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date: 26 November 2022



  • John Kinloch Anderson


Epic heroes (see homer) hunt to fill their bellies or to rid the land of dangerous beasts (Hom. Od. 9. 154–48, 10. 157–63; Il. 9. 533–49). The boar is the most formidable antagonist; venison is highly valued; mentions of lions are problematic. Hunters go on foot, armed with spear or bow. In Greek Classical literature the educational value of hunting is emphasized (Pl. Leg. 822d; Xen.Cyn. 1), but hunting is still for the pot and the methods described in *Xenophon (1)'s Cynegeticus (Hunting Man) are often unsporting. These include the use of snares and foot-clogs and the beating of fawns so that their cries will draw their mothers within range. Hare-hunting receives special attention; the hunters, on foot, drive the hares into nets with the help of hounds. Hounds and nets are also used for boar-hunting; but the beast must ultimately be faced by men on foot armed with boar-spears. Opportunities for hunting on horseback are rare and generally to be found in the east (compare Xen. An.


  • Greek Material Culture
  • Roman Material Culture

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