Monday, 8 August 2016

Happy International Cat Day!

Greek: αἴλουρος; αἰέλουρος;
Latin: f(a)eles; f(a)elis, cat(t)us (late)
Cats in antiquity were likely to be feral, attracted to the large mouse and rat populations which thrived on grain stores, and later, cities. In Egypt, the cat was domesticated by 2000 BC, and the domestic cat did not evolve from the European wildcat, but from the Egyptian and Libyan wildcat. Herodotus tells us that the Egyptians loved their cats and often embalmed them (2.66f.). Cats travelled to other countries from Egypt, often as ship's cats, and by Roman times domesticated cats were common.
Kitchell (2014), Animals in the Ancient World from A to Z, pages 24-25.
Mosaic from Pompeii showing cat with bird, ducks and fish (Image 1830 from Imago database)
See also: 

Donalson (1999), The domestic cat in Roman civilization
152G DON

Engels (1999), Classical cats: the rise and fall of the sacred cat
152G ENG

Kalof (ed.) (2007), A cultural history of animals in antiquity
152G KAL

And for a bit of fun:

Seuss (2000), Cattus petasatus : The cat in the hat in Latin 
qui libellus est a Doctore Seuss, primo anglice compositus, at nunc (quod vix credas) in sermonem latinum a Guenevera Tunberg et Terentio Tunberg conversus!
206C SEU

No comments: