Perry Index

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The Perry Index is a widely used index of "Aesop's Fables" or "Aesopica", the fables credited to Aesop, the story-teller who lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BC. Modern scholarship takes the view that Aesop probably did not compose all of the fables attributed to him;[1] indeed, a few are known to have first been used before Aesop lived, while the first record we have of many others is from well over a millennium after his time. Traditionally, Aesop's fables were arranged alphabetically, which is not helpful to the reader.[2] Perry and Rodriguez Adardos separated the Greek fables from the Latin ones, with the Greek ones first; then they arranged each group chronologically and by source; finally they arranged the fables alphabetically within these groups.[2] This system also does not help the casual reader, but is the best for scholarly purposes.[2]

Ben Edwin Perry (1892–1968) was a professor of classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1924 to 1960. He was author of Studies in the Text History of the Life and Fables of Aesop and many other books. His Aesopica ("A Series of Texts Relating to Aesop Or Ascribed to Him Or Closely Connected with the Literal Tradition that Bears His Name") has become the definitive edition of all fables reputed to be by Aesop, with fables arranged by earliest known source. His index of fables has been used as a reference system by later authors.[3]

The Index[edit]

Perry 1–100[edit]

Perry 101–200[edit]

Perry 201–300[edit]

Perry 301–400[edit]

Perry 401–500[edit]

Perry 501–584[edit]

Extended Perry[edit]

Paulus Diaconus[edit]

585. Sick Lion, Fox and Bear. cf. 258

586. Calf and Stork

587. Flea and Gout

Odo of Cheriton[edit]

John of Schepey[edit]

644. Buzzard and hawk

645. Lion and unicorn

Metrical[edit]

646. Capon and hawk

647. Merchant and wife

Neckham[edit]

648. Vulture and eagle

Rhymed verse[edit]

649. Stag, hedgehog and boar

Robert's Romulus[edit]

650. Presumptuous beetle

651. Rustic and his wife

652. Cuckoo and birds

653. Farmer sold his horse

654. Eagle, hawk and crane

655. Wolf fasting for Lent

656. Swallow and sparrows

657. Cattle hauling dung

658. Hare wanted horns

659. Wolf and beetle

Brussels[edit]

Extravagantes[edit]

693. Unlucky Wolf, Fox and Mule (written on hoof)

694. Little Boar

695. He-Goat and Wolf

696. Wolf and Ass

697. Serpent as Adviser

698. Wolf as Fisherman

699. Wolf's Misfortune

700. Hunter and Ploughman

701. Dog and Wolf

702: Dog in Manger

703. Three Sons Dividing Inheritance

704. Little Fox under Wolf's Tutelage

705. Dog, Wolf and Ram

706. Lion's Son learns about Man

707. Knight and Mendacious Squire

Bern[edit]

708. Ape and Bear

709. Dog and Slain Master

710. Dog and Boy in River

711. Ram and Baldheaded Master

712. Wolf and Hungry Fox

713. Adulterous Stork

714. Ram and Wolf

715. Fox and Sick Ape

716. Mouse and Daughter

717. Rooster and Horse Talking about Master

718. Generous Fox and Wolf

719. Dog begging Bone from Master

Promptuarium[edit]

720. Scarecrow

Poggio and Abstemius[edit]

721. Father, Son, and Donkey

722. Teaching Donkey to Read

723. Rustic Wanting to Cross River

724. Fly on Chariot

725. Fish from Frying Pan into Coals

The fables not indexed by Perry at all[edit]

  • Not in Perry: Bear and Bees
  • Not in Perry: Eagle Races Tortoise
  • Not in Perry: Fox in the Well and Wolf
  • Not in Perry: Hawk Caught Chasing Dove
  • Not in Perry: Hedgehogs and Vipers

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ D. L. Ashliman, “Introduction,” in George Stade (Consulting Editorial Director), Aesop’s Fables. New York, New York: Barnes & Noble Classics, published by Barnes & Noble Books (2005). Produced and published in conjunction with New York, New York: Fine Creative Media, Inc. Michael J. Fine, President and Publisher. See pp. xiii-xv and xxv-xxvi.
  2. ^ a b c Aesop (2002). Aesop's Fables. Oxford University Press. pp. xxxii–xxxiii. ISBN 0-19-160628-6. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  3. ^ According to Laura Gibbs for instance, it is "the most comprehensive and reliable system currently available." Gibbs, Laura (2002). Aesop's Fables. A new translation. Oxford University Press. pp. xxxiii. ISBN 978-0-19-284050-9.