Among the Ancients II: Aesop

Emily Wilson and Thomas Jones

Supposedly an enslaved man from sixth-century Samos, Aesop might not have ever really existed, but the fables attributed to him remain some of the most widely read examples of classical literature. A fascinating window into the ‘low’ culture of ancient Greece, the Fables and the figure of Aesop appear in the work of authors as diverse as Aristophanes, Plato and Phaedrus, serving new purposes in new contexts. Emily and Tom discuss how Aesop’s fables as we know them came to be, make sense of their moral contradictions and unpack some of the fables that are most opaque to modern readers.

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