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Ashia Butt 2

Date: 08/26/2020
Ashia Butt
ENG 208
Eugene Ritchie
Final Research Paper first draft
Aesop was a creek fabulist he was born in around 620 BCE. many scholars agree
that He was born slave in ancient Greece. He was cleaver man, and always making up
stories that people helped understand how to get along with each other. but was freed
because of his literacy and intelligence. As a free man Aesop took an active interest in
public affairs and traveled throughout the republics of Greece engaging in converstion
with philosophers, politicians, wise man and royalty.
Aesop visited many Greek cities in order to reconcile the citizen with the
administration. To do this he often narrated his wise fables. During his one of his mission
to Delphi he was asking to distribute a large sum of gold among the citizens. Aesop found
the people so greedy and rude that he sent the money back. A group of citizens executed
him as a public criminal. They were strongly reproached but the monarch until they made
a public.
Aesop was credited with more than 400 fables, but not all of them were written by
Aesop himself. Some of those earlier time and many were composed after his death and
also some of them by Babrias, a creek writer who lived between 250 B.C. and 235 A.D.
and some by monks and scholars during the Middle ages. they all bear his name because
it was Aesop who composed such as a large number of fables and it was he who
established and refined the form. The stories of Aesop are very much alive today through
numerous adaptations and have become a standrad.
The fable is like no other, it in some ways different and in some ways agree in
many cases. Its like a tale , there is a real narrative but short. Its like a parable by having
a hidden message but it uses fictional characters more then the use of language. The
fable itself follows a political truth, or moral standard. A true fable has its design of writing
fall under the fictional characters, as in use of animals. Also by plants , trees , the sky ,
anything that breaths or fills up the world. Almost as if the reader had someone guiding
them, giving them advice, through every line. The lesson succeeds when the reader itself
shows strong feelings
Aesop was a Greek most fabulist and the most popular fables ever written, broadly
known as ‘Aesop’s Fables’. There is hardly anyone who hasn’t heard of Most of these
stories have anthropomorphic characters and have a moral attached to them. However,
it is wise to remember that his stories were compiled by others throughout history. There
is no actual evidence whether or not he told these stories. Similar fables have been found
in other ancient cultures as well. There is a mystery surrounding his origin as well, with
many speculating.
Aesop was actually another storyteller’s fictional name. The love for these fables
has survived centuries because of their simplicity. It doesn’t hurt that they have remained
relatable throughout time and history and have been used to teach moral values to
children. Some of the most popular fables are ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper’, ‘The Boy
Who Cried Wolf’, and ‘The Crow and the Pitcher’ etc. Additionally, morals like “birds of a
feather flock together”, “necessity is the mother of invention”, and “slow but steady wins
the race” are also ascribed to him.
Aesop was born in 620 BCE. However, there is no concrete evidence as to his
origins. Some thinks he was born in Phrygia. However, Amorium, Phrygia, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Samos, Athens, Sardis, Thrace and many other places have been suggested
by different authors as his place of birth
Greek historians like Herodotus believed that he was a slave in 6th century BCE.
Plutarch thought he was an adviser to 6th century Lydian King Croesus. There are other
sources, claiming he was Egyptian or black.
Many researchers think that he was a slave on the island of Samos. His master
was Xanthus. He earned his freedom by helping his master avoid humiliation and saving
all his wealth.
He is depicted in many historical sources as being ugly, grotesquely figured, with
an oversized head. Spanish painter Diego Velázquez paints him as a philosopher with no
deformities. He has been similarly painted by Jusepe de Ribera, in ‘Aesop, poet of the
fables’ and ‘Aesop in beggar’s rags’.
Aesop’s Fables’ consists of a number of stories that depict anthropomorphic
characters, animals with human characteristics. They also contain morals, teaching
valuable life lessons.
The origins of his fables are a contested fact. Most of the information has been
found in records by ancient Greek historians. He was a storyteller, not a writer. They were
only written down three centuries after his death.
Similar stories exist in some of the earliest civilizations like that of Sumer and
Akkad of ancient Mesopotamia. Additionally, similar tales can be found in ancient Indian
culture as well. Notable among them are the Buddhist ‘Jataka Tales’ and the Hindu
Amongst the fables attributed to Aesop, the most famous are, ‘The Boy who was
Vain’, ‘The Cat and the Mice’, ‘The Deer without a Heart’, ‘The Dog and the Wolf’, and
‘The Dog in the Manger’.
He is also credited with popular fables like ‘The Farmer and the Viper’, ‘The Frog
and the Ox’, ‘The Fox and the Grapes’, ‘The Honest Woodcutter’, ‘The Lion and the
Mouse’, and ‘The Mischievous Dog’, etc.
Some of the most familiar moral lessons are attributed to ‘Aesop’s Fables’. These
include “quality, not quantity” from ‘The Lioness and the Vixen’ and “honesty is the best
policy” from ‘Mercury and the Woodman’.
Many other everyday expressions are credited to his stories as well. “Pride comes
before a fall” from ‘The Eagle and the Cockerels’, “don’t make a mountain out of a molehill”
from ‘The Mountain in Labor’, and “it’s easy to kick a man when he’s down” from ‘The
Dogs and the Fox’ are very well-known as well.
A few other moral lessons found in the fables are “necessity is the mother of
invention” from the Crow and the Pitcher’ and “look before you leap” from ‘The Fox and
the Goat’.
“Sour grapes” from ‘The Fox and the Grapes’ and “fair weather friends are not much
worth” from ‘The Swallow and the Crow’ have become part of life lessons.
Ancient Greek historians like Herodotus wrote that the 6th century BCE Greek
hetaera or prostitute, Rhodopis Doricha was a fellow slave of Aesop. She is thought to be
his concubine. A famous engraving by Francesco Bartolozzi of an Angelica Kauffman
painting depicts the two in love.
The Aesop Romance, also known as The Life of Aesop, which was part of a folk
tradition long before it was rendered into writing in the second century AD, contains a
highly fictionalized version of his life. It describes that he was originally slave of Xanthus.
Ugly and inarticulate, he was granted the power of speech and storytelling ability by the
goddess Isis due to the kindness of a priestess. By the dint of his newfound talents, he
gained freedom and became a personal advisor to many kings and city states. The story
also suggests that he traveled to Delphi and met his end in the hands of angry mob, to
whom he narrated insulting fables and earned their wrath. Scholars consider the Aesop
Romance is a pure fiction and lacks historical validity.
Many fables and stories are in circulation in his name and Herodotus called him a
writer of fables and Aristophanes stated that he read Aesop, no writings of Aesop have
survived. Some believe that a written version of his fables might have existed in the past
around fifth century BCE his writings survived the ravages of time not only through oral
traditions but also in the writings and compilations of subsequent writes such as
Demetrius of Phalerum, Phaedrus (first century BC, Babrius, Titianus (3rd century AD),
Avianus (fourth century AD) and so on. Most of these collections are also lost.
After he earned his freedom, he was sent on a mission to Delphi by King Croesus.
However, he found the people to be narcissistic, rich, and corrupt. He addressed them
sarcastically. Feeling insulted, they falsely accused him of theft from Apollo’s temple.
Aesop was executed by being thrown off a cliff in 564 BCE was 56 years old .
Research by eminent scholar Ben Edwin Perry shows a chronological mismatch
between the time of his death and Croesus’s reign. Similarly, a story by freedman
Phaedrus suggests him visiting Athens during the rule (561 - 527 BC) of King Peisistratos.
This contradicts his presumed year of death.
Aesop was always smarter than his master, and wiser than the wisest. That is why
the Delphic priests of the temple of the Greek god Apollo did not forgive the wisdom of
the slave. Legend has it Aesop was thrown into the sea from a cliff, accused in stealing a
golden cup from a temple. The immoral actions of the priests were punished by Apollo,
who sent plague to sicken his unworthy servants in his Delphic shrine. This is the truth
about the death of Aesop.
However, that with his name is associated with the emergence of fables as a genre
in Greek literature. Aesop takes themes and ideas from the folklore heritage to create his
works. The fables of Aesop were not written in his life time, but passed on from mouth to
mouth. Over time, other fables were credited to Aesop. Finally, a collection of 352
interesting and original Greek myths, simply called “Aesop’s fables”, were created.
Aesop's fables have indirectly inspired a number of movies, television shows, plays, and
modern books. It seems his life may not have been easy, but his gifts of wit and
storytelling can inspire generations with both good literature and pithy morals.
Works cited:
Horgan, John. “Aesop's Fables.” Ancient History Encyclopedia, Ancient History
Encyclopedia, 18 Aug. 2020.
“AESOP: Biography, Animal Fables, & Facts - Classical Literature.” Ancient Literature, 28
May 2020.
“Aesop.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 May 2020, en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop.
2020.” Encyclopedia.com, Encyclopedia.com, 21 Aug. 2020.
“The Fabled Life of Aesop”
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Published on
Mar 10, 2020
Features: original pages
Language: English Book
journal articles;
The Life of Aesop and the Gospel of Mark: Two Ancient Approaches to Elite Values By
Watson, David F Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol.129, no. 4, Winter 2010.
Cipion, Berganza and the Aesopic traditional By Carranza, Paul Cervantes: Bulletin of the
Cervantes Society of America, Vol. 23, No. 1, Spring 2003.
Chesterton, G.K., in an introduction to Aesop Fables, translated by V.S. Verson Jones,
Doubleday & Co., 1912, reprinted in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism, Vol 24.
Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, 2nd ed., 8 vols. Gale Group,