallow
An ass eating thistles
The Bear and the Gardener
Belling the cat
Belling the cat (also known as The Mice in Council)
The Blindman and the Lame
The Boy and the Filberts
Chanticleer and the Fox
The Dog in the Manger
The drowned woman and her husband
The Elm and the Vine
The Fox and the Cat
The Gourd and the Palm-tree
The Hawk and the Nightingale
Jumping from the frying pan into the fire
The milkmaid and her pail
The miller, his son and the donkey
The Monkey and the Cat
The Priest and the Wolf
The Scorpion and the Frog
The Shepherd and the Lion
Still waters run deep
The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
The labyrinth of Versailles
The Lion's Share
Aesop's Fables (album)
Aesop's Film Fables
The Grasshopper and the Ants
The Morall Fabillis of Esope the Phrygian
"The Cock and the Jasp"
"The Taill of how this forsaid Tod maid his Confessioun to Freir Wolf
"The Taill of Schir Chanticleir and the Foxe"
"The Taill of the Uponlandis Mous and the Burges Mous"
La Fontaine's Fables
Demetrius of Phalerum
Adémar de Chabannes
Odo of Cheriton
Marie de France
Jean de La Fontaine
The Ant and the Grasshopper
The Ant and the Grasshopper from
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
The Grasshopper and the Ants (1934)
Porky's Bear Facts (1941)
A Bug's Life
A Bug's Life (1998)
The Grasshopper & the Ants (2015)
Warm and Cozy
Symphony No. 1 (Shostakovich)
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The Boy Who Cried Wolf from
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
"Boy Who Cried Wolf" (1985)
"Cry Wolf" (1986)
"Cry Wolf" (1987)
"Marge Gets a Job"
The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs
The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs from
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
Golden Yeggs (1950)
The Million Dollar Duck
The Million Dollar Duck (1971)
Assia and the Hen with the Golden Eggs (1994)
The Librarian: Quest for the Spear
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Tortoise and the Hare from
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
The Tortoise and the Hare
The Tortoise and the Hare (1935)
Tortoise Beats Hare
Tortoise Beats Hare (1941)
Tortoise Wins by a Hare
Tortoise Wins by a Hare (1943)
Rabbit Transit (1947)
The Story of The Tortoise & the Hare (2002)
Toby Tortoise Returns
Hare and Tortoise
The Tortoise & The Hare (2013)
"Who Could Win a Rabbit"
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse from
Aesop's Fables by Aesop
The Country Cousin
The Country Cousin (1936)
Sniffles Takes a Trip (1940)
Mouse in Manhattan
Mouse in Manhattan (1945)
The Country Mouse and the City Mouse: A Christmas Tale (1993)
The Country Mouse and the City Mouse Adventures (1997—1998)
The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse
The Taill of the Uponlandis Mous and the Burges Mous
Lischen et Fritzchen
Greek Dark Ages
Ancient Greek colonies
Antigonid Macedonian army
Army of Macedon
Sacred Band of Thebes
List of ancient Greeks
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