Aesop Summer Greek Reading Group

Selected fables to read for the summer of 2007


The following is a list of fables the Aesop Group will be reading.  Each weeks Greek text(s) will be sent out in the weekly email. There are still slots left open for your favorite fable. Send your choice in if you have not already done so. 



Aesop Summer 2007 Reading Schedule:

  Week Fable Name(s) Aesopica Website Source
1 June 2  The fox and the grapes Perry 15
2 June 9   The ant and the cricket Perry 373
3 June 16 The fisherman and his pipe Perry 11
4 June 23

Three Tortoise Fables: The Tortoise and the Hare,

Zeus and the Tortoise, The Eagle and the Tortoise
Perry 226, Perry 106, Perry 230
5 June 30 Aphrodite and the Weasel Perry 50
6 July 7 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse (part 1) Perry 352
7 July 14 The Country Mouse and the City Mouse (part 2) Perry 352
8 July 21 The Doctor and His Dead Patient Perry 317
9 July 28 Three Dog Fables: The Hunting and House Dogs, The Dog and the Traveller, The Dog and the Butcher Perry 92, Perry 330, Perry 254
10 Aug 5 Hermes Fables Perry 88, Perry 99, Perry 308
11 Aug 12 Shipwreck Fables: The Monkey and the Dolphin, The Shipwrecked Man, The Shepherd and the Sea Perry 73, Perry 30, Perry 207
12 Aug 19 With the Help of the Gods -Requests for Divine Assistance (The Poor Man and Death; The Man, the Flea and Heracles; Heracles and the Driver) Perry 60, Perry 231, Perry 291
13 Aug 26 Miscellaneous Fables and Jokes Perry 80, Perry 248, Perry 287, Perry 7,



About the authors: (taken Aesop's Fables, A New Translation by Laura Gibbs, Oxford University Press, 2002 p. xxii ff.).

"Babrius, whom we know very little about, is classed by most scholars as a Hellenised Roman who lived and work in Cilicia (Modern Turkey or Armenia) during the reign of 'King Alexander' in the late first century CE. Babrius wrote his fables in an unusual style of Greek verse (choliambics) and there are slightly more than 140 fables extant...." We only have Babrius fables which begin with the letters Alpha through Omicron, so in total it is estimated Babrius wrote about 200 total fables.


"Aphthonius was a scholar and teacher of the fourth century CE associated with the school of Libanius. The fables of Aphthonius are forty in number....As a rule, his fables are quite brief and, with few exceptions, he includes both a promythium and an epimythium for every fable. "


Syntipas: "The fables attributed to 'Syntipas' are actually the work of Michael Andreopulus, a Greek scholar of the eleventh century who translated a collection of Syriac fables into Greek. Those Syriac fables, in turn, had originally been translated from Greek either in late antiquity or even well into the Middle Ages. There are slightly over sixty fables in this collection....The fables of Syntipas regularly include an endomythium, the witty moral inside the story, in addition to the moralizing epimythium that concludes the tale."


Sources for the Fables

Print Sources:

1) Perry,  Ben Edwin. Aesopica: A Series of Texts Relating to Aesop or Ascribed to Him  or Closely Connected with the Literary Tradition that Bears his Name. Edited by Ben Edwin Perry. Vol. 1. Urbana: The University of Illinois  Press,1952. Also available on Thesarus Linguae Graece by subscription. Reprinted February 2007.

2) Chambry: Émile Chambry, Aesopi fabulae, 2 vol., Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 1925-1926  3) Babrius: Ben Perry, Babrius and Phaedrus, Loeb Classical Library 1965. (This edition contains the Greek texts of Babrius, with a facing English translation, and an extensive index covering the Greek and Latin fable tradition.)

3) Aphthonius:  F. Sbordone, Rivista Indo-Greco-Italica, 16 (1932) No English translation is available, other than fables Laura Gibbs has translated


Online Sources:

  1. Ασώπου Μθοι Κατ τν κδοσιν το Émile Chambry
  2. Use the Perry Index at the Aesopica website to find the various Greek texts for each fable.  Go to
  3. You may find the collected Greek texts on the letsreadgreek website by entering the following in your web browser's address bar: + 'perry' + perry index number + '.htm'
  4. A version of Babrius fables (Greek text; Latin introduction, comments and apparatus) is available on Google books.  It may be freely downloaded as a pdf file (7.1 M) .  You can find the book at,M1 The title page is as follows:
    BABRII FABULAE AESOPEAE cum FABULARUM DEPERDITARUM FRAGMENTIS.  Recebsyut et Breviter Illustravit by Georgius Cornewall Lewis, A.M. Aedis Christi Olim Alcmnus;  Oxonii: Excudrbat Thomas Combr.  Lindini: Impensis Johannis Gul. Parker MDCCCXLVI (1846)
  5. Chambry, Emile. Fables / Esope. Paris: Belles lettres, 1967 (originally published 1925).
  6. Daly, Lloyd. Aesop Without Morals. New York: Yoseloff, 1961. [It is unfortunate that this book is out of print. The translations of the prose Aesopic fables in Perry's Loeb are taken from this edition, without the morals. Daly's book does in fact contain the morals (by which he means the epimythia), but they are consigned to an appendix at the back of the book. Daly also provides an English translation of the "Life of Aesop," following the Greek text in Perry's Aesopica. This "Life of Aesop" is happily reprinted in William Hansen's new Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.]
  7. Dijk, Gert-Jan van. Ainoi, logoi, mythoi: Fables in archaic, classical, and Hellenistic Greek literature. Leiden: Brill, 1997 (Mnemosyne Supplementum 166).  
  8. Halm, Karl. Fabulae aesopicae collectae. Leipzig: Teubner, 1863.
  9. Handford, S. A. Fables of Aesop. New York: Penguin, 1954.  
  10. Hausrath, August. Corpus fabularum aesopicarum. Leipzig: Teubner, 1940.  
  11. Perry, Ben E. (ed.). Babrius and Phaedrus. Cambridge: Harvard University Press (Loeb), 1965.  
  12. Perry, Ben E. (ed.) Aesopica. Urbana: The University of Illinois Press, 1952.  
  13. Rodriguez-Adrados, Francisco. Historia de la fabula greco-latina. III: Inventario y documentacion de la fabula greco-latina. Madrid: Editorial de la Universidad Complutense, 1987. (In this book, Rodriguez-Adrados proposes yet another numeration system for the fables, which presumably he expected would replace Perry's 1952 system. But this numeration system has failed to enter into widespread usage, largely because Rodriguez-Adrados provides no subject indexes or cross-reference tables that would allow scholars to connect this system to the inventories and editions of the fables already in existence).  



Questions? Contact Louis at


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 the configuration to properly display the Greek. This may be done by clicking on the "Configure Display" and selecting the corresponding Greek format (choose Unicode or Unicode with pre-combined accents).

    • Menander's nod is a wonderful online betacode converter you can use to help you input words into Perseus' lookup tools, if you are unable to install the very helpful Unicorn utility.  It can be found at