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Aesop's Fables
This topic is about Aesop's Fables
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Policies & Practices > Publication date issues for BC books

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Sandi This is mostly about Aesop's Fables, but depending on the answer it would effect every book that currently has an approximate original publication date, like Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, or The Epic of Gilgamesh and many others.

So the original publication date for Aesop's Fables (on goodreads) has been -560 for a long time, at least over a year. During the last few weeks someone has made it their agenda to delete it and keep it deleted.

So my question is, what should be done according to goodreads policy? Should every book with an approximate original publication date have their date removed? Or can Aesop's Fables go back to -560? (Wikipedia currently has Aesop's lifespan as c. 620–564 BC, I think they used to say 600-560 BC).

If a book has no original publication date, sometimes goodreads will give it one, like it happened on August 19:

"Goodreads updated the work Aesopica by Aesop
original_publication_year: '' to '2014' "

I think it should keep its BC date, even though it can't be proven which year it was published exactly. That's still better than if an automated combine process sets it to 2014.


message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 42057 comments Mod
Sandi wrote: "I think it should keep its BC date, even though it can't be proven which year it was published exactly."

Agreed entirely. I left a Note; if it gets edited again, please message me directly.


Sandi Thank you!


J. Darien (volus) | 56 comments Sorry, Sandi. Would have messaged you directly, but you're set to private. I still think it's silly to pick an arbitrary date from a range of centuries when it was first being written and compiled, but I understand the technical issues. So, if the policy is to have a date, then I guess it needs a date.

On that note, then, Beowulf needs a date chosen. I'd be inclined to go with 1000 CE, which would be a rough date for the earliest surviving manuscript (the Nowell codex) but there's a good 3 century window prior to that when it could have first been written.


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