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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Aesop, legendary author of the famous collection of fables.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Aesop. According to some accounts, Aesop was a strikingly ugly slave who was dumb until granted the power of speech by the goddess Isis. In stories of his life he's often found outwitting his masters using clever wordplay, but he's best known today as the supposed author of a series of fables that are some of the most enduringly popular works of Ancient Greek literature. Some modern scholars question whether he existed at all, but the body of work that has come down to us under his name gives us a rare glimpse of the popular culture of the Ancient World.


Pavlos Avlamis, Junior Research Fellow in Classics at Trinity College at the University of Oxford

Simon Goldhill, Professor of Greek Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge

Lucy Grig, Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Edinburgh

Producer: Luke Mulhall.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Thu 20 Nov 2014 21:30


Pavlos Avlamis at the University of Oxford

Simon Goldhill at the University of Cambridge

Lucy Grig at the University of Edinburgh

Aesopica: Aesop’s Fables in English, Latin and Greek

Aesop - Wikipedia



Sara Forsdyke, Slaves Tell Tales and Other Episodes in the Politics of Popular Culture in Ancient Greece (Princeton University Press, 2012)

Laura Gibbs (trans.), Aesop’s Fables (Oxford World’s Classics, 2008)

William Hansen (ed.), Anthology of Ancient Greek Popular Literature (Indiana University Press, 1998)

Niklas Holzberg, Christine Jackson-Holzberg (trans.), The Ancient Fable: An Introduction (Indiana University Press, 2002)

Leslie Kurke, Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose (Princeton University Press, 2010)

Teresa Morgan, Popular Morality in the Early Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Annabel Patterson, Fables of Power: Aesopian Writing and Political History (Duke University Press, 1991)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Pavlos Avlamis
Interviewed Guest Simon Goldhill
Interviewed Guest Lucy Grig
Producer Luke Mulhall


  • Thu 20 Nov 2014 09:00
  • Thu 20 Nov 2014 21:30

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