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Crashing the Delphic Party

Tim Whitmarsh: Aesop, 16 June 2011

Aesopic Conversations: Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue and the Invention of Greek Prose 
by Leslie Kurke.
Princeton, 495 pp., £20.95, December 2010, 978 0 691 14458 0
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... be expected to enjoy the classics. For the poor there was mime and popular theatre. Aesop, in Leslie Kurke’s words, was ‘identified with the lowest rung of a generic hierarchy that is simultaneously … a sociopolitical one’. Fodder for Menippus’ ‘old women and children’. Today, too, Aesop’s fables are associated with childhood, but for ...

Masters and Fools

T.J. Clark: Velázquez’s Distance, 23 September 2021

... it is a main theme of all the Lives – he was a slave, though eventually he won his manumission. Leslie Kurke, in her book Aesopic Conversations, points out that the Life is the only extended slave biography to have come down to us from antiquity. You get the flavour of the 17th century’s interest in Aesop’s physique from this passage by Francis ...

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