Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

In honor of #nationalpetday here’s a fun piece on pets from ancient Greece and Rome

roman_dogs

The ancient Greeks and Romans were more lavish than the modern world in their expressed affection for beasts. Theirs was a splendid opportunity to know animal life at first hand, not because there were more animals, but on account of the very close relationship effected by polytheistic principles and religious customs.1 Both literature and art attest that there were but few animals not dedicated to gods or goddesses; since religion penetrated ancient life so deeply, it is understandable that animals were freely admitted into the house, and gradually attempts were made to transform even the fiercer beasts into pets and companions.

Source: Greek and Roman Household Pets — CJ 44:245‑252 and 299‑307 (1949)




so sad from Plutarch…

“The messenger you sent to report the death of our little child seems to have missed me on the way as he travelled to Athens; but when I reached Tanagra I learned of it from my granddaughter. Now the funeral, I suppose, has already been held — and my desire is that it has been so held as to cause you the least pain, both now and hereafter; but if you want something done that you are leaving undone while you await my decision, something that you believe will make your grief easier to bear, that too you shall have, so it be done without excess or superstition, faults to which you are not at all prone.”

ah, the Consolation genre (paper coming soon)…