By Peter Garnsey
The 1st full-length examine of famine in antiquity. The learn offers particular case stories of Athens and Rome, the easiest identified states of antiquity, but additionally illuminates the institutional reaction to foodstuff hindrance within the mass of standard towns within the Mediterranean international. historical historians have regularly proven no real interest in investigating the fabric base of the original civilisations of the Graeco-Roman international, and feature left unexplored the position of the foodstuff offer in framing the important associations and practices of old society.
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Extra info for Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World: Responses to Risk and Crisis
Cicero’s point, and that of his Stoic sources here, is that humans can owe nothing to creatures that are so alien to themselves that they cannot understand and verbalize a conception of morality: that is, animals cannot express their intention to respect the rights of humans and their desire to have their rights 25 THE NATURE OF THE BEAST respected in turn by humans. 73 In practical terms, the assertion of an unbridgeable gulf between animalkind and humankind gave humans permission to use animals as they saw ﬁt.
To illustrate the topic just discussed at length, namely that some species naturally aim more toward virtue than do some others, Autobulus observes (962F) that hippopotamuses will eat their parents while storks care for theirs, just as some species of birds are more solicitous in caring for their nestlings than are others. To make such observations, Autobulus argues (963A), strikes us as perfectly sensible, while to assert that one tree is less intelligent than another strikes us as absurd, and this is so precisely because all animal species have some share of the rational faculty while we tacitly recognize that mute creations like trees do not.
We may after all owe something to those who cannot owe us anything in return. Philosopher Stephen R. L. Clark eloquently expresses his doubts concerning the assumptions of the Stoics and their contractualist offspring: Contractual theorists from Protagoras onward have imagined society as a sort of corporation. Stoics employed this analogy to give men a sense of companionship in the whole kin-group of humanity. 86 Clark, who demonstrates a deeper appreciation for the ancient contribution to philosophical speculation on the intellectual and moral status of animals visà-vis their human counterparts than is in general encountered in contemporary animal rights literature, advocates what might be termed an ethic of inclusion that focuses on what he perceives to be similarities between human beings and animals as the starting point for ethical discourse on man’s proper stance toward non-human species, in contrast to the ethic of exclusion observable in the Stoics and their intellectual descendants.
Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World: Responses to Risk and Crisis by Peter Garnsey