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'Cinderella', or 'The Little Glass Slipper', is a folk tale with thousands of variants throughout the world. The protagonist is a young woman living in forsaken circumstances that are suddenly changed to remarkable fortune, with her ascension to the throne via marriage. The story of Rhodopis, recounted by the Greek geographer Strabo sometime between around 7 BC and AD 23, about a Greek slave girl who marries the king of Egypt, is usually considered to be the earliest known variant of the Cinderella story. The first literary European version of the story was published in Italy by Giambattista Basile in his Pentamerone in 1634, the version that is now most widely known in the English-speaking world was published in French by Charles Perrault in Histoires ou contes du temps pass in 1697. Another version was later published by the Brothers Grimm in their folk tale collection Grimms' Fairy Tales in 1812. Although the story's title and main character's name change in different languages, in English-language folklore Cinderella is an archetypal name. The word Cinderella has, by analogy, come to mean one whose attributes were unrecognized: one who unexpectedly achieves recognition or success after a period of obscurity and neglect. The still-popular story of Cinderella continues to influence popular culture internationally, lending plot elements, allusions, and tropes to a wide variety of media. The AarneThompsonUther system classifies Cinderella as Tale Type 510A, Persecuted Heroine. :2426 Ancient versions = European versions = Rhodopis The oldest known oral version of the Cinderella story is the ancient Greek story of Rhodopis, a Greek courtesan living in the colony of Naucratis in Egypt, whose name means 'Rosy-Cheeks'. The story is first recorded by the Greek geographer Strabo in his Geographica (book 17, 33): 'When she was bathing, an eagle snatched one of her sandals from her maid and carried it to Memphis, and while the king was administering justice in the open air, the eagle, when it arrived above his head, flung the sandal into his lap, and the king, stirred both by the beautiful shape of the sandal and by the strangeness of the occurrence, sent men in all directions into the country in quest of the woman who wore the sandal, and when she was found in the city of Naucratis, she was brought up to Memphis, and became the wife of the king. 'The same story is also later reported by the Roman orator Aelian (c. 175c. 235) in his Miscellaneous History, which was written entirely in Greek. Aelian's story closely resembles the story told by Strabo, but adds that the name of the pharaoh in question was Psammetichus.
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