<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

Fables exist in many versions; here is one version in English:


Among the folk of days gone by, there was a very elderly gentleman who had many sons. When he was about to reach the end of his life, the old man asked his sons to bring to him a bundle of slender rods, if there happened to be some lying about. One of his sons came and brought the bundle to his father. 'Now try, with all your might, my sons, to break these rods that have been bound together.' They were not able to do so. The father then said, 'Now try to break them one by one.' Each rod was easily broken. 'O my sons,' he said, 'if you are all of the same mind, then no one can do you any harm, no matter how great his power. But if your intentions differ from one another, then what happened to the single rods is what will happen to each of you!'

Source: Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura Gibbs. Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
NOTE: New cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.

Perry 53: Gibbs (Oxford) 493 [English]
Perry 53: Jacobs 72 [English]
Perry 53: L'Estrange 62 [English]
Perry 53: Townsend 6 [English]
Perry 53: Babrius 47 [Greek]
Perry 53: Chambry 86 [Greek]

You can find a compilation of Perry's index to the Aesopica in the gigantic appendix to his edition of Babrius and Phaedrus for the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press: Cambridge, 1965). This book is an absolute must for anyone interested in the Aesopic fable tradition. Invaluable.