Today when we think of domestic cats, we recall the familiar hearthside companion and the mischievous playmate. It is difficult to comprehend that in the past the animal has played a fundamental role in the development of European and Western civilization. The human relationship to the cat has been important for most of the last four millennia. In this beautifully illustrated book, Donald Engels charts the history and significance of the cat from ancient Egypt to the middle ages, exploring such phenomena as the worship of the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, the infamous cat massacres and witch hunts of the thirteenth century, and the role of the cat in combating disease and starvation. Classical Cats presents a unique and entertaining view of the vicissitudes of the cat in history.
Buy Classical Cats book by Donald W. Engels from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(234mm x 156mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The cat has played a highly significant role in almost all of recorded history. It has been a sacred animal in many religions and held a symbolic place in much folklore. In addition, the cat has always been an important weapon against disease-carrying vermin, as well as a valued domestic pet. On the other hand, many societies have periodically massacred cats for religious, hygienic or ritualistic purposes. Engels surveys the evidence from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome and well as the civilizations in western Europe, the Byzantine east and the Muslim world during the early middle ages. Interestingly, the cat has long been associated with women: the Egyptians worshipped the cat-goddess Bastet and the cat was an important icon for the Greek goddess Artemis as for Diana among the Romans. (Kirkus UK)
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