Article published in:Reinardus: Yearbook of the International Reynard Society
Edited by Richard Trachsler, Baudouin Van den Abeele and Paul Wackers
[Reinardus 23] 2011
► pp. 186–204
The rhetorical fable collection of Aphthonius and the relation between theory and practice
This paper focuses on a Greek prose fable collection by the rhetorician Apthonius, comprising 40 fables. There are some entirely new fables, whereas others present variations of older fables. We might distinguish simplifications, contaminations, fabulizations (creating fables out of heterogeneous stories). The collection was destined for school practice. Hence the ubiquitous use of promythiums and epimythiums, as well as the very brevity of the fables. The fable collection is preceded by a short theoretical introduction, which is especially important because of its subdivision of fables in terms of their characters (1. human protagonists, 2. animal protagonists, 3. a combination of both). The collection perfectly corresponds with the preceding theoretical passage. In the end we give a synopsis, comparing Aphthonius with all other extant ancient fable collections.
Published online: 03 January 2012