Canine Connections: Perceptions of Dogs and Dog Symbolism in Homer and Hesiod
Haverford College. Department of Classics
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This thesis traces the discussion of dogs in Homer and Hesiod first from a narrative point of view, including their role in what I call canine-based tonal transitioning, wherein they draw the focus away from any preceding dominant emotion or theme in order to establish a tone that is consistent with episodes to follow; their narrative significance; their capacity for foreshadowing; and their reflective properties. These reflective properties naturally lead into a treatment of dogs in the context of moral judgements, including the role of gender on which aspects of dogs are emphasized in human comparisons, and a consideration of the use of canine traits in insults and compliments. In particular, this thesis considers the consequences of Pandora, the first woman, being said to have a “bitchy” mind. Lastly, this thesis combines the preceding discussions, along with other observations, in the formulation of my Canine Manifold Theory, which develops a holistic picture of dogs in antiquity by tracing patterns between differing but locally-consistent portrayals.