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Crowing rooster is bad sign

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)


Crowing of rooster was considered as a bad sign. Petronius in “Trimalchio’s feast” describes the scene, as Trimalchio, frightened by the voice of a crowing rooster, ordered to pour wine under the table and sprinkle the lamp with wine. He also translated the ring from left to right. All this to overcome the misfortune, for which the divination was considered crowing rooster.

The rooster in early Christian symbolism is also a symbol of Judas’ betrayal of Christ and often occurs in early Christian murals, for example in Cappadocia rock churches.

In later times crowing of rooster gained the opposite meaning – as auspicious sign of the end of the night, the time in which the demons and ghosts prowl.

  • Gaius Petronius, Trimalchio's feast

It should be taken into account that the “Trimalchio’s feast” was a satire of the author on nouveau-riche. On the one hand, the author could show the real prejudice of the Romans or mock Roman customs.

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