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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A wealthy Athenian was making a sea voyage with some companions. A terrible storm blew up and the ship capsized. All the other passengers started to swim, but the Athenian kept praying to Athena, making all kinds of promises if only she would save him. Then one of the other shipwrecked passengers swam past him and said, 'While you pray to Athena, start moving your arms!'
So too we should think of ourselves and do something on our own in addition to praying to the gods. The fable shows that it is better to gain the favour of the gods by our own efforts than to fail to take care of ourselves and be rescued by supernatural powers. When disaster comes upon us, we should make every possible effort on our own behalf and only then ask for divine assistance.

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 30: Caxton 6.16 [English]
Perry 30: Gibbs (Oxford) 480 [English]
Perry 30: Steinhowel 6.16 [Latin, illustrated] Mannheim University Library
Perry 30: Chambry 53 [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.