tragic compositions, but also to "all kinds of narratives, including the Aesopic
fables" (William F.
s and Fhaedrus: Newly Edited and Translated into English, together with an Historical Introduction and a Comprehensive Survey of Greek and Latin Fables in the Aesopic
Tradition, LCL (Cambridge: Harvard Univ.
The topics include the culture of word-games among the graffiti of Pompeii, riddling and ancient Greek divination, Nicander's Aesopic
acrostic and its antidote, Greek acrostic verse inscriptions, and Ausonius' Griphus ternarii numeri.
This is very important: it means that Curtius developed his own Aesopic
idiom to express his criticism of a Roman emperor or emperors.
The third fable in the Liber Aesopi, a Latin collection of Aesopic
fables popular in the late medieval grammar-school curriculum in Italy--in which a frog, who tries to drown a mouse while conveying him across a pond, is spotted and seized by a kite--concludes, in one of the Liber's fourteenth-century volgarizzamenti, for instance, "Cosi piaccia a Dio che ciascuno perisca nella sua malizia che promette fare utolita e fa danno, e la pena e lo tradimento torni in su le spalle del traditore" (Esopo toscano 2.
Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention
tale known as "The ass and the lapdog"--the source for the Medieval fable examined here (Lecoy 114; Holmer 59; Vasvari 15) offers a fairly unambiguous moral, which to a twentieth-century audience, especially in the "land of the free and the home of the brave" where the "sky is the limit," may not be as palatable as it may have been to a Medieval audience with its particular Weltanschauung.
Yet there are honest voices to be heard: The crickets keep their vigil Among the grass; in some invisible tree Anonymously a bird Whistles a fioritura, a light, vestigial Reminder of a time, An Aesopic
Age when all the beasts were moral And taught their ways to men; Some herbal dream, some chlorophyll sublime In which Apollo's laurel Blooms in a world made innocent again.
They were not to be pathetic creatures that were unfairly persecuted so that I could make Aesopic
statements about Jews, Blacks or any other mistreated members of society" (Robot Visions 453).
The oldest [Little Red Riding Hood] tale we found was an Aesopic
fable that dated from about the Sixth Century BC, so the last common ancestor of all these tales certainly predated this.
The oldest tale we found was an Aesopic
fable that dated from about the sixth century BC, so the last common ancestor of all these tales certainly predated this.
It is an Aesopic
animal fable familiar to every Tudor schoolchild: the tale of the mouse who gnawed through a lion's bonds in gratitude for past favours, and whose moral is that the poor may assist the powerful in ways that cannot be foreseen.