This paper considers the domestic caged bird as a cultural artefact in Rome, identifying it as a specifically Roman phenomenon related to Roman habits of acquisition, collection, and display. It further considers the aesthetic aspects of the caged bird and how it impacted on social and mental space both directly and through the media of painting and literature. In this respect the caged bird is considered in relation to accessible metaphoric readings and to the physical and cognitive patterns of the house. Finally, the relationship of the caged bird to art and fashion is considered.


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