Fables of a Jewish AesopDavid R. Godine Publisher
This charming book is the English translation of the long-famous Hebrew Fox Tales of Berechiah ben Natronai ha-Nakdan, a Jewish philosopher, Biblical commentator and Hebrew grammarian who lived in France during the late twelfth or early thirteenth century. Berechiah's stories were drawn largely from non-Jewish sources, the collections of fables in the Aesopic tradition which were widely circulated in Europe during the Middle Ages. Although it is impossible to trace the exact source of each fable, W.T.H. Jackson in his introduction points to several possible sources. Among them are such Latin fable collections as the Romulus fables and the fables of Avianus, the Indian fables collected in the Panchatantra, and the fable collection of Marie de France. There is good reason to believe that this last collection provided Berechiah with his main source. To these traditional sources Berechiah added has own narrative details and his own style of writing.