Aesopic Fables in the European and the Modern Greek Enlightenment

George C. Katsadoros


Aesopic fables constitute an important case in popular literature. This genre went through various stages of development, as its practical and educational value was recognized from the beginning; its plasticity, pedagogical dimension and mainly its ability to convey messages through an indirect and pleasant way prompted many to take interest in it, reading, adapting or even creating new fables. Initially, these fables were developed for use in linguistic education and later they assumed a pedagogical and simultaneously literary character, while, in many cases, they became a means of indirect expression and protest. Even though generation and adaptation of fables was recorded in almost every era and country, it was greatly increased with the movement of the European (1687-1789) and of the Modern Greek Enlightenment (1750-1821). The messages of these fables appeared to be aiming at the liberation of man from ignorance and superstition. This paper aims to demonstrate this ‘Aesopic production’ specifically in the time of the Enlightenment (or shortly thereafter, influenced by its spirit), presenting related works in Europe and Greece.

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Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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