Les chiens dans la ville : Le cas de Toulouse à l’époque moderne

Abstract : One of the major problems of ancient cities was certainly the omnipresence of all kinds of animals within the city walls. While Toulouse was no exception to this rule, the study of this vast topic clearly reveals a problem related to one particular animal species: dogs. This fact is even more remarkable because pets generally were not a subject for investigation (thus, for example, there is no mention of cats living in Toulouse...).In the field of animal studies, the eighteenth century was marked – among other things – by a sharp increase in the dog population, a phenomenon that occurred at different periods and varying paces depending on the provinces, but which was particularly noticed in large cities, where one could speak of a veritable eruption of dogs, notably stray and abandoned ones. This phenomenon occurred rather late in Toulouse (and in the Haut Languedoc region in general), where it was only noticed beginning in the 1770s; it rapidly became a major problem for the city authorities, who were very afraid of rabies outbreaks. The Languedoc capital, where the issue of dogs had long been inexistent (since at least the end of the sixteenth century), then encountered a serious problem of hygiene, health and public safety that would last until at least the mid-nineteenth century. Our research – casting light on a ‘blind spot’ in historiography, both of urban France and of animals, and especially dogs – aims to reconstruct this phenomenon in all its ‘panting’ rhythm, to grasp the public authorities’ efforts to halt it, and to attempt to discern its roots by focusing on the lower strata of Toulouse society, who were generally in favour of dogs.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 25, 2019 - 5:04:37 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 1:49:09 AM

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Jean-Luc Laffont. Les chiens dans la ville : Le cas de Toulouse à l’époque moderne. Histoire urbaine, Société française d'histoire urbaine (SFHU), 2016, 47 (3), pp.53. ⟨10.3917/rhu.047.0053⟩. ⟨hal-02334035⟩

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