Animals, Gods and Humans: Changing Attitudes to Animals in by Ingvild Saelid Gilhus

By Ingvild Saelid Gilhus

Ingvild Saelid Gilhus explores the transition from conventional Greek and Roman faith to Christianity within the Roman Empire and the impression of this modification at the suggestion of animals, illustrating the most components within the production of a Christian belief of animals. one of many underlying assumptions of the ebook is that adjustments within the method animal motifs are used and how human-animal relatives are conceptualized function symptoms of extra basic cultural shifts. Gilhus attests that during past due antiquity, animals have been used as symbols in a basic redefinition of cultural values and assumptions.

A wide variety of key texts are consulted and variety from philosophical treaties to novels and poems on metamorphoses; from biographies of holy individuals resembling Apollonius of Tyana and Antony, the Christian wilderness ascetic, to typical background; from the recent testomony through Gnostic texts to the church fathers; from pagan and Christian feedback of animal sacrifice to the acts of the martyrs. either the pagan and the Christian notion of animals remained wealthy and multilayered in the course of the centuries and this booklet provides the dominant subject matters and advancements within the belief of animals with no wasting that complexity.

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Extra resources for Animals, Gods and Humans: Changing Attitudes to Animals in Greek, Roman and Early Christian Thought

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There were different layers in the tradition concerning animals. In the background of the debate, and frequently referred to, loomed the enigmatic and partly mythical figures of Pythagoras from the sixth century BCE and Empedocles from the fifth century BCE. From the fourth century BCE come the influential texts of Plato and Aristotle. However, it is striking that much of what we know about the thoughts of Pythagoras and Empedocles stems from the first centuries CE as part of a Pythagorean revival at this time.

In his poem about the history of civilization, On the Nature of Things, he contrasts wild animals with domestic ones such as dogs, beasts of burden, sheep and oxen: Firstly, the fierce brood of lions, that savage tribe, has been protected by courage, the wolf by cunning, by swiftness the stag. But the intelligent dog, so light of sleep and so true of heart, beasts 23 A N I M A L S I N T H E RO M A N E M P I R E of burden of all kinds, woolly sheep also, and horned breeds of oxen, all these are entrusted to men’s protection, Memmius.

They were trapped, captured in pits or with nets, and were transported roped, chained or in cages in ox carts and in ships. From all parts of the empire, from Mesopotamia and Egypt, England and the Rhine valley, animals were brought to Rome. 40). From there, the animals were assembled at menageries (vivaria) in the city or nearby. In the arenas, the animals were kept in cages in the lower levels of the Colosseum and in special areas outside the city. An edict issued by those who were responsible for shows and spectacles, the curule aediles, pointed out that the keepers of dogs and wild animals were responsible for eventual damage 32 A N I M A L S I N T H E RO M A N E M P I R E caused by these animals.

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