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Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)

Perry 313 (Babrius 127)

Zeus ordered Hermes to write down people's sins and wicked deeds on potsherds and to pile them in a designated box, so that Zeus could then peruse them and exact a penalty from each person as appropriate. Given that the potsherds are all piled up one on top of the other until the moment that Zeus examines them, he gets to some of them quite soon while others have to wait. It is therefore no surprise that there are wicked people who commit a crime in haste but who are not punished until much later.

Note: Potsherds, or broken bits of pottery, were used as writing material in ancient Greece, most notably for recording votes. Thus the Greek word for potsherds, ostraca, gave rise to the English word 'ostracism', from votes being cast in favour of someone's banishment.

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.