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The Pancatantra is the most famous collection of fables in India and was one of the earliest Indian books to be translated into Western languages. No other work of Indian literature has had a greater influence on world literature, and no other collection of stories has become as popular in India itself. Patrick Olivelle presents the Pancatantra in all its complexity and rich ambivalence, examining central elements of political and moral philosophy alongside the many controversial issues surrounding its history. This new translation vividly reveals the story-telling powers of the original author, while detailed notes illuminate aspects of ancient Indian society and religion to the non-specialist reader.