The Fables of Pilpay is the Arabic version of a lost original of the ‘Panchatantra’, a sanskrit collection of fables. ‘Pilpay’, or ‘Bidpai’, is a corruption of ‘Bidpah’, the name give to the chief scholar at the court of an Indian prince. It is this scholar who is said to have first related the fables to his master. The stories are the source of much European folklore.
This facsimile is taken from the 1775 edition, ‘adorned with near seventy cuts’. These illustrations lend the work a great charm and, notwithstanding its historical importance, the republication of this edition is greatly welcome.