Monday, February 23, 2015

Did Ancient Cultures Keep Pet Birds? Yes! Yes! Yes!

This was too good not to share.

My pet Rosy Bourkes. received an inquiry about where to find info on pet birds kept by ancient cultures. My husband, author E.G. Lewis, is a guru on ancient Roman culture and he answered for me. If you're also interested in pet birds kept in first century Rome ... here you go:

"My wife forwarded your request to me since her post on the Splendid Bourke Bird Blog was derived from one I did for my Sowing the Seeds Blog, here: 
As you read it, you will notice that some of the conclusions are based on logical assumptions as much as anything else. The Bible references, Job for instance, assumes that if someone asks, “Can you make a pet of him like a bird?” it must have been a common practice. Alexander the Great’s connection to parrots is well documented. I conduct most of my research via the internet., but I can offer a few print sources.

The Amores by Roman poet Publius Ovidius Naso…commonly known as Ovid. In Book II, Elegy VI, he laments the death of his lover’s pet parrot. A hard copy would probably be available at your local library. If you simply need the quote, it can be found here: You can also download a copy at the site.

 Gaius Valerius Catullus, another Roman poet, mention his love’s pet sparrow in section 2-3. It can be accessed here:

Here is one book I came across: Parrot Culture: Our 2500-Year-Long Fascination with the World's Most Talkative Bird, By Bruce Boehrer,  University of Pennsylvania Press.  It is available on Amazon as a used hardback for $2-$4. It is also available on Google books.

Finally, I’ll suggest another internet resource:  is a site entirely devoted to the Roman Empire. If you want to take the time to search out a page that deals with day-to-day Roman life, etc., or you can post a question and hopefully get several responses. I’ve used them for my novels when I can’t find an answer anywhere else."
Lastly, this is Gail again, here is a link to my husband's site on He has nine books in print and as ebooks. Some are also now in audio. Blessings, Gail  
Author, E.G. Lewis. -- My husband, Ed,
with  our wonderful Chinook.

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