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Whether chiselled in stone or inscribed on papyrus, the message of the metaphor first evolved in Asia. Some of the earliest proverbs have survived for thousands of years, encapsulating lessons gleaned within particular societies and yet equally relevant in any other – as indeed they remain today. The 400 carefully selected examples drawn from the eleven countries featured in this compilation of Ancient Wisdom for the 21st Century are illustrated with artworks also derived from their respective sources. They appear both in their original script and in English translation.