Aesop’s Fables, or the Aesopica, is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE. Of diverse origins, the stories associated with his name have descended to modern times through a number of sources and continue to be reinterpreted in different verbal registers and in popular as well as artistic media.
Until the 18th century the fables were largely put to adult use by teachers, preachers, speech-makers and moralists. It was the philosopher John Locke who first seems to have advocated targeting children as a special audience in Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693)
Aesop’s Fables, in his opinion, are apt to delight and entertain a child…yet afford useful reflection to a grown man. And if his memory retains them all his life after, he will not repent to find them there, amongst his manly thoughts and serious business.