The Complete Fables by Robert AesopThe Complete Fables by Robert Aesop

The Complete Fables

byRobert AesopTranslated byRobert Temple, Olivia Temple

Paperback | March 1, 1998

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'Many people are not in the least disturbed at the harm that befalls them, provided they can see their enemies’ downfall first’


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 wrong-doing, as well as offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of Ancient Greeks.

This definitive edition is the first translation into English of the entire corpus of 358 unbowdlerized fables. It is fully annotated, with an introduction that rescues the fables from a tradition of moralistic interpretation.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Aesop probably lived in the middle part of the sixth century BC. A statement in Herodotus gives ground for thinking that he was a slave belonging to a citizen of Samos called Iadmon. Legend says that he was ugly and misshapen. There are many references to Aesop found in the Athenian writers: Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle and...
Title:The Complete FablesFormat:PaperbackPublished:March 1, 1998Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140446494

ISBN - 13:9780140446494

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18


Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Complete Fables This is the best edition I have read of Aesop’s fables. It is the first English edition to include the entire Aesopic corpus of 358 fables. The fables are faithfully translated from the Greek, and are not edited in any way — unlike other editions, most of which were meant for children. With this edition we can finally see Aesop’s fables as they were originally intended, not as nice moral stories for children, but as biting political satire making fun of the customs and mores of the Ancient Greeks.
Date published: 1999-10-07

Table of Contents

A Note on the Text


From Our Editors

This definitive and fully annotated modern edition of the Fables is the first translation to offer the complete corpus of 358 fables attributed to Aesop. They displaying his humour, insight and savage wit, as well as affording fascinating glimpses of everyday life in ancient Greece. Unlike earlier English versions that have been sanitized and highly selective, The Complete Fables is faithful to the original work. Aesop was probably a prisoner of war, sold into slavery in the early sixth century BC, who represented his masters in court and relied on animal stories to put across his key points. These tales are brought together with other Aesop-inspired satirical tales, probably originating in Libya and Egypt.