Category: Geographic areas

A sitting swallow with forked tail in colour drawn for the Aberdeen Bestiary.

Swallows and Humans in Wales: historical and modern feeding strategies

Species History Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) have been noted as commensal with humans and livestock throughout recorded history. One of the first records comes from Pliny’s Natural History where it is explained: [Hirundines] Thebarum tecta subire negantur quoniam urbs illa saepius capta sit, nec Bizyes in Threcia propter scelera Terei. [Swallows] do not...

Majnun visited in the desert by his mother and Salim (Sanwlah). Various animals gathered around them., British Library, Or.12208, f.150b, 16th C.

Animals in the medieval and Ottoman Islamic World. A work in progress bibliography

This is the very first version of a bibliography on history of animals in the (Medieval and Ottoman Muslim world. Please send comments at and If people are interested, we could organized a work-group on to share a bibliography with specialists from various origins and topics (hunting, falconry, veterinary medicine,...

Arab and Ottoman Menageries

The history of Arab menageries remains to be written. Gustave Loisel briefly touches upon it in his dusty and mediocre overview, particularly the Ottoman menageries of Constantinople (Loisel 1912, I, 184­-187). L. Keimer’s long article on Cairo skims over the menageries of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Keimer 1954, 87–89). Though only a few...

Fig. 8. Detalle del retrato anónimo. Three Unknown Elizabethan Children. National Portrait Gallery, c. 1580.

De perros, mangostas y papagayos: animales de compañía en los tiempos medievales

¿Qué es una mascota? Las fuentes para su estudio Los animales de compañía, lo que hoy denominados mascotas, ocupaban el nivel de relación más estrecho con el hombre por el mero hecho del placer que producía su compañía. Y esto no deja de ser una excepción en el trato que mayoritariamente recibían los...

Photograph licensed by Citron under CC-BY-AS-3.0.

Evidence for the use of whale-baleen products in medieval Powys, Wales

Introduction Baleen is the material which comprises the keratinous feeding plates in the mouths of the largest whales on the planet. It was traditionally used in corsets, along with other items from the late sixteenth century onwards. Historical references suggest that, prior to this, baleen arms and armour were used from the late...

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