Aeshop -625 - -560 (65)

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.



Aesop was a keen observer of animals and people, most of the characters in his stories are animals, some of which take on human characteristic and are personified in ways of speech and emotions. Aesop used the qualities and natural tendencies of animals to focus on human traits and wisdom with each fable to have an accompanying moral to be learned.

Aesop was an ancient Greek fabulist, considered the founder of the literary genre now called parable or allegory, the first to use prose as until then authors created exclusively in verse form (poetry). Born probably from a family of slaves, in 625 BC, in Amorio of Phrygia, as a slave of the Samian philosopher Iadmonas. He lived in Samos, traveled to Egypt and the East (he lived some time in the court of King Croesus) and died at Delphi in 560 BC, after an unjust conviction. By another version was a slave of a landowner who employed him as a shepherd, he had a quarrel with the superintendent and the landowner sold him in Epeshus’ slave market. He was bought by a wise man, Xanthos with him they travelled all around the known world. Years later Xanthus sold him to Ladmona who appreciated his spiritual gifts and especially his wisdom and let him free. In both versions of his story the ending is the same. It seems that he satirized the priests of the Oracle who wanted to take revenge and hid in his luggage an artefact. They accused him of theft and sacrilegious. They killed him by throwing him off the cliff from the top of Mount Parnassus.

From later sources we learn that Aesop was very ugly, but he was intelligent and had great talent in creating and narrating myths. His myths had for protagonists mainly animals such as fox, lion, deer, wolf, etc., he was giving them voice and soul to such an extent that one can consider that the myths were once reality and all that recounts had occurred. He used mainly dialogues formulated briefly and in simplicity. He was giving symbolic character, allegorical and moralistic to his stories, there is always a postscript, simple and easy to understand by children and simple people. Some modern historians argue that those myths are not his own creations but he merely assembled them and spread them, possible changing somewhat. Anyway, they have been associated with his name. Aesop did not write a single word, he simply narrated them and they spread in space and time. In the 4th century BC were recorded for the first time by Demetrius form Faliro, but they haven’t survive to our days. The collections we have are projects of the 2nd and 1st century BC and the first printing of the stories was done in 1479 in Milan. Until today, the myths are still topical, a fact that demonstrates their excellence and importance.