The paper analyses the famous portrait of Aesop opening the Vita Aesopi. Its linguistic and stylistic features are examined in the light of various texts, both documentary and literary, containing similar descriptions. Through the comparison with Socrates’ portrait in Plato’s Symposium the grotesque image of Aesop in his novelistic biography shows its true meaning: physical ugliness stresses wisdom and interior values. So the portrait of the story-teller appears to be shaped on Socrates’ one and a kylix in the Vatican collection could support this interpretation.
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