Animals in Roman Life and Art

Animals in Roman Life and Art

By (author) J.M.C. Toynbee

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This work explores the portrayal of 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, this survey ranges from the exotic (the rhinoceros and hippopotamus) to the commonplace (dogs and cats). Romans cleary 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. The book concludes 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".

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  • Paperback | 431 pages
  • 146 x 218 x 28mm | 621.42g
  • 05 Nov 1996
  • JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Baltimore, MD
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0801855330
  • 9780801855337

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Author Information

J. M. C. Toynbee was Lawrence Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University and an honorary Fellow of Newnham College. Before her death in 1985, she served as a Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Numismatic Society, and as a member of the faculty of the British School in Rome. She authored numerous articles and books, including 'Art in Roman Britain,' 'The Art of the Romans,' 'Roman Historical Portraits,' and 'Roman Life and Art in Britain

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Review quote

"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 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."--'Economist'

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