Aesop's Fables - Aesop - ebook

The habit of telling stories is one of the most primitive characteristics of the human race. The most ancient civilizations, the most barbarous savages, of whom we have any knowledge have yielded to investigators clear traces of the possession of this practise, The specimens of their narrative that have been gathered from all the ends of the earth and from the remotest times of which we have written record show traces of purpose, now religious and didactic, now patriotic and political; but behind or beside the purpose one can discern the permanent human delight in the story for its own sake. The Æsopic Fables are allegorical tales The form of the old animistic story is used without any belief in the identity of the personalities of men and animals, but with a conscious double meaning and for the purpose of teaching a lesson. The fable is a product not of the folk but of the learned; and though at times it has been handed down by word of mouth, it is really a literary form.

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Æsop's Fables


Aesop – A Primer

The Wolf Turned Shepherd.

The Stag at the Pool.

The Fox and the Mask.

The Bear and the Fox.

The Wolf and the Lamb.

The One-Eyed Doe.

The Dog, Cock and Fox.

The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk.

The Dog and the Oyster.

The Wolf and the Shepherds.

The Hares and the Frogs.

The Lion and the Boar.

The Mischievous Dog.

The Quack Frog.

The Ass, the Fox, and the Lion.

The Wolf and the Sheep.

The Cock and the Jewel.

The Two Pots.

The Gnat and the Lion.

The Widow and her Little Maidens.

The Fox and the Lion.

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse.

The Monkey and the Dolphin.

The Game-cocks and the Partridge.

The Boy and the Nettle.

The Trumpeter taken Prisoner.

The Fatal Marriage.

The Ass and the Charger.

The Vain Jackdaw.

The Milkmaid and her Pot of Milk.

The Playful Ass.

The Man and the Satyr.

The Oak and the Reeds.

The Huntsman and the Fisherman.

The Mother and the Wolf.

The Shepherd and the Wolf.

The Dove and the Crow.

The Old Man and the Three Young Men.

The Lion and the Fox.

The Horse and the Stag.

The Lion and the Dolphin.

The Mice in Council.

The Camel and the Arab.

The Fighting Cocks and the Eagle.

The Boys and the Frogs.

The Crab and its Mother.

The Wolf and the Shepherd.

The Man and the Lion.

The Ox and the Frog.

The Birds, the Beasts, and the Bat.

The Charcoal-Burner and the Fuller.

The Bull and the Goat.

The Lion and the Mouse.

The Horse and the Ass.

The Old Hound.

The Crow and the Pitcher.

The Ass Eating Thistles.

The Wolf and the Lion.

The King's Son and the Painted Lion.

The Trees and the Axe.

The Seaside Travelers.

The Sea-gull and the Kite.

The Monkey and the Camel.

The Rat and the Elephant.

The Fisherman Piping.

The Wolf and the House-dog.

The Eagle and the Kite.

The Dogs and the Hides.

The Fisherman and the Little Fish

The Ass and his Purchaser.

The Shepherd and the Sheep.

The Fox and the Crow.

The Swallow and the Crow.

The Hen and the Golden Eggs.

The Old Man and Death.

The Fox and the Leopard.

The Mountain in Labor.

The Bear and the Two Travelers.

The Sick Kite.

The Wolf and the Crane.

The Cat and the Cock.

The Wolf and the Horse.

The Two Soldiers and the Robber.

The Monkey and the Cat.

The Two Frogs.

The Vine and the Goat.

The Mouse and the Boasting Rat.

The Dogs and the Fox.

The Thief and the House-Dog.

The Sick Stag.

The Fowler and the Ringdove.

The Kid and the Wolf.

The Blind Man and the Whelp.

The Geese and the Cranes.

The North Wind and the Sun.

The Laborer and the Snake.

The Bull and the Calf.

The Goat and the Ass.

The Boasting Traveler.

The Ass, the Cock, and the Lion.

The Stag and the Fawn.

The Partridge and the Fowler.

The Farmer and the Stork.

The Ass and his Driver.

The Hare and the Hound

The Kites and the Swans.

The Dog in the Manger.

The Crow and the Serpent.

The Cat and the Fox.

The Eagle and the Arrow.

The Dog Invited to Supper.

The Frogs Asking for a King.

The Prophet.

The Dog and his Master's Dinner.

The Buffoon and the Countryman.

The Boar and the Ass.

The Fox and the Goat.

The Oxen and the Butchers.

The Horse and his Rider.

The Dog and the Hare.

The Fawn and his Mother.

The Lark and her Young Ones.

The Bowman and the Lion.

The Boy and the Filberts.

The Woman and her Hen.

The Lamb and the Wolf.

The Bear and the Gardener.

The Heifer and the Ox.

The Eagle and the Fox.

The Hawk and the Nightingale.

The Hen and the Swallow.

The Herdsman and the Lost Bull.

The Shepherd's Boy and Wolf.

The Hawk, the Kite, and the Pigeons.

The Farmer and the Cranes.

The Cat and the Mice.

The Father and his Sons.

The Owl and the Grasshopper.

The Fox and the Grapes.

The Ass carrying the Image.

The Ass and the Lap-Dog.

The Tortoise and the Eagle.

The Porcupine and the Snakes.

The Fox who had Lost his Tail.

The Old Lion.

The Ass and the Wolf.

The Horse and the Groom.

The Ass and his Shadow.

The Horse and the Loaded Ass.

The Mules and the Robbers.

The Lion and the Three Bulls.

The Dog and the Shadow.

The Ants and the Grasshopper.

The Thirsty Pigeon.

The Flies and the Honey.

The Great and the Little Fishes.

The Wolves and the Sheep.

The Fox and the Stork.

The Bat and the Weasels.

The Hare and the Tortoise.

Jupiter and the Monkey.

The Lion in Love.

The Miser.

The Wolf and the Goat.

The Bald Knight.

The Fox and the Wood-Cutter.

The Kid and the Wolf.

The Lion, the Bear, and the Fox.

The Stag in the Ox-Stall.

The Eagle and the Jackdaw.

The Three Tradesmen.

The Dancing Monkeys.

The Ass and the Grasshopper.

The Ass in the Lion's Skin.

The Boy Bathing.

The Cock and the Fox.

The Viper and the File.

The Oxen and the Axle-Trees.

The Bear and the Bee-Hives.

The Thrush and the Swallow.

The Sensible Ass.

The Lion and the Ass.

The Fox and the Ape.

The Lion and the Wolf.

The Miller, his Son and their Ass.

The Travelers and the Plane-Tree.

The Tortoise and the Two Ducks.

The Countryman and the Snake.

The Madman who Sold Wisdom.

The Leopard and the Fox.

The Hare afraid of his Ears.

The Peacock and the Crane.

The Mouse and the Weasel.

The Fox and the Tiger.

The Fox and the Turkeys.

The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Sow.

The Peacock and the Magpie.

The Two Goats.

The Dove and the Ant.

The Eagle and the Beetle.

The Mule.

The Cat, the Weasel and the Rabbit.

The Rat and the Frog.

The Widow and the Sheep.

The Man Bitten by a Dog.

The Horse and the Wolf.

The Goatherd and the Goats.

The Goose with the Golden Eggs.

The Old Woman and the Wine-Jar.

The Ass Carrying Salt.

The Gnat and the Bull.

The Lion and the Gnat.

The Lion, the Ass and the Fox Hunting.

The Dog Whose Ears were Cropped.

The Wind and the Sun.

The Wild Boar and the Fox.

The Hunter and the Wolf.

The Astronomer.

The Bulls and the Frogs.

The Thief and His Mother.

The Man and His Two Wives.

The Heifer, the Goat, the Sheep and the Lion.

The Camel and the Travelers.

The Swan and the Goose.

The Dolphins and the Sprat.

The Shepherd and the Sea.

The Bees, the Drones, and the Wasp.

The Wolf, the Goat and the Kid.

The Fox and the Hedgehog.

The Brazier and His Dog.

The Wild Ass and the Lion.

The Father and His Two Daughters.

The Fir Tree and the Bramble.

The Fox and the Monkey.

The Farmer and His Sons.

The Cat and the Birds.

The Stag, the Wolf and the Sheep.

The Raven and the Swan.

The Lioness.

Aesop's Fables

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

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ISBN: 9783849630447

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Aesop – A Primer

AESOP (Gr. "Αίσωποѕ"), famous for his Fables, is supposed to have lived from about 620 to 560 B.C. The place of his birth is uncertain—Thrace, Phrygia, Aethiopia, Samos, Athens and Sardis all claiming the honour. We possess little trustworthy information concerning his life, except that he was the slave of Iadmon of Samos and met with a violent death at the hands of the inhabitants of Delphi. A pestilence that ensued being attributed to this crime, the Delphians declared their willingness to make compensation, which, in default of a nearer connexion, was claimed and received by Iadmon, the grandson of his old master. Herodotus, who is our authority for this (ii. 134), does not state the cause of his death; various reasons are assigned by later writers—his insulting sarcasms, the embezzlement of money entrusted to him by Croesus for distribution at Delphi, the theft of a silver cup.

Aesop must have received his freedom from Iadmon, or he could not have conducted the public defence of a certain Samian demagogue (Aristotle, Rhetoric, ii. 20). According to the story, he subsequently lived at the court of Croesus, where he met Solon, and dined in the company of the Seven Sages of Greece with Periander at Corinth. During the reign of Peisistratus he is said to have visited Athens, on which occasion he related the fable of The Frogs asking for a King, to dissuade the citizens from attempting to exchange Peisistratus for another ruler. The popular stories current regarding him are derived from a life, or rather romance, prefixed to a book of fables, purporting to be his, collected by Maximus Planudes, a monk of the 14th century. In this he is described as a monster of ugliness and deformity, as he is also represented in a well-known marble figure in the Villa Albani at Rome. That this life, however, was in existence a century before Planudes, appears from a 13th-century MS. of it found at Florence. In Plutarch's Symposium of the Seven Sages, at which Aesop is a guest, there are many jests on his original servile condition, but nothing derogatory is said about his personal appearance. We are further told that the Athenians erected in his honour a noble statue by the famous sculptor Lysippus, which furnishes a strong argument against the fiction of his deformity. Lastly, the obscurity in which the history of Aesop is involved has induced some scholars to deny his existence altogether.

It is probable that Aesop did not commit his fables to writing; Aristophanes (Wasps, 1259) represents Philocleon as having learnt the "absurdities" of Aesop from conversation at banquets) and Socrates whiles away his time in prison by turning some of Aesop's fables "which he knew" into verse (Plato, Phaedo, 61 b). Demetrius of Phalerum (345-283 B.C.) made a collection in ten books, probably in prose (ΛόγωνΑίσωπείωνσυναγωγαί) for the use of orators, which has been lost. Next appeared an edition in elegiac verse, often cited by Suidas, but the author's name is unknown. Babrius, according to Crusius, a Roman and tutor to the son of Alexander Severus, turned the fables into choliambics in the earlier part of the 3rd century A.D. The most celebrated of the Latin adapters is Phaedrus, a freedman of Augustus. Avianus (of uncertain date, perhaps the 4th century) translated 42 of the fables into Latin elegiacs. The collections which we possess under the name of Aesop's Fables are late renderings of Babrius's Version orΠρογυμνάσματα, rhetorical exercises of varying age and merit. Syntipas translated Babrius into Syriac, and Andreopulos put the Syriac back again into Greek. Ignatius Diaconus, in the 9th century, made a version of 55 fables in choliambic tetrameters. Stories from Oriental sources were added, and from these collections Maximus Planudes made and edited the collection which has come down to us under the name of Aesop, and from which the popular fables of modern Europe have been derived.

For further information see Bentley, Dissertation on the Fables of Aesop; Du Meril, Poésies inedites du moyen age (1854); J. Jacobs, The Fables of Aesop (1889): i. The history of the Aesopic fable; ii. The Fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton, 1484, from his French translation; Hervieux, Les Fabulistes Latins (1893-1899). Before any Greek text appeared, a Latin translation of 100 Fabulae Aesopicae by an Italian scholar named Ranuzio (Renutius) was published at Rome, 1476. About 1480 the collection of Planudes was brought out at Milan by Buono Accorso (Accursius), together with Ranuzio's translation. This edition, which contained 144 fables, was frequently reprinted and additions made from time to time from various MSS.—the Heidelberg (Palatine), Florentine, Vatican and Augsburg—by Stephanus (1547), Nevelet (1610), Hudson (1718), Hauptmann (1741), Furia (1810), Coray (1810), Schneider (1812) and others. A critical edition of all the previously known fables, prepared by Carl von Halm from the collections of Furia, Coray and Schneider, was published in the Teubner series of Greek and Latin texts. A Fabularum Aesopicarum sylloge (233 in number) from a Paris MS., with critical notes by Sternbach, appeared in a Cracow University publication, Rozprawy akademii umiejetinosci (1894).

The Wolf Turned Shepherd.

A wolf, finding that the sheep were so afraid of him that he could not get near them, disguised himself in the dress of a shepherd, and thus attired approached the flock. As he came near, he found the shepherd fast asleep. As the sheep did not run away, he resolved to imitate the voice of the shepherd. In trying to do so, he only howled, and awoke the shepherd. As he could not run away, he was soon killed.

Those who attempt to act in disguise are apt to overdo it.

The Stag at the Pool.

A stag saw his shadow reflected in the water, and greatly admired the size of his horns, but felt angry with himself for having such weak feet. While he was thus contemplating himself, a Lion appeared at the pool. The Stag betook himself to flight, and kept himself with ease at a safe distance from the Lion, until he entered a wood and became entangled with his horns. The Lion quickly came up with him and caught him. When too late he thus reproached himself: "Woe is me! How have I deceived myself! These feet which would have saved me I despised, and I gloried in these antlers which have proved my destruction."

What is most truly valuable is often underrated.

The Fox and the Mask.

A fox entered the house of an actor, and, rummaging through all his properties, came upon a Mask, an admirable imitation of a human head. He placed his paws on it, and said: "What a beautiful head! yet it is of no value, as it entirely wants brains."

A fair face is of little use without sense.

The Bear and the Fox.

A bear boasted very much of his philanthropy, saying "that of all animals he was the most tender in his regard for man, for he had such respect for him, that he would not even touch his dead body." A Fox hearing these words said with a smile to the Bear: "Oh, that you would eat the dead and not the living!"

We should not wait till a person is dead, to give him our respect.

The Wolf and the Lamb.

A Wolf, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea, which should justify to the Lamb himself his right to eat him. He then addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me." "Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born." Then said the Wolf: "You feed in my pasture." "No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass." Again said the Wolf: "You drink of my well." "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me." On which the Wolf seized him, and ate him up, saying: "Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations."

The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny, and it is useless for the innocent to try by reasoning to get justice, when the oppressor intends to be unjust.

The One-Eyed Doe.

A Doe, blind of an eye, was accustomed to graze as near to the edge of the sea as she possibly could, to secure greater safety. She turned her eye towards the land, that she might perceive the approach of a hunter or hound, and her injured eye towards the sea, from which she entertained no anticipation of danger. Some boatmen, sailing by, saw her, and, taking a successful aim, mortally wounded her. Said she: "O wretched creature that I am! to take such precaution against the land, and, after all, to find this seashore, to which I had come for safety, so much more perilous."

Danger sometimes comes from a source that is least suspected.

The Dog, Cock and Fox.

A Dog and a Cock, traveling together, took shelter at night in a thick wood. The Cock perched himself on a high branch, while the Dog found a bed at the foot of the tree. When morning dawned, the Cock, as usual, crowed very loudly. A Fox, hearing the sound, and wishing to make a breakfast on him, came and stood under the branches, saying how earnestly he desired to make the acquaintance of the owner of so sweet a voice.

"If you will admit me," said he, "I should very much like to spend the day with you."

The Cock said: "Sir, do me the favor to go round and wake up my porter, that he may open the door, and let you in." On the Fox approaching the tree, the Dog sprang out and caught him and quickly tore him in pieces.

Those who try to entrap others are often caught by their own schemes.

The Mouse, the Frog, and the Hawk.