Aesop's Fables; a New Translation

Front Cover
Aeterna, 2009 - 114 pages
According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the fables were invented by a slave named Aesop, who lived in Ancient Greece during the 5th century BC. While some suggested that Aesop did not actually exist, and that the fables attributed to him are folktales of unknown origins, Aesop was indeed mentioned in several other Ancient Greek works - Aristophanes, in his comedy The Wasps, represented the protagonist Philocleon as having learnt the absurdities of Aesop from conversation at banquets; Plato wrote in Phaedo that Socrates whiled away his jail time turning some of Aesop's fables which he knew into verses; Demetrius of Phalerum compiled the fables into a set of eleven books (Lopson Aisopeion sunagogai), which have been lost, for the use of orators. There was also an edition in elegiac verse by an anonymous author, which was often cited in the Suda.

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About the author (2009)

Though many modern scholars dispute his existence, Aesop's life was chronicled by first century Greek historians who wrote that Aesop, or Aethiop, was born into Greek slavery in 620 B.C. Freed because of his wit and wisdom, Aesop supposedly traveled throughout Greece and was employed at various times by the governments of Athens and Corinth. Some of Aesop's most recognized fables are The Tortoise and the Hare, The Fox and the Grapes, and The Ant and the Grasshopper. His simple but effective morals are widely used and illustrated for children.

Arthur Rackham was born in London, England. At the age of 18, he worked as a clerk at the Westminster Fire Office and began studying part-time at the Lambeth School of Art. In 1892 he left his job and started working for The Westminster Budget as a reporter and illustrator. His first book illustrations were published in 1893 in To the Other Side by Thomas Rhodes, but his first serious commission was in 1894 for The Dolly Dialogues, the collected sketches of Anthony Hope, who later went on to write The Prisoner of Zenda. Book illustrating then became Rackham's career for the rest of his life. Rackham invented his own unique technique which resembled photographic reproduction; he would first sketch an outline of his drawing, then lightly block in shapes and details. Afterwards he would add lines in pen and India ink, removing the pencil traces after it had dried. With color pictures, he would then apply multiple washes of color until transparent tints were created. Arthur Rackham died in 1939 of cancer in his home in Limpsfield, Surrey.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was born in London, England, in 1874. He began his education at St Paul's School, and later went on to study art at the Slade School, and literature at University College in London. Chesterton wrote a great deal of poetry, as well as works of social and literary criticism. Among his most notable books are The Man Who Was Thursday, a metaphysical thriller, and The Everlasting Man, a history of humankind's spiritual progress. After Chesterton converted to Catholicism in 1922, he wrote mainly on religious topics. Chesterton is most known for creating the famous priest-detective character Father Brown, who first appeared in "The Innocence of Father Brown." Chesterton died in 1936 at the age of 62.

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