Anthony Alcock has deviated from his usual work in Syriac and Coptic to translate one of the ancient Lives of Aesop. His full introduction explains which, and based on what manuscripts. This work belongs to the genre of “sayings” or “wisdom” literature (gnomologia); but I presume might also relate to the genre of Saints’ lives.
This is therefore very valuable to have. Thank you!
3 thoughts on “Life of Aesop, translated by Anthony Alcock”
Thank you both – this looks very interesting! I’ve just read the introductory section, and gone a searching and note that the Internet Archive has two scans of the Westermann edition, and a scan of a mutilated copy of a 1518 edition of Maximus’s Life with Greek text and Latin translation on facing pages:
I have not yet been able to find a scan of Perry’s 1933 article, there (searching by journal title, volume, and article title, in various combinations).
Having only read the introduction, I ignorantly wonder if some version of the life lies behind Plato’s account of Socrates’ activity in the Phaedo, and/or the life as we have it is at all influenced by Plato’s treatment of the trial and death of Socrates? (Is Socrates a sort of Aesop figure, is post-Socratic Aesop a sort of Socrates figure?)
With reference to the intriguing-sounding riddling contests, I note my delight at Johan Huizinga’s attention to riddle contests in Homo Ludens – but have not paused to check if he mentions these.
Searching a bit further, I find the German Wikipedia has an article on Ben Edwin Perry, and the English one, one on the “Perry Index”, but the Internet Archive seems only to have a couple non-Aesopian works of his.
Thank you for the links – very useful!