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(✶late IV entury   †early V century)

Avianus (c. AD 400) a Latin writer of fables, identified as a pagan.

The 42 fables which bear his name are dedicated to a certain Theodosius, whose learning is spoken of in most flattering terms. He may possibly be Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius, the author of Saturnalia; some think he may be the emperor of that name. Nearly all the fables are to be found in Babrius, who was probably Avianus's source of inspiration, but as Babrius wrote in Greek, and Avianus speaks of having made an elegiac version from a rough Latin copy, probably a prose paraphrase, he was not indebted to the original. The language and metre are on the whole correct, in spite of deviations from classical usage, chiefly in the management of the pentameter. The fables soon became popular as a school-book. Promythia and epimythia (introductions and morals), paraphrases, and imitations were frequent, such as the Novus Avianus of Alexander Neckam (12th century).


  • De nutrice et infanti
  • De testudine et aquila - noticed under The Tortoise and the Birds
  • De cancris - noticed under The Snake and the Crab
  • De vento et sole - The North Wind and the Sun
  • De asino pelle leonis induto - The Ass in the Lion's Skin
  • De rana et vulpe - The Frog Physician
  • De cane qui noluit latrare - The Mischievous Dog
  • De camelo
  • De duobus sociis et ursa - The Bear and the Travelers
  • De calvo
  • De ollis - The Two Pots
  • De thesauro
  • De hirco et tauro
  • De simia
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  • De grue et pavone
  • De quercu et harundine - The Oak and the Reed
  • De venatore et tigride
  • De quattuor iuvencis et leone
  • De abiete ac dumis - The Fir and the Bramble
  • De piscatore et pisce - The fisherman and the little fish
  • De luscinia
  • De cupido et invido
  • De Baccho - noticed under The Statue of Hermes
  • De venatore et leone
  • De fure et parvo
  • De leone et capella
  • De cornice et urna - The Crow and the Pitcher
  • De rustico et iuvenco
  • De viatore et fauno - The Satyr and the Traveller
  • De apro et coco
  • De mure et tauro
  • De pigro Tyrinthium frustra orante - God helps those who help themselves
  • De ansere ova aurea pariente - The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs
  • De cicada et formica - The Ant and the Grasshopper
  • De simiae gemellis
  • De vitulo et bove
  • De leone et cane
  • De pisce et focis
  • De milite veterano - noticed under The Trumpeter Taken Captive
  • De pardo et vulpe
  • De olla cruda
  • De lupo et haedo


  • Hendrik Cannegieter (1731)
  • Lachmann (1845)
  • Wilhelm Fröhner (1862)
  • Emil Baehrens in Poetae Latini Minores (1879–1883)
  • Robinson Ellis, The Fables of Avianus (1887)
  • The Fables of Avianus, translated by David R. Slavitt, Johns Hopkins University Press 1993

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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