Page:The fables of Aesop, as first printed by William Caxton in 1484, with those of Avian, Alfonso and Poggio. Vol 1.djvu/27

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HISTORY

OF

THE ÆSOPIC FABLE.

I.— THE MEDIAEVAL ÆSOP.

"CClic fiffntc man cin fciner bucb in wcltlfcbcc fciSnfscbcr wcisbcit macbcn, ^cnn &as gcmcinc, albcvc l!in6cvtnicb ist, so JEsopus bcfsst. — M. Luther, Auslegung des loi PsaZms (1534).

Our Æsop is Phædrus with trimmings. That, to put it shortly, is the outcome of some half a century's investigation into the origin of the Æsopic fable, conducted mainly by French scholars.[1] Begun by M. Robert in his elabo- rate edition of Lafontaine in 1825, it was continued in very thoroughgoing fashion by M. Edelestand du Meril in his Histoire de la fable esopique in 1854, and has culminated in the colossal work of M. L. Hervieux, Les fahu- listes latins (1884), which gives the raw mate

  1. It is but fair, however, to add the name of Hermann Oesterley to the French triumvirate about to be mentioned. His Eomulus, die Paraphrasen des Piicedrus und die cesopische Fabel im Mittelalter (1870) contains much valu- able material in very accessible form.