<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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

HERMES AND THE STATUES

Hermes wanted to know how much people valued him, so he assumed a human form and went into a sculptor's workshop. He saw there a statue of Zeus and he asked how much it cost. The man said that it cost a drachma. Hermes smiled, and asked how much the statue of Hera would be. The man named a still higher price. When Hermes saw a statue of himself, he expected that he would be reckoned at an even higher price, since he delivered the messages of the gods and brought profit to mankind. But when he asked how much the statue of Hermes would cost, the sculptor replied, 'If you buy those other two, I'll throw this one in for free!'
This fable can be used for a conceited man who is not esteemed in any way by other people.

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 88: Gibbs (Oxford) 562 [English]
Perry 88: L'Estrange 169 [English]
Perry 88: Townsend 132 [English]
Perry 88: Chambry 108 [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.