By A. Harden
This sourcebook provides specially-prepared translations from Greek and Latin texts throughout a number of genres which provide a wide-reaching experience of where of the non-human animal within the ethical sign up 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 bright descriptions of vivisection, force-feeding, in depth farming, agricultural and armed forces exploitation, and particular bills of animal-hunting and the alternate in unique animal items: the battleground of the fashionable animal rights debate is the following given its historic starting place in a variety of approximately two hundred passages of Classical authors from Homer to Porphyry.
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Extra resources for Animals in the Classical World: Ethical Perspectives from Greek and Roman Texts
Causes of liberty or freedom? But to whom would they give it? And it would be rather out of place to think of them as having currency and that sort of thing. Temperance, then. What about that? But to praise the gods for not having tawdry desires would be rather vulgar. Going through all this, it would seem that these things are insignificant and unworthy of the gods. Yet they are always conceived of as living, and moreover as doing things (for indeed they are not sleeping, like Endymion). So for living things, if we remove actions, and, in fact, the capacity for action, what is left except contemplation?
62–78 So let us go even further and compare the so-called irrational animals with men in regard to their imaginations (phantasia), and also not reject as unworthy the ridicule – after the practicalities of our arguments – of the deluded and bragging dogmatists. So, some of us were accustomed simply to compare the host of irrational animals with man: but since the dogmatists, clever at coming up with arguments, say that the comparison is an unequal one, we can ridicule them more completely by choosing from a surplus of arguments just one of the animals on which to set up our argument: let us choose the dog, if that seems fitting, seen as the shabbiest of the animals.
The dialogue turns to the transmigration of souls (81e–82b) and imagines the destinies of departing human souls. He argues that the soul from a human lover of learning (philomathês, like the dog above) passes on to the company of the gods; souls from people who are naturally good but ‘devoid of philosophy as well as mind (nous)’ become ‘civic and tame’ animals such as bees, wasps and ants; unjust and tyrannical people become wolves and birds of prey; gluttons, drunkards and violent people would become donkeys ‘and other such beasts’.
Animals in the Classical World: Ethical Perspectives from Greek and Roman Texts by A. Harden