Dogs in Ancient Rome?

nunc est bibendum

Active Member
In the Cambridge Latin Course, the first stage is set in Pompeii and the dog is named Cerberus. It dies in the eruption with its master Caecilius (I assume it's intended to represent the very dog above). Nearly brought a tear to my eye, being the final stage of my book and all... :(

I love my CLC
 
[hat type="canine professional" duration="40 years"]
Aren't there Roman writings about their war dogs?
There are some information on roman war dogs in works Polybius, Vegetius, Plutarch and Pliny the Elder. After Romans received painful lesson during battle of Vercellae in 101 BC, they started organising canine battalions supervised by immunes vetinarii and immunes venatores. There were several types of dogs used in Roman Army: canes pugnaces (attack dogs fitted with spiked collars and later chain mail cuirasses), canes villatica (sentry dogs), canes nare sagaces (tracking dogs) and canes pedibus cleres (chasing dogs).
 

Aquilina

New Member
they had Dogs as pets just as we do now. they even got a real grave sometimes. there's an inscription they found on a dog's grave, it went something like this:
Tu, dulcis Patrice,
Nostras attingere mensas consueras,
gremio poscere blanda cibos
Lambere tu calicem lingua rapiente solebas,
quem tibi saepe meae sustinuere manus,
accipere et lassum cauda gaudente frequenter
It means sth like:
You, sweet Patrice, had been accustomed to lie near our table, coaxingly to beg for food at our lap,
with greedy tongue you were used to licking the cup
that my hands often held up for you,
and frequently to greet (your) tired (master) with a glad tail
 

MickyMoore

New Member
R. J. Yeatman, the co-author of 1066 and All That, had a cave canem sign on his gate to deter burglars. When it was pointed out to him that some burglars might not be able to read Latin he replied, "They're not the sort of burglars we want."
Brilliant.

Also, one of the most touching things that I have ever read in Latin is a grave marker for a dog. I will try to remember to find and post the actual Latin later, but it was something like: Custodian of the wagons, you never once barked inappropriately, and now, as a shade, you guard your own (area/space/ashes). It was longer than that, but I remember being moved almost to tears while translating it in a class.
Did you manage to find the full eulogy mate ?
 

Serenus

legātus armisonus
Also, one of the most touching things that I have ever read in Latin is a grave marker for a dog. I will try to remember to find and post the actual Latin later, but it was something like: Custodian of the wagons, you never once barked inappropriately, and now, as a shade, you guard your own (area/space/ashes). It was longer than that, but I remember being moved almost to tears while translating it in a class.
Did you manage to find the full eulogy mate ?
Raedarum custos numquam latravit inepte.
Nunc silet et cineres vindicat umbra suos.​
(CIL IX 5985)
 

Cambrinus

Civis Illustris
they had Dogs as pets just as we do now. they even got a real grave sometimes. there's an inscription they found on a dog's grave, it went something like this:
Tu, dulcis Patrice,
Nostras attingere mensas consueras,
gremio poscere blanda cibos
Lambere tu calicem lingua rapiente solebas,
quem tibi saepe meae sustinuere manus,
accipere et lassum cauda gaudente frequenter
It means sth like:
You, sweet Patrice, had been accustomed to lie near our table, coaxingly to beg for food at our lap,
with greedy tongue you were used to licking the cup
that my hands often held up for you,
and frequently to greet (your) tired (master) with a glad tail
______________________________________________________________

Here's the first part:

Portavi lacrimis madidus te nostra catella,
quod feci lustris laetior ante tribus.
ergo mihi, Patrice, iam non dabis oscula mille
nec poteris collo grata cubare meo.
tristis marmorea posui te sede merentem
et iunxi semper manib(us) ipse meis,
morib(us) argutis hominem simulare paratam;
perdidimus quales, hei mihi, delicias.

And my old professor's translation:
Bedewed with tears I have carried you, our little dog, as in happier circumstances I did fifteen years ago. So now, Patrice, you will no longer give me a thousand kisses, nor will you be able to lie affectionately round my neck. You were a good dog, and in sorrow I have placed you in a marble tomb, and I have united you forever to myself when I die. You readily matched a human with your clever ways; alas, what a pet we have lost!
 
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