The Topic of Women’s Evil in the Story about Aesop

Summary: 

The Slavic Story about Aesop appears in the second half of the 13th century – the beginning of the 14th century and is a short translation of the Hellenistic Novel about Aesop in its third version, which is associated with the Byzantine writer Maximus Planudes from the 13th century. In the Middle Ages the Slavic Story about Aesop is copied in the apocryphal collections with mixed content. There are five known copies of Story about Aesop, all of them in those type of collections. Only two of them have been published – one copy in the Tikvesh collection from the second half of the 15th century and another one in the Bucharest collection from the 16th century. Only certain thematic units have been translated from the Greek novel and their interpretation is related to the topic of “evil women”. Thus The Story about Aesop becomes part of the cycle for evil women in mixed-content apocryphal collections. The topic of female evil, set in the Greek prototype, becomes a major point in the Slavic narrative. Creating The Story about Aesop, the author wanted to emphasize the motive for female evil and create another “example”, included in this topic which is current for its time.

Maya Yonova (Sofia, Bulgaria)
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