Ode to a pig.

A friendly pig.

The relationship between people and their pets isn’t a new thing. Perhaps though it took an unusual form in once instance found on a stele. It dates to the Hellenistic period, though possibly a Roman date may apply. In either case it’s not so much when as what it reveals.

The stele contains the normal style of having a narrative to the deceased, in this case the pig can be seen leading the way in front of the cart and later, sadly, under the wheels of it. This presumably is how it died. It was obviously a good friend to the merchant or driver as he even had an inscription dedicated to it.

Pig stele from Edessa

Fine words to a beloved pig.

Here’s a translation of the inscription (courtesy of Wikipedia):

 A pig, friend to everybody

a young four-footed one

here I lay, having left

behind, the land of Dalmatia

,as an offered gift,

at Dyrrachion I walked

Apollonia yearning

and all the road I crossed

on foot alone steadily.

But by the force of a wheel

I have now lost the light

longing to see Emathia

and the Phallic chariot

Here now I lie, owing

nothing to death anymore


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