<< Home Page | Perry Index

Perry's Index to the Aesopica

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


A man fashioned a Hermes out of wood and carried it to the market to put it up for sale but no customers approached him. In order to attract some buyers the man began to shout that he was selling a wish-fulfilling god who brought profit to its owner. 'Hey you,' someone said, 'why are you putting such a thing up for sale, instead of enjoying its benefits yourself?' The man answered, 'I am in need of some immediate benefits, but this god happens to take his time when distributing profits!'
This fable suits a man who is so greedy for gain that he doesn't even have respect for the gods.

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 99: Gibbs (Oxford) 561 [English]
Perry 99: Townsend 207 [English]
Perry 99: Chambry 2 [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.