Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
480. THE SHIPWRECKED MAN AND ATHENA
Perry 30 (Chambry
A wealthy Athenian was making a sea voyage with some companions. A terrible
storm blew up and the ship capsized. All the other passengers started
to swim, but the Athenian kept praying to Athena, making all kinds of
promises if only she would save him. Then one of the other shipwrecked
passengers swam past him and said, 'While you pray to Athena, start moving
So too we should think of ourselves and do something on our own in
addition to praying to the gods. The fable shows that it is better to
gain the favour of the gods by our own efforts than to fail to take care
of ourselves and be rescued by supernatural powers. When disaster comes
upon us, we should make every possible effort on our own behalf and only
then ask for divine assistance.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.