The Culture of Animals in Antiquity provides students and researchers with well-chosen and clearly presented ancient sources in translation, some well-known, others undoubtedly unfamiliar, but all central to a key area of study in ancient history: the part played by animals in the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean. It brings new ideas to bear on the wealth of evidence – literary, historical and archaeological – which we possess for the experiences and roles of animals in the ancient world.
Offering a broad picture of ancient cultures in the Mediterranean as part of a wider ecosystem, the volume is on an ambitious scale. It covers a broad span of time, from the sacred animals of dynastic Egypt to the imagery of the lamb in early Christianity, and of region, from the fallow deer introduced and bred in Roman Britain to the Asiatic lioness and her cubs brought as a gift by the Elamites to the Great King of Persia. This sourcebook is essential for anyone wishing to understand the role of animals in the ancient world and support learning for one of the fastest growing disciplines in Classics.
"Llewellyn-Jones and Lewis have produced an ambitious and though-provoking work which will be essential reading for all those wishing to inform themselves about the roles and functions of animals in the ancient Mediterranean world."
- Julia Kindt, University of Sydney, Australia
"This volume testifies to the fact that animals have become one of the core themes in research on Graeco-Roman antiquity. It gives easy access to a plethora of important sources (ranging from 3000 B.C. to A.D. 600) and illustrates the numerous ways in which animals were reflected on in the ancient world. The documents covered here (written texts in translation, material remains and art) provide useful evidence on eighty-four different species, including mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, crustaceans and molluscs. One of the many virtues of this substantial book is that it transcends the traditional temporal and geographical boundaries of studies on the ancient world. Readers will find it an instructive treasure trove of information."
- Thorsten Fögen, Durham University, UK
"This book marks a milestone in the bibliography on animals in ancient times. It will be of great use and it is naturally called to take a large place as a working tool."
- Christophe Chandezon, Université de Montpellier, France, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018
1. Taxonomies: making sense of animals
2. Domestic animals
ox; goat; sheep; pig; horse; donkey/mule; camel; dog; weasel; cat; human
goose; duck; chicken; dove/pigeon; quail; parrot; peacock; pheasant
3. Wild animals
deer/antelope; gazelle; bear; lion; leopard; jackal; hyena; wolf; fox; badger; mole; hare/rabbit; hedgehog; mongoose; rat; mouse; bat; seal; dolphin; whale; aurochs; elk; elephant; hippopotamus; rhinoceros; giraffe; cheetah; tiger; monkey
crow/raven; sparrow; nightingale; owl; falcon/hawk; eagle; vulture; crane/stork; swan; water birds; hoopoe; ostrich
c) Reptiles and amphibians
crocodile; tortoise/turtle; frog/toad; lizard; snake
d) Insects and molluscs
ant; cricket/cicada; locust; scorpion; scarab beetle; spider; fly; butterfly/moth; flea; louse; weevil; snail
e) Marine creatures
fish; shark; octopus; crab; oyster; murex
4. Working animals
agriculture; transport; performing animals; hunting; warfare
dogs; cats; primates; other mammals; birds; reptiles and insects
entertainment; animal fights; hunting
Index of classical authors