Aesop (ēˈsəp, ēˈsŏp) [key], legendary Greek fabulist. According to Herodotus, he was a slave who lived in Samos in the 6th cent. B.C. and eventually was freed by his master. Other accounts associate him with many wild adventures and connect him with such rulers as Solon and Croesus. The fables called Aesop's fables were preserved principally through Babrius, Phaedrus, Planudes Maximus, and La Fontaine's verse translations. The most famous of these fables include "The Fox and the Grapes" and "The Tortoise and the Hare." See fable.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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