Download e-book for kindle: Animals in the Classical World: Ethical Perspectives from by A. Harden

By A. Harden

ISBN-10: 023027661X

ISBN-13: 9780230276611

How have been non-human animals handled within the Classical global, and the way did historic authors checklist their responses to animals in Greek and Roman existence? The civilisations of Greece and Rome left distinctive documents in their event and evaluations of animals: in those societies, which practised mass sacrifice and large-scale public animal hunts, in addition to being economically reliant on animal energy and items, how have been animals really taken care of and the way was once it appropriate to regard them?

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 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 function in formulating cultural identification, to bright descriptions of vivisection, force-feeding, extensive farming, agricultural and armed forces exploitation, and unique money owed of animal-hunting and the alternate in unique animal items: the battleground of the fashionable animal rights debate is right here given its old origin in a variety of approximately 2 hundred passages of Classical authors from Homer to Porphyry.

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Extra info for Animals in the Classical World: Ethical Perspectives from Greek and Roman Texts

Sample text

Therefore, for whose sake will anyone say that the world was made? Evidently for those beings which make use of reason (ratio): these are gods and men, than whom nothing is better-made; for reason surpasses all things, thus it is credible that the world and everything in it was made for the sake of gods and men’. The key point to note, as the second passage reveals, is that the Stoic is untroubled by animals’ possessing advanced mental powers because all animals are created for the benefit of mankind.

Indeed, if having a virtuous nature means to give to each according to what he is worth, the dog at least wags his tail to those with whom he is familiar and guards them against strangers, and wards off those who would do wrong: the dog cannot be said to be beyond the sphere of justice. And if the dog does have this virtue, then seeing as the virtues are reciprocally implied he must have the other virtues also, which (as the wise men say) many men do not possess. We also see it being brave in warding off attacks, and intelligent (sunetos [related to sunesis]), as Homer witnesses, writing that Odysseus, passing unknown by all in his house, was recognized only by Argus, because the transformations of his body did not deceive the dog, and he had not given up possession of the images of his imagination as he perceived them, which he was able to consult and which it seems he kept hold of better than the men.

So for living things, if we remove actions, and, in fact, the capacity for action, what is left except contemplation? Thus the action of a god, bringing them to the highest bliss, is that of contemplation: so, among human activities, that which is most closely related to this is the best for happiness. It is also a sign of this that the rest of the animals cannot have this happiness as they are totally bereft of this faculty. For the gods their whole life is blissful, and also for men, as some part of their activity is like the divine: the other animals have no happiness, as there is no contemplation among them.

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Animals in the Classical World: Ethical Perspectives from Greek and Roman Texts by A. Harden


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