Chapter

Veni, Vidi, Vici

D. W. Yalden and U. Albarella

in The History of British Birds

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780199217519
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191712296 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217519.003.0006
 Veni, Vidi, Vici

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The arrival of the Romans, tentatively in 55-54 BC and more permanently from 43 AD, saw an established economy in southern Britain based on farming. With villas, forts, and farms, there is a wealth of archaeological sites and records of birds. The Romans seem to have eaten a wide range of wild birds, including woodcock, plovers, grey partridge, crane, ducks, and geese, but the raven is a prominent symbolic presence and they also exploited domestic species. Farmyard fowl, originally domesticated in China, reached Britain in the late Iron Age but became common from Roman times onwards, as did geese. Perhaps ducks and doves were also domesticated by them, and they had both pheasant and peafowl. Outwith the Roman province (in northern Scotland and Ireland), seabirds, rare at Roman sites, remained common prey of humans.

Keywords: Roman; raven; domestic fowl; domestic goose; pheasant; peacock

Chapter.  9849 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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