Aesop, The Original Black Storyteller of Moral Fables

4 Posted by - August 11, 2018 - Black First, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS

Most people can remember a few fables they enjoyed being read or told as a child such as: “The Tortoise and the Hare,” or “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Have you ever thought about where these tales originated. It appears that the fables originated from an ancient and famous storyteller named . Aesop was born around 620 BC, and most of his fables became a collection of brief fables that were usually involving anthropomorphic animals.


Aesop was a Black slave of Iadmon, located south of Greece near northern Africa. Many people during that time described the storyteller as being a deformed man whose name came from the Greek word Aethiops which means Ethiopia. According to Herodotus, Aesop lived in Samos in the 6th century BC and eventually was freed by his master, receiving liberation in ladmon. Other accounts connect him with many wild adventures and attach him with such rulers as Solon and Croesus.

The first extensive translation of Aesop into Latin was done by Phaedrus, a freedman of Augustus in the first century AD. The first printed version of Aesop’s Fables in English was published on March 26, 1484, by William Caxton. William Dugard translated his stories from the Greek text of Planudes in 1715. There he also describes Aesop as one whom “Nature had gratified with an ingenious mind, but the Law had enslaved.” Physically he had a large head, bowed legs, and a large belly.


During the reign of Peisistratus, Aesop visited Athens, where he told the fable of “The Frogs Asking for a King.” He told the story to deter the citizens from attempting to replace Peisistratus with another ruler. He prospered most about 550 BC, and was killed around 560 BC, ordered probably by a decree of the Delphic oracle, according to historical legends. It also has been said that compensation for his death was claimed by the grandson of his master. Aesop’s fables are some of the most well-known fables in the world and they remain a popular choice when teaching moral education in young children today.




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