1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Androclus

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ANDROCLUS, a Roman slave who lived about the time of Tiberius. He is the hero of a story told by Aulus Gellius (v. 14), which states that Androclus had taken refuge from the cruelties of his master in a cave in Africa, when a lion entered the cave and showed him his swollen paw, from which Androclus extracted a large thorn. The grateful animal subsequently recognized him when he had been captured and thrown to the wild beasts in the circus, and, instead of attacking him, began to caress him (Aelian, De Nat. An. vii. 48).