Victoria and Albert Museum

The world’s greatest museum of art and design

Aesop is said to have lived about 620–560 BC and to have been a slave on the Greek Island of Samos, later freed by his master Iadmon. Aesop compiled fables, which may originally have been passed down through oral tradition. They were among the first illustrated printed books to be produced. The earliest known example was produced in Bamberg, Germany, in 1461.