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]

588. Hawk and Doves

589. Bird of Saint Martin

590. Stork and his Beak (Magpie and her Tail)

591. Toad and Beautiful Son

592. Cat as Monk

593. Fox and Wolf in Well

594. Cat, Rat, and Cheese

595. Isengrim as Monk

596. Complaint of Sheep against Wolf

597. Fox Confesses Sins to Rooster

598. Wasp and Spier

599. Eagle and Crow Physician

600. Donkey and Pig

601. Hen, Chicks and Kite

602. Dinner at the Lion's House

603. Goose and Crow

604. Kite Imitates Hawk

605: Fox and Cat

606. Crow and Dove (cf. 567)

607. Wolf's Funeral

608. Dirty Dog

609. Man and Unicorn

610. Fox and Ferryman

611. Fox and Hens

612. Falcon and Kite

613. Belling the Cat

614. Owl and Birds

615. Mouse in Wine Jar and Cat

616. Hare Contends with Wolf

617. Serpent in Man's Bostom

618. Ungrateful Man

619. Mouse in quest of Mate

620. Stork and Serpent

621. Peacock stripped of Feathers

622. Toad and Frog

623. Athenian Philosopher / Goat and Donkey

624. Aged Father and Cruel Son

625. Wolf as Fisherman and Fox

626. Cuckoo and Eagle

627. Nightingale and Bowman

628. Wolf Confessor to Fox and Donkey

629. Rustic Invited to Dinner

630. Rustic Reared in Cow Barn

631. King of Greece and his Brother

632. Julian the Apostate and a Demon

633. Man Condemned to be Hanged

634. Philosopher who spit in King's Beard

635. Judgments of God revealed by Angel

636. Wolf and Sheep Kissing Each Other

637. Tame Asp

638. Ass with Privilege, Fox and Wolf

639. Eagle and Rat

640. Soldier and Serpent / Dragon and Peasant

641. Wolf and Priest

642. Soldier and Religious Man

643. Ape and Merchant

John of Schepey[edit]

644. Buzzard and hawk

645. Lion and unicorn


646. Capon and hawk

647. Merchant and wife


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


660. Thief and beetle

661. Wife and Paramour

662. Thief and Satan

663. Dragon's Deposit

664. Hermit Tested Servant

665. Farmer Prayed for Horse

666. Man Praying for Himself

667. Townsman and Tame Daw

668. Three Wishes

669. Fox and Shadow of Moon as Cheese

670. Wolf sees Crow on Sheep

671. Fox and Dove

672. Eagle, Hawk, Doves

673. Horse and grain

674. Horse and Goat in package deal

675. Wolf and Hedgehog

676. Well-Meaning Wolves

677. Painter and Wife

678. Deer instrucdting Fawn

679. Crow and Young Ones

680. Goat and Wolf

681. Contentious Wife

682. Contrary Wife

683. Whispering Brigands

684. Physician, Rich Man and Daughter

685. Badger among Pigs

686. Wolf in Trap and Hedgehog

687. Wolf and Ferryman

688. Wolf Learning Letters

689. Wolf and Dove Gathering Twigs

690. Man in Boat

691. Old Man and Son

692. Bishop Cat


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


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


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


  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.