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Pastoral Landscapes (1995-2002)

A pastoral landscape is not just a romantic shepherd’s idyll with small white lambs and pretty shepherdesses on an oil painting but instead a very evident reality. In the root, ‘pa-‘, is the key notion of pasturage and fodder, which we find in many concepts and ideas. The shepherd god, Pan’s name derives from this word as well as the word, pastor. It is an ancient Indo-European root, which has presumably moved westward at the same rate as the domesticated sheep and goats, from the mountain regions of Northern Iraq and Iran, to the Mediterranean area.
The technical term, pastoralism, entails an economy based on a specialised animal husbandry of cattle, sheep and goats. In areas such as the Middle East and the Mediterranean, where the natural prerequisites allowed livestock to remain outdoors all year, livestock were traditionally not put in stables during the winter but instead changed pasture according to the season, so called transhumance. This demanded a mobility of flocks and shepherds, covering vast areas, and during some historical periods this type of animal husbandry was so extensive that we can speak of economy on a major scale.
The pastoral lifestyle has, in an astounding way, satisfied not only mankind’s material needs but also the yearning for legends and a spiritual dimension in life. One goal of this study has therefore been to shed light on the interaction between these elementary human needs and attempt to understand why this particular cultural expression has become so important in our culture. The area studied is ancient Greece and Rome and the subject matter is delimited by the pastoral life forms that have arisen from an animal husbandry based, above all, on sheep and goats, man’s oldest domestic animals (with the exception of dogs) and the domestic animals that have meant the most for societal development in the Mediterranean area.

The project, Pastoral Landscapes, held a conference in September 2002, PECUS. Man and animal in antiquity. It was an international multi-disciplinary conference, where art, science and the humanities met to discuss the theme of people and animals in antiquity. For five intensive days Classical archaeologists, Nordic archaeologists, historians, art historians, philologists, osteologists, veterinarians, artists and musicians, all together around fifty people from all over the world, met to share each other’s experiences, knowledge and art. The conference was effected with economic support from The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and the Swedish Institute. The results are published on-line: PECUS. MAN AND ANIMAL IN ANTIQUITY . Proceedings of the conference at the Swedish Institute in Rome, September 9-12, 2002.
Ed Barbro Santillo Frizell (The Swedish Institute in Rome. Projects and Seminars, 1), Rome 2004.

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-‘Curing the flock. The use of healing water in Roman pastoral economy’, in PECUS. MAN AND ANIMAL IN ANTIQUITY. Proceedings of the conference at the Swedish Institute in Rome,September 9-12, 2002.
Ed Barbro Santillo Frizell (The Swedish Institute in Rome. Projects and Seminars, 1), Rome 2004.
- Pastorala landskap. Myt och verklighet. Stockholm 2006 (Pastoral landscapes. Myth and reality. Stockholm 2006. With a summary in English

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