By A. Harden
This sourcebook offers specially-prepared translations from Greek and Latin texts throughout numerous genres which provide a wide-reaching experience of where of the non-human animal within the ethical check in of Classical Greece and Rome. From theories of the origins of animal lifestyles and vegetarianism, literary makes use of of animal imagery and its position in formulating cultural identification, to shiny descriptions of vivisection, force-feeding, in depth farming, agricultural and armed forces exploitation, and distinctive money owed of animal-hunting and the exchange in unique animal items: the battleground of the fashionable animal rights debate is the following given its old origin in a range of approximately 2 hundred passages of Classical authors from Homer to Porphyry.
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Additional resources for Animals in the Classical World: Ethical Perspectives from Greek and Roman Texts
Because of this their race also became four-footed and many-footed as the god puts more supports under the ones who are senseless (aphrôn, ‘without phrên’)22 so that they can be further dragged down to the ground. The most foolish (aphrônestatoi) of them also stretched their whole bodies over the earth as there was no use for their feet: from them were created the footless creatures who crawl on the earth. Lacking any scientific evidence for the origins of species, all of these accounts – even especially peculiar ones such as Timaeus’s – inform the modern reader instead of the moral priorities of the society which generated them: the male human is the apex of these theories either because he became more fully developed, or because other animals are a modification of his physical and intellectual state.
Many of Cicero’s concerns are evident in the work of the highly influential Stoic Epictetus (c. AD 50–125): his perspectives seem rather startling to the modern reader, coming as they do from a philosopher and teacher who for part of his career was at the centre of the Roman cosmopolitan elite and whose influence was considerable (he is quoted several times in the Meditations of emperor Marcus Aurelius). ,37 see also below): the point is forcefully made here that logos is what separates man from animals and unites man with the divine.
8 Already the appointed day had come on which man as well should go forth out of the earth into the light. Then Prometheus, being at a loss as to how to find some way to save mankind, stole from Hephaestus and Athena skills in the arts together with fire (for without fire no-one would be able to have or make use of the skills) and thus he gave the gifts to man. Although man then had the wisdom needed for being alive, he did not have civic skills: for these things belong to Zeus. Prometheus could not go further and enter the acropolis where Zeus dwelled, and Zeus’s guards were fearsome, but he entered undetected into the dwelling-place shared by Hephaestus and Athena in which they practiced their own skills and stole Hephaestus’s skills with fire, and Athena’s as well, as gifts for men.