By Stephen T. Newmyer
Even supposing reasoned discourse on human-animal family is frequently thought of a overdue twentieth-century phenomenon, moral debate over animals and the way people may still deal with them may be traced again to the philosophers and literati of the classical international. From Stoic assertions that people owe not anything to animals which are intellectually overseas to them, to Plutarch's impassioned arguments for animals as sentient and rational beings, it really is transparent that smooth debate owes a lot to Greco-Roman thought.
Animals in Greek and Roman concept brings jointly new translations of classical passages which contributed to historic debate at the nature of animals and their dating to humans. the decisions selected come essentially from philosophical and traditional old works, in addition to spiritual, poetic and biographical works. The questions mentioned contain: Do animals vary from people intellectually? have been animals created for using humankind? may still animals be used for foodstuff, game, or sacrifice? Can animals be our friends?
The choices are prepared thematically and, inside of subject matters, chronologically. A observation precedes every one excerpt, transliterations of Greek and Latin technical phrases are supplied, and every access comprises bibliographic feedback for extra reading.
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Additional info for Animals in Greek and Roman Thought: A Sourcebook
24). Pliny’s formulation of the issue leaves him open to the charge of anthropomorphization that is frequently leveled against modern ethologists – specialists in animal behavior, who seek to suggest that animals have moral qualities evident in human beings. Similarities between Humans and Animals Let us pass to the remaining animals, and first to the land-dwellers. The elephant is the largest and the closest to humans in intelligence (sensibus). Indeed, [it demonstrates] understanding of the language used in its homeland, obedience to orders, recollection of what is has learned, pleasure in affection and fame, goodness, discretion and fairness (which are rare even in a human being), as well as reverence for the stars and veneration of the sun and moon.
And as he himself says, animals learn many things from each other and likewise many things from human beings. Everyone bears witness that he speaks the truth, every horsebreaker and groomer and rider and charioteer, and every hunter and elephant driver and herdsman and all trainers of wild animals and birds. A sensible person allows a share of understanding (suneseo¯s) to animals on the basis of such evidences, while the thoughtless person who has done no study of these things is carried astray, supported by his own arrogance toward animals.
The elephant is the largest and the closest to humans in intelligence (sensibus). Indeed, [it demonstrates] understanding of the language used in its homeland, obedience to orders, recollection of what is has learned, pleasure in affection and fame, goodness, discretion and fairness (which are rare even in a human being), as well as reverence for the stars and veneration of the sun and moon. Authorities report that in the woodlands of Mauretania, herds of them come to a particular river whose name is Amilo at the time when the new moon is bright, and, purifying themselves, they sprinkle themselves with water and thus, after greeting the moon, they return to the forests, carrying their weary calves in front of them.