Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
504. THE DELPHIANS AND THEIR ANCESTORS
Perry 382 (Life
of Aesop 126)
The people of Delphi said to Aesop, 'Who were our ancestors?' Aesop replied,
'They were slaves. And if you are ignorant of this story, it is about
time you learned it! Long ago it was the custom that whenever the Greeks
captured a city, they would send one tenth of the spoils to Apollo. So
they would send ten oxen out of every hundred, the same with goats, and
the same with other things: money, women, men. Since you are the descendants
of those men and women, you are deprived of your freedom, like slaves
in bondage. That is your origin, and thus you have become the slaves of
all the Greeks.'
Note: It was this kind of talk that provoked the Delphians to arrange
for Aesop's execution (as detailed in the Life of Aesop).
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.