Article

Animals and Divination

Peter Struck

in The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life

Published in print August 2014 | ISBN: 9780199589425
Published online March 2014 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199589425.013.019

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Animals and Divination

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Marriage and the Family

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

This chapter examines the role of animals in divination in ancient times. It discusses ancient observers’ interpretation of signs coming from instinctive animal behaviour and from the structure of animal body parts. It explains the three main currents of philosophical thought on divination. Plato and Aristotle believed the divinatory insights to be tied with animal instinct and belong to a fringe form of cognition that is specifically connected with humans’ animal natures. On the other hand, the Stoics considered divination as an important piece of their understanding of the cosmos as a whole, and of humans as part of it.

Keywords: animals in divination; ancient times; interpretation of signs; animal behaviour; animal body parts; Plato; Aristotle; Stoics; divinatory insights; form of cognition

Article.  7125 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Marriage and the Family

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.