I am writing on behalf of someone who asked me a question that I couldn't
answer. If anyone can help, please could they contact John Murray directly
(I'd be pleased to be copied in to the response).
From: John Murray [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 31 March 2005 12:32
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: Big cats in Roman Britain
I am in the process of writing a review of exotic cats in and out of
captivity in the UK including a chronicle of when big cats were first
brought to being imported Britian. I wondered if you were aware of (or could
assit me in locating) any authenticated evidence that shows the Romans
actually brought lions or leopards to Britian during their time here (43BC -
I was labouring under the assumption that because the Romans came here and
knowing their reputation for arena combat involving exotic beasts there's a
chance they brought big cats (leopard and lion) with them - but then when I
looked there appears to be little to support this actually happening - at
least as far as the involvement of big cats goes. There was some anecdotal
references to the use of native animals such as wild boar and wolves here
but not as yet big cats.
I'd appreciate anything you could provide to help with this conundrum that
is causing me some consternation. More generally If you have any
interesting anecdotes regarding the presence of exotic cat remains in
archaeological sites in the UK, such as Lynx I'd be very keen to hear them.
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
yours faithfully, John
Dr John Murray