Aesopic Conversations:
Popular Tradition, Cultural Dialogue, and the Invention of Greek Prose
Leslie Kurke

Book Description | Reviews
Introduction [in PDF format]


List of Illustrations xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations xvii

I. An Elusive Quarry: In Search of Ancient Greek Popular Culture 2
II. Explaining the Joke: A Road Map for Classicists 16
III. Synopsis of Method and Structure of Argument 46

PART I: Competitive Wisdom and Popular Culture 51
CHAPTER 1: Aesop and the Contestation of Delphic Authority 53
I. Ideological Tensions at Delphi 54
II. Th e Aesopic Critique 59
III. Neoptolemus and Aesop: Sacrifi ce, Hero Cult, and Competitive Scapegoating 75

CHAPTER 2: Sophia before/beyond Philosophy 95
I. Th e Tradition of Sophia 95
II. Sophists and (as) Sages 102
III. Aristotle and the Transformation of Sophia 115

CHAPTER 3: Aesop as Sage: Political Counsel and Discursive Practice 125
I. Aesop among the Sages 125
II. Political Animals: Fable and the Scene of Advising 142

CHAPTER 4: Reading the Life: Th e Progress of a Sage and the Anthropology of Sophia 159
I. An Aesopic Anthropology of Wisdom 160
II. Aesop and Ahiqar 176
III. Delphic Th e?ria and the Death of a Sage 185
IV. Th e Bricoleur as Culture Hero, or the Art of Extorting Self-Incrimination 191

CHAPTER 5: Th e Aesopic Parody of High Wisdom 202
I. Demystifying Sophia: Hesiod, Th eognis, and the Seven Sages 204
II. Aesopic Parody in the Visual Tradition? 224

PART II: Aesop and the Invention of Greek Prose 239
CHAPTER 6: Aesop at the Invention of Philosophy 241
Prelude to Part II: Th e Problematic Sociopolitics of Mimetic Prose 241
I. Mim?sis and the Invention of Philosophy 244
II. Th e Generic Affi liations of S?kratikoi logoi 251

CHAPTER 7: Th e Battle over Prose: Fable in Sophistic Education and Xenophon's
Memorabilia 265
I. Sophistic Fables 268
II. Traditional Fable Narration in Xenophon's Memorabilia 288

CHAPTER 8: Sophistic Fable in Plato: Parody, Appropriation, and Transcendence 301
I. Plato's Protagoras: Debunking Sophistic Fable 301
II. Plato's Symposium: Ringing the Changes on Fable 308

CHAPTER 9: Aesop in Plato's S?kratikoi Logoi: Analogy, Elenchos, and Disavowal 325
I. Sophia into Philosophy: Socrates between the Sages and Aesop 326
II. Th e Aesopic Bricoleur and the "Old Socratic Tool-Box" 330
III. Sympotic Wisdom, Comedy, and Aesopic Competition in Hippias Major 344

CHAPTER 10: Histori? and Logopoiïa: Two Sides of Herodotean Prose 361
I. History before Prose, Prose before History 362
II. Aesop Ho Logopoios 370
III. Plutarch Reading Herodotus: Aesop, Ruptures of Decorum, and the Non-Greek 382

CHAPTER 11: Herodotus and Aesop: Some Soundings 398
I. Cyrus Tells a Fable 400
II. Greece and (as) Fable, or Resignifying the Hierarchy of Genre 404
III. Fable as History 412
IV. Th e Aesopic Contract of the Histories: Herodotus Teaches His Readers 426

Bibliography 433
Index Locorum 463
General Index 478

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File created: 4/27/2015

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