Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary is the principal historical dictionary of the English language, published by Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world; the second edition, comprising 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, was published in 1989. Work began on the dictionary in 1857, but it was only in 1884 that it began to be published in unbound fascicles as work continued on the project, under the name of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. In 1895, the title The Oxford English Dictionary was first used unofficially on the covers of the series, in 1928 the full dictionary was republished in ten bound volumes. In 1933, the title The Oxford English Dictionary replaced the former name in all occurrences in its reprinting as twelve volumes with a one-volume supplement. More supplements came over the years until 1989.
Since 2000, compilation of a third edition of the dictionary has been underway half of, complete. The first electronic version of the dictionary was made available in 1988; the online version has been available since 2000, as of April 2014 was receiving over two million hits per month. The third edition of the dictionary will most only appear in electronic form: the Chief Executive of Oxford University Press has stated that it is unlikely that it will be printed; as a historical dictionary, the Oxford English Dictionary explains words by showing their development rather than their present-day usages. Therefore, it shows definitions in the order that the sense of the word began being used, including word meanings which are no longer used; each definition is shown with numerous short usage quotations. This allows the reader to get an approximate sense of the time period in which a particular word has been in use, additional quotations help the reader to ascertain information about how the word is used in context, beyond any explanation that the dictionary editors can provide.
The format of the OED's entries has influenced numerous other historical lexicography projects. The forerunners to the OED, such as the early volumes of the Deutsches Wörterbuch, had provided few quotations from a limited number of sources, whereas the OED editors preferred larger groups of quite short quotations from a wide selection of authors and publications; this influenced volumes of this and other lexicographical works. According to the publishers, it would take a single person 120 years to "key in" the 59 million words of the OED second edition, 60 years to proofread them, 540 megabytes to store them electronically; as of 30 November 2005, the Oxford English Dictionary contained 301,100 main entries. Supplementing the entry headwords, there are 157,000 bold-type derivatives; the dictionary's latest, complete print edition was printed in 20 volumes, comprising 291,500 entries in 21,730 pages. The longest entry in the OED2 was for the verb set, which required 60,000 words to describe some 430 senses.
As entries began to be revised for the OED3 in sequence starting from M, the longest entry became make in 2000 put in 2007 run in 2011. Despite its considerable size, the OED is neither the world's largest nor the earliest exhaustive dictionary of a language. Another earlier large dictionary is the Grimm brothers' dictionary of the German language, begun in 1838 and completed in 1961; the first edition of the Vocabolario degli Accademici della Crusca is the first great dictionary devoted to a modern European language and was published in 1612. The official dictionary of Spanish is the Diccionario de la lengua española, its first edition was published in 1780; the Kangxi dictionary of Chinese was published in 1716. The dictionary began as a Philological Society project of a small group of intellectuals in London: Richard Chenevix Trench, Herbert Coleridge, Frederick Furnivall, who were dissatisfied with the existing English dictionaries; the Society expressed interest in compiling a new dictionary as early as 1844, but it was not until June 1857 that they began by forming an "Unregistered Words Committee" to search for words that were unlisted or poorly defined in current dictionaries.
In November, Trench's report was not a list of unregistered words. The Society realized that the number of unlisted words would be far more than the number of words in the English dictionaries of the 19th century, shifted their idea from covering only words that were not in English diction
The Greyhound is a breed of dog, a sighthound, bred for coursing game and Greyhound racing. Since the rise in large-scale adoption of retired racing Greyhounds, the breed has seen a resurgence in popularity as a family pet. According to Merriam-Webster, a Greyhound is "any of a breed of tall slender graceful smooth-coated dogs characterized by swiftness and keen sight", as well as "any of several related dogs," such as the Italian Greyhound, it is a gentle and intelligent breed whose combination of long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine and slim build allows it to reach average race speeds exceeding 64 kilometres per hour. The Greyhound can reach a full speed of 70 kilometres per hour within 30 metres, or six strides from the boxes, traveling at 20 metres per second for the first 250 metres of a race. Males are 71 to 76 centimetres tall at the withers, weigh on average 27 to 40 kilograms. Females tend to be smaller, with shoulder heights ranging from 68 to 71 centimetres and weights from less than 27 to 34 kilograms.
Greyhounds have short fur, easy to maintain. There are thirty recognized color forms, of which variations of white, fawn, black and blue can appear uniquely or in combination. Greyhounds are dolichocephalic, with a skull, long in comparison to its breadth, an elongated muzzle. Greyhounds are affectionate with their own pack, they are docile, easy-going, calm. Greyhounds wear muzzles during racing, which can lead some to believe they are aggressive dogs, but this is not true. Muzzles are worn to prevent injuries resulting from dogs nipping one another during or after a race, when the'hare' has disappeared out of sight and the dogs are no longer racing but remain excited. Contrary to popular belief, adult Greyhounds do not need extended periods of daily exercise, as they are bred for sprinting rather than endurance. Greyhound puppies that have not been taught how to utilize their energy, can be hyperactive and destructive if not given an outlet, therefore require more experienced handlers. Greyhound owners and adoption groups consider Greyhounds wonderful pets.
Greyhounds are quiet and loyal to owners. They are loving, enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs. Whether a Greyhound will enjoy the company of other small animals, such as cats, depends on the individual dog's personality. Greyhounds will chase small animals. Many owners describe their Greyhounds as "45-mile-per-hour couch potatoes". Greyhounds live most as pets in quiet environments, they do well in families with children, as long as the children are taught to treat the dog properly with politeness and appropriate respect. Greyhounds have a sensitive nature, gentle commands work best as training methods. A Greyhound may bark. A common misconception regarding Greyhounds is that they are hyperactive; this is not the case with retired racing Greyhounds. Greyhounds can live comfortably as apartment dogs, as they do not require much space and sleep 18 hours per day. Due to their calm temperament, Greyhounds can make better "apartment dogs" than smaller, more active breeds. Many Greyhound adoption groups recommend that owners keep their Greyhounds on a leash whenever outdoors, except in enclosed areas.
This is due to their prey-drive, their speed, the assertion that Greyhounds have no road sense. In some jurisdictions, it is illegal for Greyhounds to be allowed off-leash in off-leash dog parks. Due to their size and strength, adoption groups recommend that fences be between 4 and 6 feet tall, to prevent Greyhounds from jumping over them; the original primary use of Greyhounds, both in the British Isles and on the Continent of Europe, was in the coursing of deer. They specialized in competition hare coursing; some Greyhounds are still used for coursing, although artificial lure sports like lure coursing and racing are far more common and popular. Many leading 300- to 550-yard sprinters have bloodlines traceable back through Irish sires, within a few generations of racers that won events such as the Irish Coursing Derby or the Irish Cup; until the early twentieth century, Greyhounds were principally bred and trained for hunting and coursing. During the 1920s, modern greyhound racing was introduced into the United States, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Australia has a significant racing culture. Aside from professional racing, many Greyhounds enjoy success on the amateur race track. Organizations like the Large Gazehound Racing Association and the National Oval Track Racing Association provide opportunities for Greyhounds and other sighthound breeds to compete in amateur racing events all over the United States; the Greyhound has, since its first appearance as a hunting type and breed, enjoyed a specific degree of fame and definition in Western literature and art as the most elegant or noble companion and hunter of the canine world. In modern times, the professional racing industry, with its large numbers of track-bred greyhounds, as well as international adoption programs aimed at re-homing dogs has redefined the breed as a sporting
Worminghall is a village and civil parish in the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire, England. The village is beside a brook; the brook joins the River Thame. The western boundary of the parish forms part of the county boundary with Oxfordshire; the village is about 4.5 miles west of the Oxfordshire market town of Thame. The village toponym is derived from Old English meaning "Wyrma's nook of land"; the Domesday Book of 1086 records it as Wermelle. It evolved through Wormehale in the 12th and 13th centuries, Wrmehale in the 13th and 14th centuries, Worminghale in the 14th and 15th centuries and Wornall in the 18th century before reaching its current spelling. "Wornall" is still its common local pronunciation. J. R. R. Tolkien in his novella Farmer Giles of Ham suggests that the'worm' element in Worminghall derives from the dragon in the story. In the reign of Edward the Confessor, the manor of Worminghall was part of the estates of his queen, Edith of Wessex; the Domesday Book of 1086 records that after the Norman conquest of England, Wermelle was assessed at five hides and was one of many manors held by the powerful Norman nobleman Geoffrey de Montbray, Bishop of Coutances.
Worminghall became part of the Honour of Gloucester and passed via Hugh de Audley, 1st Earl of Gloucester and Margaret de Audley, 2nd Baroness Audley to Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford. However, Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester rebelled against Richard II in 1388. Thomas was attaindered in 1397, Worminghall was amongst the estates that Thomas forfeited to Henry of Bolingbroke, 3rd Earl of Derby; when Henry father John of Gaunt died in 1399, the Earl was crowned Henry IV of England and Worminghall thus became part of the Duchy of Lancaster. Crown rights to Worminghall appear in a record dating from 1562; the Church of England parish church of Saints Peter and Paul is Norman, the north and south doorways survive from this time. The chancel was built or rebuilt in the 14th century and the bell tower was added in the 15th century. In 1847 the north wall was rebuilt and the present stained glass was inserted in the 15th century east window; the church is a Grade II* listed building.
The tower has a ring of three bells and there is a Sanctus bell. John Taylor & Co recast all four bells in 1847 at the foundry. Saints Peter and Paul's is now part of the Benefice of Worminghall with Ickford and Shabbington. Worminghall had a windmill by about 1160 or 1170. A windmill is recorded again in the 14th century, along with a fishery; the Clifden Arms public house is a timber framed building with a thatched roof. The older part is medieval and the newer wing was added in the 17th century; the pub's current name is more recent, being derived from an 18th or 19th century Viscount Clifden, heir to the advowson of the parish. Wood Farm, nearly 2 miles west of the village, has a barn, built in the 17th century or earlier, it is of six bays and is built of rubblestone with ashlar quoins, was re-roofed in 1779 with a double purlin roof. John King founded an almshouse charity in 1670 in memory of his father Henry King, Bishop of Chichester and a poet. There are ten almshouses, for four old women.
They are now a Grade II * listed building. A village school was built in Worminghall in the 19th century, it is now the village hall. RAF Oakley occupied much of the northern part of Worminghall parish from 1942 until 1945. Many of its buildings survive, those on the south side of the airfield now form the nucleus of a trading estate; this is called Wornal Industrial Park, maintaining the traditional pronunciation and 18th century spelling of the toponym. The Clifden Arms is now a hotel. Page, W. H. ed.. A History of the County of Buckingham, Volume 4. Victoria County History. Pp. 125–130. Pevsner, Nikolaus. Buckinghamshire; the Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. P. 301. ISBN 0-14-071019-1. Reed, Michael. Hoskins, W. G.. The Buckinghamshire Landscape; the Making of the English Landscape. London: Hodder & Stoughton. Pp. 135, 194. ISBN 0-340-19044-2. Media related to Worminghall at Wikimedia Commons
The English Mastiff is a breed of large dog. More identified by many, including the AKC, as Mastiff, they descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae, with a significant input from the Alpine Mastiff in the 19th century. Distinguished by its enormous size, massive head, short coat in a limited range of colors, always displaying a black mask, the Mastiff is noted for its gentle and loving nature; the lineage of modern dogs can be traced back to the early 19th century, but the modern type was stabilized in the 1880s and refined since. Following a period of sharp decline, the Mastiff has increased its worldwide popularity. Throughout its history the Mastiff has contributed to the development of a number of dog breeds, some known as mastiff-type dogs, or, just as "Mastiffs". With a massive body, broad skull and head of square appearance, it is the largest dog breed in terms of mass, it is on average heavier than the Saint Bernard, although there is a considerable mass overlap between these two breeds.
Though the Irish Wolfhound and Great Dane can be more than six inches taller, they are not nearly as robust. The body is large with great depth and breadth between the forelegs—which causes these to be set wide apart; the length of the body taken from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock is greater than the height at the withers. The AKC standard height for this breed is 30 inches at the shoulder for males and 27.5 inches at the shoulder for females. A typical male can weigh 150–250 pounds, a typical female can weigh 120–200 pounds, with large individuals reaching 130 kg or more; the former standard specified the coat should be close-lying. Long haired Mastiffs, known as "Fluffies", are caused by a recessive gene—they are seen; the AKC considers a long coat a fault but not cause for disqualification. English Mastiff colors are apricot-fawn, silver-fawn, fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, always with black on the muzzle and nose and around the eyes; the colors of the Mastiff coat are differently described by various kennel clubs, but are fawn or apricot, or those colours as a base for black brindle.
A black mask should occur in all cases. The fawn is a light "silver" shade, but may range up to a golden yellow; the apricot may be a reddish hue up to a deep, rich red. The brindle markings should ideally be heavy and clear stripes, but may be light, patchy, faint or muddled. Pied Mastiffs occur rarely. Other non-standard colours include black, blue brindle, chocolate mask; some Mastiffs have a heavy shading caused by dark hairs throughout the coat or on the back and shoulders. This is not considered a fault. Brindle is dominant over solid colour. Apricot is dominant over fawn. Most of the colour faults are recessive, though black is so rare in the Mastiff that it has never been determined whether the allele is recessive or a mutation, dominant; the genetic basis for the variability of coat in dogs has been much studied, but all the issues have not yet been resolved. On the basis of what is known, the gene possibilities allowed by the Mastiff standard are AyBDEmhmS; this describes a dog, fawn with a dark nose, non-dilute, black-masked, non-harlequin, brindled or not brindled, non-merle, non-spotted.
To allow for the rare exceptions we must include "b", "d", "sp", "a". The possible combination of homozygous brown and homozygous blue is a pale brown referred to as isabella in breeds where it is common. On a Mastiff, this would appear on mask and any brindling, present. Speculative gene locations may exist, so a Mastiff may be "I" or "i" and "cch" or "C"; the greatest weight recorded for a dog, 343 pounds, was that of an English Mastiff from England named Aicama Zorba of La Susa, although claims of larger dogs, including Saint Bernards, Tibetan Mastiffs, Caucasian ovcharkas exist. According to the 1989 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, in March 1989, when he was 7 years old, Zorba stood 37 inches at the shoulder and was 8 ft 3 in from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail, about the size of a small donkey. After 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records stopped accepting heaviest pet records; the Mastiff breed has a desired temperament, reflected in all formal standards and historical descriptions.
Sydenham Edwards wrote in 1800 in the Cynographia Britannica: What the Lion is to the Cat the Mastiff is to the Dog, the noblest of the family. His courage does not exceed his temper and generosity, in attachment he equals the kindest of his race, his docility is perfect. In a family he will permit the children to play with him, suffer all their little pranks without offence; the blind ferocity of the Bull Dog will wound the hand of the master who assists him to combat, but the Mastiff distinguishes enters the field with temper, enga
The Clerk's Tale
The Clerk's Tale is the first tale of Group E in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. It is followed by The Merchant's Tale; the Clerk of Oxenford is a student of what would nowadays be considered theology. He tells the tale of Griselda, a young woman whose husband tests her loyalty in a series of cruel torments that recall the Biblical book of Job; the Clerk's tale is about a marquis of Saluzzo in Piedmont in Italy named Walter, a bachelor, asked by his subjects to marry to provide an heir. He decides he will marry a peasant, named Griselda. Griselda is a poor girl, used to a life of pain and labour, who promises to honour Walter's wishes in all things. After Griselda has born him a daughter, Walter decides to test her loyalty, he sends an officer to take the baby, pretending it will be killed, but conveying it in secret to Bologna. Griselda, because of her promise, makes no protest at this but only asks that the child be buried properly; when she bears a son several years Walter again has him taken from her under identical circumstances.
Walter determines one last test. He has a papal bull of annulment forged which enables him to leave Griselda, informs her that he intends to remarry; as part of his deception, he employs Griselda to prepare the wedding for his new bride. Meanwhile, he has brought the children from Bologna, he presents his daughter as his intended wife, he informs Griselda of the deceit, overcome by joy at seeing her children alive, they live ever after. One of the characters created by Chaucer is the Oxford clerk, a student of philosophy, he is depicted hard-working and wholly dedicated to his studies. The narrator claims that as a student in Italy he met Francis Petrarch at Padua from whom he heard the tale; the story of patient Griselda first appeared as the last chapter of Boccaccio's Decameron, it is unclear what lesson the author wanted to convey. Critics suggest Boccaccio was putting down elements from the oral tradition, notably the popular topos of the ordeal, but the text was open enough to allow misogynistic interpretations, giving Griselda's passivity as the norm for wifely conduct.
In 1374, it was translated into Latin by Petrarch, who quotes the heroine, Griselda, as an exemplum of that most feminine of virtues, constancy. Circa 1382–1389, Philippe de Mézières translated Petrarch's Latin text into French, adding a prologue which describes Griselda as an allegory of the Christian soul's unquestioning love for Jesus Christ; as far as Chaucer is concerned, critics think he used both Petrarch's and de Mézières's texts, while managing to recapture Bocaccio's opaque irony. Anne Middleton is one of many scholars to discuss the relationship between Petrarch's original and Chaucer's reworking of the tale. Given the context of the Clerk's tale, what lesson, if any, Chaucer intended remains an open guess. Griselda appears as the antithesis to the Wife of Bath; the intrusive narrator comments on the foolishness of the husband's test: Nedelees, God woot, he thoghte hire for t'affraye. He hadde assayed hire ynogh bifore, he compares her to Job, reminds his audience of the well-known reputation of clerks for misogyny to emphasise the fact that Griselda's virtue is such as to disarm the most prejudiced.
In conclusion he remarks that he did not tell the story to encourage wives to imitate Griselda, but as a lesson to all and sundry to face adversity with fortitude. However the Clerk's Tale is followed by an envoy, the tone of, quite different; the clerk advises the ladies to disregard the heroine's passive acceptance of her husband's cruel whims, while exhorting them to indulge in the most outrageous forms of behaviour: Eer wag your tongues like a windmill, I you advise. The irony contradicts his former conclusion; the host's wish that his wife might have heard this edifying tale is well within the scope of medieval ideas of female virtue while suggesting that reality will be at odds with exempla: Me were levere than a barel aleMy wyf at hoom had herd this legende ones! English words first attested in Chaucer Read "The Clerk's Prologue and Tale" with interlinear translation Modern translation of the Clerk's Tale and other resources at eChaucer "The Oxford Cleric's Tale" – a plain-English retelling for non-scholars
Thame is a market town and civil parish in Oxfordshire, about 13 miles east of the city of Oxford and 10 miles southwest of the Buckinghamshire town of Aylesbury. It derives its toponym from the River Thame; the parish includes the hamlet of Moreton south of the town. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 11,561. Thame was in the kingdom of Wessex. Thame Abbey was founded in 1138 for the Cistercian Order: the abbey church was consecrated in 1145. In the 16th century Dissolution of the Monasteries the abbey was suppressed and the church demolished. Thame Park was built on the site, incorporating parts of the abbey including the early-16th century abbot's house, its interior is one of the earliest examples of the Italian Renaissance in England. A Georgian west wing was added in the 18th century. In about 1840 parts of the foundations of the abbey church were excavated: it was 77 yards long and 23 yards wide, with a Lady Chapel extending a further 15 yards at the east end; the earliest feature of the Church of England parish church of Mary the Virgin is the 12th century base of the font.
The font's octagonal bowl was re-cut in the 13th century. The present church is a cruciform building, built in the 13th century; the chancel is Early English Gothic and was built in about 1220, with six lancet windows in its north wall and a similar arrangement in the south wall. It was twice altered in the next few decades: a three-light plate tracery window was inserted in its north wall in the mid-13th century and the five-light east window with geometrical tracery was inserted in about 1280. Whatever lancet windows may have been in the chancel south wall were replaced with three two-light Decorated Gothic windows with reticulated tracery, a double piscina was added at the same time; the transepts and tower arches are early 13th century. The nave has five-bay north and south aisles whose arcades were built in about 1260; the aisles were widened in the 14th century, when they acquired their Decorated Gothic windows and doors. The Decorated Gothic south porch has a two-bay quadripartite vault.
The Perpendicular Gothic clerestory is early 15th century. In the 15th century the tower piers were strengthened and the two upper stages of the tower were built. In 1442 the north transept was rebuilt with five-light Perpendicular Gothic north and east windows with panel tracery. At about the same time the south transept acquired similar windows and was extended eastwards to form a chapel with a 15th-century piscina; the Perpendicular Gothic nave west window was inserted in 1672–73, making it an example of Gothic survival. In 1838 the north aisle north wall was rebuilt under the direction of George Wilkinson; the tower has a ring of eight bells, all cast by Mears and Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 1876. The Prebendal House is known to have existed by 1234, The Early English Gothic chapel was built in about 1250; the solar is 13th century but was enlarged in the 14th, when the present crown-post roof was added. The rest of the Prebendal House is dated from the 15th century; the hall is 14th century in plan but was divided, one part now has a fine 15th century roof.
In 1661 the antiquary Anthony Wood reported that the house was ruinous, early in the 19th century the remains were in use as a farmhouse and barns. It was restored in 1836; the Prebendal House was the home of singer/songwriter Robin Gibb and his wife Dwina from 1984, Gibb is buried in St Mary's parish churchyard. In 1550 the courtier John Williams, 1st Baron Williams of Thame built the almshouses in Church Lane, he died in 1559, his will established the local grammar school. Its original building, completed in 1569, stands next to the almshouses. In 1880 the school moved to its current premises in Oxford Road. In 1971 it became a comprehensive school under the name Lord Williams's School; the Civil War in the 1640s saw Thame occupied in turn by Parliamentarians. After the Battle of Chalgrove Field in 1643, Colonel John Hampden, educated at the grammar school, died of his wounds at the house of Ezekiel Browne to become the Greyhound Inn; as of 2010 some of Hampden's descendants still live in the town.
The champion bare-knuckle boxer James Figg was born in Thame in 1684 and had his early prize-fights at the Greyhound Inn. In the 21st century the Greyhound Inn was renamed the James Figg and in April 2011 the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board unveiled a blue plaque there to commemorate him. In the 18th century many of the buildings in the boat-shaped High Street were re-faced with modern facades built of locally produced salt glazed bricks. Late in the 18th century John Wesley preached in Thame; the congregation on that occasion was so large that the floor of the building gave way, the crowd fell to the lower floor. By 1813 Thame had a workhouse in Wellington Street. In 1826 John Boddington, a miller, the proprietor of Thame Mill, became master of the workhouse. In 1831 his son John Boddington, became a clerk at Strangeways Brewery in Manchester. A younger son, Henry Boddington, born at Thame Mill in 1813, followed his brother and joined the same brewery in 1832. Henry became a partner in the business in 1847 and sole proprietor in 1853, after which its beers were called Boddingtons.
In April 2011 the Oxfordshire Blue Plaques Board unveiled a blue plaque at the address of the former workhouse commemorating its association with Henry Boddington. Thame Poor Law Union was established in 1835 and the following year a new workhouse designed by George Wilkinson was built on Oxford Road. In the 20th century the building became the premises of Rycotewood College of further
Fable is a literary genre: a succinct fictional story, in prose or verse, that features animals, legendary creatures, inanimate objects, or forces of nature that are anthropomorphized and that illustrates or leads to a particular moral lesson, which may at the end be added explicitly as a pithy maxim or saying. A fable differs from a parable in that the latter excludes animals, inanimate objects, forces of nature as actors that assume speech or other powers of humankind. Usage has not always been so distinguished. In the King James Version of the New Testament, "μῦθος" was rendered by the translators as "fable" in the First Epistle to Timothy, the Second Epistle to Timothy, the Epistle to Titus and the First Epistle of Peter. A person who writes fables is a fabulist; the fable is one of the most enduring forms of folk literature, spread abroad, modern researchers agree, less by literary anthologies than by oral transmission. Fables can be found in the literature of every country; the varying corpus denoted Aesopica or Aesop's Fables includes most of the best-known western fables, which are attributed to the legendary Aesop, supposed to have been a slave in ancient Greece around 550 BCE.
When Babrius set down fables from the Aesopica in verse for a Hellenistic Prince "Alexander," he expressly stated at the head of Book II that this type of "myth" that Aesop had introduced to the "sons of the Hellenes" had been an invention of "Syrians" from the time of "Ninos" and Belos. Epicharmus of Kos and Phormis are reported as having been among the first to invent comic fables. Many familiar fables of Aesop include "The Crow and the Pitcher", "The Tortoise and the Hare" and "The Lion and the Mouse". In ancient Greek and Roman education, the fable was the first of the progymnasmata—training exercises in prose composition and public speaking—wherein students would be asked to learn fables, expand upon them, invent their own, use them as persuasive examples in longer forensic or deliberative speeches; the need of instructors to teach, students to learn, a wide range of fables as material for their declamations resulted in their being gathered together in collections, like those of Aesop.
African oral culture has a rich story-telling tradition. As they have for thousands of years, people of all ages in Africa continue to interact with nature, including plants and earthly structures such as rivers and mountains. Grandparents enjoy enormous respect in African societies and fill the new role of story-telling during retirement years. Children and, to some extent, adults are mesmerized by good story-tellers when they become animated in their quest to tell a good fable. Joel Chandler Harris wrote African-American fables in the Southern context of slavery under the name of Uncle Remus, his stories of the animal characters Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Brer Bear are modern examples of African-American story-telling, this though should not transcend critiques and controversies as to whether or not Uncle Remus was a racist or apologist for slavery. The Disney movie Song of the South introduced many of the stories to the public and others not familiar with the role that storytelling played in the life of cultures and groups without training in speaking, writing, or the cultures to which they had been relocated to from world practices of capturing Africans and other indigenous populations to provide slave labor to colonized countries.
India has a rich tradition of fabulous novels explainable by the fact that the culture derives traditions and learns qualities from natural elements. Most of the gods are some form of animals with ideal qualities. Hundreds of fables were composed in ancient India during the first millennium BCE as stories within frame stories. Indian fables have a mixed cast of animals; the dialogues are longer than in fables of Aesop and witty as the animals try to outwit one another by trickery and deceit. In Indian fables, man is not superior to the animals; the tales are comical. The Indian fable adhered to the universally known traditions of the fable; the best examples of the fable in India are the Jataka tales. These included Vishnu Sarma's Panchatantra, the Hitopadesha and The Vampire, Syntipas' Seven Wise Masters, which were collections of fables that were influential throughout the Old World. Ben E. Perry has argued controversially that some of the Buddhist Jataka tales and some of the fables in the Panchatantra may have been influenced by similar Greek and Near Eastern ones.
Earlier Indian epics such as Vyasa's Mahabharata and Valmiki's Ramayana contained fables within the main story as side stories or back-story. The most famous folk stories from the Near East were the One Thousand and One Nights known as the Arabian Nights. Fables had a further long tradition through the Middle Ages, became part of European high literature. During the 17th century, the French fabulist Jean de La Fontaine saw the soul of the fable in the moral — a rule of behavior. Starting with the Aesopian pattern, La Fontaine set out to satirize the court, the church, the rising bourgeoisie, indeed the entire human scene of his time. La Fontaine's model was subsequently emulated by England's John Gay. In