Animals in Egypt

Angela McDonald

in The Oxford Handbook of Animals in Classical Thought and Life

Published in print August 2014 | ISBN: 9780199589425
Published online June 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Animals in Egypt

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This chapter examines the changing contexts in which animals feature in ancient Egypt, from Ptolemaic to Roman times. It explores the major parts roles played by animals: as divine avatars, as commodities, and as symbols. It explains that Egyptian deities were often accompanied in art by a strong animal element, some animals were considered sacred and others were used as sacrifice for the gods. Some animals were used as hunting companions and for food, though the Egyptians were highly selective in the animals they ate because of their religious belief. This chapter also discusses the role of animals as characters in myths and stories.

Keywords: animals; ancient Egypt; divine avatars; animals as commodities; animals as symbols; animals as food; Greek deities; animal sacrifice; hunting; characters in myth

Article.  7779 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Marriage and the Family

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