Aesop was a Greek slave , who is known for the genre of fables attributed to him. The “Aesop’s Fables” which have anthropomorphic animals as main characters, have remained popular throughout history, and are still taught as moral lessons and are used as themes for children’s plays and cartoons . Aesop, the supposed author of a collection of Greek fables , is almost certainly a legendary figure. There is a high probability that Aesop was nothing more than a made up nameto provide an author for the fables that focused on the beasts, so that “an Aesop story” became synonymous with “fable . ” The importance of the fables is not so much in the story told as in the moral derived from each one of them.
- When was he born: 600 BC
- Where he was born: Phrygia, Ancient Greece
- When he died: 564 BC
- Where he died: Delphi, Greece
Who was Aesop?
Aesop was one of the oldest writers in Greece whose universal genre was the fable , a short story starring personified animals whose purpose was to make the reader know some kind of moral .
- Biography of Aesop
- Aesop’s Fables
- Other works
- Aesop quotes
Biography of Aesop
Few data exist on the biography of Aesop, and when he lived he was surrounded by legendary elements , full of fiction and fantasy . According to tradition, Aesop was born in Phrygia , although some also say that he was originally from Thrace , Samos , Egypt or Sardis . According to the story , he was a slave of Xanthos of Samos , who later gave him freedom . Because of his reputation and talent , Croesus called him to his court, showered him with favors, and sent him to Delphi.to consult the oracle and to offer sacrifices on his behalf. When he arrived at the place he felt irritated by the frauds and the greed of the priests , and for this he made sarcasm of them and returned to Croesus the wealth destined for the inhabitants of Delphi.
The death of Aesop was very early, it occurred when the inhabitants of Delphi decided to take revenge on him by means of a trap in which they added to their belongings a gold cup that belonged to Apollo’s offerings . He was then accused of sacrilege and was thrown from the top of the Hiampa rock . Years later the dishonest action was discovered so the Delphi tried to claim financially with their family, which is why a grandson of Yadmon came to collect compensation, he had been the owner of Aesop when he was a slave .
The main contributions of Aesop were related to the Greece of the classical period . It is important to mention that Aesop was seen as a writer inspired by the populace , by weaknesses and human passions which were represented by animals. One of the main contributions was his literary style which is seen as one of the oldest in universal literature , mainly the fable , which is characterized by being a type of short story that also starred animals that assumed a series ofpostures and attitudes whose didactic purpose is expressed in providing a moral at the end of the narrative.
His influence has managed to reach the current century and in his time he was considered the father of the fable . It was motivation for many writers who then took it upon themselves to push the genre forward, creating a golden age for the fable.
His fables are full of a simple and very clear style that is even filled with everyday expressions . The characters are generally animals that are personifying some type of human behavior or some attitude , but that at the same time have the ability to speak, think and communicate with the aim of transmitting a moral teaching . Among his best known fables we can mention:
- The Tortoise and the Hare: this is one of its major classics and is based on the story of a tortoise and a hare who were arguing over which of the two was faster , so they decided to make a challenge of speed . During the race, the hare, upon learning of its speed skills , decided to lie on the side of the road and sleep , but the tortoise did not stop running and thus managed to win the race. The fable shows that effort is often more agile and important than careless nature.
- The cicada and the ant : this is another of his most famous fables and is based on two animals, the ant as a symbol of work and the cicada as a symbol of laziness . The ant worked to stock up in the winter while the grasshopper was wasting time before winter came.
- The lion and the mouse : gives a teaching regarding generosity and the value of life in the community . It is based on a mouse that took help so a lion decided to help him, some time later the situation was reversed and when the lion took help, the mouse was willing to help him too.
- The wolf and the lamb : the lamb represented innocence while the wolf symbolized cruelty and evil . The fable shows us that for people who intend to do harm, no fair argument will change their minds .
Some other important works that Aesop wrote were as follows:
- The Fox and the Raven
- The ant and the beetle
- The donkey and the load of salt
- The deer and the lion
- The dog and the shadow
- The wolf and the stork
- The Fox and the Raven
- The horse and the lion
- The nut and the wolf
- The lion, the cow, the goat and the sheep
Among his most recognized phrases we can mention:
- The most damaged wheel on the car is the one that makes the most noise .
- Always think that if you do damage , sooner or later it will come back against you.
- Never despise what seems insignificant , for there is no being so weak that it cannot reach you.
- It’s not just pretty feathers that make a bird pretty .
- It’s easy to be brave from a safe distance .
- Often what art denies us is freely given by chance .
- The union makes us strong as weak as the disunity .