Aesop (6th cent. BC)
Greek author of animal fables which came to enjoy a very wide popularity in numerous forms and languages. Three related Syriac collections survive, a standard collection with 64 fables, in a number of mss., but a larger one in a single ms. with 83 fables, and a third collection with only 10; Aesop’s name was corrupted into ‘Iosipos’ and identified as Josephus in the ‘Catalogue’ of ʿAbdishoʿ. The Syriac translation has been variously dated between the 9th and 11th cent. It subsequently came to circulate in Jewish circles in Hebrew characters (attributed to ‘Sophos’), and in the 11th cent. a Greek translation was made by Michael Andreopoulos in Melitene; in this the author’s name came to be given as Syntipas (the Syriac Sindbad having been translated at the same time).
In the Life of Aesop, written in Greek (1st cent. AD), sections 101–23 draw heavily on the story of Aḥiqar, evidently available in Greek (now lost).
- J. Landsberger, Die Fabeln des Sophos (1859). (Syriac in Hebrew characters)
- B. Lefevre, Une version syriaque des fables d’Ésope (1941). (Syr. with FT)
- B. Perry, Aesopica (1952). (Life of Aesop, pp. 35–77; Greek tr. of Syriac fables, pp. 511–28 [Introduction], 529–50 [text])
How to Cite This Entry
Footnote Style Citation with Date:
Sebastian P. Brock, “Aesop,” in Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition, edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay (Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018), https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Aesop.
Bibliography Entry Citation:
Brock, Sebastian P. “Aesop.” In Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron M. Butts, George A. Kiraz and Lucas Van Rompay. Digital edition prepared by David Michelson, Ute Possekel, and Daniel L. Schwartz. Gorgias Press, 2011; online ed. Beth Mardutho, 2018. https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Aesop.
A TEI-XML record with complete metadata is available at https://gedsh.bethmardutho.org/Aesop/tei.