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Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The 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 several works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books, films, plays, and television programs.
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Photo of statue by user:shakko (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
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In ancient Greece, a storyteller named Aesop captivated his listeners with tales both beautiful and instructive. Thousands of years later, his fables—from “The Ant and the Grasshopper” to “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to “The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg” to “The Tortoise and the Hare”—have lost none of their power to guide and entertain.
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Aesop was probably a prisoner of war, sold into slavery in the early sixth century BCE, who represented his masters in court and negotiations and relied on animal stories to put across his key points. Such fables vividly reveal the strange superstitions of ordinary ancient Greeks, how they treated their pets, how they spoilt their sons and even what they kept in their larders. As these stories became well-known, 'Aesopic' one-liners were widely quoted at drinking-parties, and the collection eventually came to include more satirical tales of alien creatures - apes, camels, lions and elephants - which presumably originate in Libya and Egypt.
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 widest range 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, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
In his timeless fables, Aesop whispers from the past knowledge which we think we know, but very often forget.
Aesop's fables feature animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that speak, solve problems, and generally have human characteristics. All the stories story lead to a particular moral lesson.
Aesop (620–564 BCE) was a storyteller that was believed to have lived in Ancient Greece. He is celebrated for a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. In the few scattered sources about his life, Aesop was described as a slave who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states.
Although Aesop's existence remains unclear, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day.
to save for winter. Grasshopper does not work. He
only wants to play and sing. What will Grasshopper
do in winter?
Lobos y cabritos, zorros y ranas, serpientes y burros, solo son algunos de los muchos animales protagonistas de las fábulas de Esopo, obras maestras atemporales que afrontan temas profundos de una forma sencilla y esencial. A través de los ejemplos representados en las fábulas, los niños y los chicos podrán enfrentarse a la gran cantidad de facetas de los sentimientos, los comportamientos y las situaciones que cada uno de nosotros experimenta cada día.
The fables originally belonged to the oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him, although some of that material was from sources earlier than him or came from beyond the Greek cultural sphere. The process of inclusion has continued until the present, with some of the fables unrecorded before the Late Middle Ages and others arriving from outside Europe. The process is continuous and new stories are still being added to the Aesop corpus, even when they are demonstrably more recent work and sometimes from known authors.
Manuscripts in Latin and Greek were important avenues of transmission, although poetical treatments in European vernaculars eventually formed another. On the arrival of printing, collections of Aesop's fables were among the earliest books in a variety of languages. Through the means of later collections, and translations or adaptations of them, Aesop's reputation as a fabulist was transmitted throughout the world.
Initially the fables were addressed to adults and covered religious, social and political themes. They were also put to use as ethical guides and from the Renaissance onwards were particularly used for the education of children. Their ethical dimension was reinforced in the adult world through depiction in sculpture, painting and other illustrative means, as well as adaptation to drama and song. In addition, there have been reinterpretations of the meaning of fables and changes in emphasis over time.