Fables Across Time
Tracing Patterns of Similarity and Difference

Notes on the Text

Notes on the Text

  1. As in the case of Kalilah-wa Dimnahh, all citations and quotations from the Panchatantra will be from the Spanish edition.

  3. A name which means "Seedy" in Sanskrit (Edgerton, page 453).

  5. In the original Sanskrit Panchatantra, the moral is in verse form.  Bufeo, however, has translated the parable into verse and I have retained his form.

  7. I would go so far as to argue that El conde Lucanor, and perhaps even Sendebar both take their respective structures from Kalilah-wa Dimnahh, and through that text, Panchatantra.  Each of the texts is framed in a dialogue between wise people and a monarch, primarily consisting of a series of questions asked by the king to his adviser/philosopher/counselor, which is then answered with a story as an example.  Each book of Kalilah-wa Dimnahh begins with the king calling on his advisor to present him with specific advice, to which the philosopher responds with an answer and an allusion to a story, the standard response to which is, ‘¿Cómo fue esso?’  This is a striking parallel to similar Spanish translations in Panchatantra where the refrain: ‘¿Cómo fue eso?’ is used at the end of each frame tale, and identical to the ‘¿Cómo fue esso?’ of Sendebar and El conde Lucanor.   In Panchatantra the framed dialogue is less formal, the monarch not necessarily explicitly calling on his adviser to narrate a lesson.  Nonetheless, one must remember the larger frame of the whole book—the dialogue between the teacher and the students that is the result of specific ‘questions’ asked not only by the princes who are being instructed, but by the very nature of kingship.

  9. There are no clear examples of this in the fables analyzed here.

  11. In Manuscript A of the Keller edition, however, the animal is a dog (Keller, page 254.)

  13. In Hindu mythology, Raksasas are able to change their form at will.
Last Updated 15 March 2005.
Copyright 2005-2007 by Rishi Sharma.
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