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After cat’s death, despair was given

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Cat on the Roman mosaic
Cat on the Roman mosaic

The cat in ancient Egypt was an extremely respected animal. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Egyptians, as a sign of mourning after the death of their cat, mourned and shaved their eyebrows.

We also know another parable that the Persian king Cambyses conquered Pelusium in such a way that each of his soldiers had a cat with him, and this prevented the Egyptians from firing because they were afraid to hurt the holy animals.

What was the Romans’ attitude towards cats? Initially, there was no name for these animals in the Greco-Roman world. They were considered typically Egyptian and exotic. In Rome only in the 4th century CE, the term “felix ” became common, which was used for various kinds of “tailed” animals that were used to catch rodents. The Romans considered the cat to be the most independent of the animals, unfettered by any conventions. Hence the images of the goddess of freedom Libertas with a cat at her feet.

  • Katharine M. Roger, The Cat and the Human Imagination: Feline Images from Bast to Garfield, s.13.

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