Ancient Cats

The Ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as sacred human beings. As we will read in Pro Taberna Clementis, cats were the earthly form of the Egyptian goddess Isis. In the Complete Book of Cats, author Judith Steeth states:

1. If harmed, cat owners suffered the death penalty.

2. Cats were deified and mummified for almost 2000 years.

3. Cats were trained to hunt snakes and birds.


Church of Apostles, Jordan


National Museum of Rome


Istanbul, Turkey


Bardo Museum, Tunisia


House of Faun, Pompeii




Naples, Italy

Classical Cats: The Rise and Fall of the Sacred Cat by Donald W. Engles (pages 88-106)

here is the link

1. When was the cat introduced into Italy? What is the earliest sign of a domestic cat in Italy?

2. What is an image with apotropaic significance? What evidence suggests that the black cat was a symbol of good luck?

3. What are some Roman nomen or family names related to cats?

4. From which language did the Latin word cattus originate?


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