Born: 7th century B.C.
Died: 6th century B.C.
Best known as: The fabulist credited with "The Tortoise and the Hare"
Aesop is famous for his fables: short tales which illustrated truths about life and human nature. Most of his fables feature familiar animals, including "The Grasshopper and the Ant" and "The Tortoise and the Hare." Little is known about the true life of Aesop himself, and some believe that no such person ever really existed. Those who believe Aesop existed generally agree that he lived during the 6th century B.C., lived for some time on the island of Samos, and was for at least part of his life a slave. It's also generally agreed that not all of Aesop's fables were actually created by him; his fame grew so great that many other fables were eventually put in his name.
Extra credit: The possibilities for Aesop's birthplace range from what is now southeastern Europe to northern Africa, including Thrace, Lydia and Phryigia (now Turkey)... It is uncertain precisely when he was born.
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