Thursday, July 22, 2004

Dogs in Ancient Greece and Rome

This is a very interesting article about the different types of dogs used in ancient Greece and Rome. It even mentions that hounds were imported from Britain before the conquest: "Hounds from Celtic Britain were famous, as well, and exported to Rome even before the conquest. (Writing at the beginning of the first century BC, the Greek geographer Strabo mentions dogs 'that are by nature suited to the purposes of the chase.') 'It is not only Spartan whelps or only Molossian which you must rear,' says the poet Nemesianus in Cynegetica (c.AD 283), 'sundered Britain sends us a swift sort, adapted to hunting-tasks in our world.' Claudian also speaks of 'slender Spartans, and Britons that can break the backs of mighty bulls.' Such animals, which may have been Irish wolf hounds, can be seen chasing rabbits on the Celtic Castor ware beakers of Britain from the second century AD."
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