The Complete Fables

Aesop - Author

Robert Temple - Translator

Olivia Temple - Translator

Robert Temple - Introduction by

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ISBN 9780140446494 | 288 pages | 01 Mar 1998 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of The Complete Fables Summary of The Complete Fables Reviews for The Complete Fables An Excerpt from The Complete Fables

'Many people are not in the least disturbed at the harm that befalls them, provided they can see their enemies’ downfall first’

In a series of pithy, amusing vignettes, Aesop created a vivid cast of characters to demonstrate different aspects of human nature. Here we see a wily fox outwitted by a quick-thinking cicada, a tortoise triumphing over a self-confident hare and a fable-teller named Aesop silencing those who mock him. Each jewel-like fable provides a warning about the consequences of wrong-doing, as well as offering a glimpse into the everyday lives of Ancient Greeks.

This definitive edition is the first translation into English of the entire corpus of 358 unbowdlerized fables. It is fully annotated, with an introduction that rescues the fables from a tradition of moralistic interpretation.

A Note on the Text


‘Ground-breaking … this version of the fables is a revelation … the translation is excellent’ 
Peter Jones, Sunday Telegraph

‘Aesop remains a fundamental figure in Western literature’ 
Frederic Raphael, Sunday Times

‘A gem … In this brilliant work of restoration we can finally see the man whole … a deft and sardonic miniaturist’
Max Davidson, Daily Telegraph