Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Vox Naturae

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Music as Human-Animal Communication in the Context of Animal Training in Ancient Rome

image of Greek and Roman Musical Studies

In the context of animal training, music and sound that function as auditory cues can enable communication from humans to animals. This paper will present two case studies that emphasise the extensive influence of music in the practice of ‘animal training’ in an ancient Roman context. In the first case study, Varro records the practice of swineherds training their animals to respond to the sound of a bucina (Varro Rust. 2.4.20), and in the second, Aelian describes the training practices of dancing elephants that performed at a spectacle orchestrated by Germanicus (Ael. NA 2.11). This paper assesses the veracity of these two case studies by exploring their ethological underpinnings.

Affiliations: 1: Macquarie University SydneyAustralia;


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Anderson J. K.Ancient Greek Horsemanship1961Berkeley
2. Cherchi G.Equus in fabula. Immagini del cavallo tra mito, arte e letteratura2012Pisa
3. De Lacy P.H., Einarson B."Plutarch, Moralia"On the Sign of Socrates1959Vol Volume 7Cambridge, Mass.
4. Georgoudi S.Des chevaux et des boeufs dans le monde grec: réalités et représentations animalières à partir des livres XVI et XVII des ‘Géoponiques’1990Paris/Athens
5. Hooper W.D., Ash H.B.Cato and Varro, On Agriculture1934Cambridge, Mass.
6. Illmann G., Schrader L., Špinka M., Šustr P."Acoustical Mother-Offspring Recognition in Pigs (Sus Scrofa domestica)"Behaviour2002Vol 1394487505
7. Irwin M.D., Stoner J.B., Cobaugh A.M.Zookeeping: An Introduction to the Science and Technology2013Chicago
8. McGreevy P., Boakes R.Carrots and Sticks: Principles of Animal Training2007New York/Cambridge
9. McLeman M.A., Mendl M.T., Jones R.B., Wathes C.M."Social Discrimination of Familiar Conspecifics by Juvenile Pigs"Sus scrofa: Development of a Non-Invasive Method to Study the Transmission of Unimodal and Bimodal Cues Between Live Stimuli2008Vol 1153-4123137Applied Animal Behaviour Science
10. Meucci R."Roman military instruments and the lituus"Galpin Society Journal19898597
11. Murray A.T.The Odyssey1919Cambridge, Mass.with an English translation in two volumes
12. Patel A., Iversen J. Baroni M., Addessi A.R., Caterina R., Costa M."A Non-Human Animal Can Drum a Steady Beat on a Musical Instrument"Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Music2006Bologna477
13. Platnauer M.Claudian, The Gothic War1922Cambridge, Mass.
14. Rackham H.Pliny, Natural History1940Vol Volume IIICambridge, Mass.Books 8-11
15. Ramirez K. Irwin M.D., Stoner J.B., Cobaugh A.M."Husbandry Training"Zookeeping: An Introduction to the Science and Technology2013Chicago424434
16. Schachner A., Brady T.F., Pepperberg I.M., Hauser M.D."Spontaneous Motor Entrainment to Music in Multiple Vocal Mimicking Species"Current Biology2009Vol 19831836
17. Scholfield A. F.Aelian, On Animals1958Vol Volume ICambridge, Mass.Books 1-5
18. Schwartz B.Psychology of Learning and Behaviour1984New York
19. Scott-Kilvert I.Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire1979London
20. Soldier D. Solisti K., Tobias M."The Thai Elephant Orchestra"Kinship with Animals2006London173183
21. Stoeger A.S., Manger P."Vocal Learning in Elephants: Neural Bases and Adaptive Context"Current Opinion in Neurobiology2014Vol 28101107
22. Terian A.Philonis Alexandrini De Animalibus1981Chico, California
23. West M.L. Horden P."Music Therapy in Antiquity"Music as Medicine: The History of Music Therapy Since Antiquity2000Aldershot5168
24. Wilson G.L. Irwin M.D., Stoner J.B., Cobaugh A.M."Operant Conditioning"Zookeeping: An Introduction to the Science and Technology2013Chicago416424
25. Ziolkowski J."The Invention of the Tuba (Trumpet)"cw1999Vol 924367373

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Greek and Roman Musical Studies — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation