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Shrew
(449 words)

[German version]

(Greek μυγαλῆ/mygal, Lat. sorex or Old Latin saurex and mus araneus, 'spider mouse'). Due to its secretive habit, this insectivore family of mammals with various species was hardly known in Antiquity. It was often confused with the ordinary mouse. Pliny describes the ears of the sorex as hairy (HN 11,136) and the tip of the tail as similar to that of the cow or lion (ibid. 11,265). Their hibernation is correctly mentioned by Plin. HN 8,223 (referring only to the garden shrew [1. 175]).

Much superstition and magic was reported: supposedly, egrets (ardeola) and shrews pre…

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Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg), “Shrew”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 26 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e1119570>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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