The Translation of Aesop’s Fables in Colonial Mexico

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The translation of Aesop’s fables from Latin into classical Nahuatl has hardly drawn critical attention since the Mexican scholar Angel María Garibay Kintana denied them of any interest in his seminal Historia de la literatura náhuatl (1953-1954), with Gordon Brotherston and Günter Vollmer’s 1987 edition containing the only two studies available to curious readers and experts on colonial America.1 Their hypothesis and conclusions stand as follows. The forty-seven fables that have survived are a reminder of many other hand-written copies that must have circulated among a wide audience of indigenous speakers.2 For the date of composition of the fables, Garibay Kintana suggested the second half of the sixteenth century and, possibly because of the other doctrinal works that were found accompanying the manuscripts, he pointed at the Franciscan missionary Fray Bernardino de Sahagún as the likely translator (Vollmer, 1987: 222-223).3
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-262
Number of pages20
JournalTrans: Revista de Traductología
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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  • Aesop
  • Nahua translators
  • College of Tlatelolco
  • Evangelization


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