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Book II

This webpage reproduces a Bookof the
Cynegetica

by
Oppian

published in the Loeb Classical Library,
1928

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!


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Book IV

p113 Oppian, Cynegetica or The Chase

III

[Link to a page in Greek] But now that we have sung the tribes of horned wild beasts, Bulls and Stags and splendid Broad-horns and Gazelles, of the Oryx and beautiful Iorcus and others whose heads are armed above, come now, O goddess, let us tell of the saw-toothed1 company of flesh-eating2 beasts and the tusked races.

[Link to a page in Greek] First of all to the Lion let us dedicate the glorious lay. The Curetes were the nurses of the infant Zeus, the mighty son of Cronus, what time Rhea concealed his birth and carried away the newly-born child from Cronus, his sire implacable, and placed him in the vales of Crete. And when the son3 of Uranus beheld the lusty young child he transformed the first glorious guardians of Zeus and in vengeance made the Curetes wild beasts. And since by the p115devising of the god Cronus they exchanged their human shape and put upon them the form4 of Lions, thenceforth by the boon of Zeus they greatly lord it over the wild beasts which dwell upon the hills, and under the yoke they draw the terrible swift car of Rhea who lightens the pangs of birth.

[Link to a page in Greek] Various are the tribes of them and each species has its own form. Those which by the waters of a noisy river, even beside the broad stream of the Tigris, are bred by Armenia, mother of archers, and by the land of the Parthians, rich in tilth and pasture, are yellow-haired and not so valiant. They have a stouter neck and a large head, bright eyes and high and bushy brows, ample and lowering over the nose. From neck and jaws springs on either side luxuriant hair.

[Link to a page in Greek] Those again which the bountiful land of the Erembi5 rears — the land which the tribes of mortal men call Fortunate6 — these also have shaggy neck and breast, and flashes of fire lighten from their eyes, and they are handsome above all; but of these the infinite earth hath but a scanty breed.

[Link to a page in Greek] But a great throng of mighty Lions roar in the goodly land of thirsty Libya — no longer shaggy these but a thin sheen runs over them. Terrible are they of face and neck, and on all their limbs they bear a blackish hue stained with dark blue. The strength in their limbs is limitless, and the Libyan Lions greatly lord it over the lordly Lions.

p117 [Link to a page in Greek] From the Ethiopians once on a time there came to the land of Libya, a great marvel to behold, a well-maned Lion, black of hue, broad of head above, hairy of foot, bright of eye, reddening only on the yellow mouth. I have seen, not merely heard of, that terrible beast, when it was transported to be a spectacle for royal eyes.

[Link to a page in Greek] The tribes of Lions do not need food7 every day but one day they devote to feeding, the next in turn to labour. Neither doth the Lion take his sleep by the inmost bounds of a rock, but he sleeps8 in the open, revolving a courageous soul, and wheresoever sovran night overtakes him at evening, there he sleeps.

[Link to a page in Greek] This also have I heard from the keepers of Lions, to wit that under his right paw the tawny Lion has a power of swift benumbing,9 wherewith he utterly benumbs the knees of wild beasts.

[Link to a page in Greek] Five times10 doth the Lioness loose her zone in birth, and idle truly is the report that she bears but one. Five she bears the first time, but next she travails with four cubs; then next in order from her third labour spring three; from her fourth spring twin young; and last from her womb of noble progeny the mother brings forth the glorious Lion King.

p119 [Link to a page in Greek] Next the deadly Leopards11 are a double race. The one sort are larger to look on and stouter as to their broad backs, while the other sort are smaller but no whit inferior in valiance. The daedal forms of both are alike, apart only from the tail, where a perversity is seen: the lesser Leopards have the larger, the large the lesser tail. The thighs are well knit, the body is long, the eye bright: the shining pupils show grey-green beneath their brows, grey-green at once and red within, flaming as if on fire; but in the mouth beneath the teeth are pale and venomous. The hide is variegated and on a bright ground is dark with close-set black spots. Very swift it is in running and valiant in a straight charge. Seeing it thou wouldst say that it sped through the air. Notwithstanding minstrels celebrate this race of beasts as having been aforetime the nurses of Bacchus, giver of the grape; wherefore even now they greatly exult in wine and receive in their mouths the great gift of Dionysus. What matter it was that changed glorious women from the race of mortals into this wild race of Leopards I shall hereafter sing.

[Link to a page in Greek] Another swift race, moreover, of twofold nature p121thou mayst see, the notable Lynxes.12 Of these the one sort are small to look on and attack the little Hares; the other sort are larger and easily leap upon the Stags of goodly horns and the swift Oryx. Both are clothed in altogether similar form. Alike are the delightful flashes that lighten from their eyes beneath their brows; both have bright face, small head, and curving ear; only their colour is dissimilar to look on. The smaller Lynxes are covered with a ruddy hide, while the colour of the larger is saffron and like sulphur. Beyond others these tribes love their dear offspring, the keen-eyed Lynxes and the fiery-eyed Lions and the deadly Leopards and the windswift Tigers. When in the thickets fearless hunters secretly steal away their suckling cubs, and they returning afterward behold their empty house and home made desolate, they shrilly wail their loud lament and far they send abroad their doleful dirge; even as, when their fatherland is sacked with the spear and burnt with raging fire, women fall upon their children's necks and loudly weep. Such constraining love of child and new-born babe hath God instilled into the p123heart: not alone in men who devise all things by their wits but even in creeping things and fish and the ravenous wild beasts themselves and the high-ranging flocks of birds: so much is nature mightier than all beside. What care doth the Dolphin13 amid the waves take evermore of its children, and the bright-eyed Glaucus14 and the Seal15 of evil smell! And how among the fowls of air do they cherish unfailing love for their own children — the Giers16 and the deep-noted Doves and the tribes of the Eagle and the long-lived Crow! And the domestic mother Hen, companion of the homes of men, fluttering about her new-hatched chicks, how, when she sees a Hawk swooping down over the roof, doth she straightway utter a piercing scream and spring up with shrill cry and lift her arching neck high into the air and speedily ruffle all her plumage and droop her wings to the ground, while the poor chickens cheeping cower together beneath the bulwark of her wings; and speedily she routs and drives away the shameless bird, defending her dear children, still infants whom she feeds, unfledged and newly delivered from the bondage of the chambers of birth.17 So also among wild beasts roaring Lionesses and swift Leopards and Tigers of striped back stand forward to defend their children and fight with hunters and for their young ones are prepared to die, joining issue with the spearmen face to face; p125and in the battle for their offspring they shudder not at the advancing crowd of javelin-throwers, not at the gleaming bronze and flashing iron, nor at the swift cast of shaft and shower of stones, but they are eager either to die first or save their children.

[Link to a page in Greek] Wild Bears,18 a deadly race of crafty wits, are clothed in a close and rugged coat of hair19 and a form unkindly with unsmiling eyes. Sawtoothed, deadly, and long is their mouth; nose dark, eye keen, ankle swift, body nimble, head broad, hands20 like the hands of men, feet like men's feet; terrible their roar, cunning their wits, fierce their heart; and they are much given to venery and that not orderly. For evermore by day and night the females lust for mating and themselves pursue the males, seldom intermitting the pleasures of union and conceiving young when already pregnant. For it is not the custom for wild beasts when they are with young to mate and fulfil the work of desire, apart only from the Lynxes and the weakling Hares.21 But the she Bear in her desire for mating, and abhorring to have her bed widowed, endures to devise for her children thus: ere the season of birth, ere the appointed day arrives, she puts pressure on her womb and does violence to the goddesses of birth: so great her lechery, so great her haste for love. She brings forth her children half formed and not p127articulate,22 shapeless flesh,23 and unjointed and mysterious to behold. At one and the same time she attends to mating and to the rearing of her young and when she has but newly given birth she couches with the male. And she licks24 with her tongue her dear offspring, even as cattle lick one another in turn with their tongues and take delight in each other; and one of the fair-horned kine rejoices in the other and they do not part till they have put from them sweet desire, and they gladden the heart of their attendant herdsman. So doth the she Bear shape her children by licking; while they whine and mumble incontinently.

[Link to a page in Greek] Moreover the Bear beyond all others dreads the onset of winter, shaggy of hair though she be. And when the snow besprinkles everything, what time the stormy West Wind sheds it thickly all about, she hides25 in a cave where there is shelter adequate and spacious, and for lack of food she licks her feet26 and paws even as if she were milking them and beguiles the craving of the belly. Even such a device have the coiling Poulpes27 devised in the depths of the wide-wayed sea amid the waves; who dreading the chilly menace of mid-winter hide in the shelving p129rocks and devour their own tentacles; but when spring blooms, moist and fertile, new arms speedily grow for them again and once again with fair array of suckers they sail the long path of the sea.

[Link to a page in Greek] Next in order let us tell of the Wild Ass,28 well-ankled, swift as air, fleet-footed29 like the wind, strong-hoofed, broad to behold, silvery of colour, long-eared, most swift to run. About the middle of his back is set a black stripe, surrounded on either side by snowy bands. He eats hay30 and the grass-growing earth feeds him abundantly; but he himself is good food for mighty wild beasts. The tribes of the wind-footed Wild Asses are altogether prone to jealousy and they glory in many wives and plume themselves thereon. The females follow wheresoever the husband leads: they haste to the pasture when he wills to bid them, and, when he bids, to the river springs, the wild beasts' wine, and anon to their bosky homes when evening brings sleep. A fierce and shameless frenzy stirs jealousy31 in all the males against their own young sons. For when the female is in the travail of Eileithyia, the male sits p131hard by and watches for his own offspring. And when the infant foal falls at the feet of his mother, if it is a female, the father is fond of his child and licks it on either side with his tongue and caresses his dear offspring; but if he sees that it is a male, then, then the frenzied beast stirs his heart with deadly jealousy about the mother and he leaps forth, eager to rend32 with his jaws the privy parts of his child, lest afterward a new brood should grow up; while the mother, though but newly delivered and weak from the travail of birth, succours her poor child in the quarrel. As when in grievous war cruel warriors slay a child before the eyes of his mother and hale herself while she clings to her son yet writhing in his blood and wails with loud and lamentable cry and tears her tender cheek and is drenched below with the hot blood and warm milk of her breasts; even so the she Wild Ass is just as if she were piteously lamenting and sorrowfully wailing over her son. Thou wouldst say that all unhappy, bestriding her child, she was speaking honeyed words and uttering this prayer. "O husband, husband, wherefore is thy face hardened and thine eyes red that before were bright? It is not Medusa's33 brow who turned men to stone that thou beholdest near; not the venomous offspring of Dragoness implacable; not the lawless whelp of mountain-roaming Lioness. The child whom I, unhappy mother, bare, the child for whom we prayed to the gods, even thine own child, wilt thou with thine own jaws mutilate? Stay, dear, mar him not! Ah! why hast thou marred him? What a deed thou hast done! Thou p133hast turned the child to nothingness and has made all his body blind. Wretched and unhappy I in my untimely motherhood, and altogether wretched thou, my child, in thy most sinful father. Wretched I, thrice miserable, who have travailed in vain, and wretched thou, marred not by the claws of Lions, but by the cruel lion jaws of thy sire." Thus one would say the unhappy mother speaks over her infant son, while the unheeding father with bloody jaws makes mirthless banquet of his child. O father Zeus, how fierce a heart hath Jealousy! Him hast thou made, O lord, mightier than nature to behold and hast given him the bitter force of fire, and in his right hand hast vouchsafed to him to wear a sword of adamant. He preserves not, when he comes, dear children to their loving parents, he knows nor comrade nor kin nor cousin, when he intervenes grievous and unspeakable. He also in former times arrayed against their own children heroes themselves and noble heroines — Theseus,34 son of Aegeus, and Athamas,35 son of Aeolus, and Attic Procne36 and Thracian37 Philomela and Colchian Medea38 and p135glorious Themisto.39 But notwithstanding, after the race of afflicted mortals, to wild beasts also he served up a banquet of Thyestes.40

[Link to a page in Greek] In the precipitous bounds of the Ethiopians there is a great tribe of Wild Horses,41 armed with two venomous tusks. Their feet, however, have not a single hoof, but double like that of Deer. The mane of the neck covers the middle of the back even to the end of the tail. Never does that dread overweening tribe endure the servitude of man, but even if the dark-skinned Indians by crafty ambush take the Wild Horse in their well-twisted toils, he will not readily taste future with his lips nor drink, but badly bears the yoke of slavery.

[Link to a page in Greek] Mark also two dread saw-toothed42 tribes, the sheep-slaying Wolf43 and again the weak-sighted44 p137Hyena;45 the first a destroyer of flocks of Sheep and herds of Goats, the other the foe of Dogs and mighty Hounds; the one, through the unescapable impulse of hunger, the crafty46 harrier by night of Lamb and Kid, the other a night-farer and night-wanderer, since for it there is light by night but darkness by day. The forms of these two bloody beasts are unlike. The Wolf thou wouldst behold like to the larger shepherd Dogs, with bushy tail behind. The Hyena has the midst of the back arched and it is shaggy47 all about and the dread body is marked on either side with close-set dark stripes. It is narrow and long of back and tail. The hide of both beasts the minstrels celebrate as terrible. If thou wert to cut off a piece of hide of the Hyena and wear it on thy feet, thou wouldst wear a great terror of mighty Dogs, and Dogs bark not at thee wearing those shoes, even if they barked before. And if thou shouldst flay a Wolf and from his hide make a sounding tabor, like the tabor of Dindymus48 which destroys increase,49 it alone of all sounds its deep note and it alone makes a din, while all the tabors that had a goodly sound before are p139silent and hush their noise. Sheep even when dead shudder at a dead Wolf. This marvel50 also I have heard about the spotted Hyenas, to wit that male and female change year by year, and one is now a weak-eyed bridegroom all eager to mate and anon appears as a lady bride, a bearer of children, and a goodly mother.

[Link to a page in Greek] But five in number are the grey-haired breeds of Wolves, and herdsmen, whose bitter foes the wolf-tribes are, have remarked their different forms. First there is that which they call the bold Archer. Tawny is all his body, and his rounded limbs and head and swift limbs are larger far. The belly is light-coloured with grey spots. Terribly he howls and very high he leaps, ever shaking his head and glaring with fiery eyes.

[Link to a page in Greek] Another again is superior in size and long of limb, swiftest in speed51 among all Wolves that are; him men name the Hawk and the Harrier. With much din he fares forth in the early morning to seek his prey at the first glimmering of dawn; for he easily becomes anhungered. Silvery gleams his colour on ribs and tail. He dwells on the high52 hills; but when in the winter season the chilly snow pours from the clouds and covers the hills, then doth the deadly beast draw nigh even to the city, having clothed himself with utter shamelessness for the sake of food; and stealthily he approaches and very quietly till he comes upon his prey, which speedily he seizes in his sharp claws.

p141 [Link to a page in Greek] And there is one which beyond the snow-clad heights of Taurus inhabits the Cilician hills and cliffs of Amanus,53 beautiful of aspect, most excellent among beasts, which they call the Golden Wolf, brilliant with abundant hair: no Wolf but a tall beast more excellent than a Wolf, armed with mouth of bronze, infinite in might. Many a time he pierces amain the enduring bronze, many a time he pierces stone or the iron spear. He knows the Dog-star Sirius and dreads his rising; straightway he creeps into some cleft of the wide earth or into a lightless cave, until the sun and the baleful Dog-star abate their heat.

[Link to a page in Greek] Again there are two redoubtable54 Wolves, a deadly race, small of neck, very broad of back, but less of size in shaggy thighs and feet and face and small of eye. Of these one is brilliant with silvery back and white belly, and is dark only on the extremities of his feet. This grey-haired Wolf some men have named the Kite. But the other is dark of hue, smaller than the former yet not wanting in strength. He is a great hunter and makes Hares his prey, leaping upon them while all the hair upon his limbs bristles erect.

[Link to a page in Greek] Often55 Wolves mate with the fierce Leopards, and from the union springs the mighty tribe of Jackals.56 They wear two colours mingled together, the mother's colour on the hide, the father's on the face.

p143 [Link to a page in Greek] Next let us sing the Tiger57 of glorious form, than which cunning nature has vouchsafed naught more pleasant for the eyes to behold amid the great company of wild beasts. As much doth the Tiger excel among wild beasts as the Peacock doth for beauty among the fowls of air. Every way like a lioness of the hills wouldst thou behold it, apart only from the hide, which is variegated, with darkling stripes and brilliant sheen. Like are the eyes that lighten with fiery flash beneath the brows; like the body, strong and fleshy; like the long and bushy tail; like the face about the mouth; like the frowning brows above; like the gleaming teeth. Swifter58 is it than all wild beasts that are; for it runs with speed like its sire, the West Wind59 himself. Yet the West Wind is not its sire; who would believe that wild beasts mated with an airy bridegroom? For that also is an empty tale, that all this tribe is female and mates not with a male; for often mightst thou see its handsome spouse of many colours, but not easily couldst thou capture him; for he leaves his young60 and flees amain when he descries the hunters; but the female follows her cubs and in the anguish of her heart — to the great joy of the hunters — comes straight to the nets.

[Link to a page in Greek] Eminent among warlike wild beasts is the Boar.61 p145He loves a lair in the farthest depths of the crags and greatly he loathes the noisy din of wild beasts. Unceasingly he roams in pursuit of the female and is greatly excited by the frenzy of desire. On his neck the hair bristles erect, like the crest of a great-plumed helmet. He drops foam upon the ground and gnashes the white edge of his teeth, panting hotly; and there is much more rage about his mating than modesty.62 If the female abide his advances, she quenches all his rage and lulls to rest his passion. But if she refuses intercourse and flee, straightway stirred by the hot and fiery goad of desire he either overcomes her and mates with her by force or he attacks her with his jaws and lays her dead in the dust. There is a tale touching the Wild Boar that his white tusk63 has within it a secret devouring fiery force. A manifest proof of this for men is well founded. For when a great thronging crowd of hunters with their Dogs lay the beast low upon the ground, overcoming him with long spear on spear, then if one take a thin hair from the neck and approach it to the tusk of the still gasping beast, straightway the hair takes fire and curls up. And on either side of the Dogs themselves, where the fierce tusks of the Swine's jaws have touched them, marks of burning are traced upon the hide.

[Link to a page in Greek] Than the Porcupines64 there is nothing in the shady wood more terrible to behold nor aught more deadly. p147Their size is like that of the bloody Wolves; short, small, and strong is their body, but their hide bristles all about with rough and shaggy quills, such as those with which the cunning tribes of Hedgehogs65 are armed. But when far mightier beasts pursue him, then he uses this device. He erects his sharp quills and backward hurls66 straight the dire shaft that bristles on his flying back, and both flees amain and fights as he seeks to escape. Many67 a time he slays a saw-toothed Dog; even so, one would say, shoots a man well skilled in archery. Therefore when the hunters espy him, they do not slip the Dogs but devise a trick, which I shall tell68 when I sing of the slaying of wild beasts.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Ichneumon69 is small, but as well worthy to be sung as large beasts by reason of the cunning and great valiance which it hides in a feeble body. For indeed by its craft it slays two tribes — the reptile Serpents and the terrible Crocodiles,70 those creatures of the Nile, a deadly race. When one of the dread beasts sleeps, opening his lips with triple row and p149his wide gape and his fence unspeakable of flashing teeth, then the Ichneumon weaves a subtle device.71 With eyes askance he watches the huge beast until he is fit in his heart that it is deep asleep. Then, having rolled himself in sand and mud he swiftly springs and flies with daring heart through the gate of death and passes through wide throat. Then the wretched Crocodile wakes from his heavy sleep and carrying in his belly such an evil unlooked for, everywhere he roams in helpless rage, now going to the farthest reaches of the river, now rolling shoreward in the sand, gasping wildly and tossing in his agony. But the Ichneumon heeds not but enjoys his sweet repast; and mostly by the liver he sits to banquet; then late and last he leaps forth and leaves the empty body of the beast. O Ichneumon, marvellous and mighty, cunning in counsel, how great daring thy heart holds! What a task thou dost undertake, advancing thy body to the very jaws of death.

[Link to a page in Greek] The venomous Asp72 the Ichneumon overcomes by this device.73 He lies in wait for the beast, hiding all his body in the sands, save only the tail and the fiery eyes; for the tail is long and snakelike with curling p151headlike tufts, black to the view, like the scales of serpents. When he seeks the dusky puffing viper, he arches his tail in front of her and challenges the deadly beast. The Asp over against him lifts up her head hard by and expands her breast and bares her stubborn teeth and fights vainly with her deadly jaws. But then the warlike Ichneumon lingers not in the sands, but leaps and seizes her terrible throat and rends her with his jaws as she twists this way and that and straightway lays her dead — vainly spitting74 forth bitter deadly venom of her passionate wrath.

[Link to a page in Greek] Furthermore, most cunning75 among all the beasts of the field is the Fox.76 Warlike of heart and wise she dwells in remotest lair, with seven-gated openings to her house and tunneled earths far from one another, lest hunters set an ambush about her doors and lead her captive with snares. Terrible is she to fight with her teeth against stronger wild beasts and hunting Dogs. And when chilly winter comes and she lacks food, and the vines show bare of grapes, then she weaves a deadly device for hunting, to capture by craft birds77 and the young of Hares.78

p153 [Link to a page in Greek] Tell also, I pray thee, O clear-voiced Muse of diverse tones, of those tribes of wild beasts which are of hybrid79 nature and mingled of two stocks, even the Pard of spotted back joined and united with the Camel.80 O Father Zeus, how many things hast thou devised, how many forms hast thou created for us, how many hast thou given to men, how many to the finny creatures of the sea! Even as thou hast devised this very varied form of the Camel, clothing with the hide of the shameless Pard a race splendid and lovely and gentle to men. Long is its neck, its body spotted, the ears small, bare the head above, long the legs, the soles of the feet broad; the limbs are unequal and the legs are not altogether alike, but the fore-legs are greater while the hind-legs are much smaller and look as if they were squatting on their haunches. From the middle of the head two horns rise straight up — not horny horns,81 but feeble projections on the head which alongside the ears rise up between the temples. The tender mouth is sufficiently large, like that of a Stag and within are set on either side thin milk-white teeth. A bright gleam lightens from the eyes. The tail, again, is short, like that of the swift Gazelles, with dark hair at the hinder end.

p155 [Link to a page in Greek] Yea and another double breed have I beheld with mine eyes, a mighty marvel, Camel united with Sparrow;82 which, though it is numbered with the lightsome birds and is winged, notwithstanding my lays shall celebrate, since the varied range of our hunting admits it. For the lime that is the enemy of birds does not prevail over it, nor the reeds that tread an airy path, but Horses and swift Hounds and unseen snares. Its size is huge, so that it can carry on its broad back a young boy. The legs are long, like to those of the sluggish Camels, and are arrayed as it were with close-set hard scales up to the double thigh.83 Small is the head that it rears on high but long the hairy dusky neck. They have abundant feathers; yet they do not sail aloft on the high paths of air, but notwithstanding, as they run swiftly with their feet, they have a speed equal to the birds themselves. Nor do they mate like birds84 by mounting but, like the Bactrian tribe,85 rear to p157rear.86 It lays a huge egg, of size to hold so great a bird, armed about with stony shell.

[Link to a page in Greek] Let us sing of Hares,87 rich harvest of the hunt. The body88 is small and hairy, the ears are very long, small the head above, small the feet, the limbs unequal. The colour with which they are clothed varies; some are dark and dusky, which inhabit the black-soiled tilth; others are reddish-yellow, which live in red-coloured plains. Brightly flash their goodly orbs, their eyes armed with sleeplessness;89 for never do they slumber and admit sleep upon their eyelids, being afraid of the violence of wild beasts and the nimble wit of men, but they are wakeful in the night and indulge their desire. Unceasingly p159they yearn to mate and while the females are still pregnant they do not reject the lustful advances of the male, not even when they carry in the womb the swift arrow of fruitfulness. For this tribe, among all that the infinite earth breeds, is the most prolific.90 The one embryo91 comes forth from the mother's womb full-formed, while she carries one within her still hairless, and nourishes another half-formed, and has in her womb yet another — a formless foetus to look on. In succession she brings them forth and the shameless female never forgets her lust but fulfils all her desire and not even in the throes of birth does she refuse her mate.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 A. 501 A14 καὶ τὰ μὲν χαυλιόδοντας ἔχει, ὥσπερ οἱ ἄρρενες ὑές, τὰ δὲ οὐκ ἔχει. ἔτι δὲ τὰ μέν ἐστι καρχαρόδοντα αὐτῶν, οἷον λέων καὶ πάρδαλις καὶ κύων, τὰ δὲ ἀνεπάλλακτα, οἷον ἵππος καὶ βοῦς· καρχαρόδοντα γάρ ἐστιν ὅσα ἐπαλλάττει τοὺς ὀδόντας τοὺς ὀξεῖς; P. A. 661 B22 οὐδὲν δὲ τῶν ζῴων ἐστὶν ἅμα καρχαρόδουν καὶ χαυλιόδουν, διὰ τὸ μηδὲν μάτην ποιεῖν τὴν φύσιν μηδὲ περιεργόν· ἔστι δὲ τῶν μὲν (sc. the tusks) διὰ πληγῆς ἡ βοηθεία, τῶν δὲ (sc. the saw-teeth) διὰ δήγματος; Plin. XI.160 dentium tria genera, serrati aut continui aut exserti; serrati pectinatim coeuntes, ne contrario occursu atterantur (A. P. A. 661 B21), ut serpentibus, piscibus, canibus; continui, ut homini, equo; exerti, ut apro, hippopotamo, elephanto. . . . Nulli exerti quibus serrati. The carcharodonts are carnivorous and have sharp, saw-like, cutting cheek teeth; the chauliodonts have flat-crowned cheek teeth, adapted for crushing or grinding.

2 A. 594 A25 τῶν δὲ τετραπόδων καὶ ζῳοτόκων τὰ μὲν ἄγρια καὶ καρχαρόδοντα πάντα σαρκοφάγα.

3 i.e. Cronus. Cf. Callim. H. I, Diod. V.65, Verg. G. IV.151.

4 Cf. H. I.651, Lucian, Asin. 14.

5 C. I.172 n.

6 Arabia Felix: cf. Strabo 39 τὴν Ἀραβίαν ἣν εὐδαίμονα προσαγορεύουσιν οἱ νῦν; Dion. P. 927 κεῖθεν δ᾽ ὀλβίστων Ἀράβων παρακέκλιται αἶα; Diod. II.49 ἡ δ᾽ ἐχομένη τῆς ἀνύδρου καὶ ἐρήμου χώρας Ἀραβία τοσοῦτο διαφέρει ταύτης ὥστε διὰ τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ἐν αὐτῇ φυομένων καρπῶν τε καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ἀγαθῶν εὐδαίμονα Ἀραβίαν προσαγορευθῆναι; Solin. XXXIII.4 hanc Arabiam Graeci Eudaemonem, nostri Beatam nominaverunt; Amm. M. XXIII.6.45 Arabes beati, ideo sic appellati quo frugibus iuxta et fetibus et palmite odorumque suavitate multiplici sunt locupletes.

7 A. 594 B18 τῇ δὲ βρώσει (ὁ λέων) χρῆται λάβρως καὶ καταπίνει πολλὰ ὅλα οὐ διαιρῶν, εἶθ᾽ ἡμέρας δύο ἢ τρεῖς ἀσιτεῖ; Plin. VIII.46; Ael. IV.34; Solin. XXVII.13.

8 O. T. Num. xxiv.9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, and as a great lion: who shall stir him up?

9 Schol. B Hom. Il. XX.170 ἔχει (ὁ λέων) ὑπὸ τῇ οὐρᾷ κέντρον μέλαν, ὥς κεράτιον, δι᾽ οὗ ἑαυτὸν μαστίζει, ὑφ᾽ οὗ νυττόμενος πλέον ἀγριοῦται. A. 630 A5 mentions the suppuration of wounds inflicted by lions' teeth and claws, but says nothing of numbing.

10 A. 579 B9 οἱ δ᾽ ἐν Συρίᾳ λέοντες τίκτουσι πεντάκις, τὸ πρῶτον πέντε, εἶτ᾽ ἀεὶ ἑνὶ ἐλάττονα· μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα οὐκέτι οὐδὲν τίκτουσιν, ἀλλ᾽ ἄγονοι διατελοῦσιν; De gen. 750 A32; Plin. VIII.45; Ael. IV.34; Phil. XXXV; Solin. XXVII.16.

11 πάρδαλις (πόρδαλις), the commoner and older word (Hom. Il. XIII.103, XXI.573; Od. IV.457), and πάνθηρ (first in Herod. IV.192) are translated alike by panthera in Latin writers, as conversely the later Greek writers render the Latin panthera by πάρδαλις (Plut. Cic. xxxvi coll. Cic. Ad fam. II.11). When πάρδαλις and πάνθηρ are distinguished (Xen. C. 2.1; Athen. 201C; Ael. VII.47; Poll. V.88), then, according to Wiegmann, πάρδαλιςFelis pardus L. and Cuv. (F. leopardus Temminck), while πάνθηρF. uncia. Of the two Panthers or Leopards in our present passage the larger, according to Wiegmann, is F. pardus L. and Cuv. (F. leopardus Temm.), the varia (Plin. VIII.63) and pardus of the Romans, while the smaller is F. pardus Temm., cf. A. and W. II p294. See C. II.572 n.

12 The two species of Lynx appear to be:

1. Felis lynx (A. 499 B24, 500 B15, 539 B22, etc.; Plin. VIII.72), M. G. ῥῆσος; "Le lynx, habitant les gorges des montagnes et surtout la région des bois de sapins, est devenu très rare en Grèce, mais n'en est pas disparu. Son existence a été notamment constatée en Afrique par un individu tué le 18 mars 1862 au mont Parnès et conservé empaillé au Musée Zoologique d'Athènes; d'après l'Expédition scientifique de Morée il habite le mont Olenos d'Achaïe et les montagnes de Cynurie; d'après Mr. A. de Hoeslin il a été observé dans la gorge de Phlampouritza au mont Cyllène et un individu a été tué près de Xylocastron par Mr. I. Notaras. D'après les renseignements de Mr. le Dr. Krüper il se trouve aussi au mont Olympe en Thessalie," Bik. pp11 f.

2. F. caracal, the Caracal, a small animal about 14 inches in height and about 34 inches long without the tail, which is about 10 inches; in colour reddish-brown, paling to white under throat and belly. It is sometimes trained to hunt small mammals, such as hares, and the larger birds such as cranes, kites, etc.

13 Cf. H. I.648 ff.

14 Cf. H. I.749 ff.

15 Cf. H. I.686 ff.

16 Cf. H. I.727. Prob. Gypaëtus barbatus, the Lammergeier, M. G. ὀξυά etc., the פֶרֶם of Lev. xi.13; Deut. xiv.12. Cf. A. 563 A27, 592 B5, 619 A13, B 23 ff.; Plin. X.11 genus aquilae quam barbatam vocant, Tusci vero ossifragam; X.13; Hom. Od. III.372; XVI.217.

17 The reader will remember St. Matt. xxiii.37 ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυναγαγεῖν τὰ τέκνα σου, ὃν τρόπον ὄρνις ἐπισυνάγει τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας, καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε.

18 Ursus arctos, the European Brown Bear or the Syrian Bear, U. Syriacus, which differs from the other only in its lighter colour.

19 A. 498 B27.

20 A. 498 A33 ἔχει (ἡ φώκη) τοὺς πόδας ὁμοίους χερσίν, ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ τῆς ἄρκτου.

21 Cf. 515 ff.

22 A. 579 A21 ἐλάχιστον δὲ τίκτει (ἡ ἀρκτος) τὸ ἔμβρυον τῷ μεγέθει ὡς κατὰ τὸ σῶμα τὸ ἑαυτῆς . . . καὶ ψιλὸν καὶ τυφλὸν καὶ σχεδὸν ἀδιάρθρωτα τὰ σκέλη καὶ τὰ πλεῖστα τῶν μορίων. Cf. 580 A7; De gen. 774 B14.

23 Plin. VIII.126 hi (the cubs of the Bear) sunt candida informis caro, paulo muribus maior, sine oculis, sine pilo, ungues tantum prominent; Ov. M. XV.379 Nec catulus partu quem reddidit ursa recenti, Sed male viva caro est; Ael. VI.3 ἡ ἄρκτος ὅτι τίκτει σάρκα ἄσημον; II.19 τὸ δὲ εἰκῆ κρέας καὶ ἄσημόν τε καὶ ἀτύπωτον καὶ ἄμορφον; Phil. 49 ἄσημον ἄρκτος ἀποτίκτουσα κρέας.

24 Plin. l.c. hanc lambendo paulatim figurant; Ov. l.c. lambendo mater in artus Fingit et in formam quantum capit ipsa reducit; Ael. II.19 λειαίνει τῇ γλώττῃ καὶ ἐκτυποῖ εὶς ἄρθρα καὶ μέντοι καὶ κατὰ μικρὰ ἐκμορφοῖ; VI.3 τῇ γλώττῃ διαρθροῖ αὐτὴν καὶ οἱονεὶ διαπλάττει; Phil. l.c. λεάνασα δὲ μαλθακὴς γλώττης πόνῳ. Cf. Don. Vit. Verg. 22 non absurde carmen se ursae more parere dicens et lambendo demum effingere; Aul. Gell. XVII.10 dicere eum solitum ferunt parere se versus more ursino. Namque ut illa bestia fetum ederet ineffigiatum informemque, lambendo id postea quod ita edidisset, conformaret et fingeret, etc.

25 Cf. H. II.247 ff.; A. 600 A27 B 12; 611 B34; Plin. VII.126; Ael. VI.3.

26 Cf. H. II.250; Plin. VIII.127 priorum pedum suctu vivunt; Ael. VI.3 ἀπόχρη δὲ αὐτῇ τὴν δεξιὰν περιλιχμᾶσθαι.

27 Cf. H. II.241 ff.

28 Equus onager, the Asiatic Wild Ass, or E. onager hemippus, the Syrian Wild Ass, which hardly differs from the other. A. 580 B1 εἰσὶ δ᾽ ἐν Συρίᾳ οἱ καλούμενοι ἡμίονοι, ἕτερον γένος τῶν ἐκ συνδυασμοῦ γενομένων ἵππου καὶ ὄνου, ὅμοιοι δὲ τὴν ὄψιν, ὥσπερ καὶ οἱ ἄγριοι ὄνοι πρὸς τοὺς ἡμέρους, ἀπό τινος ὁμοιότητος λεχθέντες . . . αὗται αἱ ἡμίονοι γεννῶσιν ἐξ ἀλλήλων. Cf. A. 491 A2, 577 B23. The fertile ἡμίονοι were of course a species of Wild Ass, which perhaps explains the portent in Herod. III.151 f. Cf. Plin. VIII.174; Hom. Il. II.852; Herod. VII.86; Varro II.1.5; Colum. VI.37; Ael. XVI.29; XIV.10; XVII.31; Verg. G. III.409; Mart. XIII.97 and 100. Hunting of, Amm. M. XXIII.4.7; Poll. V.84; Ridgeway, pp43 f.

29 A. 580 B4 εἰσὶ δ᾽ ὥσπερ οἱ ὄνοι ἄγριοι καὶ αἱ ἡμίονοι τὴν ταχυτῆτα διαφέροντες.

30 Job vi.5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? Cf. ibid. xxiv.5.

31 Solin. XXVII.27 Inter ea quae dicunt herbatica eadem Africa onagros habet, in quo genere singuli imperitant gregibus feminarum. Aemulos libidinis metuunt. Inde est quod gravidas suas servant, ut in editis maribus si qua facultas fuerit generandi spem morsu detruncent, quod caventes feminae in secessibus partus occulunt.

32 A. Mirab. 831 A22.

33 Cf. C. II.9º Her head turned the gazer to stone: Ov M. V.217 saxificae vultus Medusae; Ov. Ib. 555; Eur. Alc. 1118; Pind. P. X.47; Apollod. II.4.3.

34 When Hippolytus was falsely accused by his step-mother Phaedra, his father Theseus pronounced a curse on him which led to his death. Apollod. Epit. I.18; Eur. Hippol.

35 His wife Ino tried to kill her step-children, Phrixus and Helle, who escaped on the Ram of the Golden Fleece. Apollod. I.9.

36 Philomela and Procne were daughters of Pandion, king of Athens. Procne married Tereus, king of Thrace. Tereus insulted Philomela and, lest she should reveal his guilt, cut out her tongue. But Philomela depicted her misfortune on a tapestry which she sent to Procne. Procne killed her son Itylus and served him up as food to his father Tereus. Tereus was turned into a Hoopoe, Procne into a Nightingale, Philomela into a Swallow. Apollod. III.14; Ov. M. VI.426 ff. The Roman writers usually invert the story, making Procne the Swallow (e.g. Ov. F. II.855), Philomela the Nightingale (e.g. Verg. G. IV.511, but the Greek version E. VI.79), and this has become traditional in English poetry.

37 To the Greek poets the Swallow is typically the Thracian bird and its twittering the type of barbaric speech. Aristoph. Ran. 679 ff. Κλεοφῶντος ἐφ᾽ οὗ δὴ χείλεσιν ἀμφιλάλοις δεινὸν ἐπιβρέμεται Θρῃκία Χελιδών, ἐπὶ βάρβαρον ἐζομένη πέταλον; Aesch. Ag. 1050 χελιδόνος δίκην ἀγνῶτα φωνὴν βάρβαρον κεκτημένη; R. Browning, Waring VI.32 "As pours some pigeon, from the myrrhy lands | Rapt by the whirlwind to fierce Scythian strands | Where breed the swallows, her melodious cry | Amid their barbarous twitter."

38 Daughter of Aietes, killed her children by Jason through jealousy of Glauce, daughter of king of Corinth.

39 Wife of Athamas, killed her children through jealousy of Ino, the previous wife of Athamas.

40 Thyestes, s. of Pelops, had an intrigue with the wife of his brother Atreus, king of Argos, who banished him, but afterwards, pretending to be reconciled, recalled him and at a banquet served up to him his own son.

41 The ref. is not to what are ordinarily called Wild Horses (A. 488 A30; P. A. 643 B6: Probl. 895 B24) but to the Hippelaphus; A. 478 B31 ἔχει δὲ καὶ ὁ ἱππέλαφος καλούμενος ἐπὶ τῇ ἀκρωμίᾳ χαίτην καὶ τὸ θηρίον τὸ πάρδιον ονομαζόμενον· ἀπὸ δὲ τῆς κεφαλῆς ἐπὶ τὴν ἀκρωμίαν λεπτὴν ἑκάτερον· ἰδίᾳ δ᾽ ὁ ἱππέλαφος πώγωνα ἔχει κατὰ τὸν λάρυγγα, ἔστι δ᾽ ἀμφότερα κερατοφόρα καὶ διχαλά· ἡ δὲ θήλεια ἱππέλαφος οὐκ ἔχει κέρατα, τὸ δὲ μέγεθός ἐστι τούτου τοῦ ζῴου ἐλάφῳ προσεμφερές. γίνονται δ᾽ οἱ ἱππέλαφοι ἐν Ἀραχώταις. . . . τὰ δὲ τῶν ἱππελάφων κέρατα παραπλήσια τοῖς τῆς δορκάδος ἐστίν. The Ethiopians of Oppian are the E. Ethiopians on E. of Persian Gulf in the region of Baluchistan and so corresponding to A.'s Arachotae, for whom cf. Strabo 513 ff., 721 ff.; Dion. P. 1096; Amm. M. XXIII.6.72; Solin. LIV.2. The animal intended seems to be the Nylghau (Boselaphus tragocamelus), cf. the tragelaphus of Plin. VIII.120; Diod. II.51. On the other hand, O. Keller, Die Antike Tierwelt, I.274 takes ἵππαγρος to be the Gnu.

42 Cf. C. III.5 n.

43 Canis lupus, M. G. λύκος, still pretty common in N. Greece and as far S. as Euboea and Attica, especially in severe winters, and in the Peloponnesus (Bik. p10), and "now as of old the dread of the shepherds of Palestine" (Tristr. p153).

44 Of the possible senses of δυσδερκής, δυσδέρκετος, (1) seeing with difficulty, (2) seen with difficulty, (3) ill to see, i.e. hideous or terrible, δυσδέρκετος in C. II.607 of the Ape seems to have sense (3); δυσδερκής has sense (2) in C. I.102 ἴχνη δυσδερκέα and 451 στιβίης δυσδερκέος. In H. I.47 where the κήτεα are called δυσδερκέα δείματα λίμνης (Schol. δυσθέατα, δυσθεώρητα) the sense may be (3) or (1); H. V.64 οὔτε γὰρ εἰσορόωσιν ἀπόπροθεν is in favour of the latter. In the case of the Hyena here and 290 it is not easy to decide between (3) and (1), but the latter is rather favoured by l. 269.

45 Hyaena striata, or Striped Hyena, which ranges from India to N. Africa and "is very common in all parts of Palestine" (Tristr. p108); A. 594 A31 ὃν καλοῦσιν οἱ μὲν γλάνον, οἱ δ᾽ ὕαιναν; 579 B15; De gen. 757 A3; P. A. 667 A20; Mirab. 845 A24; Plin. VIII.105 f.; Herod. IV.192; Ael. I.25, III.7, VI.14, etc.; Solin. XXVII.23 f.; Phil. 51.

46 Pind. P. II.84; Plut. Mor. 971A.

47 A. 579 B15 ἡ δὲ ὕαινα τῷ μὲν χρώματι λυκώδης ἐστί, δασυτέρα δέ, καὶ λοφιὰν ἔχει δι᾽ ὅλης τῆς ῥάχεως; cf. 594 B1.

48 Dindymus, or Didymus metri gratia, a mt. in Mysia near Pessinus (Strabo 567) associated with worship of Cybele, in whose rites the drum and the cymbals played a prominent part; Stat. T. VIII.221 gemina aera sonant Idaeaque terga.

49 Homer uses ὠλεσίκαρπος of the willow, Od. X.510, cf. Theophr. H. P. III.1.3 τὴν ἰτέαν ταχὺ προκαταβάλλειν πρὸ τοῦ τελείως ἁδρῦναι καὶ πέψαι τὸν καρπόν· δι᾽ ὃ καὶ τὸν ποιητῆν οὐ κακῶς προσαγορεύειν αὐτὴν ὠλεσίκαρπον; id. C. P. II.9.14; Plin. XVI.110 ocissime salix amittit semen, antequam omnino maturitatem sentiat, ob id dicta Homero frugiperdia. The ref. is to self-emasculation practised by the worshippers of Cybele and her eunuch priests (galli).

50 A. 579 B16 περὶ δὲ τῶν αἰδοίων ὃ λέγεται, ὡς ἔχει ἄρρενος καὶ θηλείας, ψεῦδός ἐστιν; De gen. 757 A3 ff.; Diodor. 32 τὰς λεγομένας ὑαίνας τινὲς μυθολογοῦσιν ἄρρενας ἅμα καὶ θηλείας ὑπάρχειν καὶ παρ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἀλλήλας ὀχεύειν, τῆς ἀληθείας οὐχ οὔτως ἐχούσης; Ael. I.25; Phil. 51; Plin. VIII.105; Ov. M. XV.409 ff.

51 ὦκα may be merely = ὄχα (Hom.).

52 μακρά = high; cf. οὔρεα μακρά (Hom. Il. XIII.18, etc.), δένδρεα μακρά (Hom. Il. IX.541, etc.), μακρὸς Ὄλυμπος (Hom. Il. XV.193). So βραχύς = short of stature, Pind. I. VI.44.

53 M. between Cilicia and Syria: Strab. 749, etc.

54 It seems impossible to determine whether ἄκμονες here is merely an epithet (= ἀκμῆτες, ἀκάματοι), or a metaphorical use of ἄκμων = anvil, or a specific name (cf. Hesych. s.v. ἄκμων . . . ἔστι δὲ καὶ γένος ἀετοῦ). Bodinus has crudivori, Peifer fortes, Morel infatigati, schol. δυνατοί.

55 Cf. C. I.27 n.

56 The description of the θώς here suits the Civet, Viverra civetta (Ethiopian and Egyptian) and allied species, rather than the Jackal, and according to some authorities the θώς of Aristotle is not the Jackal but the Civet.

57 F. tigris, A. 607 A4; Plin. VIII.66; Ael. VIII.1, XV.14; Solin. XVII.4 ff., XXVII.16, LIII.19.

58 Plin. l.c. animal velocitatis tremendae, cf. Solin. XVII.4; Luc. V.405; Claud. In Ruf. I.90.

59 See C. I.323 n.; cf. Claud. De rapt. Proserp. III.263º Arduus Hyrcana quatitur sic matre Niphates, Cuius Achaemenio regi ludibria natos Advexit tremebundus eques: fremit illa marito Mobilior Zephyro.

60 Plin. l.c. ubi vacuum cubile reperit feta, maribus enim subolis cura non est, fertur praeceps odore vestigans.

61 Sus scrofa, M. G. ἀγριόχοιρος, ἀγριογούρουνο. The Wild Boar is still pretty common in the mountainous parts of Attica, Euboea, and N. Greece, and occurs, though it has become rare, in the Peloponnesus (Bik. p15). It does not occur in the Cyclades, though feral Swine are found (Erh. p26). It is very common in Palestine (Tristr. p54); cf. A. 571 B13; 578 A25; Plin. VIII.212; Ael. V.45; Xen. C. 10.

62 Plin. l.c. maribus in coitu plurima asperitas.

63 Xen. C. 10.17 τεθνεῶτος ἐάν τις ἐπὶ τὸν ὀδόντα ἐπιθῇ τρίχας, συντρέχουσιν· οὕτως εἰσὶ θερμοί· ζῶντι δὲ διάπυροι ὄταν ἐρεθίζηται· οὐ γὰρ ἂν τῶν κυνῶν ἁμαρτάνων τῇ πληγῇ τοῦ σώματος ἄκρα τὰ τριχώματα περιεπίμπρα.

64 Hystrix cristata. "It is very common in all the rocky districts and mountain glens of the Holy Land" (Tristr. p125); A. 490 B29; 579 A29; 600 A28; Ael. I.31, VII.47, XII.26; Phil. 71; Herod. IV.192; Plin. VIII.125; Solin. XXX.28.

65 A. 490 B28 τὰς ἀκανθώδεις τρίχας οἵας οἱ χερσαῖοι ἔχουσιν ἐχῖνοι καὶ οἱ ὕστριχες: Claud. De hystr. 17; Calpurn. Ecl. VI.13.

66 A. 623 A32 τὰ βάλλοντα ταῖς θριξίν, οἷον αἱ ὕστριχες; Ael. I.31; Phil. l.c.; Solin. l.c.; Plin. l.c. hystrices generat India et Africa spina contectas ex irenaceorum genere, sed hystrici longiores aculei et, cum intendit cutem, missiles. Ora urguentium figit canum et paulo longius iaculatur. The legend, which arose doubtless from "the rattling of the spines and the occasional falling out of loose ones" (Camb. N. H. X p501), is elaborated by Claud. De hystr. with the inevitable comparison to the shafts of the flying Parthian (v. 21), whom he feigns to have learned his art from the Porcupine: Parthosque retro didicisse ferire Prima sagittiferae pecudis documenta secutos (47 f.).

67 For δηθάκις cf. I.27 n.

68 This promise is nowhere fulfilled in our extant text.

69 Herpestes ichneumon or Pharaoh's Cat, a species of Mongoose, still domesticated in Egypt as a destroyer of Rats and Mice. It is extremely common in every part of Palestine, "so that it is scarcely possible ever to take a walk soon after sunrise without meeting this little animal trotting away to its hole" (Tristr. p151). A 580 A23; 612 A15; Strabo 812; Nemes. 54; Phil. 98; Plin. VIII.88; Cic. N. D. I.36.101. Also called ἰχνευτής Herod. II.67; Nicand. T. 195; Hesych. s. ἰχνευταί· οἱ νῦν ἰχνεύμονες λεγόμενοι.

70 A. 487 A22; 503 A1, etc. Plin. VIII.89; Herod. II.68; Solin. XXXII.22; Plut. Mor. 976B, 982C.

71 Diod. I.87; Ael. VIII.25, X.47; Phil. 98; Solin. XXXII.25; Plin. VIII.90; Plut. Mor. 966D; Amm. M. XXII.15.19; Strabo 812.

72 The Naja hare, an African species of Cobra, called ἀσπίς (i.e. shield) from its shield or hood. When annoyed, it erects itself on its hinder part, while it spreads out the head and neck to right and left. It is much employed by snake-charmers in Palestine (Tristr. p271).

73 A. 612 A15 ὁ δ᾽ ἰχνεύμων ὁ ἐν Αἰγύπτῳ ὅταν ἴδῃ τὸν ὄφιν τὴν ἀσπίδα καλουμένην, οὐ πρότερον ἐπιτίθεται πρὶν συγκαλέσῃ βοηθοὺς ἄλλους· πρὸς δὲ τὰς πληγὰς καὶ τὰ δήγματα πηλῷ καταπλάττουσιν ἑαυτούς· βρέξαντες γὰρ ἐν τῷ ὕδατι πρῶτον, οὕτω καλινδοῦνται ἐν τῇ γῇ; Strabo 812; Ael. III.22, V.48; VI.38, X.47; Phil. 98; Antig. 32; Nicand. T. 190 ff.; Plin. VIII.88; Luc. IV.724 Aspidas ut Pharias cauda sollertior hostis Ludit et iratas incerta provocat umbra Obliquumque caput vanas serpentis in auras Effusae tuto comprendit guttura morsu Letiferam citra saniem; tunc inrita pestis Exprimitur, faucesque fluunt pereunte veneno.

74 "The name Spy-slange [given to it by the Boers], meaning Spitting Snake, refers to the habit which this and other African Cobras have of letting the poison drop from the mouth like saliva when they are excited" (Camb. N. H. VIII p628).

75 The cunning of the Fox is of course proverbial: A. 488 B20 τὰ μὲν πανοῦργα καὶ κακοῦργα οἷον ἀλώπηξ. Hence its name κερδώ (i.e. κερδαλεόφρων), a fem. Kosename or pet-name (cf. Ἐννώ: Ἐνυάλιος) parallel to the masc. πίθων: πίθηκος. Both occur together in Pind. P. II.72 καλός τοι πίθων . . . αἰεὶ καλός . . . κερδοῖ δὲ τί μάλα τοῦτο κερδαλέον τελέθει; where καλός alludes not merely to the formula καλός, ναιχὶ καλός (cf. Callim. E. XXX.5 (Loeb) n.) but also to καλλίας, a pet-name for the Ape (cf. Callim. (Loeb) Fr. Incert. 141 n.).

76 Canis vulpes, M. G. ἀλεποῦ, still pretty common in Greece, where it is smaller and more greyish in hue than the Fox of N. Europe (Bik. p11); very frequent in Palestine where the common Fox of the S. and central country is the Egyptian Fox, greyer and smaller than ours (cf. A. 606 A24), while in the N. is found the larger Syrian Fox (Tristr. p85).

77 Cf. H. II.107 ff. n.

78 Ael. XIII.11.

79 Diod. II.50 ζῷα διφυῆ καὶ μεμιγμένα ταῖς ἰδέαις.

80 The Camelopard or Giraffe, Giraffe Camelopardalis, cf. Agatharch. ap. Phot. 455.4 παρὰ τοῖς τρωγλοδύταις ἐστὶν ἡ λεγομένη παρ᾽ Ἕλλησι καμηλοπάρδαλις, σύνθετον τρόπον τινὰ κατὰ τὴν κλῆσιν καὶ τὴν φύσιν λαχοῦσα. τὴν μὲν γὰρ ποικιλίαν (i.e. spotted hide) ἔχει παρδάλεως, τὸ μέγεθος δὲ καμήλου, τὸ πάχος δὲ ὑπερφυές, τὸν δὲ αὐχένα τοιοῦτον ὥστε ἀπ᾽ ἄκρων ἀμέλγεσθαι; Strabo 827; Diod. II.51; Heliod. X.27; Athen. 201C; Solin. XXX.19; Plin. VIII.69 Nabun Aethiopes vocant collo similem equo, pedibus et cruribus bovi, camelo capite, albis maculis rutilum colorem distinguentibus, unde appellata camelopardalis, dictatoris Caesaris circensibus ludis primum visa Romae. A. 498 B32 τὸ θηρίον τὸ πάρδιον (v.l. ἱππαρίδιον) ὀνομαζόμενον, described as having a fine mane, horned and cloven-hooved, has been thought to refer to the Giraffe.

81 The so‑called "horns" of the Giraffe, which are possessed both by male and female, though less developed in the latter, "differ from those of all other Ruminants; they are small bony prominences of the frontal bones, which become fused with the Skull, and which are covered with unmodified skin. They are not shed" (Camb. N. H. X p302).

82 The Ostrich, Struthio camelus; A. 616 B5 τὸν ἐν Λιβύῃ στρουθόν; P. A. 697 B14 ὁ στρουθὸς ὁ Λιβυκός; cf. ibid. 695 A17; 658 A13; De gen. 749 B17; Ael. II.27 ἡ στρουθὸς ἡ μεγάλη; cf. IV.37, V.50, IX.58, XIV.7; Phil. 4; Herod. IV.192 στρουθοὶ κατάγαιοι; Diod. II.50 αἱ ὀνομαζόμεναι στρουθοκάμηλοι, cf. III.27; Agatharch. ap. Phot. 453 A25; Plin. X.1 Sequitur natura avium, quarum grandissimi et paene bestiarum generis struthocameli Africi vel Aethiopici.

83 This is not a mere form of expression for "the two thighs," "thigh of each leg" but a ref. to the notion that the Camel — and by analogy the Ostrich — is double-jointed. Herod. III.103 τὸ μὲν δὴ εἶδος ὁκοῖόν τι ἔχει ἡ κάμηλος, ἐπισταμένοισι τοῖσι Ἕλλησι οὐ συγγράφω· τὸ δὲ μὴ ἐπιστέαται αὐτῆς, τοῦτο φράσω· κάμηλος ἐν τοῖσι ὀπισθίοισι σκέλεσι ἔχει τέσσερας μηροὺς καὶ γούνατ τέσσερα; cf. Ael. X.3. The statement is contradicted A. 499 A19 καὶ γόνυ δ᾽ ἔχει ἐν ἑκάστῳ τῷ σκέλει ἓν καὶ τὰς καμπὰς οὐ πλείους, ὥσπερ λέγουσί τινες, ἀλλὰ φαίνεται διὰ τὴν ὑπόστασιν τῆς κοιλίας, i.e. on account of the way in which belly is supported (for this use of ὑπόστασις cf. A. P. A. 659 A24 ἕνεχ᾽ ὑποστάσεως τοῦ βάρους. Similarly ὑπόστημα De an. incess. 708 B2) — the ref. being to the callosities on the joints which support the belly in the same way that the front part of the body is supported by the breast callosity (A. 499 A16 ἄλλον δ᾽ ἔχουσιν ὕβον τοιοῦτον οἷον ἄνω ἐν τοῖς κάτω, ἐφ᾽ οὗ, ὅταν κατακλιθῇ εἰς γόνατα, ἐστήρικται τὸ ἄλλο σῶμα).

84 A. 539 B25 ποιοῦνται σύνδυασμὸν τὰ τε πλεῖστα τῶν τετραπόδων ἐπιβαίνοντος ἐπὶ τὸ θῆλυ τοῦ ἄρρενος καὶ τὸ τῶν ὀρνίθων ἅπαν γένος οὕτω τε καὶ μοναχῶς; cf. Plin. X.143.

85 The Bactrian Camel, Camelus Bactrianus, with two humps: A. 498 B8; 499 A14; Plin. VIII.67.

86 This idea, entertained about various opisthuretic animals (Solin. XXVII.16 (Leones) aversi [i.e. ἀντίπυγοι, ἀπόστροφοι] coeunt: nec hi tantum sed et lynces et cameli et elephanti et rhinocerotes et tigrides) is contradicted by A. 540 A13 αἱ δὲ κάμηλοι ὀχεύονται τῆς θηλείας καθημένης· περιβεβηκὼς δὲ ὁ ἄρρην ὀχεύει οὐκ ἀντίπυγος (cf. 542 A16) ἀλλὰ καθάπερ καὶ τὰ ἄλλα τετράποδα with regard to Camels, and of elephants by Diod. II.42 ὀχεύεται δὲ τοῦτο τὸ ζῷον οὐχ, ὥσπερ τινὲς φασίν, ἐξηλλαγμένως, ἀλλ᾽ ὁμοίως ἵπποις καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις τετραπόδοις ζῷοις.

87 Lepus timidus L. and allied species. M. G. λαγωός. Besides the normal Greek name λαγώς we find (1) the poetical term πτώξ (cf. C. I.165), first as an epithet, Hom. Il. XXII.310 πτῶκα λαγωόν, "the cowering Hare," in allusion to its timidity (Poll. V.72; Ael. VII.19), but already in Hom. Il. XVII.676 as a substantive; cf. Aesch. Ag. 137 (2) δασύπους, the Furry-footed, frequent in Aristotle, used also by Plut. Mor. 971A, etc.; Poll. V.68, and, acc. to Athen. 399E, F, by some of the Comic Poets; Plin. VIII.219 (quoted on l. 519), where he seems to distinguish lepus and dasypus, is unintelligible. Similarly in the Anthol. X.11 λασίου ποδὸς ἴχνια = tracks of the Hare.

The Hare is very common in the whole of Greece (Bik. p14) — though it would appear that at one time it was rare in Attica, cf. Nausicrates (Comic Poet) ap. Athen. l.c. ἐν τῇ γὰρ Ἀττικῇ τίς εἶδε πώποτε | λέοντος ἢ τοιοῦτον ἕτερον θηρίον; | οὗ δασύποδ᾽ εὐρεῖν ἐστιν οὐχὶ ῥᾷδιον. In many of the Cyclades the Hare is extremely common and differs in no essential point from the Common Hare of Europe (Erh. p22). On the other hand, in some of the Cyclades it is either not found at all or confined to a particular region, its place being taken by the Rabbit, L. cuniculus. The curious thing is that Hares and Rabbits in the Cyclades seem to be mutually exclusive. Thus only Hares are found in Ceos, Siphnos, Syros, Tenos, Naxos, Paros, Melos, and the North of Andros; only Rabbits in Gyaros, Cythnos, Seriphos, Aspronisi, Myconos, Delos, Cimolos, Pholegandros, and the South of Andros. There is nothing in the geographical conditions to account for this phenomenon; all the islands offer exactly similar facilities for life and nurture. Yet Syros has only Hares, while the little island of Aspronisi, six nautical miles S. of Syros, has only Rabbits. A curious parallel is offered by Syria, where the Hare is common, while "No Rabbit is found in Syria or in any of the adjoining countries" (Tristr. p99). Cf. Plin. VIII.226 f.

88 A. 519 A22, etc.; Xen. C. 5.22 ff.; Poll. V.66 ff.; Ael. XIII.13 f.; Phil. 60 f.; Plin. VIII.217 ff.

89 Callim. H. III.95 οὐ μύοντα λαγωόν; Xen. C. 5.11 and 26; Poll. V.69 and 72; Phil. 60; Ael. II.12, XII.13.

90 Strabo 144; Athen. 400; Plin. l.c.; A. Rhet. 1413 A16.

91 Herod. III.108 ὁ λάγος ὑπὸ παντὸς θηρεύεται θηρίου καὶ ὄρνιθος καὶ ἀνθρώπου, οὕτω δή τι πολύγονόν ἐστι· ἐπικυίσκεται μοῦνον πάντων θηρίων καὶ τὸ μὲν δασὺ τῶν τέκνων ἐν τῇ γαστρί, τὸ δὲ ψιλόν, τὸ δὲ ἄρτι ἐν τῇσι μήτρῃσι πλάσσεται, τὸ δὲ ἀναιρέεται; A. 579 B30 οἱ δασύποδες . . . ὀχεύονται καὶ τίκτουσιν πᾶσαν ὥραν καὶ ἐπικυίσκονται ὅταν κύωσι καὶ τίκτουσι κατὰ μῆνα. τίκτουσι δ᾽ οὐκ ἀθρόα ἀλλὰ διαλείπουσιν ἡμέρας ὅσας ἂν τύχωσιν. ἴσχει δ᾽ ἡ θήλεια γάλα πρότερον ἢ τεκεῖν καὶ τεκοῦσα εὐθὺς ὀχεύεται καὶ συλλαμβάνει ἔτι θηλαζομένη; cf. 542 B31; De gen. 774 A31; Xen. C. 5.13 πολύγονον δ᾽ ἐστὶν οὕτως ὥστε τὰ μὲν τέτοκε, τὰ δὲ τίκτει, τὰ δὲ κυεῖ; Ael. II.12 φέρει δὲ καὶ ἐν τῇ νηδύι τὰ μὲν ἡμιτελῆ, τὰ δὲ ὠδίνει, τὰ δὲ ἤδη οἱ τέτεκται; Plin. VIII.219 Lepus omnium praedae nascens solus praeter dasypodem superfetat, aliud educans, aliud in utero pilis vestitum, aliud implume, aliud inchoatum gerens pariter; Poll. V.73; Eratosth. Catast. 34; Athen. 400E; Phil. 61; Varro III.12.4; Clem. Alex. Paed. II p291.

Thayer's Note: To explore further this superfetation among hares, see my note to Varro l.c.


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