Consulting a wide range of key texts and source material, Animals, Gods and Humans covers 800 years and provides a detailed analysis of early Christian attitudes to, and the position of, animals in Greek and Roman life and thought.
Both the pagan and Christian conceptions of animals are rich and multilayered, and Ingvild Sælid Gilhus expertly examines the dominant themes and developments in the conception of animals.
Including study of: biographies of figures such as Apollonus of Tyana; natural history; the New Testament via Gnostic texts; the church fathers; and from pagan and Christian criticism of animal sacrifice, to the acts of martyrs, the source material and detailed analysis included in this volume make it a veritable feast of information for all classicists.
Table of Contents
Introdution 1. Animals in the Roman Empire 2. United by Soul or Divided by Reason 3. Vegetarianism, Natural History and Physiognomics 4. Imagination and Transformation 5. The Religious Value of Animals 6. Animals Sacrifice: Traditions and new Inventions 7. "God is a Man-Eater": The Animal Sacrifice and its Critics 8. The New Testament and the Lamb of God 9. Fighting the Beasts 10. Internal Animals and Bestial Demons 11. The crucIfied Donkeyman, the Leontocephalus, and the Challenge of Beasts 12. Winged Humans, Speaking Animals Notes Bibliography
'Gilhus's description of the ways in which ancient perceptions of animals can be said to have changed over centuries through the influence of philosophy and religion ... makes of Animals, Gods and Humans, a valuable complement to recent studies on religious transformation in late Antiquity.' - Scholia Reviews
'An impressive range of information and discussion... a very welcome addition to the growing bibliofraphy.' - History and Culture