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1. a collection of wild animals kept for exhibition
2. the place where such animals are housed
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a collection of wild animals kept in cages and intended for exhibition. Menageries go back to the time of the Assyrian and Babylonian kings, the Egyptian pharaohs, and the ancient Persian rulers. In Europe, menageries were associated with the ancient Roman circuses; their animals were used to persecute people.

In the late 18th century and early 19th, traveling menageries owned by private entrepreneurs began to appear in various European countries, including Russia. They exhibited for purely commercial purposes what were considered the “wonders” of the animal world—for example, elephants, lions, tigers, monkeys, bears, crocodiles, peacocks, boa constrictors, and parrots. These menageries were essentially amusement enterprises, and they have been eliminated in the USSR. Menageries were the precursors of zoological gardens.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
But in the 19th century, when travelling menageries and circuses traversed Britain and the US, such break-outs were far more common.
"Menageries toured widely from the late 18th century, bringing exotic animals within reach of even the poorest.
Jim lives in a real world of technological progress while Laura lives in the illusory world of inanimate menageries. There is deep incompatibility not only in the approaches of Jim and Laura but also in their names and what they denote.
Director Whit Wales has wedded his experience in film with live theater in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," performed at the First Parish Church, Fitchburg, this month.
The animals are thought to have been housed in the Tower's Royal Menagerie, established by King John in the 13th century.
These establishments are a motley assortment of animal spectacles: pathetically housed animals in roadside menageries; apes stationed at the entrance of retail stores; attractions featuring alligator wrestling; petting zoos; animal dealers; pools or sea pens where people can pay by the hour to swim with dolphins; Vegas-style animal acts; and a host of zoos that fall short of even minimum professional standards but still attract a good crowd on a sunny afternoon.
While the emerging menagerie contained many fascinating and exotic animals and celebrated the strength and majesty of England's monarchs, it paled in comparison to the imaginary menageries that were found in medieval bestiaries.
Though a cursory glance will reveal the crowded design, often vibrant hues, and imaginative use of found materials that mark self-taught art from Switzerland to Haiti, it is the evangelical slogans, church picnics, reminiscences of slavery, and barnyard menageries that serve to underline the influence of landscape and religion.
As its subtitle suggests, it is a history of the exotic (i.e., non-native species) animals in eighteenth-century Paris, which ranged from the famous rhinocerous, elephants, and zebra in the Royal Menagerie (open to the public) at Versailles through the rather motheaten lions and tigers of the animal shows at fairs and on the boulevards to the hundreds of monkeys, parrots, parakeets and songbirds kept as household pets.
They were sent to the Birmingham Mail by Geoffrey Younger whose great grandfather, Arthur Feeley, was a lion tamer with Bostock and Wombwell's Menagerie.
FITCHBURG - Director Whit Wales has wedded his experience in film with live theater in Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie," performed at First Parish Church this month.