KALILAH WA-DIMNAH (known also as Fables of Bidpai):(Redirected from BIDPAI FABLES IN HEBREW.)
Book of Indian fables which has been translated into most of the languages of the Old World. It appears to have been composed in India, about 300
It has been claimed that nearly one-tenth of the most popular European folk-tales are derived from one or other of these translations of the "Kalilah wa-Dimnah," among them being the story of Patty and her milk-pail ("La Perrette" in Lafontaine), from which is derived the proverb, "Do not count your chickens before they are hatched." Many of the popular beast-tales and some of the elements of Reynard the Fox also occur in this Indian book of tales. Much learning has been devoted to the investigation of the distribution of these tales throughout European folk-literature, especially by Jewish scholars: by T. Benfey, in the introduction to his translation of the "Pantchatantra," a later Sanskrit edition of the "Kalilah wa-Dimnah"; by M. Landau, in his "Quellen des Decamerone"; by Derenbourg, in his editions of the Latin and Hebrew texts; and by Steinschneider. The Hebrew versions are quoted by Zerahiah ha-Yewani, Kalonymus (in the "Eben Boḥan"), Abraham b. Solomon, Abraham Bibago, and Isaac ibn Zahula (who wrote his "Meshal ha-Ḳadmoni" to wean the Jewish public away from "Kalilah wa-Dimnah").
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Uebers. pp. 872-883;
- Jacobs, Fables of Bidpai, Introduction, pp. xxvii.-xxviii., London, 1888.