The stories of all the other symposiasts, too, are stories of theirparticular loves masquerading as stories of love itself, stories aboutwhat they find beautiful masquerading as stories about whatis beautiful. For Phaedrus and Pausanius, the canonical imageof true love—the quintessential love story—features theright sort of older male lover and the right sort of beloved boy. ForEryximachus the image of true love is painted in the languages of hisown beloved medicine and of all the other crafts and sciences. ForAristophanes it is painted in the language of comedy. For Agathon, inthe loftier tones of tragedy. In ways that these men are unaware of,then, but that Plato knows, their love stories are themselvesmanifestations of their loves and of the inversions or perversionsexpressed in them. They think their stories are the truth about love,but they are really love’s delusions—“images,” asDiotima will later call them. As such, however, they are essentialparts of that truth. For the power of love to engender delusive imagesof the beautiful is as much a part of the truth about it as its powerto lead to the beautiful itself. Later, we shall learn why.
Along with Babrius, a Hellenized Roman of the 2nd century AD, Phaedrus is considered by authorities to be the principal successor to Aesop.Phaedrus Through HistoryIn the 10th century AD, a prose adaptation of Phaedrus' translations appeared under the title "Romulus." It remained popular until the 17th century, especially in Europe and Britain.
Each fable presents its reader with a double meaning and is intended to teach a moral lesson.Role as FabulistPhaedrus, a first century Roman writer, is recognized as the source of the modern Aesop Fables.