Romains, Giant Pigeons: A source work to the largest domestic
attract attention. So also the largest and the smallest individuals
of the respective kind. Among the largest pigeons count the Roman
Runt (Romain), whose possible ancestors as large pigeons from the
region Campania, south of Rome, already were mentioned by Plinius 77
after Christ. The Norwegian Christie and Wriedt got an individual of
1225 g presented in the 1920s. For those who are interested in the
history of the great pigeons and especially the Romans, the
French-language book by Thierry Castille, Le Pigeon Romain,
is a treasure trove with numerous representations and sources
Thierry Castille, Le
Pigeon Romain, Rennes 2011
Brisson 1760, the 'Pigeon Romain' still was a name for all known
domesticated breeding breeds, from the feather-footed pigeons to the
trumpeter. Buffon has a different terminology. Romains are for him
in 1772 one of the smaller breeds in the group of large pigeons.
Among the big among the larger domestic pigeons are the 'Oiseaux
lourd', large, heavy and less productive, as big as a little
chicken, the crook beaked Bagdette, the Spanish pigeon, the Turkish
pigeon and, somewhat smaller, also the Roman. At Boitard and Corbié
it is shown in a from today’s perspective recognizable form as
Pigeon Romain Ordinaire, whereby the iris should still be yellow (Boitard
and Corbié 1824, p. 190). Pearlish with exceptions they were at the
Pigeon Romain Cupé, which was more elegant and higher in stance.
This was attributed to crosses with the pearl-eyed Pigeon Bagdais
Batard. These, in turn, are considered to be the successors of the
Spanish Pigeon and ancestors of the French Bagdette and, in addition
to their size, may have brought the pear-colored iris into the
Romans of the day.
Roman Runts at Lumley
1891 (Source Castille 2011) and Runts, Montauban, Spanish Runt at
Eaton, and a modern runt (Source: Sell, Taubenrassen 2009)
as we know it today, came into existence after 1860, after J-P.
Brechet with breeders from the Paris area from the existing breeds
developed the modern type with a wingspan over one meter. The
special feature of the 108-page monograph by Thierry Castille is
that he lets the historical texts speak. He presents central
passages and leaves it to the reader to draw his own conclusions and
to make further considerations. For some readers unfortunately in
French language. The extensive historical figures and the source
references to the original sources facilitate the integration into
the literature in time and context and even the understanding of the
his historical depictions of 'Romans' can also solve the mystery of
the small, rather tumbler-like pigeons depicted in literature as
Romans. This pigeon, created by François Martinet between 1765 and
1773 and reprinted in various variants, depicts the Roman as a
prototype of the domestic pigeon without any particularities
according to Brisson's conception (Castille 2011, p. 7). For the
reader of the first edition of the Schachtzabel of 1910, it is
already irritating to get presented in the preliminary remarks the
"Roman Pigeon from an older works" without source and without
explanation in the figure of a small high flyer or tumbler, then to
find the amazed by Schoener = Würzburg created color tables with the
mighty Romans. The difference between both does not show the
breeding progress, as Schachtzabel suspects in the preliminary
remarks, but it is another pigeon.
Le Pigeon Romain as
prototype for the Domestic Pigeon according to Bresson. Created by
Francois Martinet 1771 (source: Castille 2011) and Runt at
Runt at Schachtzabel
literature and old engravings have to be interpreted out of context
and embedded in the pigeon literature on the development of breeds.
This happens in the monograph of Castille for the Romans. However,
his work is also important for understanding the development of all
the great pigeon breeds.
of such revealing works is, however, the low broad impact. On the
one hand there is the language barrier, on the other hand few from
those who might be interested, know that there is such a book at
all. And if they know, it will be hard to find. A search in the
online accessible scientific libraries was negative, it will be
present in some special libraries and at collectors of pigeon
literature. But collections can also act like 'black holes' of the
universe, absorbing the matter from their environment and making it
disappear to the rest of the universe. The book is a treasure trove,
but finding it yourself is a problem.
Castille, Thierry‚ Le
Pigeon Romain d’apres Jean-Pierre Breschet ou l’Avénement du Pigeon
Romain au 19éme siècle.
Textes Recueillis et Commentés par
Thierry Castille, Rennes 2011.
Schachtzabel, E., Illustriertes
Prachtwerk sämtlicher Tauben-Rassen, Würzburg o.J. (1910).
Sell, Axel, Taubenrassen.
Entstehung, Herkunft, Verwandtschaften. Faszination Tauben durch die
Jahrhunderte, Achim 2009.