Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
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8.6 CHAP. 6. (6.)—WHEN ELEPHANTS WERE FIRST SEEN IN ITALY.

Elephants were seen in Italy, for the first time, in the war with King Pyrrhus, [Note] in the year of the City 472; they were called "Lucanian oxen," because they were first seen in Lucania. [Note] Seven years after this period, they appeared at Rome in a triumph. [Note] In the year 502 a great number of them were brought to Rome, which had been taken by the pontiff Metellus, in his victory gained in Sicily over the Carthaginians; [Note] they were one hundred and forty-two [Note] in number, or, as some say, one hundred and forty, and were conveyed to our shores upon rafts, which were constructed on rows of hogsheads joined together. Verrius informs us, that they fought in the Circus,

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and that they were slain with javelins, for want of some better method of disposing of them; as the people neither liked to keep them nor yet to give them to the kings. [Note] L. Piso tells us only that they were brought into the Circus; and for the purpose of increasing the feeling of contempt towards them, they were driven all round the area of that place by workmen, who had nothing but spears blunted at the point. The authors who are of opinion that they were not killed, do not, however, inform us how they were afterwards disposed of.



Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 8.5 Plin. Nat. 8.6 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 8.7

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