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Domesticated goats in 1st century BCE Egypt

The domestic goat, commonly referred to simply as goat, is a domesticated subspecies of the wild goat. Like all types of goat, it bears twin horns on its head, although they are not as large and powerful as those of wild goats.


In Greek mythology, goats were represented by Amalthea, a goat living on Mount Ida in Messara, Krete. She nursed the baby god Zeus, and after her death, he wore her skin as an aegis.[1]


Among the earliest animals domesticated by humans, the goat has been used as a source of meat, milk, cheese, and transportation in human societies across the world since the dawn of their civilization, and has been a persistent feature of agriculture all the up to the present day.

5th century BCE

In the ancient Greece, goats were in addition to being a source of various goods, goats were also common sacrificial animals, and the Spartan misthios Kassandra was asked to hunt them for this purpose then and again.[2]

1st century BCE

In the Ptolemaic Egypt, the goats also had a spiritual presence, as people observed the Goat Fish, a god with the head of a ram and the body of a fish. This was called Capricornus by the Greeks[3], and later known as Aries.[4]

A Viking drinking horn

Viking Age

The Vikings crafted their drinking horns from the horns of either goats or cattle. The pirate Alonzo Batilla found some of these in the 18th century during his adventures in the Caribbean.[4]

18th century

When the British American colonies were established, the settlers brought goats with them. The goats flourished in the so-called 'New World', and were an ubiquitous sight during the American Revolutionary War as well.[5]

Behind the scenes

In Assassin's Creed: Odyssey, whenever a goat is referenced, the animals meant are actually ibexes, a related species of wild goat.