The origin of Menageries dates from the most remote antiquity. Their existence may be traced even in the obscure traditions of the fabulous ages, when the contests of the barbarian leader with his fellow-men were relieved by exploits in the chase scarcely less adventurous, and when the monster-queller was held in equal estimation with the warrior-chief. The spoils of the chase were treasured up in common with the trophies of the fight; and the captive brute occupied his station by the side of the vanquished hero. It was soon discovered that the den and the dungeon were not the only places in which this link of connexion might be advantageously preserved, and the strength and ferocity of the forest beast were found to be available as useful auxiliaries even in the battle-field. The only difficulty to be surmounted in the application of this new species of brute force to the rude conflicts of the times consisted in giving to it the wished-for direction; and for this purpose it was necessary that the animals to be so employed should be confined in what may be considered as a kind of Menagerie, there to be rendered subservient to the control, and obedient to the commands, of their masters.
Viverra Civetta. Linn.