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    Pets Throughout History


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    Pets Throughout History

    Post  Horselover1289 on Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:52 pm

    Tudor- According to Allison Weir's book on Henry VIII, dogs in Tudor Times were given bread instead of meat to keep them docile. However, many of the famous Tudors and members of the court had pets who they absolutely adored. Henry VIII himself was a major fan of horse racing, allowing for boy jockeys to ride the horses in order to lessen the weight! Cats, however, weren't so lucky. One well publicized incident of the treatment of cats in the Tudor or Elizabethan (in this case) time periods was when Queen Elizabeth I had a cat burned alive during her coronation ceremony.

    Roman- Romans kept a wide variety of pets, however weren't overly sentimental with most of them. For example, even though the wealthiest of Romans kept beautiful fish and bird collections, the ultimate fate of them was normally being on their plate. Dogs, however, fared much better. In fact, in one document, the Emperor Augustus reprimands the women of the time to stop paying so much attention to their lap dogs (possibly an ancient relative of the Maltese dog of today,) and start paying attention to their children. Ironic, considering what happened to Augustus' own daughter... Another well known case of pet pampering was seen in the case of the Emperor Caligula, who was known to feed his horse Incitatus gold flakes and giving him a marble stable. He even promised to make Incitatus a consul at one point! The closest comparison to this that can be made would be if President Obama announced to the public that he was going to make Bo Speaker of the House. While some theories say that Caligula's treatment of Incitatus was a satire, it still shows that Caligula loved his horse. Arguably one of the best scenes to show this is in the miniseries I, Claudius, based on the novel by Robert Graves. Incitatus ((and his master,) show up to Claudius' wedding with Incitatus wearing a beautiful ivory and gold robe. It really has to be seen to be believed.

    Celts- The Celts, similar to the Romans, really weren't overly sentimental with their pets. For example, it was traditional to brick up a cat in a new home to bring it luck. Also, the Celts don't seem to have had any problem with eating dog meat. At the very least, dog meat was considered common enough that the hero Cu Chulainn in Celtic Mythology took a geis (an oath of sorts) not to eat dog meat (the name "Cu Chulainn" literally means "The Hound of Chulainn.) It wouldn't make sense to make an oath against something that never occurs in society. They were also known to eat horses to improve their own skills. Of course, through various parts of their history, they also had various superstitions and eating habits.

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