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The History of British Birds$
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Derek Yalden and Umberto Albarella

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199217519

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217519.001.0001

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Veni, Vidi, Vici

Veni, Vidi, Vici

Chapter:
(p.95) 5 Veni, Vidi, Vici
Source:
The History of British Birds
Author(s):

D. W. Yalden

U. Albarella

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217519.003.0006

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

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