Skip Nav
Pet Advice
12 Facts You Never Knew About Pet Food
Holiday Living
Your Favorite Celebrity Pets Have Spoken, and This Is What They Want For Christmas
Cats
5 Subscription Boxes For Dog and Cat Owners

History of Owls

Hoo'd Have Thought? A Magical Ancient Owl Background

The below video is evidence enough of just how darn cute owls are, and Harry Potter's pet owl, Hedwig, proved to be the most loyal of all owls. Adorableness aside, do you know why the nocturnal creatures are icons of wisdom in folklore? While in the Harry Potter movies, Hogwarts students could opt to bring owls to their dormitories, their legends go much further back through the ages.

Click through the break for magical owl legends dating back to ancient times.

  • Owls are a symbol of the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, and gained respect for their ability to see at night, despite the darkness. Homer's poetic reference to Athena as "bright-eyed" may also be the most obvious link to the wide-eyed owl often depicted perched on her shoulder.
  • The respect for owls in ancient Greece was taken so seriously that their likeness was used on early monetary coins called "Owls."
  • Ancient Romans believed an owl's hoot warned of an imminent death, and was said to have been heard before Julius Caesar's death.
  • It is said that owls also became associated with witchcraft because like owls, witches can see that which is hidden to others.
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
lauren lauren 5 years
I have to admit this makes me really want a pet owl! And the second one from the right seems like the mean brother or sister of this bunch!
likethedirection likethedirection 5 years
I'm not a big bird person but this video is great.
Why Harry and Hermione Should Have Ended Up Together
Funny Hogwarts Comics
Hogwarts and the Giant Squid Harry Potter Fan Fiction
Plot Coincidences in Harry Potter
Why Slytherin Is the Best House
Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Romantic Connection
Who Is Gellert Grindelwald?

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds