Androcles and the lion grateful: the good to do reward

Androcles and the lion grateful: the good to do reward
a) The story of Androcles and the lion, in excerpt.

A slave condemned to die devoured by lions, in the Circus Maximus of Rome , was pardoned by the emperor who was present at the show, due to the extraordinary event that happened in the arena. To everyone's surprise, one of the lions defended the slave against the rest of the wild beasts and prevented his death. Surprised, the emperor had the slave brought to his presence, explaining that when he was young he had been the lion's keeper. The good memory that the beast kept of its benefactor was what it did that when finding it, many years later, the lion showed its gratitude, defending it from the other beasts. The slave was released and the lion was returned to the jungle. (1)

In other versions, the slave would have released the lion from a thick thorn that had stuck in one of his claws and cleaned and cared for the wounds, having remained at his side until the wound It was healed. The outstanding image that we have used here presupposes this variant. (2)

b) A "kind" story, that of the grateful lion.

This fable of Androcles and the grateful lion drags behind it a long history. Since classical antiquity it has dazzled men. This is a story of those who like, of those who end well, of whom, the one who does good, is rewarded. Good work has its return even more valuable comes to tell the story. And it encourages us to adopt this behavior.

There is also generosity and justice in it. It's a charming narrative ... and we love it.

c) Androcles' moral and the grateful lion

As I just said the moral that accompanies this fable It tells us that good deeds are always rewarded ... I'm not so sure. Moreover, I believe that the moral is false, because many good acts are never recognized. But his intention is not negligible, but quite the opposite: We must do good and our acts must always be moral! The Spanish proverb: Do good and do not look at who , it could be an excellent standard of behavior!

The story can have multiple readings (3) but all of them tell us about good behavior, generosity, gratitude and that it is worth investing in good actions because their value will multiply without a doubt and they will fall on the generous, the benefactor, the good.


Continue with health, acting as if that maxim were true. Once it was. And he reported the greatest possible value to Androcles : his life and his freedom. Sometimes it works ... and always, even in the absence of reward for our good deeds, always, it makes us feel good ... to do good. For that!

Miguel Villarroya Martín , January 21, 2016/Madrid. Spain/


(1) This story has been multi-repeating in the most varied formats since antiquity. The image we present here is from the French painter Jean León Gerôme . The history of this painting is as suggestive as the fable itself. See the Argentine page where María Isabel Baldasarre write it down clearly and beautifully.

(2) It should be read on the Antiquitatem page: Androcles and the grateful lion , where a masterly presentation of this history and its origins is made - which, against the general belief, does not seem to come from Aesop, - and even other current data of undoubted value.A version that I liked a lot is in Ciudad Seva. Do not stop reading it.

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