Historical Personalities & Issues

Compiled & Edited by Phillip True, Jr.

Chapter Nine

AESOP (560 B.C.)

The influence of Aesop on the Western thoughts and morals is pro- found. Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Cicero, Julius Caesar, Shake- speare, and other great thinkers found inspiration in his words of wisdom. His writings have been translated into almost every language of the civilized world.

Aesop's was a Phygrian, in Asia Minor, a Black slave, flat-nosed, thick lips, black skin from which his name was contracted (Esop being the same as Ethiop).

Aesop's first master was Xanthus, who saw him in a market where he was for sale with two other slaves, a musician and an orator. Xanthus asked the musician what could he do? He replied "Anything." The orator to the same question replied, "Everything." Turning next to Aesop, "And what can you do?" "Nothing," Aesop replied. "Nothing," repeated Xanthus, and Aesop replied, "One of my companions says he can do anything, and the other says that he can do everything. That leaves me nothing."

This is an example of the wit of Aesop.

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