Aesop was a Black slave of Iadmon, located in the south of Greece near northern Africa. Most accounts describe Aesop as a deformed man whose name came from the Greek word “Aethiops” which means Ethiopia.
According to Herodotus, he lived in Samos in the 6th century BC and eventually was freed by his master, receiving his liberation in Iadmon. Other accounts connect him with many wild adventures and attach him with such rulers as Solon and Croesus.
The first extensive translation of Aesop into Latin was done by Phaedrus, a freedman of Augustus in the first century AD. The first printed version of Aesop’s Fables in English was published on March 26, 1484, by William Caxton. William Dugard translated his stories from the Greek text of Planudes in 1715. There he also describes Aesop as one whom “Nature had gratified with an ingenious mind, but the Law had enslaved.” Physically he had a large head, bowed legs, and a large belly.*