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Elephants and Kings – An Environmental History - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Elephants and Kings: An Environmental History

Thomas R. Trautmann


Because of their enormous size, elephants have been irresistible for kings as symbols of their eminence. In the early civilizations—Egypt, Assyria and Mesopotamia, the Indus Civilization, China—kings have used elephants in royal sacrifice, spectacular hunts, public display of live captives, and the conspicuous consumption of ivory—all of them tending toward the elephant’s extinction. But the kings of India, as Thomas Trautmann writes in this book, found a use for elephants that actually helped preserve their habitat and numbers in the wild: war. Trautmann shows that because elephants eat such ... More

Keywords: elephant, domestication, kingship, forest, forest people

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226264226
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226264530.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas R. Trautmann, author