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Cristiana Franco

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273405

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273405.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Food for Dogs

Food for Dogs

(p.54) 3 Food for Dogs

Franco Cristiana

University of California Press

This chapter offers an interpretation about the dog's necrophagy by focusing on the prevalent image of the dog as a devourer of corpses in the Homeric poems Iliad and Odyssey and its scavenging tendency in Greek culture. Instead of talking about “the corpse-eating dog,” it looks at the dog's corpse-eating behavior as one aspect that the Greeks included in their encyclopedic definition of kyōn. It also considers the key symbolic implications of the act of feeding a corpse to animals and argues that the dog, in contrast to other corpse-eating animals, adds a symbolic value that is directly associated with the unique elements in the Greek representation of the man–dog relationship. Finally, the chapter examines three factors that serve as the principle axes for developments of the trait of anthropophagy in dogs: commensality, the debt of nurturing, and the ability to recognize the master as a person and an authority.

Keywords:   dogs, necrophagy, corpses, Iliad, Odyssey, scavenging, kyōn, man–dog relationship, anthropophagy, commensality

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