June 30, 2022, 05:52:28 AM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Elk Hunt according to Julius Caesar  (Read 133 times)

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May 09, 2022, 03:08:37 AM
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Charles


In his book De Bello Gallico, VI, 26, Julius Caesar wrote :

Quote
There are also elks so‑called. Their shape and dappled skin are like unto goats, but they are somewhat larger in size and have blunted horns.​ They have legs without nodes or joints, and they do not lie down to sleep, nor, if any shock has causes them to fall, can they raise or uplift themselves. Trees serve them as couches; they bear against them, and thus, leaning but a little, take their rest. When hunters mark by their tracks the spot to which they are wont to betake themselves, they either undermine all the trees in that spot at the roots or cut them so far through as to leave them just standing to outward appearance. When the elk lean against them after their fashion, their weight bears down the weakened trees and they themselves fall along with them.

How could such a serious man write such nonsense ? This is another mystery...
 

May 10, 2022, 07:20:59 PM
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Manti


Looks like an early example of an urban legend  lol2
 

May 11, 2022, 03:37:45 PM
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Charles


Hello Manti,

yes, I like it a lot. And I like to imagine the following circumstances of its birth: some Roman general or officer was invited to a meeting with German local chiefs, to discuss diplomatic or military issues, then there was a banquet and they had to drink... and at some time the German barbarians decided to have fun of the very civilized Roman officer and they told him a story, maybe the one they used to tell to strangers and tourists, and the officer reported everything to Caesar, except the drinking... and the whispers ("C'mon, Gunther, tell him the story of the elks") and the smiles of complicity of the Germans that he couldn't notice given his condition... And I like to imagine in some very small German village of today, a still live local tradition, transmitted from father to son, of a foreign soldier of whom the ancestors had a lot of fun long time ago...

But this does not answer the question if Caesar had the sense of humor or not... anyway, Pliny the Elder later reported Caesar's story in his Natural History as a serious testimony... and it became indeed a true urban legend.  lol3
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 01:33:06 AM by Charles »