Friday, January 18, 2013

Early Cinderellas: Aspasia

From my book, Cinderella Tales From Around the World:

Aspasia appeared in Aelian’s Varia Historia (12.1) around the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD/BCE. As Graham Anderson points out in his Fairytale in the Ancient World,  “The relationships and dynamics of this story bring it close to Cinderella tradition even when details and outcomes are opposite.” Ultimately, the tale is one of virtue and modesty rewarded. Aelian allots more space to this tale than most in his miscellany, giving it more depth and thus power to teach and entertain.
Aspasia was a historical person and her real history is not very Cinderella-like. You can read about her on Wikipedia with links to other resources. But her story in Aelian is compelling and was one of Anderson's more interesting discussions in his book.

I included Aelian's version of the tale in my book, too.

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