What Animals Were in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, animals played a significant role in the mythology, religion, and daily life of the people. Some of these animals were revered and considered sacred, while others were hunted and used for their meat and fur. Let’s take a look at some of the animals that were a part of ancient Greek culture.

Domesticated Animals

1. Sheep
The sheep was one of the most important domesticated animals in ancient Greece.

They were primarily raised for their wool, which was used to make clothing and blankets. Sheep also provided a source of food in the form of lamb and mutton.

2. Goats
Goats were another commonly raised animal in ancient Greece.

They were valued for their milk, which was used to make cheese and other dairy products. Goats also provided meat and fur.

3. Cattle
Cattle were used primarily as work animals in ancient Greece. They were used to plow fields, transport goods, and provide milk.

Wild Animals

1. Lions
Lions played an important role in Greek mythology as they were often depicted as powerful creatures associated with royalty. The Nemean lion was one such mythical creature that was said to have been slain by the hero Heracles.

2. Bears
Bears were often hunted for their meat and fur in ancient Greece. They were also considered sacred to the goddess Artemis, who was said to have been accompanied by a bear on her hunting expeditions.

Birds

1. Eagles
Eagles were revered in ancient Greece as symbols of strength and power. They often appeared on coins and other forms of currency. Owls
Owls played an important role in Greek mythology as they were associated with the goddess Athena, who was often depicted holding an owl.

Sea Creatures

1. Dolphins
Dolphins were considered sacred to the god Apollo and were often depicted alongside him. They were also believed to be protectors of sailors and swimmers. Octopuses
Octopuses were a common sight in ancient Greece and were often used as a source of food.

  • In conclusion, animals played a significant role in ancient Greek culture, both in mythology and daily life. Domesticated animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle provided food and clothing while wild animals like lions and bears were hunted for their meat and fur. Birds like eagles and owls were revered for their symbolism while sea creatures like dolphins and octopuses provided sustenance for the people.