The Greek poet Oppian of Apamea wrote a poem on hunting and dedicated it to the emperor Caracalla (d. 217 AD). Titled Cynegetica, it includes this description of the dogs to be found at that time in Britain:
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There is, besides, an excellent kind of scenting dogs, though small, worthy of estimation. They are fed by the fierce nation of painted Britons, who call them agasaei. In size they resemble worthless greedy house-dogs that gape under tables. They are crooked, lean, coarse-haired, and heavy-eyed, but armed with powerful claws and deadly teeth. The agasaeus is of good nose and most excellent in following scent.
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From The Dog, William Youatt (Philadelphia: Blanchard and Lea, 1855, p. 24.