The Animal Story Book - online children's book

Edited By Andrew Lang And With Numerous Illustrations By H. J. Ford

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Now there was living at Rome, under the Emperors Vespa­sian and Titus (a.d. 69-81) a man called Pliny, who gave up his life to the study of animals and plants. He not only watched their habits for himself, but he listened eagerly to all that travellers would tell him, and sometimes happened to believe too much, and wrote in his book things that were not true. Still there were a great many facts which he had found out for himself, and the stories he tells about animals are of interest to every one, partly because it seems strange to think that dogs and horses and other creatures were just the same then as they are now.
The dogs that Pliny writes about lived in all parts of the Roman Empire, and were as faithful and devoted to their masters as our dogs are to us. One dog called Hyrcanus, belonging to King Lysimachus, one of the successors of Alexander the Great, jumped on to the funeral pyre on which lay burning the dead body of his master. And so did another dog at the burial of Hiero of Syracuse. But during the lifetime of Pliny himself, a dog's devotion in the heart of Rome had touched even the Roman citizens, ashamed though they generally were of showing their feelings. It had happened that a plot against the life of Nero had been discovered, and the chief conspirator, Titus Sabinus by name, was put to death, together with some of his servants. One of these men had a dog of which he was very fond, and from the
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