2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Anthropomorphism in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia 8
Van H. Le
Dr. Rebecca Harrison and Dr. Bridget Thomas, Faculty Mentors

Within the last century, there has been an explosion of interest in animals. Fields such as ethology, zoology, and zooarcheology have sought to understand animal behavior scientifically, and movements such as vegetarianism have also been launched. The understanding of animals, however, is not limited to science and ethics, or even to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. For thousands of years, humans have written extensively about animals, their behavior, and how they should be regarded. One such author was the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder. This project seeks to understand the relationship between humans and animals from an ancient perspective, and the presentation will specifically focus on anthropomorphism, the attribution of human characteristics onto non-human entities. Anthropomorphism in Pliny's Naturalis Historia Book 8 reveals a belief that animals have emotional, intellectual, and moral responses, and also suggests that humans have a perceived fellowship with them.

Keywords: Classics, Latin, animals, anthropomorphism, Roman, natural history, history, science


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 17-2
Location: OP 2115
Time: 10:00

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