Aesop's Human Zoo
Roman Stories about Our Bodies
Providing unusual insights into the heart of Roman culture, these clever poems open up odd avenues of ancient lore and life as they explore social types and physical aspects of the body, regularly mocking the limitations of human nature and offering vulgar or promiscuous interpretations of the stuff of social life.
Featuring folksy proverbs and satirical anecdotes, filled with saucy naughtiness and awful puns, Aesop's Human Zoo will amuse you with its eccentricities and hit home with its shrewdly candid and red raw messages. The entertainment offered in this volume of impeccably accurate translations is truly a novelty—a good-hearted and knowing laugh courtesy of classical poetry. Beginning to advanced classicists and Latin scholars will appreciate the original Latin text provided in this bilingual edition. The splash of classic Thomas Bewick wood engravings to accompany the fables renders the collection complete.
“Henderson has applied his inimitable acuity, wit, and word power to the fables of the liberated Roman slave Phaedrus. In his sharp translations, he shows how Phaedrus turns tongue-wagging into finger-wagging. These fables explain male baldness, and nanny goats’ beards, why dinner parties are a torment, and why dogs sniff other dogs’ bottoms. Surely the perfect gift for anyone you know who needs to be told a few home truths about themselves!”
“A charming collection of surprising, reflective short poems about human and animal failures. Aesop’s Human Zoo will prove a playful read for anyone interested in Aesopian fables, or in a form of poetry that reflects the anxieties and power dynamics of the early Roman imperial period. It is, also, simply fun to read.”