Reading 11: Shipwreck Fables

Perry Index Fable Name Aesopica Versions Reading Selection
Perry 73 The Monkey and the Dophin Chambry 305 version 1 #11 Primary (1)
Perry 73 The Monkey and the Dophin Chambry 305 version 2 #11 Primary (2)
Perry 30 The Shipwrecked Man Chambry 53 #11 Optional
Perry 207 The Shepherd and the Sea Chambry 311 version 1 #11 Advanced (1)
Perry 207 The Shepherd and the Sea Chambry 311 version 1 #11 Advanced (2)


1. Pray
2. Find a Dophin
3. Move your arms
4. Pray you are not a monkey
5. Keep only what you can carry
6. Elude the bandits
7. Make a placard and put it around your neck

412. SIMONIDES AND THE SHIPWRECK (A Latin Aesop Fable - no Greek version available)
Perry 519 (Phaedrus 4.23)

A learned man always has rich inner resources.
Simonides, that extraordinary author of lyric poems, found an excellent remedy for his straitened circumstances by travelling around the most famous cities of the Asia, singing the praises of victorious athletes in exchange for a fee. When he had grown wealthy in this venture, he was ready to take a sea voyage and go back to his native land (he was born, so they say, on the island of Ceos). He boarded a ship, but a terrible storm (plus the sheer age of the ship) caused it to sink in the middle of the sea. Some of the passengers grabbed their money belts, while others held onto their valuables and any possible means of subsistence. A passenger who was more curious than the rest asked the poet, 'Simonides, why aren't you taking along any of your own stuff?' He replied, 'All that is mine is right here with me.' It turned out that only a few were able to swim ashore, while the majority drowned, weighed down by what they were carrying. Then bandits arrived and took from the survivors whatever they had brought ashore, stripping them naked. As it happened, the ancient city of Clazomenae was not far off, which is where the shipwrecked people then turned. In this city there lived a man inclined to literary pursuits who had often read Simonides's compositions and who was his great admirer from afar. He recognized Simonides simply from his manner of speaking and eagerly invited him to his house, regaling him with clothes and money and servants. Meanwhile, the rest of the survivors carried around placards, begging for food. When Simonides happened to run into them, he took one look and exclaimed, 'Just as I said: all that is mine is right here with me, but everything that you took with you has now vanished.'

Note: The shipwreck survivors of ancient Greece would carry around placards that described (or depicted) the cause of their misfortune. Clazomenae was an Ionian Greek city, located near Smyrna (modern Izmir, in Turkey). The Latin proverb omnia mea mecum porto (literally, 'everything that is mine I carry with me') is also associated with the philosopher Stilpo (see Seneca, Letters to Lucilius 9.13) and with Bias, one of the legendary seven sages of ancient Greece (Valerius Maximus, 7.2.3).

(The above passage and notes is taken from Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.)

About the Fables

Perry 73 The Monkey and the Dolphin
The tw

Perry 30:The Shipwrecked Man
The fa

Perry 207: The Shepherd and the Sea

The Sounion
κατὰ τὸ Σούνιον, τὸ τῆς Ἀττικῆς ἀκρωτήριον

About 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Athens on the coast is Cape Sounion. Cape Sounion (modern Greek: ακρωτίριο Σούνιο - akrotirio Sounio; ancient Greek: άκρον Σουνιον; Latin: Sunium promonturium; Venetian: Capo Colonne) is a promontory located 69 km (by road) SSE of Athens, at the southernmost tip of the peninsula of Attica in Greece (Fig.2). Its position is 37.650058°′N 24.024466°′ECoordinates: 37.650058°′N 24.024466°′E.. Pausanias started off his "Guide to Greece" at Cape Sounion, but he thought  that the main temple was Athena's ( 1.1.1 ), it was really Poseidon's. 

The Temple of Poseidon

Ever since the mythology age, Cape Sounion is associated with the tragic loss of Aegeas, king of Athens, who jumped into the sea when saw black sails on his son's (Thiseus) vessel, mourning his killing by the Minotaur. True story was that Thiseas celebrating the death of Minotaur forgot to change vessel's sails to white, sign that he was still alive. That sea is called Aegean ever after...

Ancient Sounion was also known for its strategic, marine, commercial and mining worth and it was greatly inhabited. Definately a place not to be missed. Great highlight: Catching the romantic sunset by the temple of Posidon, built at the edge of the cape, over the Aegean sea.

Some good pictures of Cape Sounion can be found at


The Harbour at Athens
Ὡς δὲ ἐγένετο κατὰ τὸν Πειραιᾶ, τὸν λιμένα τῶν Ἀθηναίων


Wikipedia has a small section on the ancient port of Athens called the Piraeus. The map below is taken from a site by Bernard Suzanne. If you go to his site, you can find more maps of Athens and the surrounding areas. The Piraeus Archological Museum harbors ancient finds from the city of Piraeus itself, the coastal area of Attica, and the Saronic Gulf islands, including artifacts from the bottom of the surrounding sea.

Piraeus Coordinates: Latitude 37.950 Longitude 23.633
Elevation: 60 m

During Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic times, Piraeus provided the political, cultural, military, and commercial hub from which Athens extended its influence throughout the Mediterranean. Piraeus was home to the mighty Athenian navy as well as a busy port where commercial exchange with the Aegean, Anatolia, the Middle-East, and Egypt flourished. has additional maps.

Piraeius Map



Fables about Ships, the Sea and Sea Creatures

There are not many fables about the sea and ships. The following are about sea creatures and ships. I've left out the list of crabs, sea-gulls, fishing.

dolphin and lion 55
... and monkey 324
... and tuna 160
... and whale 220
shipbuilders 557
shipwrecked man 412, 480
sea 258, 275, 276
seagull chokes on fish 334

Perry 78. The Passengers at Sea
Perry 391. The Landlord and the Sailors

Indexes (and Oxford numbering) are from the Aesopica website by Laura Gibbs


Have you mastered Attic?

I once read somewhere that mastering the declension for 'ship' was the ultimate sign that you were proficient in Attic Greek. Can you decline it in any single dialect? How about the word for temple? The words ναῦς , νεώς and ναός can be very confusing for students of all levels. There are simply so many variations. The article can help (when its there). Ship is ναῦς feminine, Temple νεώς and ὁ ναός are masculine

Smyth §275 gives the following (I've stuck Attic in the Chart also)

3. The declension of ναῦς in Attic, Doric, Homer, and Herodotus is as follows:



Attic Doric Homer Hdt. Attic Doric Homer Hdt.


ναῦ-ς ναῦ-ς νηῦ-ς νηῦ-ς νῆ-ες νᾶ-ες νῆ-ες, νέ-ες
Voc ναῦ νέ-ες


νε-ώς νᾱ-ός νη-ός, νε-ός νε-ῶν νᾱ-ῶν νη-ῶν, νε-ῶν
νε-ός (and νη-ός?) νε-ῶν


νη-ΐ νᾱ-ΐ νη-ΐ νη-ΐ ναυ-σί(ν) ναυ-σί(ν), νηυ-σί(ν)
  νά̄-εσσι(ν) νή-εσσι(ν), νέ-εσσι(ν)


ναῦ-ν ναῦ-ν νῆ-α, νέ-α ναῦ-ς νᾶ-ας νῆ-ας, νέ-ας
νέ-α νέ-ας

Hom. has ναυσί in ναυσικλυτός.

Attic: Vocative, Dual N.A.V νῆ-ε G.D. νε-οῖν
Ship ναῦς is used only once in the New Testament in Acts 27:41 in the accusative: ναῦν. However, it occurs 17 times at least in the LXX and also occurs in the church fathers.
Attic 2nd Declension

237. Some substantives ending in -εως are placed under the Second Declension because they are derived from earlier ο stems preceded by a long vowel (-εως from -ηος, 34). A few others have a consonant before -ως. The vocative has no special form.

N.– This declension is called “Attic” because the words in question generally show -ως in Attic and -ος in the Koinè dialect (p. 3, F).


ὁ νεώς temple






(Ionic νηό-ς)

N. A.


(Ionic νηώ)



(Ionic νηοί)



(   “   νηοῦ)

G. D.


(    “    νηοῖν)



(   “    νηῶν)



(    “    νηῷ)



(    “     νηοῖς)



(    “    νηό-ν)



(    “     νηούς)

In the New Testament this word is regular: ναός, ναοῦ, ναῷ, ναόν, ναοί, ναῶν, ναοῖς, ναοῦς



There are no pictures of these fables in any of the Aesop fable versions that I can find. You view the various illustrated fables on the Aesopica website by Laura Gibbs.

Steinhowel (1479)
Steinhowel (1501)
Steinhowel (1521)
Osius (1574)
Salomon (1574)
Francis Barlow (1687)
Thomas Bewick (1818)
Townsend - Weir (1867)
Walter Crane (1887)
Jacobs-Heighway (1894)
Jones-Rackham (1912)
Milo Winter (1919)

Texts and Questions

Primary Reading
Chambry 305 = Perry 73

Reading 11 - Primary Reading (1) Chambry 305 Version 1

.Πίθηκος καὶ δελφίς.

[1] Ἔθους ὄντος τοῖς πλέουσι Μελιταῖα κυνίδια καὶ πιθήκους ἐπάγεσθαι πρὸς παραμυθίαν τοῦ πλοῦ, πλέων τις εἶχε σὺν ἑαυτῷ καὶ πίθηκον. [2] Γενομένων δ' αὐτῶν κατὰ τὸ Σούνιον, τὸ τῆς Ἀττικῆς ἀκρωτήριον, χειμῶνα σφοδρὸν συνέβη γενέσθαι. [3] Τῆς δὲ νεὼς περιτραπείσης καὶ πάντων διακολυμβώντων, ἐνήχετο καὶ ὁ πίθηκος. [4] Δελφὶς δέ τις αὐτὸν θεασάμενος καὶ ἄνθρωπον εἶναι ὑπολαβών, ὑπελθὼν ἀνεῖχε διακομίζων ἐπὶ τὴν χέρσον. [5] Ὡς δὲ κατὰ τὸν Πειραιᾶ ἐγένετο, τὸ τῶν Ἀθηναίων ἐπίνειον, ἐπυνθάνετο τοῦ πιθήκου εἰ τὸ γένος ἐστὶν Ἀθηναῖος. [6] Τοῦ δὲ εἰπόντος καὶ λαμπρῶν ἐνταυθα τετυχηκέναι γονέων, ἐπανήρετο εἰ καὶ τὸν Πειραῖα ἐπίσταται. [7] Ὑπολαβὼν δὲ ὁ πίθηκος περὶ ἀνθρώπου αὐτὸν λέγειν, ἔφη καὶ μάλα φίλον εἶναι αὐτῷ καὶ συνήθη. [8] Καὶ ὁ δελφὶς ἐπὶ τοσούτῳ ψεύδει ἀγανακτήσας, βαπτίζων αὐτὸν ἀπέκτεινεν. [E] Ὁ μῦθος πρὸς ἄνδρας οἳ τὴν ἀλήθειαν οὐκ εἰδότες ἀπατᾶν νομίζουσιν.


Reading 11 - Primary Reading (2) Chambry 305 version 2

Πίθηκος καὶ δελφίς.

[1] Ἔθος ἐστὶ τοῖς πλέουσιν ἐπάγεσθαι κύνας Μελιταίους καὶ πιθήκους πρὸς παραμυθίαν τοῦ πλοῦ. Καὶ δή τις πλεῖν μέλλων πίθηκον συνανήνεγκε. [2] Γενομένων δὲ αὐτῶν κατὰ Σούνιον --ἐστὶ δὲ τοῦτο Ἀθηναίων ἀκρωτήριον-- συνέβη χειμῶνα σφοδρὸν γενέσθαι. [3] Περιτραπείσης δὲ τῆς νηὸς καὶ πάντων διακολυμβώντων, καὶ ὁ πίθηκος ἐνήχετο. [4] Δελφὶς δὲ θεασάμενος αὐτὸν καὶ οἰόμενος ἄνθρωπον εἶναι ὑπεξελθὼν διεκόμιζεν. [5] Ὡς δὲ ἐγένετο κατὰ τὸν Πειραιᾶ, τὸν λιμένα τῶν Ἀθηναίων, ἐπυνθάνετο τοῦ πιθήκου εἰ τὸ γένος Ἀθηναῖός ἐστι. [6] Τοῦ δὲ εἰπόντος καὶ λαμπρῶν ἐνταῦθα τετυχηκέναι γονέων, ἐκ δευτέρου ἤρετο αὐτὸν εἰ ἐπίσταται τὸν Πειραιᾶ. [7] Καὶ ὃς ὑπολαβὼν αὐτὸν ἄνθρωπον λέγειν, ἔφασκε καὶ φίλον αὐτῷ καὶ συνήθη τοῦτον. [8] Καὶ ὁ δελφὶς ἀγανακτήσας κατὰ τῆς αὐτοῦ ψευδολογίας βαπτίζων αὐτὸν ἀπέκτεινε. [E] Πρὸς ἄνδρα ψευδολόγον ὁ λόγος εὔκαιρος.


Questions for Chambry 305 Versions 1 and 2 (Reading 11 Primary) (A side-by-side presentation of the two texts is given below the questions)

Q1 What are κύνας Μελιταίους? How were those types of dogs referred to in Greece and Rome?

Q2 Does the phrase κατὰ Σούνιον imply any specific position around Cape Sounion? Note, the same use of κατὰ occurs in line 5 κατὰ τὸν Πειραιᾶ.

Q3 How far did the dolphin carry the Monkey?

Q4 How is συνέβη used in line 2?

Q5 Translate line 7. How does περὶ ἀνθρώπου αὐτὸν λέγειν fit into the sentence?

Q6 The Version 1 epimythium starts Ὁ μῦθος πρὸς ἄνδρας οἳ... Is there something missing or implied? We have seen abbreviation of the epimythium before, can you list some of the ways they are introduced?

Q7 Translate both epimythium (version 1 and 2). What is the best translation for εὔκαιρος? We have seen this word used before in other epimythium. Litterally, it means 'good-time', but is the sense here 'fitting for' or is the concept 'when you happen to meet a liar, use this story!'?

Answers to the questions can be sent directly to Paul Fonck via this link

Chambry published a multivolume edition of the fables for the Belles Lettres series in 1925/6 (Paris). He later revised this into a single volume, omitting hundreds of the fable variants. In addition, the numeration between these two volumes is not consistent. The texts here are taken from the 1925/6 edition, but the numeration follows the standard single volume edition.

Optional Reading

Reading 11 - Optional Reading Chambry 53

Ἀνὴρ ναυαγός.

[1] Ἀνὴρ πλούσιος Ἀθηναῖος μεθ' ἑτέρων τινῶν ἔπλει. [2] Καὶ δὴ χειμῶνος σφοδροῦ γενομένου καὶ τῆς νηὸς περιτραπείσης, οἱ μὲν λοιποὶ πάντες διενήχοντο, ὁ δὲ Ἀθηναῖος παρ' ἕκαστα τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν ἐπικαλούμενος μυρία ἐπηγγέλλετο, εἰ περισωθείη. [3] Εἷς δέ τις τῶν συννεναυαγηκότων παρανηχόμενος ἔφη πρὸς αὐτόν· Σὺν Ἀθηνᾷ καὶ σὺ χεῖρα κινεῖ. [E1] Ἀτὰρ οὖν καὶ ἡμᾶς μετὰ τῆς τῶν θεῶν παρακλήσεως χρὴ καὶ αὐτούς τι ὑπὲρ αὑτῶν λογιζομένους δρᾶν. [E2] Ὅτι ἀγαπητόν ἐστι καὶ ἐνεργοῦντας θεῶν εὐνοίας τυγχάνειν ἢ ἑαυτῶν ἀμελοῦντας ὑπὸ τῶν δαιμόνων περισώζεσθαι. [E3] Τοὺς εἰς συμφορὰς ἐμπίπτοντας χρὴ καὶ αὐτοὺς ὑπὲρ ἑαυτῶν κοπιᾶν καὶ οὕτω τοῦ θεοῦ περὶ βοηθείας δέεσθαι.

Chambry 53 Questions

Q1 The phrase Ἀνὴρ πλούσιος Ἀθηναῖος starts a string of adjectives. Is there any rule in Greek as to how many you can string together?

Q2 How would you translate παρ' ἕκαστα in line 2. (Note: the same phrase was used in the Butcher fable.)

Q3 Parse συννεναυαγηκότων (Can you pronounce it? Can you say it three times fast?).

Q4 Translate lines E1-E3.


Answers to the questions can be sent directly to Paul Fonck via this link


Advanced Readings

Reading 11 - Advanced Reading Chambry 311 Version 1

Ποιμὴν καὶ θάλασσα.

[1] Ποιμὴν ἐν παραθαλασσίῳ τόπῳ ποίμνιον νέμων, ἑωρακὼς γαληνιῶσαν τὴν θάλατταν, ἐπεθύμησε πλεῦσαι πρὸς ἐμπορίαν. [2] Ἀπεμπολήσας οὖν τὰ πρόβατα καὶ φοινίκων βαλάνους πριάμενος ἀνήχθη. [3] Χειμῶνος δὲ σφοδροῦ γενομένου καὶ τῆς νεὼς κινδυνευούσης βαπτίζεσθαι, πάντα τὸν φόρτον ἐκβαλὼν εἰς τὴν θάλατταν, μόλις κενῇ τῇ νηῒ διεσώθη. [4] Μετὰ δ' ἡμέρας οὐκ ὀλίγας παριόντος τινὸς καὶ τῆς θαλάττης --ἔτυχε γὰρ αὕτη γαληνιῶσα-- τὴν ἠρεμίαν θαυμάζοντος, [5] ὑπολαβὼν οὗτος εἶπεν· Ὦ λῷστε, φοινίκων αὖθις, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἐπιθυμεῖ, καὶ διὰ τοῦτο φαίνεται ἡσυχάζουσα. [E] Ὁ μῦθος δηλοῖ ὅτι τὰ παθήματα τοῖς ἀνθρώποις μαθήματα γίνεται.

Reading 11 - Advanced Reading Chambry 311 Version 2

Ποιμὴν καὶ θάλασσα.

[1] Ποιμὴν ἔν τινι παραθαλασσίῳ τόπῳ νέμων, ὡς ἐθεάσατο τὴν θάλασσαν γαληνήν τε καὶ πραεῖαν, ἐπεθύμησε πλεῖν. [2] Διόπερ πωλήσας τὰ πρόβατα, φοίνικας ἐπρίατο καὶ ναῦν ἐμφορτισάμενος ἀνήχθη. [3] Χειμῶνος δὲ σφοδροῦ γενομένου καὶ τῆς νηὸς περιτραπείσης, πάντα ἀπολέσας, μόλις ἐπὶ γῆς διενήξατο. [4] Πάλιν δὲ γαλήνης γενομένης, ὡς ἐθεάσατό τινα ἐπὶ τῆς ἠϊόνος ἐπαινοῦντα τῆς θαλάσσης τὴν ἠρεμίαν, [5] ἔφη· Ἀλλ', ὦ οὗτος, αὕτη γάρ σοι φοινίκων ἐπιθυμεῖ. [E] Οὕτω πολλάκις τὰ παθήματα τοῖς φρονίμους γίνονται μαθήματα.

Chambry 305 Questions

Q1 How would you describe the word ἑωρακὼς in line 1.1? How is it parsed? How would you translate it - as a perfect or some other way?

Q2 How do you tranlsate the phrase Μετὰ δ' ἡμέρας οὐκ ὀλίγας in version 1 line 4? What does it mean?

Q3 List all the words you can find for swim, sail, boat, etc. in the above fables.

Q4 Do you have any tricks to learn the words ναῦς , νεώς and ναός and to keep the meaning for each clear in your mind?

Q5 Translate the epimythium of both fables.

Answers to the questions can be sent directly to Paul Fonck via this link



Line Numbering and the Structure of Fables

The lines are numbered for collation and reference purposes. The line numbering format is comprised of three elements: Author+Version+Line Identifier: Author = B/C#.1/C#.2/S/A/H for Babrius, Chambry 1, Chambry 2, Syntipas,  Aphthonius or Herodotus; Line Identifier = T/M/#  where  T=Title, P = Promythium, E = Epimythium or  # = Line number (incremental, but not counting the moral or title); The endomythium, the moral 'inside the story, is simply listed as a line number.

Parts of a fable:
Promythium: A moral that comes before the story, so that the reader / listener can properly decode the meaning
Fable Body: the content of the fable, including the endomythium, but not the promythium or epimythiu.
Endomythium: the moral inside the story (listed as a line number)
Epimythium: The moral added at the end of the story to make sure the point of the fable is clear.


Additional Tools and Aids to Reading

The LetsReadGreek website has vocabulary and a list of helpful questions and leads on some of the more difficult words.  A little of topical vocabulary for each is included, along with a Latin version, some English versions of the fables and some engravings and carvings from older books.  The LetsReadGreek site requires one to have a unicode Greek compatible font. I've been trying to get the site properly configured, so please be patient.  A note, SPIonic is not adequate, you must have one of the Windows or Mac unicode fonts installed.  Gentium is a wonderful and easy to read font downloadable from the SIL website at

I highly recommend using the Perseus website tools for vocabulary, morphology, texts and grammar.  There is a lot there; however, Aesop is not.  Some of the vocabulary in the fables do not exist in LSJ (but maybe in the supplement).  To use Perseus adequately, one must learn Perseus’ betacode style with variations, for questions see the FAQ.  I also suggest bookmarking the base pages in your browser, or better yet, drag them if you can and put each one onto your browser’s toolbar.   The following online tools can be found on the Perseus website:

Note: If you are using the Perseus site, you must set your Perseus configuration to properly display the Greek. This may be done by clicking on the "Configure Display" on the Perseus Menu and selecting the corresponding Greek format (choose Unicode or Unicode with pre-combined accents).