The Fables of Phaedrus by Phaedrus

The Fables of Phaedrus

byPhaedrusTranslated byP. F. Widdows

Paperback | January 1, 1992

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Animal fables are said to have originated with Aesop, a semilegendary Samian slave, but the earliest surviving record of the fables comes from the Latin poet Phaedrus, who introduced the new genre to Latin literature. This verse translation of The Fables is the first in English in more than two hundred years.

In addition to the familiar animal fables, about a quarter of the book includes such diverse material as prologues and epilogues, historical anecdotes, short stories, enlarged proverbs and sayings, comic episodes and folk wisdom, and many incidental glimpses of Greek and Roman life in the classical period.

The Fables also sheds light on the personal history of Phaedrus, who seems to have been an educated slave, eventually granted his freedom by the emperor Augustus. Phaedrus' style is lively, clean, and sparse, though not at the cost of all detail and elaboration. It serves well as a vehicle for his two avowed purposes—to entertain and to give wise counsel for the conduct of life. Like all fabulists, Phaedrus was a moralist, albeit on a modest and popular level.

An excellent introduction by P. F. Widdows provides information about Phaedrus, the history of The Fables, the metric style of the original and of this translation, and something of the place of these fables in Western folklore. The translation is done in a free version of Anglo-Saxon alliterative verse, a form used by W. H. Auden and chosen here to match the popular tone of Phaedrus' Latin verse.

Details & Specs

Title:The Fables of PhaedrusFormat:PaperbackDimensions:196 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:January 1, 1992Publisher:University Of Texas Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029272473X

ISBN - 13:9780292724730

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Table of Contents

IntroductionBOOK 1PrologueFable 1. The Wolf and the Lamb2. The Frogs Ask for a King3. The Presumptuous Jackdaw and the Peacock4. The Dog Carrying a Piece of Meat across a River5. The Cow, the She-goat, the Sheep, and the Lion6. The Frogs Complain about the Sun7. The Fox and the Tragic Actor’s Mask8. The Wolf and the Crane9. The Sparrow Gives Advice to the Hare10. The Wolf and the Fox Receive Judgment from the Ape11. The Lion and the Ass Go Hunting12. The Stag at the Fountain13. The Fox and the Crow14. From Cobbler to Physician15. What the Ass Said to the Old Shepherd16. The Sheep, the Stag, and the Wolf17. The Sheep, the Dog, and the Wolf18. A Woman in Childbirth19. The Dog and Her Litter of Puppies20. The Hungry Dogs21. The Old Lion, the Boar, the Bull, and the Ass22. The Weasel and the Man23. The Faithful Dog24. The Frog Who Burst Himself and the Bull25. The Dogs and the Crocodiles26. The Fox and the Stork27. The Dog, the Treasure, and the Vulture28. The Fox and the Eagle29. The Ass Insults the Boar30. The Frogs Afraid of the Battle of the Bulls31. The Kite and the DovesBOOK 2Author’s PrologueFable 1. The Bullock, the Lion, and the Bandit2. Two Women, One Old, One Young, in Love with the Same Man3. Aesop’s Words to a Man about the Success of Wrongdoers4. The Eagle, the Cat, and the Wild Boar5. Tiberius’ Words to an Attendant6. The Eagle and the Crow7. The Two Mules and the Robbers8. The Stag and the Oxen9. The Author SpeaksBOOK 3Prologue: Phaedrus to EutychusFable 1. What the Old Woman Said to the Wine Jar2. The Panther and the Shepherds3. Aesop and the Farmer4. The Butcher and the Monkey5. Aesop and the Impudent Fellow6. The Fly and the Mule7. The Wolf and the Sleek Dog8. Brother and Sister9. Socrates to His Friends10. The Poet, on Believing and Not Believing11. The Eunuch’s Reply to His Insulting Adversary12. The Cock and the Pearl13. The Wasp Adjudicating between the Bees and the Drones14. On Play and Seriousness15. The Dog and the Lamb16. The Cicada and the Owl17. The Trees under the Patronage of the Gods18. The Peacock Complains to Juno about His Voice19. Aesop’s Reply to the JokerEpilogueBOOK 4Prologue: The Poet to ParticuloFable 1. The Ass and the Priests of Cybele2. The Weasel and the Mice3. The Fox and the Grapes4. The Horse and the Wild Boar5. Aesop and the Enigmatic Will6. The Battle of the Mice and Weasels7. Phaedrus and the Critic8. The Viper and the File9. The Fox and the Goat10. On the Faults of Men11. The Thief and His Lamp12. The Evils of Wealth13. The Reign of the Lion13A. The Reign of the Lion13B. The King of the Apes14. Prometheus15. Prometheus Again16. The Bearded She-goats17. On the Fortunes of Men18. The Dogs Send Envoys to Jupiter19. The Snake Fatal to the Compassionate Man19A. The Snake Fatal to the Compassionate Man20. The Fox and the Dragon21. Phaedrus22. About Simonides23. The Mountain in Labor24. The Ant and the Fly25. Simonides Saved by the GodsEpilogue: The Poet to ParticuloBOOK 5Prologue: The Poet AgainFable 1. King Demetrius and the Poet Menander2. The Two Soldiers and the Robber3. The Bald Man and the Fly4. The Ass and the Pig’s Barley5. The Buffoon and the Countryman6. The Two Bald Men7. King, the Flute Player8. Time9. The Bull and the Calf10. The Old Dog and the HunterPEROTTI’S APPENDIXFable 1. The Ape and the Fox2. The Author3. The Author4. Mercury and the Two Women5–6. Prometheus and Guile7. The Author8. The Author9. Aesop and the Writer10. Pompey and His Soldier11. Juno, Venus, and the Hen12. The Bullock and the Old Ox13. Aesop and the Victorious Boxer14. The Ass and the Lyre15. The Widow and the Soldier16. The Two Suitors17. Aesop and His Mistress18. The Cock and the Cats Who Carried His Sedan Chair19. The Sow Giving Birth and the Wolf20. Aesop and the Runaway Slave21. The Race Horse22. The Hungry Bear23. The Traveler and the Raven24. The Shepherd and the She-goat25. The Snake and the Lizard26. The Crow and the Sheep27. Socrates and the Rascally Servant28. The Hare and the Herdsman29. The Courtesan and the Young Man30. The Beaver31. The Butterfly and the Wasp32. The Ground Swallow and the Fox

From Our Editors

In addition to the familiar animal fables, about a quarter of the book includes such diverse material as prologues and epilogues, historical anecdotes, short stories, enlarged proverbs and sayings, comic episodes and folk wisdom, and many incidental glimpses of Greek and Roman life in the classical period.