Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Click here for the text in ancient Greek.]

[image ALT: Faire clic ici pour une page en français.]

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]

[image ALT: link to previous section]
Part 1

This webpage reproduces the essay
De sollertia animalium


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 3

(Vol. XII) Plutarch, Moralia

Whether Land or Sea Animals are Cleverer

 p359  (965) 9 1 Aristotimus. The court is open for the litigants . . .​96 And there are some fish that waste their milt by pursuing the female while she is laying her eggs.97

There is also a type of mullet called the grayfish​98 which feeds on its own slime;​99 and the octopus sits through the winter devouring himself,

In fireless home and domicile forlorn,​100

so lazy or insensible or gluttonous, or guilty of all of these charges, is he. So this also is the reason, again, why Plato​101 in his Laws enjoined, For rather prayed, that his young men might not be seized by "a love for sea hunting." For there is no exercise in bravery or training in skill or anything that contributes to strength or fleetness or agility when men endure toil in contests with bass or conger or parrot-fish; 966whereas, in the chase on land, brave animals give play to the courageous and danger-loving qualities of those matched against them, crafty animals sharpen the wits and cunning of their attackers, while swift ones train the strength and perseverance of their pursuers. These are the qualities which have made hunting a noble sport, whereas there is nothing  p361 glorious about fishing. And, and there's not a god, my friend, who has allowed himself to be called "conger-killer," as Apollo is "wolf-slayer,"​102 or "surmullet-slayer," as Artemis​103 is "deer-slaying."​104 And what is surprising in this when it's a more glorious thing for a man to have caught a boar or a stag, or, so help me, a gazelle or a hare than to have bought one? As for your tunny​105 and your mackerel and your bonito! They're more honourable to buy than to catch oneself. BFor their lack of spirit or of any kind of resource or cunning has made the sport dishonourable, unfashionable, and illiberal.

10 1 In general, then, the evidence by which the philosophers demonstrate that beasts have their share of reason is their possession of purpose​106 and preparation and memory and emotions and care for their young​107 and gratitude for benefits and hostility to what has hurt them; to which may be added their ability to find what they need and their manifestations of good qualities, such as courage​108 and sociability and continence and magnanimity. Let us ask ourselves if marine creatures exhibit any of these traits, or perhaps some suggestion of them, that is extremely faint and difficult to discern (the observer only coming at long last to the opinion that it may be descried); whereas in the case of terrestrial and earth-born animals it is easy to find Cremarkably plain and unanswerable proofs of every one of the points I have mentioned.

 p363  In the first place, then, behold the purposeful demonstrations and preparations of bulls​109 stirring up dust when intent on battle, and wild boars whetting their tusks.​110 Since elephants' tusks are blunted by wear when, by digging or chopping, they fell the trees that feed them, they use only one tusk for this purpose and keep the other always pointed and sharp for defence.​111 Lions​112 always walk with paws clenched and claws retracted so that these may not be dulled by wear at the point or leave a plain trail for trackers; Dfor it is not easy to find any trace of a lion's claw; on the contrary, any sign of a track that is found is so slight and obscure that hunters lose the trail and go astray. You have heard, I am sure, how the ichneumon​113 girds itself for battle as thoroughly as any soldier putting on his armour, such a quantity of mud does it don and plaster about its body when it plans to attack the crocodile. Moreover, we see house-martins​114 preparing for procreation: how well they lay the solid twigs at the bottom to serve as a foundation, then mould the lighter bits about them; and if they perceive that the nest needs a lump of mud to glue it together, they skim over a pond or lake, touching the water with only the tips of their feathers to make them moist, Eyet not heavy with  p365 dampness; then they scoop up dust and so smear over and bind together any parts that begin to sag or loosen. As for the shape of their work, it has no angles nor many sides, but is as smooth and circular as they can make it; such a shape is, in fact, both stable and capacious and provides no hold on the outside for scheming animals.115

There is more than one reason​116 for admiring spiders'​117 webs, the common model for both women's looms and fowlers'​118 nets; for there is the fineness of the thread and the evenness of the weaving, which has no disconnected threads and nothing like a warp, Fbut is wrought with the even continuity of a thin membrane and a tenacity that comes from a viscous substance inconspicuously worked in. Then too, there is the blending of the colours that gives it an airy, misty look, the better to let it go undetected; and most notable of all is the art itself, like a charioteer's or a helmsman's, with which the spinner handles her artifice. When a possible victim is entangled, she perceives it, and uses her wits, like a skilled handler of nets, to close the trap suddenly and make it tight. 967Since this is daily under our eyes and observation, my account is confirmed. Otherwise it would seem a mere fiction, as I formerly regarded the tale of the Libyan crows​119 which, when they are thirsty, throw stones into a pot to fill it and raise the water until it is within their reach; but later when I saw a dog  p367 on board ship, since the sailors were away, putting pebbles into a half empty jar of oil, I was amazed at its knowing that lighter substances are forced upward when the heavier settle to the bottom.

Similar tales are told of Cretan bees and of geese in Cilicia.​120 BWhen the bees are going to round some windy promontory, they ballast themselves with little stones​121 so as not to be carried out to sea; while the geese, in fear of eagles, take a large stone in their beaks whenever they cross Mt. Taurus, as it were reining in and bridling their gaggling loquacity that they may pass over in silence unobserved. It is well known, too, how cranes​122 behave when they fly. Whenever there is a high wind and rough weather they do not fly, as on fine days, in line abreast or in a crescent-shaped curve; but they form at once a compact triangle with the point cleaving the gale that streams past, Cso that there is no break in the formation. When they have descended to the ground, the sentinels that stand watch at night support themselves on one foot and with the other grasp a stone and hold it firmly;​123 the tension of grasping this keeps them awake for a long time; but when they do relax, the stone escapes and quickly rouses the culprit.​124 So that I am not at all surprised that  p369 Heracles tucked his bow under his arm:

Embracing it with mighty arm he sleeps,

Keeping his right hand gripped about the club.​125

Nor, again, am I surprised at the man who first guessed how to open an oyster​126 when I read of the ingenuity of herons. For they swallow a closed mussel and endure the discomfort Duntil they know that it has been softened and relaxed by their internal heat; then they disgorge it wide open and unfolded and extract the meat.127

11 1 It is impossible to relate in full detail all the methods of production and storage practised by ants, but it would be careless to omit them entirely. Nature has, in fact, nowhere else so small a mirror of greater and nobler enterprises. Just as you may see greater things reflected in a drop of clear water, so among ants there exists the delineation of every virtue.

Love and affection are found,​128

namely their social life. You may see, too, the reflection of courage in their persistence in hard labour.​129 There are many seeds of temperance and many of prudence and justice. ENow Cleanthes,​130 even though he declared that animals are not endowed with reason, says that he witnessed the following spectacle: some ants came to a strange anthill carrying a dead ant. Other ants then emerged from the hill and seemed, as it were, to hold converse with the first party and then went back again. This happened  p371 two or three times until at last they brought up a grub to serve as the dead ant's ransom, whereupon the first party picked up the grub, Fhanded over the corpse, and departed.

A matter obvious to everyone is the consideration ants show when they meet: those that bear no load always give way to those who have one and let them pass.​131 Obvious also is the manner in which they gnaw through and dismember things that are difficult to carry or to convey past an obstacle, in order that they may make easy loads for several. And Aratus​132 takes it to be a sign of rainy weather when they spread out their eggs and cool them in the open:

When from their hollow nest the ants in haste

Bring up their eggs;

and some do not write "eggs" here, but "provisions,"​133 in the sense of stored grain which, when they notice that it is growing mildewed and fear 968that it may decay and spoil, they bring up to the surface. But what goes beyond any other conception of their intelligence is their anticipation of the germination of wheat. You know, of course, that wheat does not remain permanently dry and stable, but expands and lactifies in the process of germination. In order, then, to keep it from running to seed and losing its value as food, and to keep it permanently edible, the ants eat out the germ from which springs the new shoot of wheat.134

 p373  I do not approve of those who, to make a complete study of anthills, inspect them, as it were, anatomically. But, be that as it may, they report that the passage leading downward from the opening Bis not at all straight or easy for any other creature to traverse; it passes through turns and twists​135 with branching tunnels and connecting galleries and terminates in three hollow cavities. One of these is their common dwelling-place, another serves as storeroom for provisions, while in the third they deposit the dying.136

12 1 I don't suppose that you will think it out of order if I introduce elephants directly on top of ants in order that we may concurrently scrutinize the nature of understanding in both the smallest and the largest of creatures, for it is neither suppressed in the latter nor deficient in the former. Let others, then, be astonished that elephants learn, or are taught, Cto exhibit in the theatre all the many postures and variations of movement that they do,​137 these being so varied and so complicated to memorize and retain that they are not at all easy even for human artists. For my part, I find the beast's understanding better manifested in his own spontaneous and uninstructed feelings and movements, in a pure, as it were, and undiluted state.

Well, not very long ago at Rome,​138 where a large  p375 number of elephants were being trained to assume dangerous stances and wheel about in complicated patterns, one of them, who was the slowest to learn and was always being scolded and often punished, was seen at night, alone by himself in the moonlight, Dvoluntarily rehearsing his lessons and practising them.

Formerly in Syria, Hagnon​139 tells us, an elephant was brought up in its master's house and every day the keeper, when he received a measure of barley, would filch away and appropriate half of it; but on one occasion, when the master was present and watching, the keeper poured out the whole measure. The elephant gave a look, raised its trunk, and made two piles of the barley, setting aside half of it and thus revealing as eloquently as could be the dishonesty of its keeper. And another elephant, whose keeper used to mix stones and dirt in its barley ration, when the keeper's meat was cooking, scooped up some ashes and threw them into the pot.​140 EAnd another in Rome, being tormented by little boys who pricked its proboscis with their writing styluses, grabbed one of them and raised him into the air as first to dash him to death; but when the spectators cried out, it gently set the child down on the ground again and passed along, thinking it sufficient punishment for one so young to have been frightened.

Concerning wild elephants who are self-governing they tell many wonderful tales, particularly the one about the fording of rivers:​141 the youngest and smallest volunteers his services to go first into the  p377 stream. The others wait on the bank and observe the result, for if his back remains above water, those that are larger than he will have Fa wide margin of safety to give them confidence.

13 1 At this point in my discourse, I imagine that I shall do well not to omit the case of the fox, since it is so similar. Now the story-books​142 tell us that when Deucalion released a dove from the ark, as long as she returned, it was a certain sign that the storm was still raging; but as soon as she flew away, it was a harbinger of fair weather. So even to this day the Thracians,​143 whenever they propose crossing a frozen river, make use of a fox as an indicator of the solidity of the ice. 969The fox moves ahead slowly and lays her ear to the ice; if she perceives by the sound that the stream is running close underneath, judging that the frozen part has no great depth, but is only thin and insecure, she stands stock still and, if she is permitted, returns to the shore; but if she is reassured by the absence of noise, she crosses over. And let us not declare that this a nicety of perception unaided by reason; it is, rather, a syllogistic conclusion developed from the evidence of perception: "What makes noise must be in motion; what is in motion is not frozen; what is not frozen is liquid; what is liquid gives way." So logicians​144 assert that a dog, at a point where many paths split off, makes use of a multiple disjunctive​145 argument and Breasons with himself: "Either the wild beast has taken this  p379 path, or this, or this. But surely it has not taken this, or this. Then it must have gone by the remaining road." Perception here affords nothing but the minor premiss, while the force of reason gives the major premisses and adds the conclusion to the premisses. A dog, however, does not need such a testimonial, which is both false and fraudulent; for it is perception itself, by means of track and spoor,​146 which indicates the way the creature fled; it does not bother with disjunctive and copulative propositions. The dog's true capacity may be discerned from many other acts and reactions and the performance of duties, which are neither to be smelled out nor seen by the eye, Cbut can be carried out or perceived only by the use of intelligence and reason.​147 I should only make myself ridiculous if I described the dog's self-control and obedience and sagacity on hunting parties to you who see and handle these matters every day.

There was a Roman named Calvus​148 slain in the Civil Wars, but no one was able to cut off his head until they encircled and stabbed to death the dog who guarded his master and defended him. And King Pyrrhus​149 on a journey chanced upon a dog guarding the body of a murdered man; in answer to his questions he was told that the dog had remained there without eating for three days and refused to leave. DPyrrhus gave orders for the corpse to be buried and the dog cared for and brought along  p381 in his train. A few days later there was an inspection of the soldiers, who marched in front of the king seated on his throne, while the dog lay quietly by his side. But when it saw its master's murderers filing past, it rushed at them with furious barking and, as it voiced its accusation, turned to look at the king so that not only he, but everyone present, became suspicious of the men. They were at once arrested and when put to the question, with the help of some bits of external evidence as well, they confessed the murder and were punished.

EThe same thing is said to have been done by the poet Hesiod's​150 dog, which convicted the sons of Ganyctor the Naupactian, by whom Hesiod had been murdered. But a matter which came to the attention of our fathers when they were studying at Athens is even plainer than anything so far mentioned. A certain fellow slipped into the temple of Asclepius,​151 took such gold and silver offerings as were not bulky, and made his escape, thinking that he had not been detected. But the watchdog, whose name was Capparus, when none of the sacristans responded to its barking, pursued the escaping temple-thief. First the man threw stones at it, but could not drive it away. FWhen day dawned, the dog did not approach close, but followed the man, always keeping him in sight, and refused the food he offered. When he stopped to rest, the dog passed the night on guard; when he struck out again, the dog got up and kept following, fawning on the other people it met  p383 on the road and barking at the man and sticking to his heels. When those who were investigating the robbery learned this from men who had encountered the pair and were told the colour and size of the dog, they pursued all the more vigorously and overtook the man and brought him back from Crommyon. 970On the return the dog led the procession, capering and exultant, as though it claimed for itself the credit for pursuing and capturing the temple-thief. The people actually voted it a public ration of food and entrusted the charge of this to the priests in perpetuity, thereby imitating the ancient Athenian kindness to the mule. For when Pericles was building the Hecatompedon​152 on the Acropolis, stones were naturally brought by numerous teams of draught-animals every day. Now one of the mules who had assisted gallantly in the work, but had now been discharged because of old age, used to go down every day to the Ceramicus Band meet the beasts which brought the stones, turning back with them and trotting along by their side, as though to encourage and cheer them on. So the people of Athens, admiring its enterprise, gave orders for it to be maintained at the public expense, voting it free meals, as though to an athlete who had succumbed to old age.153

14154 Therefore those who deny that there is any kind of justice owed to animals​155 by us must be conceded to be right so far as marine and deep-sea creatures​156 are concerned; for these are completely  p385 lacking in amiability, apathetic, and devoid of all sweetness of disposition. And well did Homer​157 say

The gray-green sea bore you,

with reference to a man regarded as uncivilized and unsociable, implying that the sea produces nothing friendly or gentle. CBut a man who would use such speech in regard to land animals is himself cruel and brutal. Or perhaps you will not admit that there was a bond of justice between Lysimachus​158 and the Hyrcanian dog which alone stood guard by his corpse and, when his body was cremated, rushed into the flames and hurled itself upon him.​159 The same is reported to have been done by the eagle​160 which was kept by Pyrrhus, not the king, but a certain private citizen; when he died, it kept vigil by his body; at the funeral it hovered about the bier and finally folded its wings, settled on the pyre and was consumed with its master's body.

The elephant of King Porus,​161 when he was wounded in the battle against Alexander, gently and solicitously pulled out with its trunk Dmany​162 of the javelins sticking in its master. Though it was in a sad state itself, it did not give up until it perceived that the  p387 king had lost much blood and was slipping off; then, fearing that he would fall, it gently kneeled and afforded its master a painless glide.163

Bucephalas​164 unsaddled would permit his groom to mount him; but when he was all decked out in his royal accoutrements and collars, he would let no one approach except Alexander himself. If any others tried to come near, he would charge at them loudly neighing and rear Eand trample any of them who were not quick enough to rush far away and escape.

15 1 I am not unaware that you will think that my examples are rather a hodge-podge; but it is not easy to find naturally clever animals doing anything which illustrates merely one of their virtues. Their probity, rather, is revealed in their love of offspring and their cleverness in their nobility; then, too, their craftiness and intelligence is inseparable from their ardour and courage. Those, nevertheless, who are intent on classifying and defining each separate occasion will find that dogs give the impression of a mind that is at once civil and superior when they turn away from those who sit on the ground — which is presumably referred to in the lines165

FThe dogs barked and rushed up, but wise Odysseus

Cunningly crouched; the staff slipped from his hand;

for dogs cease attacking those who have thrown themselves down and taken on an attitude that resembles humility.166

 p389  They relate further that the champion of the Indian dogs, one greatly admired by Alexander,​167 when a stag was let loose and a boar and a bear, lay quiet and still and disregarded them; but when a lion appeared, it sprang up at once to prepare for the fray, showing clearly 971that it chose to match itself with the lion​168 and scorned all the others.

Hounds that hunt hares, if they themselves kill them, enjoy pulling them to pieces​169 and eagerly lap up the blood; but if, as frequently happens, a hare in desperation exhausts all its breath in a final sprint and expires, the hounds, when they come upon it dead, will not touch it at all, but stand there wagging their tails, as much as to say that they do not strive for food, but for victory and the honour of winning.

16 1 There are many examples of cunning, but I shall dismiss foxes and wolves​170 and the tricks of crane and daw B(for they are obvious), and shall take for my witness Thales,​171 the most ancient of the Wise Men,​172 not the least of whose claims to admiration, they say, was his getting the better of a mule by a trick. For one of the mules that were used to carry salt, on entering a river, accidentally stumbled and, since the salt melted away, it was free of its burden when it got up. It recognized the cause of this and  p391 bore it in mind. The result was that every time it crossed the river, it would deliberately lower itself and wet the bags, crouching and bending first to one side, then to the other. When Thales heard of this, he gave orders to fill the bags with wool and sponges instead of salt and to drive the mule laden in this manner. CSo when it played its customary trick and soaked its burden with water, it came to know that its cunning was unprofitable and thereafter was so attentive and cautious in crossing the river that the water never touched the slightest portion of its burden even by accident.

Partridges​173 exhibit another piece of cunning, combined with affection for their young. They teach their fledglings, who are not yet able to fly, to lie on their backs when they are pursued and to keep above them as a screen some piece of turf or rubbish. The mothers meanwhile lure the hunters in another direction and divert attention to themselves, fluttering along at their feet and rising only briefly Duntil, by making it seem that they are on the point of being captured, they draw them far away from their young.

When hares​174 return for repose, they put to sleep their leverets in quite different places, often as much as a hundred feet apart, so that, if man or dog comes near, they shall not all be simultaneously in danger.  p393 The hares themselves run to and fro and leave tracks in many places, but last of all with a great leap they leave their traces far behind, and so to bed.

The she-bear, just prior to the state called hibernation,​175 before she becomes quite torpid and heavy and finds it difficult to move, Ecleans out her lair and, when about to enter, approaches it as lightly and inconspicuously as possible, treading on tiptoe, then turns around and backs into the den.176

Hinds are inclined to bear their young beside a public road where carnivorous animals do not come;​177 and stags, when they observe that they have grown heavy by reason of their fat and surplus flesh, vanish and preserve themselves by hiding when they do not trust to their heels.178

The way in which hedgehogs defend and guard themselves Fhas occasioned the proverb:179

The fox knows many tricks, but the hedgehog one big one;

 p395  for when the fox approaches, as Ion​180 says, it,

Curling its spiny body in a coil,

Lies still, impregnable to touch or bite.

But the provision that the hedgehog makes for its young is even more ingenious. When autumn comes, it creeps under the vines and with its paws shakes down to the ground grapes from the bunches and, having rolled about in them, gets up with them attached to its quills. 972Once when I was a child I saw one, like a creeping or walking bunch of grapes!​181 Then it goes down into its hole and delivers its load to its young for them to enjoy and draw rations from. Their lair has two openings, one facing the south, the other the north; when they perceive that the wind will change, like good skippers who shift sail, they block up the entrance which lies to the wind and open the other.​182 And a man in Cyzicus​183 observing this acquired a reputation for being able to predict unaided which way the wind would blow.

17 1 BElephants, as Juba​184 declares, exhibit a social capacity joined with intelligence. Hunters dig pits for them, covering them with slender twigs and  p397 light rubbish; when, accordingly, any elephant of a number travelling together falls in, the others bring wood and stones and throw them in to fill up the excavation so that their comrade can easily get out. He also relates that, without any instruction, elephants pray to the gods, purifying themselves in the sea​185 and, when the sun​186 rises, worshipping it by raising their trunks, as if they were hands of supplication. For this reason they are the animal most loved of the gods, Cas Ptolemy Philopator​187 has testified; for when he had vanquished Antiochus and wished to honour the gods in a really striking way, among many other offerings to commend his victory in battle, he sacrificed four elephants. Thereafter, since he had dreams by night in which the deity angrily threatened him because of that strange sacrifice, he employed many rites of appeasement and set up as a votive offering four bronze elephants to match those he had slaughtered.

Social usages are to be found no less among lions. For young lions take along with them to the hunt the old and slow; when the latter are tired out, they rest and wait, while the young lions hunt on. When they have taken anything, Dthey summon the others by a raring like the bleat of a calf; the old ones hear it at once and come to partake in common of the prey.188

18 1 The loves of some animals are wild and furious, while others have a refinement which is not far from  p399 human and an intercourse conducted with much grace. Such was the elephant which at Alexandria played the rival to Aristophanes​189 the grammarian. They were, in fact, in love with the same flower-girl; nor was the elephant's love less manifest: as he passed by the market, he always brought her fruit and stood beside her for a long time and would insert his trunk, like a hand,​190 within her garments Eand gently caress her fair breasts.

The serpent that fell in love with an Aetolian woman​191 used to visit her at night and slip under some part of her body next the skin and coil about her without doing her any harm at all, either intentional or accidental; but always at daybreak it was decent enough to glide away. And this it did constantly until the kinsmen of the woman removed her to a house at some distance. The serpent did not come to her for three or four nights; but all the time, we may suppose, it was going about in search of her and missing its goal. At last, when it had somehow found her with difficulty, it embraced her, not with that former gentleness it had used, but rather more roughly, its coils binding her hands to her body, Fand with the end of its tail it lashed the calves of her legs, displaying a light and tender anger that had in it more indulgence than punishment.

As for the goose in Aegium that loved a boy and the ram that set his heart on Glauce​192 the harp-player,  p401 since these are famous tales and I rather imagine you have had enough of such to spoil your appetite for more,​193 I omit them.

19 1 As for starlings​194 and crows and parrots which learn to talk and afford their teachers so malleable and imitative a vocal current to train and discipline, 973they seem to me to be champions and advocates of the other animals in their ability to learn, instructing us in some measure that they too are endowed both with rational utterance​195 and with articulate voice; for which reason it is quite ridiculous to admit a comparison of them with creatures who have not enough voice even to howl or groan.​196 And what music, what grace do we not find in the natural, untaught warbling of birds! To this the most eloquent and musical of our poets bear witness​197 when they compare their sweetest songs and poems to the singing of swans and nightingales. Now since there is more reason in teaching than in learning, we must yield assent to Aristotle​198 when he says that animals do teach: Ba nightingale, in fact, has been observed instructing her young how to sing. A further proof that supports him is the fact that birds which have been taken young from the nest and bred apart from their mothers sing the worse for it;​199 for the birds that are bred with their mothers are taught and learn, not for pay or glory, but for the joy of rivalling each other in song and because they cherish the beautiful in their utterance rather than the useful.

 p403  On this subject I have a story to tell you which I heard myself from many Greeks and Romans who were eye-witnesses. A certain barber at Rome had his shop directly opposite the precinct which they call the Market of the Greeks.​200 CHe bred up a wonderful prodigy of a jay​201 with a huge range of tones and expressions, which could reproduce the phrases of human speech and the cries of beasts and the sound of instruments — under no compulsion, but making it a rule and point of honour to let nothing go unrepeated or unimitated. Now it happened that a certain rich man was buried from that quarter to the blast of many trumpets and, as is customary, there was a halt in front of the barber-shop while the trumpeters, who were applauded and encored, played for a long time. From that day on the jay was speechless and mute, not letting out even a peep to request the necessities of life; Dso those who habitually passed the place and had formerly wondered at her voice, were now even more astonished at her silence. Some suspected that she had been poisoned by rival bird-trainers, but most conjectured that the trumpets had blasted her hearing and that her voice had been simultaneously extinguished. Now neither of these guesses was correct: it was self-discipline, it would seem, and her talent for mimicry that had sought an inner retreat as she refitted and prepared her voice like a musical instrument. For suddenly her mimicry returned  p405 and there blazed forth none of those old familiar imitations, Ebut only the music of the trumpets,​202 reproduced with its exact sequences and every change of pitch and rhythm and tone. I conclude, as I said before,​203 that self-instruction implies more reason in animals than does readiness to learn from others.

Still, I believe that I should not pass over one example at least of a dog's learning,​204 of which I myself was a spectator at Rome. The dog appeared in a pantomime with a dramatic plot and many characters and conformed in its acting at all points with the acts and reactions required by the text. In particular, they experimented on it with a drug that was really soporific, but supposed in the story to be deadly. The dog took the bread that was supposedly drugged, swallowed it, Fand a little later appeared to shiver and stagger and nod until it finally sprawled out and lay there like a corpse, letting itself be dragged and hauled about, as the plot of the play prescribed. But when it recognized from the words and the action that the time had come, at first it began to stir slightly, as though recovering from a profound sleep, and lifted its head and looked about. 974Then to the amazement of the spectators it got up and proceeded to the right person and fawned on him with joy and pleasure so that everyone, and even Caesar himself (for the aged Vespasian​205 was present in the Theatre of Marcellus), was much moved.

 p407  20206 Yet perhaps it is ridiculous for us to make a parade of animals distinguished for learning when Democritus​207 declares that we have been their pupils in matters of fundamental importance: of the spider in weaving and mending, of the swallow in home-building, of the sweet-voiced swan and nightingale​208 in our imitation of their song. Further, of the three divisions of medicine,​209 Bwe can discern in animals a generous portion of each; for it is not cure by drugs alone of which they make use. After devouring a serpent tortoises​210 take a dessert of marjoram, and weasels​211 of rue. Dogs​212 purge themselves when bilious by a certain kind of grass. The snake​213 sharpens and restores its fading sight with fennel. When the she-bear comes forth from her lair,​214 the first thing she eats is wild arum;​215 for its acridity opens her gut which has become constricted. At other times, when she suffers from nausea,​216 she resorts to anthills and sits, holding out her tongue all running and juicy with sweet liquor until it is covered with ants; Cthese she swallows​217 and is  p409 alleviated. The Egyptians​218 declare that they have observed and imitated the ibis' clyster-like purging of herself with brine; and the priests make use of water from which an ibis has drunk to purify themselves; for if the water is tainted or unhealthy in any way, the ibis will not approach it.

Then, too, some beasts cure themselves by a short fast, like wolves​219 and lions who, when they are surfeited with flesh, lie still for a while, basking in the sun. And they say a tigress, if a kid is given her, will keep fasting for two days without eating; on the third, she grows hungry and asks for some other food. She will even pull her cage to pieces, Dbut will not touch the kid which she has now come to regard as a fellow-boarder and room mate.220

Yet again, they relate that elephants employ surgery: they do, in fact, bring aid to the wounded​221 by easily and harmlessly drawing out spars and javelins and arrows without any laceration of the flesh. And Cretan goats,​222 when they eat dittany,​223 easily expel arrows from their bodies and so have presented an easy lesson for women with child to take to heart, that the herb has an abortive property;​224 for there is nothing except dittany that the goats, when they are wounded, rush to search for.

 p411  21 1 These matters, though wonderful, are less surprising than are those creatures which have cognition of number and can count,​225 Eas do the cattle near Susa. At that place they irrigate the royal park with water raised in buckets by wheels, and the number of bucketfuls is prescribed. For each cow raises one hundred bucketfuls each day, and more you could not get from her, even if you wanted to use force. In fact, they often try to add to the number to see; but the cow balks and will not continue when once she has delivered her quota, so accurately does she compute and remember the sum, as Ctesias​226 of Cnidus has related.

The Libyans laugh at the Egyptians for telling a fabulous tale about the oryx,​227 Fthat it lets out a cry​228 at that very day and hour when the star rises that they call Sothis,​229 which we call the Dog Star or Sirius. At any rate, when this star rises flush with the sun, practically all the goats turn about and look toward the east; and this is the most certain sign of its return and agrees most exactly with the tables of mathematical calculation.230

22 1 975But that my discourse may add its finishing touch and terminate, let me "make the move from the sacred line"​231 and say a few words about the divine inspiration and the mantic power of animals.  p413 It is, in fact, no small or ignoble division of divination, but a great and very ancient one, which takes its name from birds;​232 for their quickness of apprehension and their habit of responding to any manifestation, so easily are they diverted, serves as an instrument for the god, who directs their movements, their calls or cries, and their formations which are sometimes contrary, sometimes favouring, as winds are; so that he uses some birds to cut short, others to speed enterprises and inceptions to the destined end. BIt is for this reason that Euripides​233 calls birds in general "heralds of the gods"; and, in particular, Socrates​234 says that he considers himself a "fellow-slave of the swans." So again, among monarchs Pyrrhus​235 liked to be called an Eagle and Antiochus​236 a Hawk. But when we deride, or rail at, stupid and ignorant people we call them "fish." Really, we can produce cases by the thousand of signs and portents manifested to us by the gods through creatures of land and air, but not one such can the advocate for aquatic creatures name.​237 No, they are all "deaf and blind"​238 so far as foreseeing anything goes, and so have been cast aside into the godless and titanic​239 region, as into a Limbo of the Unblessed, where the rational and intelligent part of the soul has been extinguished. CHaving, however, only a last remnant  p415 of sensation that is clogged with mud and deluged with water, they seem to be at their last gasp rather than alive.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

96 Here follows a long lacuna not indicated in the MSS., the contents of which cannot even be conjectured.

97 The milt is, of course, for the fertilization of the eggs, as Aristotimus should have learned from Aristotle (e.g.Historia Animal. VI.13, 567 B3 ff.).

98 On this type cf. also Aristotle, Historia Animal. VIII.2 (591 A23) and in Athenaeus, VII.307A, where variants of the name occur. "The same name was applied to a type of shark as well as to a type of mullet, an apt application in both instances" (Andrews).

99 See Mair on Oppian, Hal. II.643 (cf. III.432 ff.). Pliny (Nat. Hist. IX.128, 131) tells the same story of the purplefish.

100 Hesiod, Works and Days, 524; cf. 978F infra and the note; Mor. 1059E; Aelian, De Natura Animal. I.27, XIV.26. See also Thompson on Aristotle, Historia Animal. VIII.2 (591 A5); Mair on Oppian, Hal. II.244; Lucilius, frag. 925 Warmington (L. C. L.).

101 Laws, 823D‑E.

102 For Apollo's connection with wolves see Aelian, De Natura Animal. X.26al.

103 On Artemis, "The Lady of Wild Beasts" (Iliad, XXI.470), see Mnemosyne, 4th series, IV (1951), pp230 ff.

104 This accusation is answered in 983E‑F infra.

105 See 980A infra.

106 Cf. 961C supra.

107 See the essay De Amore Prolis, Mor. 493A ff. passim.

108 Plato, at least, held that, philosophically speaking, no beast is brave: Laches, 196D; Republic, 430B.

109 See Mair on Oppian, Cyn. II.57.

110 Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.1; Philo, 51 (p125; Homer, Iliad, XIII.474 f.

111 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.8; VIII.71 of the rhinoceros; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.56; Antigonus, Hist. Mirab. 102.

112 Cf. Mor. 520F; Aelian, De Natura Animal. IX.30.

113 See Thompson on Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.6 (612 A16 ff.), where, however, the animal's opponent is the asp. (So also Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.22; V.48; VI.38.) But cf. 980E infra; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VIII.25; X.47; Nicander, Theriaca, 201.

114 Cf. Thompson on Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.7 (612 B21 ff.); Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.92; Philo, 22 (p110); Yale Class. Studies, XII.139, on Anth. Pal. X.4.6.

115 θηρία may be "serpents" here, or any wild beast, perhaps, such as members of the cat family that relish a diet of birds.

116 For a collection of the loci communes dealing with swallow, bee, ant, spider, etc., see Dickermann in Trans. Am. Philol. Assoc. XLII (1911), pp123 ff.

117 Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.39 (623 A7 ff.); Aelian, De Natura Animal. I.21; Pliny, Nat. Hist. XI.79‑84; Philo, 17 (p107); Philostratus, Imagines, II.28.

118 Commonly taken as "fishermen," but this seems unlikely here.

119 Cf. Anth. Pal. IX.272; Aelian, De Natura Animal. II.48; Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.125; Avianus, fable 27.

120 Cf. Mor. 510A‑B, which adds the detail that the geese's flight is by night. Contrast Aelian, De Natura Animal. II.1, Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.6, of cranes.

121 Aelian, De Natura Animal. V.13; Pliny, Nat. Hist. XI.24, and Ernout, ad loc.; Dio Chrysostom, XLIV.7. Cf. 979B infra, of the sea hedgehog; Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.69.

122 Cf. 979B infra; Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.13; Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.63, of geese; Mair on Oppian, Hal. I.624; Lucan, V.713 ff.

123 Cf. 979D infra; Aelian, loc. cit.; Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.59.

124 Cf. the anecdote of Alexander in Ammianus Marcellinus, XVI.5.4; of Aristotle in Diogenes Laertius, V.16.

125 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p919, Adespoton 416.

126 That is, by dropping it in hot water.

127 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.20; another procedure is described in V.35. See also Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.115, of the shoveller duck; Philo, 31 (p116); Antigonus, Hist. Mirab. 41al.

128 Homer, Iliad, XIV.216.

129 Cf. Plato, Laches, 192B ff.: we have here the four Platonic virtues, with Love added.

130 Von Arnim, S. V. F. I, p116, frag. 515; cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.50.

131 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. II.25.

132 Phaenomena, 956; cf. Vergil, Georgics, I.379 f.; Theophrastus, De Signis, 22.

133 Not oia, but eia: "What the ants really carry out in Aratus and Vergil is their pupas, but these are commonly called 'eggs' to this day" (Platt, Class. Quart. V, p255). The two readings in this passage seem to show that Plutarch had at hand an edition with a commentary; cf. also 976E infra, on the interpretation of Archilochus, and Mor. 22B.

134 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. XI.109, and Ernout ad loc.

135 The intricate galleries of anthills were used for purposes of literary comparisons by the ancients: see the fragment of Pherecrates in Mor. 1142A and Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae, 100 (on Timotheüs and Agathon respectively).

136 Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.43 divides into men's apartments, women's apartments, and storerooms; see also Philo, 42 (p120), and Boulenger, Animal Mysteries, pp128 ff. for a modern account. On the social life of ants (and animals) as contrasted with that of humans see Dio Chrysostom, XL.3240 f.; XLVIII.16.

137 Cf. Mor. 98E.

138 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.6, which shows that Plutarch is drawing on literature, not personal observation; cf. also Aelian, De Natura Animal. II.11, for the elaborateness of the manoeuvres; Philostratus, Vita Apoll. II.13; Philo, 54 (p126); see also 992B infra.

139 Of Tarsus, pupil of Carneades.

140 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.52.

141 Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.11, gives a different account; still different is Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.15, and cf. Philostratus, Vita Apoll. II.15.

142 The authorities on Deucalion's Flood are assembled by Frazer on Apollodorus, I.7.2 (L. C. L.), and more completely in his Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, I, pp146 ff. Plutarch is the only Greek author to add the Semitic dove story, though Lucian (De Dea Syria, 12 ff.) was to add to the other major contaminations.

143 Cf. 949D supra and the note.

144 Specifically Chrysippus (cf. von Arnim, S. V. F. II, frag. 726 f.).º Cf. Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, I.69 (the whole passage I.62‑72 is worth reading); Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.59; Philo, 45 (p122).

145 For the form of the syllogism see Diogenes Laertius, VII.81.

146 Cf. Shorey on Plato, Republic, 427E (L. C. L., vol. I, p347, note e).

147 For the philosophic dog see Plato, op. cit. 376B; the scholia of Olympiodorus add that Socrates' famous oath "by the dog" was symbolic of the creature's rational nature. See also Sinclair, Class. Rev. XLII (1948), p61; the parallel passages are collected by J. E. B. Mayor, Class. Rev. XII (1898), pp93 ff.

148 See Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.10.

149 Cf. Aelian, loc. cit.; Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.142.

150 Cf. 984D infra. A different account, omitting the dog, will be found in Mor. 162C‑F (where see Wyttenbach's note); cf. also Pollux, Onomasticon, V.42 and Gabathüler on Anth. Pal. VII.55 (Hellenistische Epigramme auf Dichter, p31).

151 The same story in Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.13, indicates a literary source. See now E. R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational, p114 and n. 65.

152 Better known as the Parthenon; cf. Mor. 349D, Life of Pericles, xiii.7 (159E).

153 Cf. Life of Cato Maior, v.3 (339A‑B). Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.49, agrees in the main with Plutarch's account; Aristotle, Historia Animal. VI.24 (577 B34), says merely that a public decree was passed forbidding bakers to drive the creature away from their trays. He adds that the mule was 80 years old and is followed by Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.175.

154 There is probably a lacuna before this chapter.

155 Cf. 999B infra; 964B supra.

156 Cf. additional sources cited by Mair on Oppian, Hal. II.43.

157 Iliad, XVI.34.

158 Mor. 821A: the companion and successor of Alexander (c. 360‑281B. C.). Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.143; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.25; and II.40 (cf. VI.29), of eagles. It may be conjectured that II.40 was derived from an original in which ἀετῶν was confused with κυνῶν, as infra.

159 Similar stories in Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.40.

160 "Dog" and "eagle" are again confused; but the "hovering" is here decisive. (Cf. also Wilamowitz, Hermes, LXIII, p380). The dog reappears in Pollux, V.42 (where it is King Pyrrhus), an eagle in a similar tale in Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.18, while Pyrrhus is the name of a dog in Pliny, VIII.144.

161 Life of Alexander, lx.13 (699B‑C), with Ziegler's references ad loc.

162 "Each one of the spears" in the Life of Alexander.

163 Other stories of humane elephants in Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.46al.

164 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.154; Gellius, Noctes AtticaeV.2; and see the parallels collected by Sternbach, Wiener Studien, XVI, pp17 f. The story is omitted by Plutarch in the Life of Alexander.

165 Homer, Odyssey, XIV.30 f.; cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.146; Antigonus, Hist. Mirab. 24; Aristotle, Rhetoric, II.3.6 (1380 A24).

166 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.48, of the lion.

167 There are nearly as many emendations of this phrase as there have been scholars interested in Plutarch's text. Van Herwerden's version, as having the liveliest sense, has been preferred. It is by no means certain, however, though supported by Aelian, De Natura Animal. VIII.1; Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.149; cf. also Pollux, V.43‑44 and the parallels cited by Bethe ad loc. See also Aelian, IV.19 and Diodorus, XVII.92.º

168 Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.149 f., adds the elephant as a worthy match.

169 So "break up": Xenophon, Cynegetica, VII.9.

170 Cf. Pindar, Pythians, II.84; Oppian, Cynegetica, III.266.

171 Omitted in Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsok., not without reason. Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.42.

172 See the Septem Sapientium Convivium (Mor. 146B ff.).

173 Cf. 992B infra; Mor. 494E and the references there; add Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.103; Philo, 35 (p117) (probably referring to partridges, though the Latin version reads palumbae); Antigonus, Hist. Mirab. 39; Aelian De Natura Animal. III.16; XI.38; Aristotle, Historia Animal. 613 B31.

174 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. XIII.11; VI.47.

175 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.3; Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.126 f.; Mair on Oppian, Cyn. III.173 (L. C. L.).

176 These precautions seem to have been successful (though cf. the implications of Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.128), since Aristotle (Historia Animal. VIII.17, 600 B6 f.) says that "either no one (or very few)" has ever caught a pregnant bear. Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.95 and Amm. Marc. XXII.15.22, of the hippopotamus entering a field backwards.

177 Aristotle (Historia Animal. IX.5, 611 A17) notes that highways were shunned by wild animals because they feared men. Cf. also Antigonus, Hist. Mirab. 35 and Mair on Oppian, Cyn. II.207 (L. C. L.).

178 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.113; [Aristotle], De Mir. Ausc. 5; Historia Animal. 611 A23.

179 See Shorey on Plato, Republic, 423E (L. C. L.); Leutsch and Schneidewin, Paroemiographi Graeci, I, p147, Zenobius, V.68; attributed by Zenobius to Archilochus (Diehl, Anthologia Lyrica, I, p241, frag. 103; Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, II, p174, frag. 118) and to Homer. Zenobius also quotes five lines from Ion, of which the last two are Plutarch's next quotation.

180 Nauck, Trag. Graec. Frag. p739; frag. 38, verses 4 f. (see the preceding note).

181 The MSS. add an unnecessary explanation: "so covered with fruit was it as it walked." Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.133; Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.10; Anth. Pal. VI.169.

182 Cf. 979A infra; Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.6 (612 B4 ff.); Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.133; cf. VIII.138, of squirrels. On animals who predict the weather see Pliny, Nat. Hist. XVIII.361‑364.

183 Aristotle (loc. cit.) says Byzantium (and see infra, 979B).

184 Müller, Frag. Hist. Graec. III, p474; Jacoby, Frag. der griech. Hist. III, pp146 f., frag. 51A, 53; cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.24; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VIII.15; VI.61; and see the criticism in 977D‑E infra. On the mutual assistance of elephants see Philostratus, Vita Apoll. II.16.

185 Cf. Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.1 f.; Dio Cassius, XXXIX.38.5.

186 The moon in Aelian, De Natura Animal. IV.10, but the sun in VII.44; of tigers in Philostratus, Vita Apoll. II.28.

187 Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.44; Ptolemy IV (c. 244‑205 B.C.), who reigned 221‑205. The decisive defeat of Antiochus III was at Raphia in 217. For the gods loving elephants see Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.2al.

188 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. IX.1.

189 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. I.38 (cf. VII.43); Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.13.

190 Cf. Mair on Oppian, Cyn. II.524 for additional authorities.

Thayer's Note: This Alexandrian story wouldn't have surprised the Egyptian bystanders, who were of course much more familiar with elephants than Plutarch; the word 𓂧𓏏 𓏤𓄹 (drt or ḏrt) meant both "hand" and "elephant's trunk".

191 Told somewhat differently, and of a Jewish woman, in Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.17.

192 Also a goose in Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.51. Both stories are in Aelian, De Natura Animal. V.29 (cf. I.6; VIII.11); for Glauce see also Gow's note on Theocritus, IV.31.

193 More in Aelian, De Natura Animal. XII.37al.

194 Cf. Gellius, Noctes Atticae, XIII.21.25; Alciphron, Epp. III.30.1; Philostratus, Vita Apoll. I.6; VI.36al.

195 For the λόγος προφορικός see, e.g.Mor. 777B‑C.

196 Cf. Aristotle, Historia Animal. IV.9 (535 B14 ff.).

197 e.g., Bacchylides, III.97; Anth. Pal. VII.414.

198 Historia Animal. IV.19 (536 B17); cf. IX.1 (608 A18); cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. III.40.

199 Cf. 992B‑C infra.

200 Graecostadium (see Platner and Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Romes.v.) or Forum Graecorum.

201 Cf. Porphyry, De Abstinentia, III.2 (p191.8, ed. Nauck); Gow on Theocritus, V.136; Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.13 (615 B19 f.). See also the talking birds in Pliny, Nat. Hist. X.118‑134.

202 This is also the accomplishment of a homonymous bird in Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.19.

203 See 973A supra.

204 Cf. the bears that acted a farce in Script. Hist. Aug., Vita Car. xix.2.

205 Vespasian became emperor in A.D. 69 when he was 60 years old and died ten years later, so that this incident can be dated only within the decade.

206 On this chapter see T. Weidlich, Die Sympathie in Altertum, p42.

207 Diels-Kranz, Frag. der Vorsok. II, p173, frag. 154; cf. Bailey on Lucretius, V.1379 (Vol. III, p1540 of his edition); Aelian, De Natura Animal. XII.16.

208 Cf. 973A supra.

209 As given here, cure by (1) drugs, (2) diet, (3) surgery. There are five divisions in Diogenes Laertius, III.85al.

210 Cf. Mor. 918C, 991E; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.12 and Thompson on Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.6 (612 A24); of wounded partridges and storks and doves in Aelian, op. cit. V.46 (Aristotle, op. cit. 612 A32).

211 Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.6 (612 A28).

212 See Thompson on Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.6 (612 A6); add Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism, I.71.

213 Pliny, Nat. Hist. XX.254. Other details of snake diet in Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.4.

214 As in 971D‑E supra.

215 Probably the Adam-and‑Eve (Arum maculatum L.), since the Italian arum (Arum Italicum Mill.) was cultivated. See Aristotle, Historia Animal. VIII.17 (600 B11); IX.6 (611 B34); Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.129; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.3. Oribasius (Coll. Med. III.24.5) characterizes wild arum as an aperient.

216 When she has swallowed the fruit of the mandrake, according to Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.101.

217 Aristotle, Historia Animal. VIII.4 (594 B9); Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.3; Sextus Empiricus, op. cit. I.57.

218 Cf. Aelian De Natura Animal. II.35; VII.45; Pliny, Nat. Hist. VIII.97; Cicero, De Natura Deorum, II.50.

219 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. IV.15; see the hippopotamus in Amm. Marc. XXII.15.23.º

220 Of a leopard in Aelian, De Natura Animal. VI.2. This account seems to indicate a lacuna in our text explaining why the tigress did not eat the kid in the first place: "because she had already had enough to eat."

221 For an example see the anecdote of Porus in 970D supra, 977B infra; Juba, frag. 52 (Jacoby); Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.45.

222 Cf. 991F infra; Philo, 38 (p119); Vergil, Aen. XII.415; Thompson on Aristotle, Historia Animal. IX.6 (612 A3); Pease, Mélanges Marouzeau, 1948, p472.

223 Cretan dittany (Origanum dictamnus L.); Pliny, Nat. Hist. XX.156.

224 Cf. Pease, op. cit. p471.

225 Cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. IV.53.

226 Frag. 53B, ed. Gilmore (p196); cf. Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.1.

227 See Mair on Oppian, Cyn. II.446.

228 A sneeze, according to Pliny, Nat. Hist. II.107; Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.8.

229 Cf. Mor. 359D, 376A.

230 They watched for the first sight of Sirius before daybreak about June 20; the date shifted in the Egyptian calendar.

231 See Mor. 783B with Fowler's note; also 1116E; Plato, Laws, 739A; and Gow on Theocritus, VI.18. The meaning is probably something like "let me play my last trump," or "commit my last reserve."

232 Ornithoscopy or ornithomancy (cf. Leviticus xix.26); Latin augurium, auspicium. See also Plato, Phaedrus, 244D, Phaedo, 85B.

233 Perhaps Ion, 159; cf. also Mor. 405D for the phrase.

234 Plato, Phaedo, 85B.

235 Cf. Mor. 184D; Life of Pyrrhus, x.1 (388A‑B); Life of Aristides, vi.2 (322A); Aelian, De Natura Animal. VII.45.

236 Cf. Mor. 184A. This Antiochus was not, strictly speaking, a king, but the younger son of Antiochus II.

237 This charge is answered in 976C infra.

238 Cf. the fragment of Epicharmus cited above in 961A.

239 Cf. Plato, Laws, 701B‑C (and Shorey, What Plato Said, p629); 942A supra and Cherniss' note (Class. Phil. XLVI, 1951, p157, n. 95); see also 996C infra with the note.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Page updated: 6 Mar 22