People have raised sheep since very ancient times for their wool. Most clothing that the Greeks and Romans wore was made out of wool, even though wool is a very heavy fabric and southern Europe can be a very hot place to live. It is possible that itchiness was what¬†really¬†drove the Romans to conquer most of the known world–they may have figured that some country out there had a more breathable cloth that chaffed less.

Sheep were typically sent out to feed in the pasture. Unfortunately, sheep are highly edible. Fortunately, a shepherd would follow the sheep to ensure that wolves and similar ravenous monsters did not drag them off for a woolly evening snack. But unfortunately, as everyone knows, it is hard to stay awake when counting sheep. So, sheep had a reputation for being helpless victims, and shepherds’ for being lazy bums.