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Headword: Αἴσωπος
Adler number: alphaiota,335
Translated headword: Aesop
Vetting Status: high
The composer of stories, a Samian, a slave not more by fortune than by his own choosing; neither senseless nor in terms of this very thing a man. For as the law [or: custom] did not give him a share in frankness, it befitted him to bring forward his counsels outlined and embellished with delight and grace -- just as, amongst doctors, those who are free men enjoin that which is proper, whereas if anyone becomes a slave in fortune but a doctor in skill, being compelled he has his ways to flatter his master at the same time that he tends him.[1]
"A certain bold and drunken bitch barked at Aesop as he was walking one evening from dinner. Thereupon that man said, 'O bitch, bitch, if by Zeus you were to purchase from some place wheat in exchange for your bad tongue, you would seem to me to be sensible'."[2]
Some say that Aesop became straightway so greatly beloved by the gods that he also returned again to life, just as Tyndareos and Herakles and Glaukos. And the comic-poet Plato says, "Swear to me that the body is not dead. -- I [swear]. -- [and that] the soul from victory, as Aesop's once [did]."[3]
Greek Original:
Αἴσωπος: ὁ τῶν μύθων ποιητής, Σάμιος, δοῦλος οὐ τὴν τύχην μᾶλλον ἢ τὴν προαίρεσιν, οὐκ ἄφρων μὲν οὐδὲ κατ' αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἀνήρ. ᾧ γὰρ ὁ νόμος οὐ μετεδίδου παρρησίας, τούτῳ προσῆκον ἦν ἐσκιαγραφημένας τὰς συμβουλὰς καὶ πεποικιλμένας ἡδονῇ καὶ χάριτι παραφέρειν, ὥσπερ καὶ τῶν ἰατρῶν οἱ μὲν ἐλεύθεροι τὸ δέον ἐπιτάττουσιν, ἐὰν δέ τις οἰκέτης γένηται τὴν τύχην καὶ τὴν τέχνην ἰατρός, πράγματα ἔχει κολακεύειν ἅμα καὶ θεραπεύειν τὸν δεσπότην ἀναγκαζόμενος. ὅτι Αἴσωπον ἀπὸ δείπνου βαδίζονθ' ἑσπέρας θρασεῖα καὶ μεθύση τις ὑλάκτει κύων. κἄπειτ' ἐκεῖνος εἶπεν: ὦ κύον, κύον, εἰ νὴ Δί' ἀντὶ τῆς κακῆς γλώττης ποθὲν πυροὺς πρίαιο, σωφρονεῖν ἄν μοι δοκῇς. ὅτι τὸν Αἴσωπόν φασί τινες ὡς τοσοῦτον ἄρα θεοφιλῆ γενέσθαι ὡς καὶ ἀναβιῶναι αὐτόν, καθάπερ οὖν τὸν Τυνδάρεων καὶ τὸν Ἡρακλέα καὶ τὸν Γλαῦκον. καὶ Πλάτων φησὶν ὁ κωμικός: καὶ νῦν ὄμοσόν μοι μὴ τεθνάναι τὸ σῶμα. ἐγώ. ψυχὴ δ' ἀπὸ νίκης ὥσπερ Αἰσώπου ποτέ.
For Aesop see already alphaiota 332, alphaiota 334.
[1] Julian, Speech 7, 207C-D Hertlein.
[2] Aristophanes, Wasps 1401-5; cf. mu 438. The 'bitch' here is ostensibly canine but in fact human (the bread-seller Myrtia).
[3] Plato Comicus fr. 68 Kock, 70 Kassel-Austin. See also zeta 87. This whole paragraph is repeated from alpha 1806, and the quotation is garbled both times: chiefly, 'from victory' (ἀπὸ νίκης ) should be 'rises again' (ἀνήκειν or ἐπανήκειν ).
Keywords: biography; comedy; ethics; food; geography; imagery; medicine; mythology; religion; rhetoric; women; zoology
Translated by: Bobbiejo Winfrey on 9 March 2003@13:01:55.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation) on 10 March 2003@00:55:09.
David Whitehead (modified translation; added notes; augmented keywords) on 10 March 2003@03:28:42.
David Whitehead (tweaks to tr; activated x-refs; more keywords) on 21 April 2010@04:07:55.
David Whitehead (more keywords; cosmetics) on 17 May 2012@04:53:10.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 28 May 2012@00:05:08.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 24 January 2014@00:47:07.
David Whitehead on 30 November 2015@08:39:08.


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