An erudite and amusing letter to The Times

Sir, The Romans kept ring-necked parakeets as pets (letters, Oct
7
). Pliny describes them in his Natural History. “India sends us the
parakeet . . . its body is green marked by a red collar round the neck. It
greets its master and repeats words it hears, being especially lively when
given wine.”

Two of these parakeets are depicted in a mosaic floor of the Villa Dionysos at
Knossos in Crete (2nd century AD). They are accurately drawn, almost
certainly from life, and are shown with a large wine krater between them —
they were probably family pets. They can be seen on the website of the
British School at Athens, at http://www.bsa.ac.uk/knosos/. The parakeets are in
Room N1.

Has anyone here tried putting wine in a bird bath?

Sara Paton


London W4

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: