The Complete Fables

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 1998 - Fiction - 262 pages
20 Reviews
A slave who represented his masters in court and negotiations, Aesop relied on allegorical animal stories, collected here in The Complete Fables, to convey his key points. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Greek by Olivia and Robert Temple with an introduction by Robert Temple. In a series of pithy, amusing vignettes, Aesop created a vivid cast of characters to demonstrate different aspects of human nature. Here we see a wily fox outwitted by a quick-thinking cicada, a tortoise triumphing over a self-confident hare and a fable-teller named Aesop silencing those who mock him. Each jewel-like fable provides a warning about the consequences of wrongdoing, as well as offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of Ancient Greeks. All Aesop's fables, full of humour, insight and savage wit, as well as many fascinating glimpses of ordinary life, have now been brought together for the first time in this definitive and fully annotated modern edition. Little is known for certain about the life of Aesop (c.620-564 BC), though details of his life are scattered throughout the works of ancient Greek writers including Aristophanes, Xenophon, Aristotle and Herodotus, who give grounds for thinking that he was a slave, and Plutarch, who identifies him as an entertaining storyteller, executed by the Delphians by being thrown off a cliff. If you enjoyed The Complete Fables, you might like Ovid's Metamorphoses, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Ground-breaking ... this version of the fables is a revelation ... the translation is excellent'Peter Jones, Sunday Telegraph 'Aesop remains a fundamental figure in Western literature'Frederic Raphael, Sunday Times

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Review: The Complete Fables (Penguin Classics)

User Review  - Starr Griggs - Goodreads

I didn't enjoy them as much as I did when I was younger. I am glad to have taken the time to read them all, but there were some that were pretty much the same and at times they all began to run together. Read full review

Review: The Complete Fables (Penguin Classics)

User Review  - Vickii - Goodreads

Aesop's complete compilation of vignettes is more or less a collection of 'The Tortoise and the Hare' tales. Full of great life lessons which are still relevant centuries on, each fable is accompanied ... Read full review

About the author (1998)

Aesop, according to various sources, was born in Phrygia, Lydia, Thrace, or Sardis, and lived from about 620 to 560 B.C. Little is known about his life, but Aristotle mentioned his acting as a public defender, and Plutarch numbered him as one of the “Seven Wise Men.” It is generally believed he was a slave, freed by his master because of his wit and wisdom. As Aesop became famous for his fables, which used animals as a code to tell the truth about political injustice, he incurred the wrath of the rulers, either in Athens or Delphi, and was executed. In about 300 B.C., Demetrius Phalereus of Athens made the first known collection of Aesop’s fables, which then spread far beyond the Greek world.
 
Jack Zipes is a professor of German at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of several books of fairy tales, including Breaking the Magic Spell and Don’t Bet on the Prince. He is also the editor of several volumes of fairy tales, including Beauties, Beasts and Enchantment: Classic French Fairy Tales, The Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, The Fairy Tales of Frank Stockton, and Arabian Nights.
 
Sam Pickering teaches English at the University of Connecticut. He has written more than two dozen books, including Waltzing the Magpies, an account of a year he and his family spent in Western Australia, and Dreamtime.


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