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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:


A man from Athens was journeying together with a man from Thebes in Boeotia. As you would expect, they struck up a conversation. The talk soon turned to heroes, and the men made all sorts of extravagant and pointless claims. The man from Thebes ended up singing the praises of Heracles, Alcmena's son, saying that he was the greatest hero who ever lived on this earth and that he had now taken his place among the gods. The man from Athens replied that Theseus was mightier by far, since he had enjoyed a truly divine fortune in his lifetime, while Heracles had been a slave. With that argument, the Athenian won the debate, for he was a glib speaker. His opponent was only a Boeotian, after all, and could not hope to compete with the Athenian in words. 'Enough!' the Boeotian said, 'You win!' Then he added with a bit of rustic inspiration, 'And may Theseus vent his anger on us, and Heracles on you Athenians!'

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.

Perry 278: Gibbs (Oxford) 185 [English]
Perry 278: Babrius 15 [Greek]
Perry 278: Chambry 44 [Greek]

You can find a compilation of Perry's index to the Aesopica in the gigantic appendix to his edition of Babrius and Phaedrus for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1965). This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Aesopic fable tradition. Invaluable.