Animals in Roman Life & Art (Paperback)

Animals in Roman Life & Art By J. M. C. Toynbee Cover Image

Animals in Roman Life & Art (Paperback)


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Romans clearly loved their pets and gave them human names. The wealthiest kept gazelles and ibex on their estates as living lawn ornaments. At the same time, they imported exotic animals from Africa and then slaughtered them in both gladiatorial combat and cold-blooded spectacle. Animals in Roman Life and Art explores animals in Roman iconography, Roman knowledge - both factual and fanciful - about various fauna, and Roman use of animals for food, clothing, transport, war, entertainment, religious ceremony, and companionship. Arranged by species, J.M.C Toynbee's magisterial survey ranges from the exotic (the rhinoceros and hippopotamus) to the commonplace (dogs and cats). Toynbee concludes her study with a discussion of Roman beliefs about animals in the afterlife, where, according to Virgil, "the herds will not fear the mighty lion" and "the timid deer will ... drink beside the hounds."

"As a study of the place of animals in Roman art, this is a labor of love by a scholar who knows her subject inside and out ... About the individual beasts known to the Romans and illustrated by their artists it is a mine of information, both useful and curious." - Times Literary Supplement

"Classically excellent." - The Economist.
Product Details ISBN: 9781781590911
ISBN-10: 1781590915
Publisher: Pen and Sword History
Publication Date: August 19th, 2013
Pages: 440
Language: English