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I have read most of Aesop's fables. (I liked some of them, though for more of the same with twice the punch, I prefer Sa'di's Gulistan.)

I have read the Poetics from cover to cover, but I don't remember the fables of Aesop being mentioned. Maybe I dozed off? I know for a fact that he does discuss that ancient text, but I'd like to know where.

  • I never knew this. Did they know each other personally, or was Aesop simply a well-known author by Aristotle's time? – Mitch Dec 18 '11 at 21:31
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    Friends, no. Aesop seems to have been around when the Hittite empire disintegrated beyond all recognition, if memory serves. At any rate, he was ancient history for the classical Greeks. – magnetar Dec 19 '11 at 14:38
  • Good question! Fyi - we're now doing Descartes week if you're interested in participating. – Lauren Dec 20 '11 at 18:14
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Aesop is mentioned in the Rhetoric (2:20), Meterology (2:3), and On the Parts of Animals (3:2).

This is not a comprehensive list; there might be other references my casual search may have missed.

  • How does he mention Aesop? In reference to his stories (and how) or to him personally? – Mitch Dec 18 '11 at 21:32
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    @Mitch - for example, in Rhetoric (2:20) "Of the latter, again, there are two varieties, the illustrative parallel and the fable (e.g. the fables of Aesop, those from Libya)." - see rhetoric.eserver.org/aristotle/rhet2-20.html . or Meteorology "Any one who thinks like Democritus that the sea is diminishing and will disappear in the end reminds us of Aesop's tales." (classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/meteorology.2.ii.html). Google is your friend. – Floris May 9 '14 at 2:16

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