Friday, March 17, 2006


More Classical Dog Names

Many thanks to Dr. Max Nelson, who sent via email a wealth of information on classical dog names to supplement yesterday's post:
A different list of Acteon's hounds can be found at Pseudo-Apollodorus's Biblotheca 3.4.4 and more hunting dog names are found at Columella, De re rustica 7.12.13.

The comic poet Eupolis's pet Molossian hound, named Augeas after the friend who gave him the dog, was said to have protected his master's works from theft and lamented his master's death bitterly (Aelian, Nat. anim. 10.41).

The dog of the tyrant Gelo was named Pyrrhos (Philistus in Pliny, Hist. nat. 8.61.144).

Alexander's beloved dog, was named Peritas after the Macedonian name for the month of January. Alexander raised him from a puppy and when he died named a city after him (Plut., Vit. Alex. 61.3).

Persa or Perseus was the puppy of Lucius Aemilius Paulus's daughter Aemilia Tertia, which died suddenly, supposedly foretelling the father's success against King Perseus of Macedonia at Pydna in 168 B.C. (Cic., De div. 1.46.103 and 2.40.83, cited by Plut., Vit. Aem. 9 and Rom. Apophth. [= Mor. 197f-198a], and Val. Max., 1.5.3). Cicero and Valerius Maximus have Persa as the name of the dog while Plutarch has Perseus.

Hyrkanus was the dog of King Lysimachus, who threw itself on the funeral pyre of his master (Duris in Pliny, Hist. nat. 8.61.143).

In Petronius's Satyricon, the names Margarita and Scylax are found for dogs (64).

Many more could be added to the list. There is one work devoted solely to Greek dog names: Elimarus Bäcker. De canum nominibus Graecis (Regimonti 1884 [Königsberg University doctoral dissertation]).

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