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Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


Once upon a time, the gods selected the trees which they wished to adopt as their own. Jupiter chose the oak tree, while Venus preferred the myrtle tree, Apollo the laurel, and Cybebe the pine, while Hercules chose the lofty poplar. Minerva was surprised and asked them why they had chosen trees which bore no fruit. Jupiter explained, 'We do not want to appear to bestow these honours on the trees as if in exchange for their fruit.' 'For Heaven's sake,' said Minerva, 'you can say whatever you want, but the olive tree appeals to me precisely because of the fruit that it yields!' Then the father of gods and begetter of mortals said, 'O my daughter, you are rightly called the goddess of wisdom by one and all: public acclaim is sheer foolishness, unless we are able to produce something that is useful.'
This fable warns us not to do anything that doesn't have some purpose.

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 508: Gibbs (Oxford) 205 [English]
Perry 508: Townsend 268 [English]
Perry 508: Phaedrus 3.17 [Latin]

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.