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Fable
Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized, and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson (a "moral"), which may at the end be added explicitly as a concise maxim or saying. A fable differs from a parable in that the latter ''excludes'' animals, plants, inanimate objects, and forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind. Conversely, an animal tale specifically includes talking animals as characters. Usage has not always been so clearly distinguished. In the King James Version of the New Testament, "" ("''mythos''") was rendered by the translators as "fable" in the First Epistle to Timothy, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus and the First Epistle of Peter. A person who writes fables is a fabulist. History The fable is one of the most enduring forms of folk literature, s ...
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Aesop's Fables
Aesop's Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media. The fables originally belonged to oral tradition and were not collected for some three centuries after Aesop's death. By that time, a variety of other stories, jokes and proverbs were being ascribed to him, although some of that material was from sources earlier than him or came from beyond the Greek cultural sphere. The process of inclusion has continued until the present, with some of the fables unrecorded before the Late Middle Ages and others arriving from outside Europe. The process is continuous and new stories are still being added to the Aesop corpus, even when they are demonstrably more ...
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Aesop
Aesop ( or ; , ; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as ''Aesop's Fables''. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales associated with him are characterized by anthropomorphic animal characters. Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called ''The Aesop Romance'' tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave () who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older spellings of his name have included ''Esop(e)'' and ''Isope''. Depictions of Aesop in popular culture over the last 2,500 year ...
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The Crow And The Pitcher
''The Crow and the Pitcher'' is one of Aesop's Fables, numbered 390 in the Perry Index. It relates ancient observation of corvid behaviour that recent scientific studies have confirmed is goal-directed and indicative of causal knowledge rather than simply being due to instrumental conditioning. The fable and its moral The fable is made the subject of a poem by the first century CE Greek Poet Bianor, was included in the 2nd century fable collection of pseudo-Dositheus and later appears in the 4th–5th-century Latin verse collection by Avianus. The history of this fable in antiquity and the Middle Ages is tracked in A.E. Wright's ''Hie lert uns der meister: Latin Commentary and the Germany Fable''. The story concerns a thirsty crow that comes upon a pitcher with water at the bottom, beyond the reach of its beak. After failing to push it over, the bird drops in pebbles one by one until the water rises to the top of the pitcher, allowing it to drink. In his telling, Avianus ...
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Babrius
Babrius ( grc-gre, Βάβριος, ''Bábrios''; century),"Babrius" in ''Chambers's Encyclopædia''. London: George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 2, p. 21. also known as Babrias () or Gabrias (), was the author of a collection of Greek fables, many of which are known today as Aesop's Fables. Life Practically nothing is known of him. He is supposed to have been a Hellenized Roman, whose original name may have been Valerius. He lived in the East, probably in Syria, where the fables seem first to have gained popularity. The address to "a son of King Alexander" has caused much speculation, with the result that dates varying between the 3rd century BC and the 3rd century AD have been assigned to Babrius. The Alexander referred to may have been Alexander Severus (AD 222–235), who was fond of having literary men of all kinds about his court. "The son of Alexander" has further been identified with a certain Branchus mentioned in the fables, and it is suggested that Babrius may have been his tutor; ...
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Anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. It is considered to be an innate tendency of human psychology. Personification is the related attribution of human form and characteristics to abstract concepts such as nations, emotions, and natural forces, such as seasons and weather. Both have ancient roots as storytelling and artistic devices, and most cultures have traditional fables with anthropomorphized animals as characters. People have also routinely attributed human emotions and behavioral traits to wild as well as domesticated animals. Etymology Anthropomorphism and anthropomorphization derive from the verb form ''anthropomorphize'', itself derived from the Greek ''ánthrōpos'' (, "human") and ''morphē'' (, "form"). It is first attested in 1753, originally in reference to the heresy of applying a human form to the Christian God.''Oxford English Dictionary'', 1st ed. "anthropomorphism, ''n.''" Oxford University ...
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Animal Tale
An animal tale or beast fable generally consists of a short story or poem in which animals talk. They may exhibit other anthropomorphic qualities as well, such as living in a human-like society. It is a traditional form of allegorical writing. Animal tales can be understood in terms of how animal species relate to each other (for example, predators wishing to eat prey), rather than human groups in a specific society. Thus, readers are able to understand characters' motives, even if they do not come from the same cultural background as the author. Animal tales can be appreciated in times and locations far removed from their origins. For example, Bugs Bunny cartoons are popular outside of the United States and in the decades since the character's creation, even though many of his catch phrases and mannerisms are references to early 20th-century American films. History Important traditions in beast fables are represented by the ''Panchatantra'' and ''Kalila and Dimna'' (Sanskrit a ...
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Parable
A parable is a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, that illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. It differs from a fable in that fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters, whereas parables have human characters. A parable is a type of metaphorical analogy. Some scholars of the canonical gospels and the New Testament apply the term "parable" only to the parables of Jesus, although that is not a common restriction of the term. Parables such as the parable of the Prodigal Son are important to Jesus's teaching method. Etymology The word ''parable'' comes from the Greek παραβολή (''parabolē''), literally "throwing" (''bolē'') "alongside" (''para-''), by extension meaning "comparison, illustration, analogy." It was the name given by Greek rhetoricians to an illustration in the form of a brief fictional narrative. History The Bible contains numerous parables in the Gospels of the New Testament ( Jesus's ...
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Legend
A legend is a genre of folklore that consists of a narrative featuring human actions, believed or perceived, both by teller and listeners, to have taken place in human history. Narratives in this genre may demonstrate human values, and possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. Legend, for its active and passive participants may include miracles. Legends may be transformed over time to keep them fresh and vital. Many legends operate within the realm of uncertainty, never being entirely believed by the participants, but also never being resolutely doubted. Legends are sometimes distinguished from myths in that they concern human beings as the main characters rather than gods, and sometimes in that they have some sort of historical basis whereas myths generally do not. The Brothers Grimm defined ''legend'' as " folktale historically grounded". A by-product of the "concern with human beings" is the long list of legendary creatures, leaving no "resolute doubt" ...
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Moral
A moral (from Latin ''morālis'') is a message that is conveyed or a lesson to be learned from a story or event. The moral may be left to the hearer, reader, or viewer to determine for themselves, or may be explicitly encapsulated in a maxim. A moral is a lesson in a story or in real life. Finding morals As an example of an explicit maxim, at the end of Aesop's fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, in which the plodding and determined tortoise won a race against the much-faster yet extremely arrogant hare, the stated moral is "slow and steady wins the race". However, other morals can often be taken from the story itself; for instance, that arrogance or overconfidence in one's abilities may lead to failure or the loss of an event, race, or contest. The use of stock characters is a means of conveying the moral of the story by eliminating complexity of personality and depicting the issues arising in the interplay between the characters, enabling the writer to generate a clear messa ...
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Mythos
Myth is a folklore genre consisting of narratives that play a fundamental role in a society, such as foundational tales or origin myths. Since "myth" is widely used to imply that a story is not objectively true, the identification of a narrative as a myth can be highly controversial. Many adherents of religions view their own religions' stories as truth and so object to their characterization as myth, the way they see the stories of other religions. As such, some scholars label all religious narratives "myths" for practical reasons, such as to avoid depreciating any one tradition because cultures interpret each other differently relative to one another. Other scholars avoid using the term "myth" altogether and instead use different terms like "sacred history", "holy story", or simply "history" to avoid placing pejorative overtones on any sacred narrative. Myths are often endorsed by secular and religious authorities and are closely linked to religion or spirituality. Many socie ...
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Nineveh
Nineveh (; akk, ; Biblical Hebrew: '; ar, نَيْنَوَىٰ '; syr, ܢܝܼܢܘܹܐ, Nīnwē) was an ancient Assyrian city of Upper Mesopotamia, located in the modern-day city of Mosul in northern Iraq. It is located on the eastern bank of the Tigris River and was the capital and largest city of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, as well as the largest city in the world for several decades. Today, it is a common name for the half of Mosul that lies on the eastern bank of the Tigris, and the country's Nineveh Governorate takes its name from it. It was the largest city in the world for approximately fifty years until the year 612 BC when, after a bitter period of civil war in Assyria, it was sacked by a coalition of its former subject peoples including the Babylonians, Medes, Persians, Scythians and Cimmerians. The city was never again a political or administrative centre, but by Late Antiquity it was the seat of a Christian bishop. It declined relative to Mosul during the Middle ...
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Ninus
Ninus ( el, Νίνος) was a mythology character who according to Greek historians writing in the Hellenistic period and later, was the founder of Nineveh (also called Νίνου πόλις "city of Ninus" in Greek), ancient capital of Assyria. In Hellenic historiography Many early accomplishments are attributed to Ninus, such as training the first hunting dogs, and taming horses for riding. For this accomplishment, he is sometimes represented in Greek mythology as a centaur. The figures of King Ninus and Queen Semiramis first appear in the history of Persia written by Ctesias of Cnidus (c. 400 BC), who claimed, as court physician to Artaxerxes II, to have access to the royal historical records. Ctesias' account was later expanded on by Diodorus Siculus. Ninus continued to be mentioned by European historians (e.g. Alfred the Great), until knowledge of cuneiform enabled a more precise reconstruction of Assyrian and Babylonian history from the mid 19th century onwards. He was s ...
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