Wild Boar

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

wild boar Sus scrofa, found from Europe to C. Asia and from the Baltic to N. Africa, in various races and subspecies.

It features in many classical myths. For example, to kill the immense Boar of Erymanthus was one of the Twelve Labours set for Hercules. And perhaps the earliest hunting story to be written down was Homer’s tale of the great boar ravaging the countryside of Calydon, eventually dispatched after Atalanta had wounded it with one of her arrows. The wild boar features in early British, Celtic, and Roman art and coinage.