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Dog + Man: From The Odyssey to Beginners

Posted May 23, 2011 to photo album "Dog + Man: From The Odyssey to Beginners"

In Beginners, the dog Arthur and the human Oliver create an emotional bond that echoes back all the way to Homer.

Arthur + Oliver
Argos + Odysseus
Peritas + Alexander the Great
Gelert + Llywelyn
Guinefort + his Knight
Donnchadh + Robert the Bruce
Urian + Cardinal Wolsey
Pompey + William the Silent
Luath + Robert Burns
Boatswain + Lord Byron
Fortune + Josephine
Lauro + Napoleon
Seaman + Meriwether Lewis
Flush + Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Greyfriars Bobby + John Gray
Balto + Gunnar Kaasen
Hachiko + Hidesaburo Ueno
Pompey + William the Silent

Pompey + William the Silent

William I, Prince of Orange, aka William the Silent, by Adriaan Key; 'The New Church at Delft with the tomb of William of Orange', van Vliet, 1667

Originating from China, pugs were believed to arrive in Europe via Holland in the 16th century via the Dutch East India Company. Adopted by the Dutch royals, the toy dogs rose to the stature of the official dog of the House of Orange in 1572 after a pug named Pompey supposed saved the life of William I, the Prince of Orange. According to legend, while Holland was at war with Spain, the prince was camped with his troops in Germigny, France. In the middle of the night his pug woke him, first with his incessant barking, then by jumping on his face. The camp was brought to alert just in time to catch a Spanish solider who had snuck in with the intent of assassinating William I. In tribute to the dog, a statue of Pompey rests at William’s feet at his tomb in the New Church in Delft. In 1688, when William III moved to England to rule with his wife Mary II, he brought pugs with him, attending the coronation wearing orange ribbons.