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Aesop's Human Zoo: Roman Stories about Our Bodies
by Phaedrus
translated by John Henderson
illustrated by Thomas Bewick
University of Chicago Press, 2004
Cloth: 978-0-226-32681-8
Library of Congress Classification PA6564.E5H455 2004

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Most of us grew up with Aesop's Fables—tales of talking animals, with morals attached. In fact, the familiar versions of the stories attributed to this enigmatic and astute storyteller are based on adaptations of Aesop by the liberated Roman slave Phaedrus. In turn, Phaedrus's renderings have been rewritten so extensively over the centuries that they do not do justice to the originals. In Aesop's Human Zoo, legendary Cambridge classicist John Henderson puts together a surprising set of up-front translations—fifty sharp, raw, and sometimes bawdy, fables by Phaedrus into the tersest colloquial English verse.

Providing unusual insights into the heart of Roman culture, these clever poems open up odd avenues of ancient lore and life as they explore social types and physical aspects of the body, regularly mocking the limitations of human nature and offering vulgar or promiscuous interpretations of the stuff of social life.

Featuring folksy proverbs and satirical anecdotes, filled with saucy naughtiness and awful puns, Aesop's Human Zoo will amuse you with its eccentricities and hit home with its shrewdly candid and red raw messages. The entertainment offered in this volume of impeccably accurate translations is truly a novelty—a good-hearted and knowing laugh courtesy of classical poetry. Beginning to advanced classicists and Latin scholars will appreciate the original Latin text provided in this bilingual edition. The splash of classic Thomas Bewick wood engravings to accompany the fables renders the collection complete.

See other books on: Bewick, Thomas | Body, Human | Fables, Latin | Human body | Phaedrus
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