Miserandae sortis asellus (Ovide, Amores II, 7, 15) – la symbolique de l’âne dans l’Antiquité

Etienne WOLFF

fr Anthropozoologica 33-34 - Pages 23-28

Published on 01 March 2002

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animal et animalité dans l’Antiquité. Actes du colloque de l’Université Lumière-Lyon II, 24-25 septembre 1998

Miserandæ sortis asellus (Ovidius, Amores, II, 7, 15): the symbolism of the ass in classical Antiquity

In the Graeco-Roman ancient world - unlike in the semitic Near East - the ass is a negative figure. It symbolizes the ugliness, the ignorance, the stupidity, the Priapic sexuality, and it is in a way the opposite of the man. This neglect has many explanations, but the main one is that the Indo-European horse has brought about the decline of the Mediterranean ass.


Symbolism, ass, Antiquity, animality, contempt.

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