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This webpage reproduces the essay
De sollertia animalium

by
ps‑Plutarch

as published in Vol. XII
of the Loeb Classical Library edition, 1957

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!


[image ALT: link to next section]
Part 2

(Vol. XII) Plutarch, Moralia

Whether Land or Sea Animals are Cleverer

p319 (The speakers in the dialogue are Autobulus,14 Soclarus,15 Optatus, Aristotimus, Phaedimus, and Heracleon.)16

(959) 1 1 Autobulus. When Leonidas was asked what sort of a person he considered Tyrtaeus to be, he replied, B"A good poet to whet the souls of young men,"17 on the ground that by means of verses the poet inspired in young men keenness, accompanied by ardour and ambition whereby they sacrificed themselves freely in battle. And I am very much afraid, my friends, that the Praise of Hunting18 which was read aloud to us yesterday may so immoderately inflame our young men who like the sport that they will come to consider all other occupations as of minor, or of no, importance and concentrate on this.19 As a matter of fact, I myself caught the old fever all over again p321 in spite of my years and longed, like Euripides'20 Phaedra,

To halloo the hounds and chase the dappled deer;

Cso moved was I by the discourse as it brought its solid and convincing arguments to bear.

Soclarus. Exactly so, Autobulus. That reader yesterday seems to have roused his rhetoric from its long disuse21 to gratify the young men and share their vernal mood.22 I was particularly pleased with his introduction of gladiators and his argument that it is as good a reason as any to applaud hunting that after diverting to itself most of our natural or acquired pleasure in armed combats between human beings it affords an innocent spectacle of skill and intelligent courage pitted against witless force and violence. It agrees with that passage of Euripides:23

Slight is the strength of men;

DBut through his mind's resource

He subdues the dread

Tribes of the deep and races

Bred on earth and in the air.

2 1 Autobulus. Yet that is the very source, my dear Soclarus, from which they say insensibility spread among men and the sort of savagery that learned the taste of slaughter on its hunting trips24 and has grown accustomed to feel no repugnance for the wounds and gore of beasts, but to take pleasure in their violent death. The next step is like what p323happened at Athens:25 the first man put to death by the Thirty was a certain informer who was said to deserve it, and so was the second and the third; but after that they went on, step by step, until they were laying hands on honest men and eventually did not spare even the best of the citizens. EJust so the first man26 to kill a bear or a wolf won praise; and perhaps some cow or pig was condemned as suitable to slay because it had tasted the sacred meal placed before it.27 So from that point, as they now went on to eat the flesh of deer and hare and antelope, men were introduced to the consumption of sheep and, in some places, of dogs and horses.

The tame goose and the dove upon the hearth,

as Sophocles28 says, were dismembered and carved for food — not that hunger compelled men as it does weasels and cats, but for pleasure and as an appetizer.29 Thus the brute30 and the natural lust to kill in man were fortified and rendered inflexible to pity, while gentleness was, for the most part, deadened. FIt was in this way, on the contrary, that the Pythagoreans,31 to inculcate humanity and compassion, made a p325 practice of kindness to animals; for habituation has a strange power to lead men onward by 960a gradual familiarization of the feelings.

Well, we have somehow fallen unawares into a discussion not unconnected with what we said yesterday nor yet with the argument that is presently to take place to‑day. Yesterday, as you know, we proposed the thesis that all animals partake in one way or another of reason and understanding, and thereby offered our young hunters a field of competition not lacking in either instruction or pleasure: the question whether land or sea animals have superior intelligence. This argument, it seems, we shall to‑day adjudicate if Aristotimus and Phaedimus stand by their challenges; Bfor Aristotimus put himself at his comrades' disposal to advocate the land as producer of animals with superior intelligence, while the other will be pleader for the sea.

Soclarus. They'll stand by their word, Autobulus; they'll be here any minute now. Early this morning I observed them both preparing for the fray. But, if you like, before the contest begins, let us review the discussion of whatever topics are germane to our conversation of yesterday, but were not then discussed, either because no occasion offered, or, since we were in our cups, were treated too lightly. I thought, in fact, that I caught the reverberation of a material objection from the Stoa:32 just as the immortal is opposed to the mortal and the imperishable to the perishable, and, of course, the incorporeal to the corporeal; just so, if there is rationality, Cthe irrational must exist as its opposite and counterpart. p327This alone, among all these pairings, must not be left incomplete and mutilated.

3 1 Autobulus.33 But who ever, my dear Soclarus, maintained that, while rationality exists in the universe, there is nothing irrational? For there is a plentiful abundance of the irrational in all things that are not endowed with a soul; we need no other sort of counterpart for the rational: everything that is soulless, since it has no reason or intelligence, is by definition in opposition to that which, together with a soul, possesses also reason and understanding. Yet suppose some were to maintain that nature must not be left maimed, but that that part of nature which is endowed with a soul should have its irrational as well as its rational aspect, someone else is bound to maintain Dthat nature endowed with a soul must have both an imaginative and an unimaginative part, and both a sentient part and an insentient. They want nature, they say, to have these counteractive and contraposed positives and negatives of the same kind counterbalanced, as it were. But if it is ridiculous to require an antithesis of sentient and insentient within the class of living things, or an antithesis of imaginative and unimaginative, seeing that it is the nature of every creature with a soul to be sentient and imaginative from the hour of its birth, so he, also, is unreasonable who demands a division of the living into a rational and an irrational part — and that, too, when he is arguing with men who believe that nothing is endowed with sensation which does not also partake of intelligence and that there is no living thing which does not naturally p329 possess both opinion and reason, Ejust as it has sensation and appetite. For nature, which, they34 rightly say, does everything with some purpose and to some end, did not create the sentient creature merely to be sentient when something happens to it. No, for there are in the world many things friendly to it, many also hostile; and it could not survive for a moment if it had not learned to give the one sort a wide berth while freely mixing with the other. It is, to be sure, sensation that enables each creature to recognize both kinds; but the acts of seizing or pursuing that ensue upon the perception of what is beneficial, as well as the eluding or fleeing of what is destructive or painful, Fcould by no means occur in creatures naturally incapable of some sort of reasoning and judging, remembering and attending. Those beings, then, which you deprive of all expectation, memory, design, or preparation, and of all hopes, fears, desires, or griefs — they will have no use for eyes or ears either, even though they have them. Indeed, it would be better to be rid of all sensation and imagination that has nothing to make use of it, 961 rather than to know toil and distress and pain while not possessing any means of averting them.

There is, in fact, a work of Strato,35 the natural philosopher, which proves that it is impossible to have sensation at all without some action of the intelligence. Often, it is true, while we are busy reading, the letters may fall on our eyes, or words may fall on our ears, which escape our attention since our minds are intent on other things; but later the mind recovers, shifts its course, and follows up every p331detail that had been neglected; and this is the meaning of the saying:36

Mind has sight and Mind has hearing;

Everything else is deaf and blind,

indicating that the impact on eyes and ears brings no perception if the understanding is not present. BFor this reason also King Cleomenes, when a recital made at a banquet was applauded and he was asked if it did not seem excellent, replied that the others must judge, for his mind was in the Peloponnesus. So that, if we are so constituted that to have sensation we must have understanding, then it must follow that all creatures which have sensation can also understand.

But let us grant that sensation needs no help of intelligence to perform its own function; nevertheless, when the perception that has caused an animal to distinguish between what is friendly and what is hostile is gone, what is it that from this time on remembers the distinction, fears the painful, and wants the beneficial? And, if what it wants is not there, what is there in animals Cthat devises means of acquiring it and providing lairs and hiding-places — both traps for prey and places of refuge from attackers? And yet those very authors37 rasp our ears by repeatedly defining in their Introductions38 "purpose" as "an indication of intent to complete," p333"design" as "an impulse before an impulse," "preparation" as "an act before an act," and "memory" as "an apprehension of a proposition in the past tense of which the present tense has been apprehended by perception."39 For there is not one of these terms that does not belong to logic; and the acts are all present in all animals as, of course, are cognitions Dwhich, while inactive, they call "notions," but when they are once put into action, "concepts." And though they admit that emotions one and all are "false judgements and seeming truths,"40 it is extraordinary that they obviously fail to note many things that animals do and many of their movements that show anger or fear or, so help me, envy or jealousy. They themselves punish dogs and horses that make mistakes, not idly but to discipline them; they are creating in them through pain a feeling of sorrow, which we call repentance.

Now pleasure that is received through the ears is a means of enchantment, while that which comes through the eyes is a kind of magic: they use both kinds against animals. For deer and horses41 are bewitched by pipes and flutes, Eand crabs42 are involuntarily lured from their holes by lotus pipes;43 it is also reported that shad will rise to the surface p335 and approach when there is singing and clapping.44 The horned owl,45 again, can be caught by the magic of movement, as he strives to twist his shoulders in delighted rhythm to the movements of men dancing before him.

As for those who foolishly affirm that animals do not feel pleasure or anger or fear or make preparations or remember, but that the bee "as it were"46 remembers and the swallow "as it were" prepares her nest and the lion "as it were" grows angry and the deer "as it were" is frightened — FI don't know what they will do about those who say that beasts do not see or hear, but "as it were" hear and see; that they have no cry but "as it were"; nor do they live at all but "as it were." For these last statements (or so I believe) are no more contrary to plain evidence than those that they have made.

4 1 Soclarus. Well, Autobulus, you may count me also as one who believes your statements; yet on comparing the ways of beasts with human customs and lives, 962 with human actions and manner of living, I find not only many other defects in animals, but this especially: they do not explicitly aim at virtue,47 for which purpose reason itself exists; nor do they p337 make any progress in virtue or have any bent for it; so that I fail to see how Nature can have given them even elementary reason, seeing that they cannot achieve its end.

Autobulus. But neither does this, Soclarus, seem absurd to those very opponents of ours; for while they postulate that love of one's offspring48 is the very foundation of our social life and administration of justice, and observe that animals possess such love in a very marked degree, yet they assert and hold Bthat animals have no part in justice. Now mules49 are not deficient in organs; they have, in fact, genitals and wombs and are able to use them with pleasure, yet cannot attain the end of generation. Consider another approach: is it not ridiculous to keep affirming that men like Socrates and Plato50 are involved in vice no less vicious than that of any slave you please, that they are just as foolish and intemperate and unjust, and at the same time to stigmatize the alloyed and imprecise virtue of animals as absence of reason rather than as its imperfection or weakness? And this, though they acknowledge that vice is a fault of reason and that all animals are infected with vice: Cmany, in fact, we observe to be guilty of cowardice and intemperance, injustice and malice. He, then, who holds that what is not fitted by nature to receive the perfection of reason does not even p339 receive any reason at all is, in the first place, no better than one who asserts that apes are not naturally ugly or tortoises naturally slow for the reason that they are not capable of possessing beauty or speed. In the second place, he fails to observe the distinction which is right before his eyes: mere reason is implanted by nature, but real and perfect reason51 is the product of care and education. And this is why every living creature has the faculty of reasoning; but if what they seek is true reason and wisdom, not even man may be said to possess it.52 For as one capacity for seeing or flying differs from another D(hawks and cicadas do not see alike, nor do eagles and partridges fly alike), so also not every reasoning creature has in the same way a mental dexterity or acumen that has attained perfection. For just as there are many examples in animals of social instincts and bravery and ingenuity in ways and means and in domestic arrangements, so, on the other hand, there are many examples of the opposite: injustice, cowardliness, stupidity.53 And the very factor which brought about our young men's contest to‑day provides confirmation. It is on an assumption of difference that the two sides assert, one that land animals, the other that sea animals, are naturally more advanced toward virtue. EThis is clear also if you contrast hippopotamuses54 with storks:55 the latter support their fathers, while the former kill them56 in order to consort with their mothers. The p341same is true if you compare doves57 with partridges;58 for the partridge cock steals the eggs and destroys them since the female will not consort with him while she is sitting, whereas male doves assume a part in the care of the nest, taking turns at keeping the eggs warm and being themselves the first to feed the fledglings; and if the female happens to be away for too long a time, the male strikes her with his beak and drives her back to her eggs or squabs. FAnd while Antipater59 was reproaching asses and sheep for their neglect of cleanliness, I don't know how he happened to overlook lynxes and swallows;60 for lynxes dispose of their excrement by concealing and doing away with it, while swallows teach their nestlings to turn tail and void themselves outward.

Why, moreover, do we not say that one tree is less intelligent than another, as a sheep is by comparison with a dog; or one vegetable more cowardly than another, as a stag is by comparison with a lion? 963 Is the reason not that, just as it is impossible to call one immovable object slower than another, so among all creatures to whom Nature has not given the faculty of understanding, we cannot say that one is more cowardly or more slothful or more intemperate? Whereas it p343 is the presence of understanding, of one kind in one animal, of another kind in another, and in varying degree, that has produced the observable differences.

5 1 Soclarus. Yet it is astonishing how greatly man surpasses the animals in his capacity for learning and in sagacity and in the requirements of justice and social life.

Autobulus. There are in fact, my friend, many animals which surpass all men, not only in bulk and swiftness, but also in keen sight and sharp hearing;61 but for all that man is not blind or crippled or earless. BWe can run, if less swiftly than deer; and see, if less keenly than hawks; nor has Nature deprived us of strength and bulk even though, by comparison with the elephant and the camel, we amount to nothing in these matters.62 In the same way, then, let us not say of beasts that they are completely lacking in intellect and understanding and do not possess reason even though their understanding is less acute and their intellect inferior to ours; what we should say is that their intellect is feeble and turbid, like a dim and clouded eye. And if I did not expect that our young men, Clearned and studious as they are, would very shortly present us here, one with a large collection of examples drawn from the land, the other with his from the sea, I should not have denied myself the pleasure of giving you countless examples of the docility and native capacity of beasts — of which fair Rome63 has provided us a reservoir from which to draw in pails and buckets, p345 as it were, from the imperial spectacles. Let us leave this subject, therefore, fresh and untouched for them to exercise their art upon in discourse.

There is, however, one small matter which I should like to discuss with you quietly. It is my opinion that each part and faculty has its own particular weakness or defect or ailment which appears in nothing else, as blindness in the eye, lameness in the leg, stuttering in the tongue. There can be no blindness in an organ which was not created to see, or lameness in a part which was not designed for walking; nor would you ever describe an animal without a tongue as stuttering, or one voiceless by nature as inarticulate. And in the same way you would not call delirious or witless or mad anything Dthat was not endowed by Nature with reason or intelligence or understanding; for it is impossible to ail where you have no faculty of which the ailment is a deficiency or loss or some other kind of impairment. Yet certainly you have encountered mad dogs, and I have also known of mad horses; and there are some who say that cattle and foxes also go mad.64 But dogs will do, since no one questions the fact in their case, which provides evidence that the creature possesses reason and a by no means despicable intellectual faculty. EWhat is called rabies and madness is an ailment of that faculty when it becomes disturbed and disordered. For we observe no derangement either of the dogs' sight or of their hearing; yet, just as when a human being suffers from melancholy or insanity, anyone is absurd who does not admit that it is the organ that thinks and reasons and remembers which has been displaced or damaged (we habitually say, in fact, of madmen that they "are p347not themselves," but have "fallen out of their wits"), just so, whoever believes that rabid dogs have any other ailment than an affliction of their natural organ of judgement and reason and memory so that, when this has become infected with disorder and insanity, Fthey no longer recognized beloved faces and shun their natural haunts — such a man, I say, either must be disregarding the evidence or, if he does take note of the conclusion to which it leads, must be quarrelling with the truth.65

6 1 Soclarus. Your inference seems quite justified. For the Stoics66 and Peripatetics strenuously agree on the other side, to the effect that justice could not then come into existence, but would remain completely without form or substance, 964 if all the beasts partake of reason. For67 either we are necessarily unjust if we do not spare them; or, if we do not take them for food, life becomes impracticable or impossible; in a sense we shall be living the life of beasts once we give up the use of beasts.68 I omit the numberless hosts of Nomads and Troglodytes who know no other food but flesh. As for us who believe our lives to be civilized and humane, it is hard to say what pursuit on land or sea, what aerial art,69 what refinement of living, is left to us if we are to learn to deal innocently and considerately with all creatures, Bas we are bound to if they possess reason and are of one stock with us. So we have no help or p349 cure for this dilemma which either deprives us of life itself or of justice, unless we do preserve that ancient limitation and law by which, according to Hesiod,70 he who distinguished the natural kinds and gave each class its special domain:

To fish and beasts and winged birds allowed

Licence to eat each other, for no right

Exists among them; right, he gave to men

for dealing with each other. Those who know nothing of right action toward us can receive no wrong from us either.71 For those who have rejected this argument Chave left no path, either broad or narrow, by which any may slip in.

7 1 Autobulus. This, my friend, has been spoken "from the heart."72 We certainly must not allow philosophers, as though they were women in difficult labour, to put about their necks a charm for speedy delivery so that they may bring justice to birth for us easily and without hard labour. For they themselves do not concede to Epicurus,73 for the sake of the highest considerations, a thing so small and trifling as the slightest deviation of a single atom — which would permit the stars and living creatures to slip in by chance and would preserve from destruction the principle of free will. But, seeing that they bid him demonstrate whatever is not obvious or take as his starting-point something that is obvious, how are they p351 in any position to make this statement about animals74 a basis of their own account of justice, when it is neither generally accepted nor otherwise demonstrated by them?75 DFor justice has another way to establish itself, a way which is neither so treacherous nor so precipitous, nor is it a route lined with the wreckage of obvious truths. It is the road which, under the guidance of Plato,76 my son and your companion,77 Soclarus, points out to those who have no love of wrangling, but are willing to be led and to learn. For certain it is that Empedocles78 and Heraclitus79 accept as true the charge that man is not altogether innocent of injustice when he treats animals as he does; often and often do they lament and exclaim against Nature, declaring that she is "Necessity" and "War," Ethat she contains nothing unmixed and free from tarnish, that her progress is marked by many unjust inflictions. As an instance, say, even birth itself springs from injustice, since it is a union of mortal with immortal, and the offspring is nourished unnaturally on members torn from the parent.

These strictures, however, seem to be unpalatably strong and bitter; for there is an alternative, an inoffensive formula which does not, on the one hand, deprive beasts of reason, yet does, on the other, preserve the justice of those who make fit use of them. When the wise men of old had introduced this, gluttony joined luxury to cancel and annul it; Pythagoras,80 p353however, reintroduced it, teaching us how to profit without injustice. FThere is no injustice, surely, in punishing and slaying animals that are anti-social and merely injurious, while taming those that are gentle and friendly to man and making them our helpers in the tasks for which they are severally fitted by nature:81

Offspring of horse and ass and seed of bulls

which Aeschylus'82 Prometheus says that he bestowed on us

965To serve us and relieve our labours;

and thus we make use of dogs as sentinels and keep herds of goats and sheep that are milked and shorn.83 For living is not abolished nor life terminated when a man has no more platters of fish or pâté de foie gras or mincemeat of beef or kids' flesh for his banquets84 — or when he no longer, idling in the theatre or hunting for sport, compels some beasts against their will to stand their ground and fight, while he destroys others which have not the instinct to fight back even in their own defence. For I think sport should be joyful and between playmates who are merry on p355 both sides, not the sort Bof which Bion85 spoke when he remarked that boys throw stones at frogs for fun, but the frogs don't die for "fun," but in sober earnest.86 Just so, in hunting and fishing, men amuse themselves with the suffering and death of animals, even tearing some of them piteously from their cubs and nestlings. The fact is that it is not those who make use of animals who do them wrong, but those who use them harmfully and heedlessly and in cruel ways.

8 1 Soclarus. Restrain yourself, Autobulus, and turn off the flow of these accusations.87 I see a good many gentlemen approaching who are all hunters; you will hardly convert them and you needn't hurt their feelings.

Autobulus. Thanks for the warning. Eubiotus, however, I know quite well and my cousin Ariston, Cand Aeacides and Aristotimus here, the sons of Dionysius of Delphi, and Nicander, the son of Euthydamus, all of them "expert," as Homer88 expresses it, in the chase by land — and for this reason they will be on Aristotimus' side. So too yonder comes Phaedimus with the islanders and coast-dwellers about him, Heracleon from Megara and the Euboean Philostratus,

Whose hearts are on deeds of the sea.89

And here is my contemporary Optatus: like Diomedes, it is

Hard to tell the side on which he ranges,90

p357 for "with many a trophy from the sea, many likewise from the chase on the mountain, he has glorified"91 the goddess92 who is at once the Huntress and Dictynna. DIt is evident that he is coming to join us with no intention of attaching himself to either side. Or am I wrong, my dear Optatus, in supposing that you will be an impartial and neutral umpire between the young men?

Optatus. It is just as you suppose, Autobulus. Solon's93 law, which used to punish those who adhered to neither side in a factious outbreak, has long since fallen into disuse.

Autobulus. Come over here, then, and take your place beside us so that, if we need evidence, we shall not have to disturb the tomes of Aristotle,94 Ebut may follow you as expert and return a true verdict on the arguments.

Soclarus. Well then, my young friends, have you reached any agreement on procedure?

Phaedimus. We have, Soclarus, though it occasioned considerable controversy; but at length, as Euripides95 has it,

The lot, the child of chance,

made arbiter, admits into court the case of the land animals before that of creatures from the sea.

Soclarus. The time has come, then, Aristotimus, for you to speak and us to hear.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

14 Plutarch's father; on controversial points connected with this identification see Ziegler in Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. "Plutarchos," 642 ff.

15 A friend of the household who appears in several of the Symposiacs and in the Amatorius also; he is not improbably the L. Mestrius Soclarus of Inscr. Gr. IX.1.61.

16 A speaker also in De Defectu Oraculorum (cf. Mor. 412E). Of the other speakers in this dialogue, nothing definite is known except what may be inferred from the present work.

17 Cf. Mor. 235F, where it is an anonymous saying; but the Life of Cleomenes, ii (xxiii = 805D) also attributes it to Leonidas.

18 The authorship of this work has been endlessly disputed, but present opinion (pace Sinko, Eos, XV, pp113 ff. and Hubert, Woch. f. klass. Phil. XXVIII, pp371 ff.) holds that it is Plutarch himself who wrote it (Schuster, op. cit. pp8 ff.). Bernardakis (VII, pp142‑143) included this passage (959B‑D) as a fragment of the lost work.

19 "There cannot be two passions more nearly resembling each other than hunting and philosophy" (Huxley, Hume, p139), and see Shorey's note on Plato, Republic, 432B (L. C. L.); cf., however, Rep. 535D, 549A. See also Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 43 f.; Xenophon, Cynegetica, I.18; XII.1 ff.; Cyr. VIII.1.34‑36; Pollux, preface to book V; the proems of Grattius, Nemesianus, Arrian, etc.

20 Cf. Hippolytus, 218 f. It follows from the fuller quotation in Mor. 52C that Plutarch's text of Euripides inverted the order of these lines as given in our MSS. of the tragedian.

21 Presumably an autobiographical detail.

22 The word is found only here, but may well be right if Plutarch is in a poetical, as well as a playful, humour.

23 Frag. 27 from the Aeolus (so Stobaeus): Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. pp370 f.; cf. Mor. 98E. The text is somewhat confused.

24 Cf. Porphyry, De Abstinentia, III.20.

25 See 998B infra and cf. Müller, Hist. Graec. Frag. I, p269, Ephorus, frag. 125; it is not, however, accepted as from Ephorus by Jacoby (cf. Sallust, Catiline, li.28‑31). We must remember, during the following discussion, that zoology used to be the handmaid of ethics.

26 Cf. 993B infra. The Age of Cronus, when beasts were unharmed, is admirably described in Plato, Politicus, 270C ff.

27 "That is, they put grain on the altar to make the animal volunteer, as it were, to die" (Post); and the consent of the victim was secured by pouring water on it to make it shake its head. See Mor. 729F and the article "Opfer" in RE, XVIII.612.

28 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p314, frag. 782; Pearson, vol. III, p68, frag. 866.

29 Cf. 991D, 993B, 995C infra. Or "as meat to go with their bread"; for fowl is not ordinarily an appetizer.

30 From this point to the end of chapter 5 (963F) the greater part of the text is excerpted by Porphyry, De Abstinentia, III.20‑24 (pp211‑220, ed. Nauck). This indirect transmission, with its not infrequent changes, omissions, and variations, gives valuable evidence; but obvious errors on either side have not been mentioned here.

31 Cf. 964F, 993A infra, and Mor. 86D, 729E. "The practice is correctly stated; the alleged motive is not. The taboo on meat stemmed from belief in the transmigration of souls" (Andrews).

32 Cf. von Arnim, S. V. F. II, pp49 ff., 172 ff.; and Pohlenz, B. P. W. XXIII (1903), col. 966, on Chrysippus, frag. 182.

33 There seems to be a great deal more anti-Stoic polemic in the following speeches than von Arnim has admitted into his compilation. See especially the notes on 961C ff. infra.

34 Aristotle and Theophrastus passim; cf. also Mor. 646C, 698B.

35 Frag. 112, ed. Wehrli (Die Schule des Aristoteles, V, p34).

36 A frequently occurring quotation, attributed to Epicharmus in Mor. 336B (Kaibel, Com. Graec. Frag. I, p137, frag. 249; Diels, Frag. der Vorsok. I, p200, frag. 12); see also Mor. 98C and 975B infra. The fullest interpretation is that of Schottlaender, Hermes, LXII, pp437 f.; and see also Wehrli's note, pp72 f.

37 The Stoics again: von Arnim, S. V. F. III, p41, Chrysippus, frag. 173 of the Ethica.

38 Or "elementary treatises": titles used by Chrysippus (von Arnim, op. cit. II, pp6 f.; III, p196).

39 That is, by sensation we apprehend the proposition "Socrates is snub-nosed," by memory the proposition "Socrates was snub-nosed." The literature on this complicated subject has been collected and analysed in Class. Rev. LXVI (1952), pp146 f.

40 Cf. von Arnim, op. cit. I, pp50 f.; III, pp92 ff.; see also Mor. 449C.

41 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. XII.4446; Antigonus, Hist. Mirab. 29.

42 Dolphins also are caught by music: Pliny, Nat. Hist. XI.137.

43 As described in Athenaeus, 182E (cf. 175E); cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal., VI.31. "Better would be 'Egyptian flutes,' as the term 'lotus' is somewhat misleading. It is probably the wood of the nettle-tree, Celtis australis, that is indicated" (Andrews).

44 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.32; Athenaeus, 328F, on the trichis, which is a kind of thrissa (cf. Athenaeus, 328E); and see Mair on Oppian, Hal. I.244 (L. C. L.).

45 Cf. Mor. 52B (where the L. C. L., probably wrongly, reads "the ape"); 705A; Athenaeus, 390F; Aelian, De Natura Animal. XV.28; Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.68; Aristotle, Historia Animal. VIII.13 (597 B22 ff.) and the other references of Hubert at Mor. 705A and Gulick on Athenaeus, 629F. Contrast Aelian, De Natura Animal. I.39, on doves. Porphyry omits this sentence.

46 A favourite expression of Aristotle's; but it is the Stoics who are being reproved here (cf. von Arnim, S. V. F. II, p240, Chrysippus, frag. 887). This seems to be the only appearance of the word in Plutarch, unless Pohlenz is right in conjecturing it at Mor. 600F, or Rasmus at 1054C in other Stoic quotations.

47 On animals possessing aretê see Aelian's preface to the first book of De Natura Animal.; cf. also Mor. 986F infraal.

48 See Mor. 495C and the whole fragment, De Amore Prolis (493A‑497E).

49 Cf. Aristotle, De Generatione Animal. II.7 (746 B15 ff.), II.8 (747 A23 ff.); for Aristotle's criticism of Empedocles' theory see H. Cherniss, Aristotle's Criticism of the Presocratics, p143, n. 573. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.173, mentions some cases of the fertility of mules, see also Cicero, De Divinatione, I.36; II.49; Herodotus, III.151 ff.

50 Cf. Cicero, De Finibus, IV.21.

51 Cf. Diogenes Laertius, VII.54.

52 Cf. Cicero, De Natura Deorum, II.13.34.

53 Cf. 992D infra.

54 Cf. Herodotus, II.71; Aristotle, Historia Animal. II.7 (502 A9‑15), though the latter passage may be interpolated. Porphyry reads "contrast river-horses with land-horses."

55 Cf. Aristotle, op. cit. IX.13 (615 B23 ff.); Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.23; Philo, 61 (p129).

56 And eat them: Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.19.

57 Cf. Aristotle, Historia Animal. VI.4 (562 B17); Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.45.

58 Cf. Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.8 (613 B27 ff.); Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.16, and cf. IV.116; of peacocks in Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.161.

59 Von Arnim, S. V. F., III, p251, Antipater of Tarsus, frag. 47. We know from Plutarch's Aetia Physica, 38 that Antipater wrote a book on animals. On the other hand, Dyroff (Blätter f. d. Bay. Gymn. XXIII, 1897, p403) argued for Antipater of Tyre; he believed, in fact, that the present work was mainly directed against this Antipater. Schuster, op. cit. p77, has shown this to be unlikely.

60 Cf. Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.7 (612 B30 f.); Plutarch, Mor. 727D‑E; Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.92; Philo, 22 (p111).

61 Cf. Alexander of Aphrodisias, De Fato, 27; Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.10; X.191.

62 Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.145, reports a singular deduction from this theme; see also Seneca, De Beneficiis, II.29.1.

63 See, for example, 968CE infra.

64 So, too, perhaps, wolves in Theocritus, IV.11.

65 The Stoics again: cf. Galen, De Hippocratis et Platonis Placitis, V.1 (p431 Kühn).

66 Von Arnim, S. V. F. III, p90.

67 From this point to the end of chapter 6 (964C) the text is quoted by Porphyry, De Abstinentia, I.4‑6 (pp88‑89, ed. Nauck); cf. the note on 959F supra.

68 Cf. Mor. 86D.

69 That is beasts, fish, and fowl in earth, sea, and air.

70 Works and Days, 277‑279; cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.50; Mair on Oppian, Hal. II.43.

71 This seems to have been Plutarch's own attitude toward the question, at least later on in life: see Life of Cato Maior, v.2 (339A).

72 Cf. Euripides, frag. 412 (Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p486); quoted more completely in Mor. 63A.

73 Usener, Epicurea, p351; see Bailey on Lucretius, II.216 ff.; Mor. 1015B‑C.

74 That they are irrational.

75 For this difficult and corrupt passage the admirable exposition and reconstruction of F. H. Sandbach (Class. Quart. XXXV, p114) has been followed.

76 Laws, 782C.

77 Plutarch himself; cf. Mor. 734E.

78 Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsok. I, p366, frag. B 135; and see Aristotle, Rhetoric, I.13.2 (1373 B14).

79 Diels-Kranz, op. cit. I, p169, frag. B 80; Bywater, frag. 62.

80 Cf. 959F supra; Mor. 729E; frag. xxxiv.145 (vol. VII, p169 Bernardakis).

81 Cf.e.g., Plato, Republic, 352E.

82 From the Prometheus Unbound, frag. 194 (Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p65); quoted again in Mor. 98C.

83 "There are significant undercurrents here. Of the animals domesticated by man, Plutarch first mentions only the horse, the ass, and the ox, noting their employment as servants of man, not as sources of food. Next come dogs, then goats and sheep. The key factor is that in the early period the cow, the sheep, and the goat were too valuable as sources of milk and wool to be recklessly slaughtered for the sake of their meat. The pig was the only large domestic animal useful almost solely as a source of meat" (Andrews).

84 "Plutarch's choice of examples of table luxury is apt. The enthusiasm of many Greek epicures for fish scandalized conservative philosophers. Pâté de foie gras ranked high as a delicacy, more especially in the Roman period; the mincemeat mentioned is surely the Roman isicia, dishes with finely minced beef or pork as the usual basis, many recipes for which appear in Apicius" (Andrews).

85 Bion and Xenocrates were almost alone among the Greeks in expressing pity for animals.

86 See Hartman, De Plutarcho, p571; [Aristotle], Eud. Eth. VII.10.21 (1243 A20).

87 Cf. Mor. 940F supra. Possibly a reference to the water-clock used in the courts.

88 Odyssey, VIII.159.

89 Cf. Homer, Iliad, II.614; Odyssey, V.67.

90 Homer, Iliad, V.85.

91 Verses of an unknown poet, as recognized by Hubert.

92 Artemis; on the combined cults see Farnell, Cults of the Greek States, II, pp425 ff.

93 Life of Solon, xx.1 (89A‑B); Mor. 550C, 823F; Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, VIII.5. A fairly well attested law, but "the name of Solon is used as the collective term for the legislative activity of the past" (Linforth, Solon the Athenian, p283). The penalty was disfranchisement. Lysias, xxxi, shows that this law was unknown in his time.

94 The zoological works, such as the Natural History and the Generation of Animals, which once extended to fifty volumes (Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.44).

95 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p678, frag. 989; cf. Mor. 644D.


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