The Fables of Phaedrus


Sad Latin Bestiaries

Drawing inspiration from Aesop, Phaedrus narrates in verses moral apologues of talking animals, easy to be referred to the human experiences. Unlike his classical Greek model’s serenity, the author, a slave in his youth, then a freedman in Augustus’s time, and a victim of Sejanus at the end of his life, gives his fables such an autobiographical tinge, so sorrowful and bitter that they seem, in a way, closer to our contemporary sensibility.

Translation by the author (edited by Chiara Canova and Robert Mardle)