Brill’s New Pauly

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[German version]

The hamster (Cricetus cricetus) occurs only in grain fields north of the Alps and was unknown to Greeks or Romans. The hibernating μυωξός/ myōxós in Opp. Kyn. 2,574 and 585 was formerly identified with the hamster [1], but actually refers to the  dormouse. The crichetus in Thomas of Cantimpré 4,26 (according to the as yet undiscovered Liber rerum) is well described, but the description of its size (similar to a squirrel) and its habitat (Apulea) do not match those of a hamster. In Albertus Magnus' De animalibus 22,47 [3. 1375], the term cricetus is confirmed in the gloss hame…

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Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg), “Hamster”, 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 18 June 2019 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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