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unclassified - 31 10 2001 - 19:08 - katatonik


The ancient sources are very clear in indicating that pigs were used to deter elephants in battle. Pliny writes “elephants are scared by the smallest squeal of a pig; and when wounded and frightened, they always give ground (VIII, 1.27).” Aelian says that “it was by these squealing pigs, they say, that the Romans turned to flight the elephants of Pyrrhus and won a glorious victory (1,38).” The most frequently told tale concerning pigs as a counter weapon to elephants may be represented by Aelian and Polyaenus: when Antigonas Gonatas was besieging Megara, the Megarians succeeded in routing the besiegers’ elephants by dousing pigs in oil and igniting them and then turning them loose against the elephants. One might object that this is hardly a fair test of the elephant’s reaction to pigs per se; but both authors specifically state that the beasts were startled by the squeal rather than by the fire. The flames were simply a means of guaranteeing a satisfactory squeal. As a final instance of the effect of pigs on elephants in battle, it is feasible to examine Procopius’ account of events at Edessa. The city was being besieged by Chosroes, and an elephant with many soldiers on its back was driven up to the city wall and towered over it. The resourceful inhabitants thrust a squealing pig over the wall and into the face of the looming elephant. The result was panic and retreat. Altogether the pig seems to have been quite an effective weapon against the elephant, although its use does not appear to have been widespread in the ancient world.


so, woman, was there more titillation?

foot (Oct 31, 07:09 pm) #

Titillation was plentiful, my dear. Wonderfully plentiful. Where were you yesterday, by the way?

katatonik (Oct 31, 07:10 pm) #

not at home. apparently.

foot (Oct 31, 07:11 pm) #

always knew you'd become a runaway.

katatonik (Nov 1, 02:03 am) #

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