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Complete Fables

Penguin Classics
by Aesop, Robert Temple (Translator)
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Mass market paperback, 268 pages
Price: $13.00

Aesop's famous Fables are full of humor, insight and savage wit as well as many fascinating glimpses of everyday life, yet earlier English versions have been both sanitized and highly selective. This is the first translation ever to make available the complete corpus of 358 fables.

Aesop was probably a prisoner of war, sold into slavery in the early sixth century B. C., 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. All have now been brought together in this definitive and fully annotated modern edition.

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