By Kenneth F. Kitchell Jr.
The historical Greeks and Romans lived in an international teeming with animals. Animals have been necessary to historic trade, struggle, love, literature and paintings. contained in the urban they have been discovered as pets, pests, and parasites. they can be sacred, sacrificed, liminal, employees, or intruders from the wild. past town domesticated animals have been herded and bred for revenue and wild animals have been sought for excitement and achieve alike. experts like Aristotle, Aelian, Pliny and Seneca studied their anatomy and behaviour. Geographers and tourists defined new lands by way of their animals. Animals are to be obvious on each attainable inventive medium, woven into fabric and inlaid into furnishings. they're the topic of proverbs, oaths and goals. Magicians, physicians and fanatics grew to become to animals and their components for his or her crafts. They paraded ahead of kings, inhabited palaces, and entertained the terrible within the area. really actually, animals pervaded the traditional global from A-Z.
In entries starting from brief to lengthy, Kenneth Kitchell bargains perception into this ordinarily neglected global, overlaying consultant and exciting examples of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. wide-spread animals reminiscent of the cow, puppy, fox and donkey are taken care of in addition to extra unique animals comparable to the babirussa, pangolin, and dugong. The facts adduced levels from Minoan occasions to the past due Roman Empire and is taken from archaeology, historic authors, inscriptions, papyri, cash, mosaics and all different creative media. each time attainable reasoned identifications are given for historic animal names and the realities in the back of animal lore are introduced forth. Why did the ancients imagine hippopotamuses practiced blood letting on themselves? How do you trap a monkey? Why have been hyenas considered hermaphroditic? used to be there relatively a vampire moth? Entries are observed by way of complete citations to historic authors and an in depth bibliography.
Of use to Classics scholars and students, yet written in a method designed to have interaction a person attracted to Greco-Roman antiquity, Animals within the old international from A to Z unearths the level and value of the animal international to the traditional Greeks and Romans. It solutions many questions, asks numerous extra, and seeks to stimulate extra study during this vital box.
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Extra resources for Animals in the Ancient World from A to Z
It was reported that when a beaver was pursued by a hunter intent on its testicles (falsely believed to be the source of the fluid) the beaver would castrate itself (the word play is clear). 7), “they deprive themselves of the very thing for which they were sought” (Etym. 12. 21, cf. 34 with Larmour). 34) expands upon it, claiming that beavers who have already castrated themselves will do a handstand to show hunters that they lack testicles. The hunter, knowing his prize was lost, gave up the hunt.
724–26). A soldier named Murrus speared one and the poison spread up the spear into his body. 353–55). v. basiliscus, incorrectly says this passage refers to a lizard). It drives other serpents before it, moves with the upper portion of its body erect, and is so poisonous that it burns nearby bushes. It is killed by the musky stench of the mustella (weasel). 19) he speaks of the congealed blood of the basilisk, alternatively called “Saturn’s blood,” and its use by the Magi. The fact that it has head markings, can raise its body up, and is attacked by a mustelid makes it likely that this is a cobra.
Toynbee (146) suggests the tora hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus tora). 294–96, cf. Dalby, 114) identifies it with the “kuhantelope,” or hartebeest (Bubalis mauretanica = today’s A. 1181–83). An extinct subspecies, A. b. buselaphus, which died out in the late 1920s (Taylor, 33) once roamed the entire northern African coast and would surely have been known. 5; Diod. Sic. 51). Oppian (Cyn. 300–14) discusses it as a creature of the forest and claims it is smaller than the “broad-horn” Bodéüs, 1997; Gourevitch, 1983; Johns, 1982; Licht, 1932; Lissarrague, 1997; Luppe, 2006; Mélèze-Modrzejewski, 1975; Younger, 2005.
Animals in the Ancient World from A to Z by Kenneth F. Kitchell Jr.