Natural History (Rackham, Jones, & Eichholz)/Book 8
I. LET us pass to the rest of the animals, and first those that live on land.
The largest land animal is the elephant, and it is the nearest to man in intelligence: it understands the language of its country and obeys orders, remembers duties that it has been taught, is pleased by affection and by marks of honour, nay more it possesses virtues rare even in man, honesty, wisdom, justice, also respect for the stars and reverence for the sun and moon. Authorities state that in the forests of Mauretania, when the new moon is shining, herds of elephants go down to a river named Amilo and there perform a ritual of purification, sprinkling themselves with water, and after thus paying their respects to the moon return to the woods carrying before them those of their calves who are tired. They are also believed to understand the obligations of another's religion in so far as to refuse to embark on board ships when going overseas before they are lured on by the mahout's sworn promise in regard to their return. And they have been seen when exhausted by suffering (as even those vast frames are attacked by diseases) to lie on their backs and throw grass up to the heaven, as though deputing the earth to support their prayers. Indeed so far as concerns docility, they do homage to their king by kneeling before him and proffering garlands. The Indians employ the smaller breed, which they call the bastard elephant, for ploughing.
II. At Rome they were first used in harness to draw the chariot of Pompey the Great in his African triumph, as they are recorded to have been used before when Father Liber went in triumph after his conquest of India. Procilius states that at Pompey's triumph the team of elephants were unable to pass out through the gate. At the gladiatorial show given by Germanicus Caesar some even performed clumsy movements in figures, like dancers. It was a common display for them to hurl weapons through the air without the wind making them swerve, and to perform gladiatorial matches with one another or to play together in a sportive war-dance. Subsequently they even walked on tightropes, four at a time actually carrying in a litter one that pretended to be a lady lying-in; and walked among the couches in dining-rooms full of people to take their places among the guests, planting their steps carefully so as not to touch any of the drinking party.
III. It is known that one elephant which was rather slow-witted in understanding instructions given to it and had been punished with repeated beatings, was found in the night practising the same. It is surprising that they can even climb up ropes, but especially that they can come down them again, at all events when they are stretched at a slope. Mucianus who was three times consul states that one elephant actually learnt the shapes of the Greek letters, and used to write out in words of that language: 'I myself wrote this and dedicated these spoils won from the Celts;' and also that he personally had seen elephants that, when having been brought by sea to Pozzuoli they were made to walk off the ship, were frightened by the length of the gangway stretching a long way out from the land and turned round and went backwards, so as to cheat themselves in their estimation of the distance.
IV. They themselves know that the only thing in them that makes desirable plunder is in their weapons which Juba calls 'horns,' but which the author so greatly his senior, Herodotus, and also common usage better term 'tusks;' consequently when these fall off owing to some accident or to age they bury them in the ground. The tusk alone is of ivory: otherwise even in these animals too the skeleton forming the framework of the body is common bone; albeit recently owing to our poverty even the bones have begun to be cut into layers, inasmuch as an ample supply of tasks is now rarely obtained except from India, all the rest in our world having succumbed to luxury. A young elephant is known by the whiteness of its tusks. The beasts take the greatest care of them; they spare the point of one so that it may not be blunt for fighting and use the other as an implement for digging roots and thrusting massive objects forward; and when surrounded by a party of hunters they post those with the smallest tusks in front, so that it may be thought not worth while to fight them, and afterwards when exhausted they break their tusks by dashing them against a tree and ransom themselves at the price of the desired booty.
V. It is remarkable in the case of most animals that they know why they are hunted, but also that almost all know what they must beware of. It is said that when an elephant accidentally meets a human being who is merely wandering across its track in a solitary place it is good-tempered and peaceful and will actually show the way; but that when on the other hand it notices a man's footprint before it sees the man himself it begins to tremble in fear of an ambush, stops to sniff the scent, gazes round, trumpets angrily, and avoids treading on the footprint but digs it up and passes it to the next elephant, and that one to the following, and on to the last of all with a similar message, and then the column wheels round and retires and a battle line is formed: since the smell in question lasts to be scented by them all, though in the majority of cases it is not even the smell of bare feet. Similarly a tigress also, It is said, even though savage to all other animals and herself scorning the footprints even of an elephant, when she sees the track of a human being at once carries her cubs elsewhere.Though how has she recognized or where has she seen before the person that she fears? For it is certain that such forests are very little frequented. Granted that no doubt they may be surprised by the mere rarity of the print; but how do they know that it is something to be afraid of? Indeed there is a further point, why should they dread even the sight of a man himself when they excel him so greatly in strength, size and speed? Doubtless it is Nature's law and shows her power, that the fiercest and largest wild beasts may have never seen a thing that they ought to fear and yet understand immediately when they have to fear it.
Elephants always travel in a herd; the oldest leads the column and the next oldest brings up the rear. When going to ford a river they put the smallest in front, so that the bottom may not be worn away by the tread of the larger ones, thus increasing the depth of the water. Antipater states that two elephants employed for military purposes by King Antiochus were known to the public even by name; indeed they know their own names. It is a fact that Cato, although he has removed the names of military commanders from his Annals, has recorded that the elephant in the Carthaginian army that was the bravest in battle was called the Syrian, and that it had one broken tusk. When Antiochus was trying to ford a river his elephant Ajax refused, though on other occasions it always led the line; thereupon Antiochus issued an announcement that the elephant that crossed should have the leading place and he rewarded Patroclus, who made the venture, with the gift of silver harness, an elephant's greatest delight, and with every other mark of leadership. The one disgraced preferred death by starvation to humiliation; for the elephant has a remarkable sense of shame, and when defeated shrinks from the voice of its conqueror, and offers him earth and foliage. Owing to their modesty, elephants never mate except in secret, the male at the age of five and the female at ten; and mating takes place for two years, on five days, so it is said, of each year and not more; and on the sixth day they give themselves a shower-bath in a river, not returning to the herd before. Adultery is unknown among them, or any of the fighting for females that is so disastrous to the other animalsthough not because they are devoid of strong affection, for it is reported that one elephant in Egypt fell in love with a girl who was selling flowers, and (that nobody may think that it was a vulgar choice) who was a remarkable favourite of the very celebrated scholar Aristophanes; and another elephant is said to have fallen in love with a young soldier in Ptolemy's army, a Syracusan named Menander, and whenever it did not see him to have shown its longing for him by refusing food. Also Juba records a girl selling scent who was loved by an elephant. In all these cases the animals showed their affection by their delight at the sight of the object and their clumsy gestures of endearment, and by keeping the branches given to them by the public and showering them in the loved one's lap. Nor is it surprising that animals possessing memory are also capable of affection. For the same writer records a case of an elephant's recognizing many years later in old age a man who had been its mahout in its youth, and also an instance of a sort of insight in to justice, when King Bocchus tied to stakes thirty elephants which he intended to punish and exposed them to a herd of the same number, men running out among them to provoke them to the attack, and it proved impossible to make them perform the service of ministering to another's cruelty.
VI. Italy saw elephants for the first time in the war with King Pyrrhus, and called them Lucan oxen because they were seen in Lucania, 280 BC.; but Rome first saw them at a date five years later, in a triumph, and also a very large number that were captured from the Carthaginians in Sicily by the victory of the pontiff Lucius Metellus, 252 B.C. There were 142 of them, or by some accounts 140, and they had been brought over on rafts that Metellus constructed by laying decks on rows of casks lashed together. Verrius records that they fought in the Circus and were killed with javelins, because it was not known what use to make of them, as it had been decided not to keep them nor to present them to native kings; Lucius Piso says that they were merely led into the Circus, and in order to increase the contempt felt for them were driven all round it by attendants carrying spears with a button on the point. The authorities who do not think that they were killed do not explain what was done with them afterwards.
VII. There is a famous story of one of the Romans fighting single-handed against an elephant, on the occasion when Hannibal had compelled his prisoners from our army to fight duels with one another. For he pitted one survivor against an elephant, and this man, having secured a promise of his freedom if he killed the animal, met it single-handed in the arena and much to the chagrin of the Carthaginians dispatched it. Hannibal realized that reports of this encounter would bring the animals into contempt, so he sent horsemen to kill the man as he was departing. Experiences in our battles with Pyrrhus made it clear that it is very easy to lop off an elephant's trunk. Fenestella states that the first elephant fought in the circus at Rome in the curule aedileship of Claudius Pulcher and the consulship of Marcus Antonius and Aulus Postumius, 99 BC., and also that the first fight of an elephant against bulls was twenty years later in the curule aedileship of the Luculli. Also in Pompey's second consulship, at the dedication of the Temple of Venus Victrix, twenty, or, as some record, seventeen, fought in the Circus, their opponents being Gaetulians armed with javelins, one of the animals putting up a marvellous fightits feet being disabled by wounds it crawled against the hordes of the enemy on its knees, snatching their shields from them and throwing them into the air, and these as they fell delighted the spectators by the curves they described, as if they were being thrown by a skilled juggler and not by an infuriated wild animal. There was also a marvellous occurrence in the case of another, which was killed by a single blow, as the javelin striking it under the eye had reached the vital parts of the head. The whole band attempted to burst through the iron palisading by which they were enclosed and caused considerable trouble among the public. Owing to this, when subsequently Caesar in his dictatorship was going to exhibit a similar show he surrounded the arena with channels of water; these the emperor Nero removed when adding special places for the Knighthood. But Pompey's elephants when they had lost all hope of escape tried to gain the compassion of the crowd by indescribable gestures of entreaty, deploring their fate with a sort of wailing, so much to the distress of the public that they forgot the general and his munificence carefully devised for their honour, and bursting into tears rose in a body and invoked curses on the head of Pompey for which he soon afterwards paid the penalty. Elephants also fought for the dictator Caesar in his third consulship, twenty being matched against 500 foot soldiers, and on a second occasion an equal number carrying castles each with a garrison of 60 men, who fought a pitched battle against the same number of infantry as on the former occasion and an equal number of cavalry; and subsequently for the emperors Claudius and Nero elephants versus men single-handed, as the crowning exploit of the gladiators' careers.
A story is told that the animal's natural gentleness towards those not so strong as itself is so great that if it gets among a flock of sheep it will remove with its trunk those that come in its way, so as not unwittingly to crush one. Also they never do any harm unless provoked, and that although they go about in herds, being of all animals the least solitary in habit. When surrounded by horsemen they withdraw. The weak ones or those that are exhausted or wounded into the middle of their column, and advance into the fighting line in relays as if by command or strategy.
When captured they are very quickly tamed by means of barley juice.
VIII. The method of capturing them in India is for a mahout riding one of the domesticated elephants to find a wild elephant alone or detach it from the herd and to flog it, and when it is tired out he climbs across on to it and manages it as he did his previous mount. Africa captures elephants by means of pitfalls; when an elephant straying from the herd falls into one of these all the rest at once collect branches of trees and roll down rocks and construct ramps, exerting every effort in the attempt to get it out. Previously for the purpose of taming them the kings used to round them up with horsemen into a trench made by hand so as to deceive them by its length, and when they were enclosed within its banks and ditches they were starved into submission; the proof of this would be if when a man held out a branch to them they gently took it from him. At the present day hunters for the sake of their tusks shoot them with javelins in the foot, which in fact is extremely soft. The Cavemen on the frontier of Ethiopia, whose only food is elephant meat obtained by hunting, climb up trees near the elephants' track and there keep a look out for the last of the whole column and jump down on to the hind part of its haunches; the tail is grasped in the man's left hand and his feet are planted on the animal's left thigh, and so hanging suspended, with his right hand and with a very sharp axe he hamstrings one leg, and as the elephant runs forward with its leg crippled he strikes the sinews of the other leg, performing the whole of these actions with extreme rapidity. Others employing a safer but less reliable method fix great bows rather deep in the ground, unbent; these are held in position by young men of exceptional strength, while others striving with a united effort bend them, and as the elephants pass by they shoot them with hunting-spears instead of arrows and afterwards follow the tracks of blood.
IX. The females of the genus elephant are much more timid than the males. Mad elephants can be tamed by hunger and blows, other elephants being brought up to one that is unmanageable to restrain it with chains. Besides this they get very wild when in heat and overthrow the stables of the Indians with their tusks. Consequently they prevent them from coupling, and keep the herds of females separate, in just the same way as droves of cattle are kept. Male elephants when broken in serve in battle and carry castles manned with armed warriors on their backs; they are the most important factor in eastern warfare, scattering the ranks before them and trampling armed soldiers underfoot. Nevertheless they are scared by the smallest squeal of a pig; and when wounded and frightened they always give ground, doing as much damage to their own side as to the enemy. African elephants are afraid of an Indian elephant, and do not dare to look at it, as Indian elephants are indeed of a larger size.
X. Their period of gestation is commonly supposed to be ten years, but Aristotle puts it at two years, and says that they never bear more than one at a time, and that they live 200 and in some cases 300 years. Their adult life begins at 60. They take the greatest pleasure in rivers and roam in the neighbourhood of streams, although at the same time they are unable to swim because of the size of their bodies, and also as they are incapable of enduring cold: this is their greatest infirmity; they are also liable to flatulence and diarrhoea, but not to other kinds of disease. I find it stated that missiles sticking in their body fall out when they drink oil, but that perspiration makes it easier for them to keep their hold. It also causes them disease to eat earth unless they chew it repeatedly; but they devour even stones, consider trunks of trees a great delicacy, and bend down the loftier palm trees by butting against them with their foreheads and when thus prostrate consume their fruit. They eat with the mouth, but they breathe and drink and smell with the organ not unsuitably called their hand. They hate the mouse worst of living creatures, and if they see one merely touch the fodder placed in their stall they refuse it with disgust. They are liable to extreme torture if in drinking they swallow a leech (the common name for which I notice has now begun to be 'blood-sucker'); when this attaches itself in the actual breathing passage it causes intolerable pain.
The hide of the back is extremely hard, but that of the belly is soft; it has no covering of bristles, not even on the tail as a guard for driving away the annoyance of fliesfor even that huge bulk is sensitive to thisbut the skin is creased, and is inviting to this kind of creature owing to its smell; consequently they stretch the creases open and let the swarms get in, and then crush them to death by suddenly contracting the creases into wrinkles. This serves them instead of tail, mane and fleece.
The tusks fetch a vast price, and supply a very elegant material for images of the gods. Luxury has also discovered another thing that recommends the elephant, the flavour in the hard skin of the trunk, sought after, I believe, for no other reason than because the epicure feels that he is munching actual ivory. Exceptionally large specimens of tusks can indeed be seen in the temples, but nevertheless Polybius has recorded on the authority of the chieftain Gulusa, that in the outlying parts of the province of Africa where it marches with Ethiopia elephants' tusks serve instead of doorposts in the houses, and partitions in these buildings and in stabling for cattle are made by using elephants' tusks for poles.
XI. Elephants are produced by Africa beyond the deserts of Sidra and by the country of the Moors; also by the land of Ethiopia and the Cave-dwellers, as has been said; but the biggest ones by India, as well as serpents that keep up a continual feud and warfare with them, the serpents also being of so large a size that they easily encircle the elephants in their coils and fetter them with a twisted knot. In this duel both combatants die together, and the vanquished elephant in falling crushes with its weight the snake coiled round it.
XII. Every species of animal is marvellously cunning for its own interests, as are those which we are considering. One difficulty that the serpent has is in climbing to such a height; consequently it keeps watch on the track worn by the elephant going to pasture and drops on him from a lofty tree. The elephant knows that he is badly handicapped in fighting against the snake's coils, and therefore seeks to rub it against trees or rocks. The snakes are on their guard against this, and consequently begin by shackling the elephants' steps with their tail. The elephants untie the knots with their trunk. But the snakes poke their heads right into the elephants' nostrils, hindering their breathing and at the same time lacerating their tenderest parts; also when caught in the path of the elephants they rear up against them, going specially for their eyes: this is how it comes about that elephants are frequently found blind and exhausted with hunger and wasting misery.
What other cause could anybody adduce for such quarrel save Nature arranging a match between a pair of combatants to provide herself with a show? There is also another account of this contestthat elephants are very cold-blooded, and consequently in very hot weather are specially sought after by the snakes; and that for this reason they submerge themselves in rivers and lie in wait for the elephants when drinking, and rising up coil round the trunk and imprint a bite inside the ear, because that place only cannot be protected by the trunk; and that the snakes are so large that they can hold the whole of an elephant's blood, and so they drink the elephants dry, and these when drained collapse in a heap and the serpents being intoxicated are crushed by them and die with them.
XIII. Ethiopia produces elephants that rival those of India, being 30 ft. high; the only surprising thing is what led Juba to believe them to be crested. The Ethiopian tribe in whose country they are chiefly bred are called the Asachaeans; it is stated that in the coast districts belonging to this tribe the elephants link themselves four or five together into a sort of raft and holding up their heads to serve as sails are carried on the waves to the better pastures of Arabia.
XIV. Megasthenes writes that in India snakes grow so large as to be able to swallow stags and bulls whole; and Metrodorus that in the neighbourhood of the river Rhyndacus in Pontus they catch and gulp down birds passing over them even though they are flying high and fast. There is the well-known case of the snake 120 ft. long that was killed during the Punic Wars on the River Bagradasa by General Regulus, using ordnance and catapults just as if storming a town; its skin and jawbones remained in a temple at Rome down to the Nuxnantine War? Credibility attaches to these stories on account of the serpents in Italy called boas, which reach such dimensions that during the principate of Claudius of blessed memory a whole child was found in the belly of one that was killed on the Vatican Hill. Their primary food is milk sucked from a cow; from this they derive their name.
XV. It is not our concern to give a meticulous account of all the other species of animals that recently have reached Italy more frequently by importation from all quarters. Scythia, owing to its lack of vegetation, produces extremely few; its neighbour Germany few, but some remarkable breeds of wild oxen, the maned bison and the exceptionally powerful and swift aurochaff to which the ignorant masses give the name of buffalo, though the buffalo is really a native of Africa and rather bears some resemblance to the calf and the stag.
XVI. The North also produces herds of wild horses, as do Asia and Africa of wild asses, and also the elk, which resembles a bullock save that it is distinguished by the length of its ears and neck; also the achlis, born in the island of Scandinavia and never seen in Rome, although many have told stories of itan animal that is not unlike the elk but has no joint at the hock and consequently is unable to lie down but sleeps leaning against a tree, and is captured by the tree being cut through to serve as a trap, but which nevertheless has a remarkable turn of speed. Its upper lip is exceptionally big; on account of this it walks backward when grazing, so as to avoid getting tripped up by it in moving forward. There are reports of a wild animal in Paeonia called the bonasus, which has the mane of a horse but in all other respects resembles a bull; its horns are curved back in such a manner as to be of no use for fighting, and it is said that because of this it saves itself by running away, meanwhile emitting a trail of dung that sometimes covers a distance of as much as three furlongs, contact with which scorches pursuers like a sort of fire.
XVII. It is remarkable that leopards, panthers, lions and similar animals walk with the point of their claws sheathed inside the body so that they may not get broken or blunted, and run with their talons turned back and do not extend them except when attempting to catch something.
The lion is specially high-spirited at the time when its neck and shoulders are clothed with a manefor this occurs at maturity in the case of those sired by a lion, though those begotten by leopards always lack this characteristic; and the females likewise. Sexual passion is strong in this species, with its consequence of quarrelsomeness in the males; this is most observed in Africa, where the shortage of water makes the animals flock to the few rivers. There are consequently many varieties of hybrids in that country, either violence or lust mating the males with the females of each species indiscriminately. This is indeed the origin of the common saying of Greece that Africa is always producing some novelty. A lion detects intercourse with a leopard in the case of an adulterous mate by scent, and concentrates his entire strength on her chastisement; consequently this guilty stain is washed away in a stream, or else she keeps her distance when accompanying him. But I notice that there used to be a popular belief that the lioness only bears a cub once, as her womb is wounded by the points of its claws in delivery. Aristotle, however, whose authority I feel bound to cite first as I am going in great part to follow him on these subjects, gives a different account. King Alexander the Great being fired with a desire to know the natures of animals and having delegated the pursuit of this study to Aristotle as a man of supreme eminence in every branch of science, orders were given to some thousands of persons throughout the whole of Asia and Greece, all those who made their living by hunting, fowling, and fishing and those who were in charge of warrens, herds, apiaries, fishponds and aviaries, to obey his instructions, so that he might not fail to be informed about any creature born anywhere. His enquiries addressed to those persons resulted in the composition of his famous works on zoology, in nearly 50 volumes. To my compendium of these, with the addition of facts unknown to him, I request my readers to give a favourable reception, while making a brief excursion under our direction among the whole of the works of Nature, the central interest of the most glorious of all sovereigns. Aristotle then states that a lioness at the first birth produces five cubs, and each year one fewer, and after bearing a single cub becomes barren; and that the cubs are mere lumps of flesh and very small, at the beginning of the size of weasels, and at six months are scarcely able to walk, not moving at all until they are two months old; also that lions are found in Europe only between the rivers Achelous and Mestus, but that these far exceed in strength those produced by Africa and Syria.
XVIII. He states that there are two kinds of lions, one thickset and short, with comparatively curly manesthese being more timid than the long, straight-haired kind; the latter despise wounds. The males lift one leg in making water, like dogs. Their smell is disagreeable, and not less their breath. They are infrequent drinkers, and they feed every other day, after a full meal occasionally abstaining from food for three days; when chewing they swallow whole what they can, and when their belly will not contain the result of their gluttony, they insert their clenched claws into their throats and drag it out, so that if they have to run away they may not go in a state of repletion. From the fact that many specimens are found lacking teeth he infers that they are long-lived. Aemilianus's companion Polybius states that in old age their favourite prey is a human being, because their strength is not adequate to hunting wild animals; and that at this period of their lives they beset the cities of Africa, and consequently when he was with Scipio he saw lions crucified, because the others might be deterred from the same mischief by fear of the same penalty.
XIX. The lion alone of wild animals shows mercy to suppliants; it spares persons prostrated in front of it, and when raging it turns its fury on men rather than women, and only attacks children when extremely hungry. Juba believes that the meaning of entreaties gets through to them: at all events he was informed that the onset of a herd of lions in the forests upon a woman of Gaetulia who was captured and got away again had been checked by a speech in which she dared to say that she was a female, a fugitive, a weakling a suppliant to the most generous of all the animals, the lord of all the rest, a booty unworthy of his glory. Opinion will vary in accordance with each person's as experience has not decided whether it be true or false that even serpents can be enticed out by song and forced to submit to chastisement. Lions indicate their state of mind by means of their tail, as horses do by their ears: for Nature has assigned even these means of expression to all the noblest animals. Consequently the lion's tail is motionless when he is calm, and moves gently when he wishes to cajolewhich is seldom, since anger is more usual; at the onset of which the earth is lashed, and as the anger grows, his back is lashed as if for a mode of incitement. A lion's greatest strength is in the chest. Black blood flows from every wound, whether made by claw or tooth. Yet when lions are glutted they are harmless. The lion's nobility of spirit is detected most in dangers, not merely in the way that despising weapons he protects himself for a long time only by intimidation, and protests as it were that he is acting under compulsion, and rises to the encounter not as if forced by danger but as though enraged by madness; but a nobler indication of this spirit is this, that however large a force of hounds and hunters besets him, in level plains and where he can be seen he retires contemptuously and constantly halting, but when he has made his way into brushwood and forest he proceeds at top speed, as if aware that the lie of the land conceals his disgrace. When pursuing he advances by leaps and bounds, but he does not use this gait when in flight. When he has been wounded he marks down his assailant in a marvellous way, and knows him and picks him out in however large a him but fails to wound him he seizes and whirling him round flings him on the ground, but does not wound him. It is said that when a mother lion is fighting in defence of her cubs she fixes the gaze of her eyes upon the ground so as not to flinch from the hunting spears. Otherwise lions are devoid of craft and suspicion, and they do not look at you with eyes askance and dislike being looked at in a similar way. The belief has been held that a dying lion bites the earth and bestows a tear upon death. Yet though of such a nature and of such ferocity this animal is frightened by wheels turning round and by empty chariots, and even more by the crested combs and the crowing of cocks, but most of all by fires. The only malady to which it is liable is that of distaste for food; in this condition it can be cured by insulting treatment, the pranks of monkeys tied to it driving it to fury; and then tasting their blood acts as a remedy.
XX. A fight with several lions at once was first the bestowed on Rome by Quintus Scaevola, son of Publius, when consular aedile, but the first of all who exhibited a combat of 100 maned lions was Lucius SuIla, later dictator, in his praetorship. After Sulla Pompey the Great showed in the Circus 600, including 315 with manes, and Caesar when dictator 400.
XXI. Capturing lions was once a difficult task, chiefly effected by means of pitfalls. In the principate of Claudius accident taught a Gaetulian shepherd a method that was almost one to be ashamed of in the case of a wild animal of this nature: when it charged he flung a cloak against its onseta feat that was immediately transferred to the arena as a showthe creature's great ferocity abating in an almost incredible manner when its head is covered with even a light wrap, with the result that it is vanquished without showing fight. The fact is that all its strength is concentrated in its eyes, which makes it less remarkable that when Lysimachus by order of Alexander was shut up in a lion's cage he succeeded in strangling it. Mark Antony broke lions to the yoke and was the first person at Rome to harness them to a chariot, and this in fact during the civil war, after the decisive battle in the plains of Pharsalia, not without some intention of exhibiting the position of affairs, the portentous feat signifying that generous spirits can bow to a yoke. For his riding in this fashion with the actress Cytheris at his side was a thing that outdid even the portentous oecnrrences of that disastrous period. It is recorded that Hanno, one of the most distinguished of the Carthaginians, was the first human being who dared to handle a lion and exhibit it as tamed, and that this supplied a reason for his impeachment, because it was felt that a man of such an artful character might persuade the public to anything, and that their liberty was ill entrusted to one to whom even ferocity had so completely submitted.
But there are also instances of occasional mercifulness even in lions. The Syracusan Mentor in Syria met a lion that rolled on the ground in suppliant wise and struck such terror into him that he was running away, when the lion stood in his way wherever he turned, and licked his footsteps as if fawning on him; he noticed a swelling and a wound in its foot, and by pulling out a thorn set the creature free from torment: a picture at Syracuse is evidence of this occurrence. In a similar manner a native of Samos named Elpis on landing from a ship in Africa, saw near the coast a lion opening its jaws in a threatening way, and took refuge up a tree, calling on Father Liber for help, since the chief occasion for praying is an emergency where there is no room for hope. The beast had not stood in his way when he tried to run away although it might have done, and lying down by the tree began to beg for compassion with the gaping jaws by which it had scared the man. Owing to its biting its food too greedily a bone had stuck in its teeth, and was tormenting it with starvation and not merely with the punishment contained in the actual prickles, as it gazed up and looked as if making a silent prayer for aidwhile chance events are not to be relied on in face of a wild animal, and much longer hesitation is caused by surprise than by alarm. But finally he came down and pulled out the bone for the lion, which held out its foot to him and adjusted it at the most necessary angle; and they say that as long as that vessel remained on the coast the lion displayed its gratitude by bringing its catches to its benefactor. This led Elpis to consecrate in Samos a temple to Father Liber, to which from that occurrence the Greeks have given the name of Temple of Dionysus with his Mouth Open. After this do not let us be surprised that men's tracks are recognized by wild beasts when they actually hope for assistance from one of the animal race: for why did they not go to other animals, or how do they know of man's healing touch? Unless perchance violent maladies force even wild animals to every expedient.
The natural philosopher Demetrius also records an equally remarkable story about a panther, which out of desire for human aid lay in the middle of a road, where the father of a certain student of philosophy named Philinus suddenly came in sight of it. The man, so the story goes, began to retreat, but the animal rolled over on its back, obviously trying to cajole him, and tormented by sorrow that was intelligible even in a panther: she had a litter of cubs that had fallen into a pit some distance away. The first result of his compassion therefore was not to be frightened, and the next to give her his attention; and he followed where she drew him by lightly touching his clothes with her claws, and when he understood the cause of her grief and at the same time the recompense due for his own security, he got the cubs out of the pit; and the panther with her young escorted him right to the edge of the desert, guiding him with gestures of delight that made it quite clear that she was expressing gratitude and not reckoning on any recompense, which is rare even in a human being.
XXII. These stories give credibility to Democritus also, who tells a tale of Thoas in Arcadia being saved by a snake. When a boy he had fed it and made a great pet of it, and his parent being afraid of the snake's nature and size had taken it away into an uninhabited region, where it recognized Thoas's voice and came to his rescue when he was entrapped by an ambush of brigands. For as to the reports about infants when they had been exposed being fed by the milk of wild animals, as well as those about our founders being nursed by a she-wolf, I deem it more reasonable for them to be credited to the grandeur of their destinies than to the nature of the wild animals.
XXIII. The panther and the tiger almost alone of beasts are distinguished by a variety of markings, whereas the rest have a single colour, each kind having its ownblack in the case of lions in Syria only. Panthers have small spots like eyes on a light ground. It is said that all four-footed animals are wonderfully attracted by their smell, but frightened by the savage appearance of their head; for which they catch them by hiding their head and enticing them to approach by their other attractions. Some authorities report that they have a mark on the shoulder resembling a moon, expanding into a circle and hollowed out in a similar manner. As it is, people use the name 'spotted ladies', and for the males 'pards', in the whole of this genus, which occurs most frequently in Africa and Syria; some persons distinguish panthers from these by their light colour only, nor have I hitherto discovered any other difference.
XXIV. There was an old Resolution of the Senate prohibiting the importation of African elephants into Italy. Gnaeus Aufidius when Tribune of the Plebs carried in the Assembly of the People a resolution repealing this and allowing them to be imported for shows in the Circus. But Scaurus in his aedileship first sent in procession 150 female leopards in one flock, then Pompey the Great 410, and the late lamented Augustus 420.
XXV. Augustus also, in the consulship of Marcus Tubero and Paullus Fabius, at the dedication of the Theatre of Marcellus, on May 7, was the first of all persons at Rome who exhibited a tamed tiger in a cage, although his late Majesty Claudius exhibited four at one time.
Hyrcania and India produce the tiger, au animal of terrific speed, which is most noticeable when the whole of its litter, which is always numerous, is being captured. The litter is taken by a man lying in wait with the swiftest horse obtainable, and is transferred successively to fresh horses. But when the mother tiger finds the lair empty (for the males do not look after their young) she rushes off at headlong speed, tracking them by scent. The captor when her roar approaches throws away one of the cubs. She snatches it up in her mouth, and returns and resumes the pursuit at even a faster pace owing to her burden, and so on in succession until the hunter has regained the ship and her ferocity rages vainly on the shore.
XXVI. The East pastures camels among its flocks of cattle; of these there are two kinds, the Bactrian and the Arabian, which differ in that the former have two humps on the back and the latter one, with a second hump beneath the chest on which they can rest their weight; but both kinds resemble oxen in having no teeth in the upper jaw. All however perform the services of beasts of burden, and also of cavalry in battles; their speed is below that of horses. But the two kinds differ in dimensions, as also in strength; and a camel will not travel beyond its customary march, nor carry more than the regulation load. They possess an innate hatred for horses. They can endure thirst for as much as four days, and when they have an opportunity they replenish themselves both for the past interval and for the future, stirring up the water by trampling with their fore feet before they drinkotherwise they do not enjoy the draught. They live for fifty years, some even for a hundred; although even camels are liable to rabies. A method has been discovered of gelding even the females intended for war; this by denying them intercourse increases their strength.
XXVII. Some resemblance to these is passed on to two animals. The Ethiopians give the name of to one that has a neck like a horse, feet and legs like an ox, and a head like a camel, and is of a ruddy colour picked out with white spots, owing to which it is called a camelopard; it was first seen at Rome at the games in the Circus given by Caesar when dictator. From this it has subsequently been recognized to be more remarkable for appearance than for ferocity, and consequently it has also got the name of wild sheep.
XXVIII. The games of Pompey the Great first displayed the chama, which the Gauls used to call the lynx, with the shape of a wolf and leopard's spots; the same show exhibited what they call cephi from Ethiopia, which have hind feet resembling the feet of a man and legs and fore feet like hands. Rome has not seen this animal subsequently.
XXIX. At the same games there was also a rhinoceros with one horn on the nose such as has often been seen. Another bred here to fight matches with an elephant gets ready for battle by filing its horns on rocks, and in the encounter goes specially for the belly, which it knows to be softer. It equals an elephant in length, but its legs are much shorter, and it is the colour of box-wood.
XXX. Ethiopia produces lynxes in great numbers, and sphinxes with brown hair and a pair of udders on the breast, and many other monstrositieswinged homes armed with horns, called pegasi, hyenas like a cross between a dog and a wolf, that break everything with their teeth, swallow it at a gulp and masticate it in the belly; tailed monkeys with black heads, ass's hair and a voice unlike that of any other species of ape; Indian oxen a with one and with three horns; the leucrocota, [hyena] swiftest of wild beasts, about the size of an ass, with a stag's haunches, a lion's neck, tail and breast, badger's head, cloven hoot mouth opening right back to the ears, and ridges of bone in place of rows of teeththis animal is reported to imitate the voices of human beings. Among the same people is also found the animal called the yale, the size of a hippopotamus, with an elephant's tail, of a black or tawny colour, with the jaws of a boar and movable horns more than a cubit in length which in a fight are erected alternately, and presented to the attack or sloped backward in turn as policy directs. But its fiercest animals are forest bulls, larger than the bulls of the field, surpassing all in speed, of a tawny colour, with blue eyes, hair turned backward, mouth gaping open to the ears, along with mobile horns; the hide has the hardness of flint, rejecting every wound. They hunt all wild animals, but themselves can only be caught in pits, and when caught always die game. Ctesias writes that in the same country is born the creature that he calls the mantichora [fabulous] which has a triple row of teeth meeting like the teeth of a comb, the face and ears of a human being, grey eyes, a blood-red colour, a lion's body, inflicting stings with its tail in the manner of a scorpion, with a voice like the sound of a panpipe blended with a trumpet, of great speed, with a special appetite for human flesh.
XXXI. He says that in India there are also oxen with solid hoofs and one horn and a wild animal named axis, [deer] with the hide of a fawn but with more spots and whiter ones, belonging to the ritual of Father Liber (the Orsaean Indians hunt monkeys that are a bright white all over the body); but that the fiercest animal is the unicorn, which in the rest of the body resembles a horse, but in the head a stag, in the feet an elephant, and in the tail a boar, and has a deep bellow, and a single black horn three feet long projecting from the middle of the forehead. They say that it is impossible to capture this animal alive.
XXXII. In Western Ethiopia there is a spring, the Nigris, which most people have supposed to be the source of the Nile, as they try to prove by the arguments that we have stated. In its neighbourhood there is an animal called the catoblepas, in other respects of moderate size and inactive with the rest of its limbs, only with a very heavy head which it carries with difficultyit is always hanging down to the ground; otherwise it is deadly to the human race, as all who see its eyes expire immediately.
XXXIII. The basilisk serpent also has the same power. It is a native of the province of Cyrenaica, not more than 12 inches long, and adorned with a bright white marking on the head like a sort of diadem. It routs all snakes with its hiss, and does not move its body forward in manifold coils like the other snakes but advancing with its middle raised high. It kills bushes not only by its touch but also by its breath, scorches up grass and bursts rocks. Its effect on other animals is disastrous: it is believed that once one was killed with a spear by a man on horseback and the infection rising through the spear killed not only the rider but also the horse. Yet to a creature so marvellous as thisindeed kings have often wished to see a specimen when safely deadthe venom of weasels is fatal: so fixed is the decree of nature that nothing shall be without its match. They throw the basilisks into weasels' holes, which are easily known by the foulness of the ground, and the weasels kill them by their stench and die themselves at the same time, and nature's battle is accomplished.
XXXIV. But in Italy also it is believed that the sight of wolves is harmful, and that if they look at a man before he sees them, it temporarily deprives him of utterance. The wolves produced in Africa and Egypt are feeble and small, but those of colder regions are cruel and fierce. We are bound to pronounce with confidence that the story of men being turned into wolves and restored to themselves again is falseor else we must believe all the tales that the experience of so many centuries has taught us to be fabulous; nevertheless we will indicate the origin of the popular belief, which is so firmly rooted that it classes werewolves among persons under a curse. Evanthes, who holds no contemptible position among the authors of Greece, writes that the Arcadians have a tradition that someone chosen out of the clan of a certain Anthus by casting lots among the family is taken to a certain marsh in that region, and hanging his clothes on an oak-tree swims across the water and goes away into a desolate place and is transformed into a wolf and herds with the others of the same kind for nine years; and that if in that period he has refrained from touching a human being, he returns to the same marsh, swims across it and recovers his shape, with nine years' age added to his former appearance; Evanthes also adds the more fabulous detail that he gets back the same clothes. It is astounding to what lengths Greek credulity will go; there is no lie so shameless as to lack a supporter. Similarly Apollas the author of Olympic Victors relates that at the sacrifice which even at that date the Arcadians used to perform in honour of Lycaean Jove with a human victim, Daemenetus of Parrhasia tasted the vitals of a boy who had been offered as a victim and turned himself into a wolf, and furthermore that he was restored ten years later and trained himself in athletics for boxing and returned a winner from Olympia. Moreover it is popularly believed that even the tail of this animal contains a love-poison in a small tuft of hair, and when it is caught it sheds the tuft, which has not the same potency unless plucked from the animal while it is alive; that the days on which it breeds are not more than twelve in a whole year; also that for it to feed on earth when it is hungry counts as an augury: if it does this in large mouthfuls when barring the path of travellers who come upon it on their right hand side, this is the finest of all omens. Some members of the genus are called stag-wolves; a specimen from Gaul was seen in the arena of Pompey the Great, as we have stated. They say that if this animal while devouring its food looks behind it, however hungry it is, forgetfulness of what it is eating creeps over it and it goes off to look for something else.
XXXV. As concerning serpents, it is generally stated that most of them have the colour of the earth that they usually lurk in; that there are innumerable kinds of them; that horned snakes have little horns, often a cluster of four, projecting from the body, by moving which so as to hide the rest of the body they lure birds to them; that the amphisbaena has a twin he ad, that is one at the tail-end as well, as though it were not enough for poison to be poured out of one mouth; that some have scales, others coloured markings, and all a deadly venom; that the javelin-shake hurls itself from the branches of trees, and at serpents are not only formidable to the feet but fly like a missile from a catapult; that when asps' necks swell, up there is no remedy for their sting except the immediate amputation of the parts stung. Although so pestilential, this animal has one emotion or rather affection: they usually roam in couples, male and female, and only live with their consort. Accordingly when either of the pair has been destroyed the other is incredibly anxious for revenge: it pursues the murderer and by means of some mark of recognition attacks him and him only in however large a throng of people, bursting through all obstacles and traversing all distances, and it is only debarred by rivers or by very rapid flight. It is impossible to declare whether Nature has engendered evils or remedies more bountifully. In the first place she has bestowed on this accursed creature dim eyes, and those not in the forehead for it to look straight in front of it, but in the templesand consequently it is more quickly excited by hearing than by sight; and in the next place she has given it war to the death with the ichneumon.
XXXVI. That animal, which is also a native of Egypt, is specially known because of this exploit. The asp repeatedly plunges into mud and dries itself in the sun, and then when it has equipped itself with a cuirass of several coatings by the same method, it proceeds to the encounter. In this it raises its tail and renders the blows it receives ineffectual by turning away from them, till after watching for its opportunity, with head held sideways it attacks its adversary's throat. And not content with this victim it vanquishes another animal no less ferocious, the crocodile.
XXXVII. This belongs to the Nile; it is a curse on four legs, and equally pernicious on land and in the river. It is the only land animal not furnished with a tongue and the only one that bites by pressing down the mobile upper jaw, and it is also formidable because of its row of teeth set close together like a comb. In size it usually exceeds 18 ells. It lays as many eggs as a goose, and by a kind of prophetic instinct incubates them always outside the line to which the Nile in that year is going to rise at full flood. Nor does any other animal grow to greater dimensions from a smaller original size; however, it is armed with talons as well, and its hide is invincible against all blows. It passes its days on land and its nights in the water, in both eases for reasons of warmth. This creature when sated with a meal of fish and sunk in sleep on the shore with its mouth always full of food, is tempted by a small bird (called there the trochilus, but in Italy the king-bird) to open its mouth wide to enable the bird to feed; and first it hops in and cleans out the mouth, and then the teeth and inner throat also, [fictitious] which yawns open as wide as possible for the pleasure of this scratching; and the ichneumon watches for it to be overcome by sleep in the middle of this gratification and darts like a javelin through the throat so opened and gnaws out the belly.
XXXVIII. A native of the Nile resembling the crocodile but smaller even than the ichneumon is the skink, which is an outstanding antidote against poisons, and also an aphrodisiac for males.
But the crocodile constituted too great a plague for Nature to be content with a single enemy for it. Accordingly dolphins also, which have on their backs a sharp fin shaped like a knife as if for this purpose, enter the mouth of the Nile, and when the crocodiles drive them away from their prey and lord it in the river as merely their own domain, kill them by craft, as they are otherwise in themselves no match for them in strength. For all animals are skilful in this, and know not only the things advantageous for themselves but also those detrimental for their enemies, and are acquainted with their own weapons and recognize their opportunities and the unwarlike parts of their adversaries. The crocodile's hide is soft and thin over the belly; consequently the dolphins pretending to be frightened dive and going under them rip the belly with the spine described. Moreover there is also a tribe of human beings right on the Nile, named after the Island of Tentyrus on which it dwells, that is hostile to this monster. They are of small stature but have a readiness of mind in this employment only that is remarkable. The creature in question is terrible against those who run away but runs away from those who pursue it. But these men alone dare to go against them; they actually dive into the river and mounting on their back as if riding a horse, when they yawn with the head thrown backward to bite, insert a staff into the month, and holding the staff at both ends with their right and left hands, drive their prisoners to the land as if with bridles, and by terrifying them even merely with their shouts compel them to disgorge the recently swallowed bodies for burial. Consequently this island only is not visited by crocodiles, and the scent of this race of men drives them away, as that of the Psylli does snakes. This animal is said to have dim sight in the water, but to be very keen-sighted when out of it; and to pass four months of the winter in a cave continuously without food. Some persons think that this alone of animals goes on growing in size as long as it lives; but it lives a long time.
XXXIX. A monster of still greater height is also produced in the Nile, the hippopotamus, which has cloven hoofs like those of oxen, a horse's back, mane and neigh, a snub snout, a boar's tail and curved-tusks, though these are less formidable, and with a hide that supplies an impenetrable material for shields and helmets, except if they are soaked in moisture. It feeds on the crops, marking out a definite portion beforehand for each day, so it is said, and making its footprints lead out of the field, so that no traps may be laid for it when it returns.
XL. A hippopotamus was exhibited at Rome for the first time, together with five crocodiles, by Marcus Scaurus at the games which he gave when aedile; a temporary channel was made to hold them. The hippopotamus stands out as an actual master in one department of medicine; for when its unceasing voracity has caused it to overeat itself it comes ashore to reconnoitre places where rushes have recently been cut, and where it sees an extremely sharp stalk it squeezes its body down on to it and makes a wound in a certain vein in its leg, and by thus letting blood unburdens its body, which would otherwise be liable to disease, and plasters up the wound again with mud.
XLI. A somewhat similar display has also been made in the same country of Egypt by the bird called the ibis, which makes use of the curve of its beak to purge itself through the part by which it is most conducive to health for the heavy residue of foodstuffs to be excreted. Nor is the ibis alone, but many animals have made discoveries destined to be useful for man as well. The value of the herb dittany for extracting arrows was shown by stags when wounded by that weapon and ejecting it by grazing on that herb; likewise stags when bitten by the phalangium, a kind of spider, or any similar animal cure themselves by eating crabs. There is also a herb that is particularly good for snakebites, with which lizards heal themselves whenever they fight a battle with snakes and are wounded. Celandine was shown to be very healthy for the sight by swallows using it as a medicine for their chicks' sore eyes. The tortoise eats cunila, called ox-grass, to restore its strength against the effect of snake-bites; the weasel cures itself with rue when it has had a fight with mice in hunting them. The stork drugs itself with marjoram in sickness, and goats use ivy and a diet consisting mostly of crabs thrown up from the sea. When a snake's body gets covered with a skin owing to its winter inactivity it sloughs this hindrance to its movement by means of fennel-sap and comes out all glossy for spring; but it begins the process at its head, and takes at least 24 hours to do it, folding the skin backward so that what was the inner side of it becomes the outside. Moreover as its sight is obscured by its hibernation it anoints and revives its eyes by rubbing itself against a fennel plant, but if its scales have become numbed it scratches itself on the spiny leaves of a juniper. A large snake quenches its spring nausea with the juice of wild lettuce. Barbarian hunters catch leopards by means of meat rubbed over with wolfs bane; their throats are at once attacked by violent pain (in consequence of which some people have given this poison a Greek name meaning choke-leopard), but to cure this the creature doses itself with human excrement, and in general it is so greedy for this that shepherds have a plan of hanging up some of it in a vessel too high for the leopard to be able to reach it by jumping up, and the animal keeps springing up and trying to get it till it is exhausted and finally dies, although otherwise its vitality is so persistent that it will go on fighting for a long time after its entrails have been torn out. When an elephant swallows a chameleon (which is poisonous to it) because it is of the same colour as a leaf, it uses the wild olive as a remedy. When bears have swallowed the fruit of the mandrake they lick up ants. A stag uses wild artichoke as an antidote to poisoned fodder. Pigeons, jays, blackbirds and partridges cure their yearly distaste for food with bay-leaves; doves, turtle-doves and domestic fowls use the plant called helxine, ducks, geese and other water-fowl water-starwort, cranes and the like marsh-rushes. When a raven has killed a chameleon lizard, which is noxious even to its conqueror, it stanches the poisonous infection with bay-leaves.
XLII. There are thousands of points besides, inasmuch as Nature has likewise also bestowed upon very many animals the faculty of observing the sky, and a variety of different modes of prognosticating winds, rain and storms, a subject which it would be an immense task to pursue, just as much so no doubt as the other points of alliance between particular animals and human beings. For in fact animals even give warning of dangers in advance, not only by means of their entrails and internal organs, a thing that much intrigues a great part of mankind, but also by another mode of indication. When the collapse of a building is imminent, the mice migrate in advance, and spiders with their webs are the first things to fall. Indeed auguries have constituted a science at Rome and have given rise to a priestly college of the greatest dignity. In frostbound countries, the fox also is among the creatures believed to give omens, being an animal of formidable sagacity in other respects; people only cross frozen rivers and lakes at points where it goes or returns: it has been observed to put its ear to the frozen surface and to guess the thickness of the ice.
XLIII. Nor are there less remarkable instances of destructiveness even in the case of contemptible animals. Marcus Varro states that a town in Spain was undermined by rabbits and one in Thessaly by moles, and that a tribe in Gaul was put to flight by frogs and one in Africa by locusts, and the inhabitants were banished from the island of Gyara in the Cyclades by mice, and Amynclae in Italy was completely destroyed by snakes. North of the Ethiopic tribe of the Bitch-milkers there is a wide belt of desert where a tribe was wiped out by scorpions and poisonous spiders, and Theophrastus states that the Rhoetienses were driven away by a kind of centipede.
But let us return to the remaining kinds of wild animals.
XLIV. The hyena is popularly believed to be bisexual and to become male and female in alternate years, the female bearing offspring without a male; but this is denied by Aristotle. Its neck stretches right along the backbone like a mane, and cannot bend without the whole body turning round. A number of other remarkable facts about it are reported, but the most remarkable are that among the shepherds' homesteads it simulates human speech, and picks up the name of one of them so as to call him to come out of doors and tear him in pieces, and also that it imitates a person being sick, to attract the dogs so that it may attack them; that this animal alone digs up graves in search of corpses; that a female is seldom caught; that its eyes have a thousand variations and alterations of colour; moreover that when its shadow falls on dogs they are struck dumb; and that it has certain magic arts by which it causes every animal at which it gases three times to stand rooted to the spot.
XLV. When crossed with this race of animals the Ethiopian lioness gives birth to the corocotta, that mimics the voices of men and cattle in a similar way. It has an unbroken ridge of bone in each jaw, forming a continuous tooth without any gum, which to prevent its being blunted by contact with the opposite jaw is shut up in a sort of case. Juba states that in Ethiopia the mantichora also mimics human speech.
XLVI. Hyenas occur most numerously in Africa, which also produces a multitude of wild asses. In that species each male is lord of a separate herd of females. They are afraid of rivals in their affections, and consequently they keep a watch on their females when in foal, and geld their male offspring with a bite; to guard against this the females when in foal seek hiding-places and are anxious to give birth by stealth. Also they are fond of a great deal of sexual indulgence.
XLVII. The beavers of the Black Sea region practise self-amputation of the same organ when beset by danger, as they know that they are hunted for the sake of its secretion, the medical name for which is beaver-oil. Apart from this the beaver is an animal with a formidable bite, cutting down trees on the river banks as if with steel; if it gets hold of part of a man's body it does not relax its bite before the fractured bones are heard grinding together. The beaver has a fish's tail, while the rest of its conformation resembles an otter's; both species are aquatic, and both have fur that is softer than down.
XLVIII. Also the bramble-frog, which is amphibious in its habit, is replete with a great number of drugs, which it is said to evacuate daily and to replace by the food that it eats, always keeping back only the poisons for itself.
XLIX. The seal also resembles the beaver both in its amphibious habits and in its nature. It gets rid of its gall, which is useful for many drugs, by vomiting it up, and also its rennet, a cure for epileptic attacks; it does this because it knows that it is bunted for the sake of these products. Theophrastus states that geckoes also slough off their old skin as a snake does, and similarly swallow the slough at once, it being a cure for epilepsy if one snatches it from them. It is also said that their bite is harmless in Greece but that they are noxious in Sicily.
L. Deer also a have their own form of stinginess although the stag is the gentlest of animals. When beset by a pack of hounds they fly for refuge of their own accord to a human being, and when giving birth to young are less careful to avoid paths worn by human footprints than secluded places that are advantageous for wild beasts. The mating season is after the rising of Arcturus. Pregnancy lasts eight months, and occasionally they bear twins. After mating the hinds withdraw, but the deserted males rage in a fury of desire, and score the ground with their horns; afterwards their snouts are black till a considerable rainfall washes off the dirt. The females before giving birth use a certain plant called hartwort as a purge, so having an easier delivery. After giving birth they browse on the two plants named dittany and seseli before they return to the young: for some reason or other they desire the sucklings' first draughts of milk to be flavoured with those herbs. When the fawns are born they exercise them in running and teach them to practise escaping, and take them to cliffs and show them how to jump. The males when at last freed from lustful desire greedily seek pasture; when they feel they are too fat, they look for lairs to hide in, showing that they are conscious of inconvenient weight. And on other occasions when running away from pursuit they always stop and stand gazing backward, when the hunters draw near again seeking refuge in flight: this is done owing to pain in the gut, which is so weak that a light blow causes internal rupture. But when they hear the baying of hounds they always run away down wind, so that their scent may go away with them. They can be charmed by a shepherd's pipe and by song. Their hearing is very keen when they raise their ears, but dull when they drop them. In other respects the deer is a simple animal and stupefied by surprise at everythingso much so that when a horse or a heifer is approaching they do not notice a huntsman close to them, or if they see him merely gaze in wonder at his bow and arrows. They cross seas swimming in a herd strung out in line with their heads resting on the haunches of the ones in front of them, and taking turns to drop to the rear: this is most noticed when they are crossing from Cilicia to Cyprus; and they do not keep land in sight but swim towards its scent. The males have horns, and alone of animals shed them every year at a fixed time in spring; consequently when the day in question approaches they resort as much as possible to unfrequented places. When they have lost their home they keep in hiding as if disarmedalthough these animals also are grudging of their special good: people say that a stag's right horn, which is endowed with some sort of healing drug, is never found; and this must be confessed to be the more surprising in view of the fact that even stags kept in warrens change their horns every year: it is thought that they bury them. The smell of either horn when burnt arrests attacks of epilepsy. They also bear marks of their age in their horns, each year till they are six years old adding one time; though thenceforward the horns grow again like the old ones and the age cannot be told by them. But old age is indicated by the teeth, for the old have either few or none, nor have they tines at the bottom of the horns, though otherwise these usually jut out in front of the brow when they are younger. When stags have been gelt the horns do not fall off nor grow again, but burst out with excrescences that keep springing again, at first resembling dry skin, and then grow up with tender shoots into reedy tufts feathered with soft down. As long as the stags are without them, they go out to graze iu the nights. When they are growing again they harden them with the heat of the sun, subsequently testing them on trees, and only go out into the open when satisfied with theft strength; and before now they have been caught with green ivy on their antlers, that has been grafted on the tender horns as on a log of wood as a result of rubbing them against trees while testing them. Stags are sometimes even of a white colour, as Quintus Sertorius's hind is said to have been, which he had persuaded the tribes of Spain to believe prophetic. Even stags are at war with a snake; they track out their holes and draw them out by means of the breath of their nostrils in spite of their resistance. Consequently the smell made by burning stag's horn is an outstanding thing for driving away serpents, while a sovereign cure against bites is obtained from the rennet of a fawn killed in its mother's womb. Stags admittedly have a long life, some having been caught a hundred years later with the gold necklaces that Alexander the Great had put on them already covered up by the hide in great folds of fat. This animal is not liable to feverish diseasesindeed it even supplies a prophylactic against their attack; we know that recently certain ladies of the imperial house have made a practice of eating venison every day in the morning and have been free from fevers throughout a long lifetime; though it is thought that this only holds good if the stag has been killed by a single wound.
The animal called the goat-stag, occurring only near the river Phasis, is of the same appearance, differing only in having a beard, and a fleece on the shoulders.
LI. Africa almost alone does not produce stags, but Africa also has the chameleon, although India produces it in greater numbers. Its shape and size were those of a lizard, were not the legs straight and longer. The flanks are joined on to the belly as in fishes, and the spine projects in a similar manner. It has a snout not unlike a pig's, considering its small size, a very long tail that tapers towards the end and curls in coils like a viper, and crooked talons; it moves rather slowly like a tortoise and has a rough body like a crocodile's, and eyes in a hollow recess, close together and very large and of the same colours as its body. It never shuts its eyes, and looks round not by moving the pupil but by turning the whole eye. It holds itself erect with its mouth always wide open, and it is the only animal that does not live on food or drink or anything else but the nutriment that it derives from the air, with a gape that is almost terrifying, but otherwise it is harmless. And it is more remarkable for the nature of its colouring, since it constantly changes the hue of its eyes and tail and whole body and always makes it the colour with which it is in closest contact, except red and white. When dead it is of a pallid colour.
It has flesh on the head and jaws and at the junction tail in a rather scanty amount, and nowhere else in the whole body; blood in the heart and around the eyes only; its vital parts contain no spleen. It hibernates like a lizard in the winter months.
LII. The reindeer of Scythia also changes its colours, but none other of the fur-clad animals does so except the Indian wolf, which is reported to have a mane on the neck. For the jackalwhich is a kind of wolf, longer in the body and differing in the shortness of the legs, quick in its spring, living by hunting, harmless to manchanges its raiment though not its colour, being shaggy through the winter but naked in summer. The reindeer is the size of an ox; its head is larger than that of a stag but not unlike it; it has branching horns, cloven hooves, and a fleece as shaggy as a bear's but, when it happens to be self-coloured, resembling an ass's coat. The hide is so hard that they use it for making cuirasses. When alarmed it imitates the colours of all the trees, bushes and flowers and places where it lurks, and consequently is rarely caught. It would be surprising that its body has such variety of character, but it is more surprising that even its fleece has.
LIII. The porcupine is a native of India and Africa. It is covered with a prickly skin of the hedgehogs' kind, but the spines of the porcupine are longer and they dart out when it draws the skin tight: it pierces the mouths of hounds when they close with it, and shoots out at them when further off. In the winter months it hibernates, as is the nature of many animals and before all of bears.
LIV. Bears couple at the beginning of winter, and not in the usual manner of quadrupeds but both lying down and hugging each other; afterwards they retire apart into caves, in which they give birth on the thirtieth day to a litter of five cubs at most. These are a white and shapeless lump of flesh, little larger than mice, without eyes or hair and only the claws projecting. This lump the mother bears slowly lick into shape. Nor is anything more unusual than to see a she-bear giving birth to cubs. Consequently the males lie in hiding for periods of forty days, and the females four months. If they have not got caves, they build rainproof dens by heaping up branches and brushwood, with a carpet of soft foliage on the floor. For the first fortnight they sleep so soundly that they cannot be aroused even by wounds; at this period they get fat with sloth to a remarkable degree (the bear's grease is useful for medicines and a prophylactic against baldness). As a result of these days of sleep they shrink in bulk and they live by sucking their fore paws. They cherish their freezing offspring by pressing them to their breast, lying on them just like birds hatching eggs. Strange to say, Theophrastus believes that even boiled bear's flesh, if kept, goes on growing in size for that period; that no evidence of food and only the smallest amount of water is found in the belly at this stage, and that there are only a few drops of blood in the neighbourhood of the heart and none in the rest of the body. In the spring they come out, but the males are very fat, a fact the cause of which is not evident, as they have not been fattened up even by sleep, except for a fortnight as we have said. On coming out they devour a plant called wake-robin to loosen the bowels, which are otherwise constipated, and they rub their teeth on tree-stumps to get their mouths into training. Their eyes have got dim, which is the chief reason why they seek for hives, so that their face may be stung by the bees to relieve that trouble with blood. A bear's weakest part is the head, which is the lion's strongest; consequently if when hard pressed by an attack they are going to fling themselves down from a rock they make the jump with their head covered with their fore paws, and in the arena are often killed by their head being broken by a buffet. The Spanish provinces believe that a bear's brain contains poison, and when bears are killed in shows their heads are burnt in the presence of a witness, on the ground that to drink the poison drives a man bear-mad. Bears even walk on two feet, and they crawl down trees backward. They tire out bulls with their weight by hanging by all four feet from their mouth and horns; and no other animal's stupidity is more cunning in doing harm. It is noted in the Annals that on 19 September in the consulship of Marcus Piso and Marcus Messala, Domitius Ahenobarbus as curule aedile provided in the circus a hundred Numidian bears and the same number of Ethiopian huntsmen. I am surprised at the description of the bears as Numidian, since it is known that the bear does not occur in Africa.
LV. The mice of the Black Sea region also hibernate at all events the white ones, which are stated to have a very discriminating palate, though I am curious to know how the authorities detected this. Alpine mice, [marmots] which are the size of badgers, also hibernate, but these carry a supply of fodder into their caves beforehand. Some people say that they let themselves down into their cave in a string, male and female alternately holding the next one's tail in their teeth, and lying on their backs, embracing a bundle of grass that they have bitten off at the roots, and that consequently at this season their backs show marks of rubbing. There are also mice resembling these in Egypt, and they sit back on their haunches in a similar way, and walk on two feet and use their forepaws as hands.
LVI. Hedgehogs also prepare food for winter, and fixing fallen apples on their spines by rolling on them and holding one more in their mouth carry them to hollow trees. The same animals foretell a change of wind from North to South by retiring to their lair. But when they perceive someone hunting them they draw together their mouth and feet and all their lower part, which has thin and harmless down on it, and roll up into the shape of a ball, so that it may not be possible to take hold of any part of them except the prickles. But when desperate they make water over themselves, which corrodes their hide and damages their spines, for the sake of which they know that people catch them. Hence the scientific way is to hunt them just after they have discharged their water. And then the hide is of particular value, whereas otherwise it is spoiled and fragile, with the spines rotting and falling out, even if the animal escapes by flight and lives. On this account it does not drench itself with this damaging stuff except as a last resort, since even the creatures themselves hate this self-poisoning, sparing themselves and waiting for the final limit so long that usually capture overtakes them beforehand. Afterwards the ball into which they roll up can be made to unroll by a sprinkle of hot water, and to fasten them up by one of the hind feet kills them through starvation when hanging: it is not possible to kill them in any other way and avoid damaging the hide. The animal itself is not, as most of us think, superfluous for the life of mankind, since, if it had not spines, the softness of the hides in cattle would have been bestowed on mortals to no purpose: hedgehog skirt is used in dressing cloth for garments. Even here fraud has discovered a great source of profit by monopoly, nothing having been the subject of more frequent legislation by the senate, and every emperor without exception having been approached by complaints from the provinces.
LVII. The urine of two other animals also has remarkable properties. We are told that there is a small animal called 'lion's-bane' that only occurs in regions where the lion is found, to taste of which causes that mighty creature, the lord of all the other four-footed animals, to expire immediately. Consequently men burn this creature's body and sprinkle it like pearl barley on the flesh of other animals as a bait for a lion, and even kill their prey with its ashes: so noisome a bane it is. Therefore the lion naturally hates it, and when he sees it crushes it and does all he can short of biting it to kill it; while it meets the attack by spraying urine, knowing already that this also is deadly to a lion.
The water of lynxes, voided in this way when they are born, solidifies or dries up into drops likecarbuncles and of a brilliant flame-colour, called lynx-waterwhich is the origin of the common story that this is the way in which amber is formed. The lynxes have learnt this and know it, and they jealously cover up their urine with earth, thereby causing it to solidify more quickly.
Another case of ingenuity in alarm, is that of the badgers: they ward off men's blows and the bites of dogs by inflating and distending their skin.
LVIII. Squirrels also foresee a storm, and stop up their holes to windward in advance, opening doorways on the other side; moreover their own exceptionally bushy tail serves them as a covering. Consequently some have a store of food ready for the winter and others use sleep as a substitute for food.
LIX. It is said that the viper is the only snake that hides in the ground, all the others using holes in trees or rocks. And for the rest they can last out a year's starvation if only they are protected against cold. All kinds sleep at the period of retirement and are not poisonous. Snails also hibernate in the same way, these indeed retiring again in the summers also, mostly clinging to rocks, or even when violently bent back and torn away, nevertheless not going out. But those in the Balearic Islands called cave-snails do not crawl out of their holes in the ground and do not live on grass, but cling together in a cluster like a bunch of grapes. There is also another kind, which is not so common, that shuts itself in with a tightly fitting lid formed of the same material as its shell. These are always buried in the earth, and formerly were only dug up in the neighbourhood of the Maritime Alps, but they have now begun to be pulled up in the Velitrae district also; however the most highly commended kind of all is on the island of Astypalaea.
LX. The greatest enemy of the snail is the lizard; this genus is said not to live more than six months. The lizard of Arabia is 18 inches long, but those on Mount Nysus in India reach a length of 24 feet, and are coloured yellow or scarlet or blue.
LXI. Many also of the domestic animals are worth studying, and before all the one most faithful to man, the dog, and the horse. We are told of a dog that fought against brigands in defence of his master and although covered with wounds would not leave his corpse, driving away birds and beasts of prey; and of another dog in Epirus which recognized his master's murderer in a gathering and by snapping and barking made him confess the crime. The King of the Garamantes' was escorted back from exile by 200 dogs who did battle with those that offered resistance. The people of Colophon and also those of Castabulum had troops of dogs for their wars; these fought fiercely in the front rank, never refusing battle, and were their most loyal supporters, never requiring pay. When some Cimbrians were killed their hounds defended their houses placed on waggons. When Jason of Lycia had been murdered his dog refused to take food and starved to death. But a dog the name of which Duris gives as Hyrcanus when king Lysimachus's pyre was set alight threw itself into the flame, and similarly at the funeral of King Hiero. Philistus also records the tyrant Gelo's dog Pyrrhus; also the dog of Nicomedes king of Bithynia is recorded to have bitten the King's wife Consingis because she played a rather loose joke with her husband. Among ourselves the famous Vulcatius, Cassellius's tutor in civil law, when returning on his cob from his place near Rome after nightfall was defended by his dog from a highwayman; and so was the senator Caelius, an invalid, when set upon by armed men at Piacenza, and he did not receive a wound till the dog had been despatched. But above all cases, in our own generation it is attested by the National Records that in the consulship of Appius Julius and Publius Silius when as a result of the case of Germanicus's son Nero punishment was visited on Titius Sabinus and his slaves, a dog belonging to one of them could not be driven away from him in prison and when he had been flung out on the Steps of Lamentation would not leave his body, uttering sorrowful howls to the vast concourse of the Roman public around, and when one of them threw it food it carried it to the mouth of its dead master; also when his corpse had been thrown into the Tiber it swam to it and tried to keep it afloat, a great crowd streaming out to view the animal's loyalty.
Dogs alone know their master, and also recognize a sudden arrival as a stranger; they alone recognize their own names, and the voice of a member of the household; they remember the way to places however distant, and no creature save man has a longer memory. Their onset and rage can be mollified by a person sitting down on the ground. Experience daily discovers very many other qualities in these animals, but it is in hunting that their skill and sagacity is most outstanding. A hound traces and follows footprints, dragging by its leash the tracker that accompanies it towards his quarry; and on sighting it how silent and secret but how significant an indication is given first by the tail and then by the muzzle Consequently even when they are exhausted with old age and blind and weak, men wry them in their arms sniffing at the breezes scents and pointing their muzzles towards Indians want hounds to be sired by tigers, the breeding season they tie up bitches in the for this purpose. They think that the first second litters are too fierce and they only rear the third one. Similarly the Gauls breed hounds wolves; each of their packs has one of the as leader and guide; the pack accompanies this leader in the hunt and pays it obedience; for dogs actually exercise authority among themselves. It is known that the dogs by the Nile lap up water from the river as they run, so as not to give the greed of the crocodiles its chance. When Alexander the Great was on his way to India, the king of Albania had presented him with one dog of unusually large size; Alexander was delighted by its appearance, and gave orders for bears and then boars and finally hinds to be let slipthe hound lying contemptuously motionless. This slackness on the part of so vast an animal annoyed the generous spirit of the Emperor, who ordered it to be destroyed. Report carried news of this to the king; and accordingly sending a second hound he added a message that Alexander should not desire to test it on small game but on a lion or an elephant; he had only possessed two of the breed and if this one was destroyed there would be none left. Alexander did not put off the trial, and forthwith saw a lion crushed. Afterwards he ordered an elephant to be brought in, and no other show ever gave him more delight: for the dog's hair bristled all over his body and it first gave a vast thunderous bark, then kept leaping up and rearing against the creature's limbs on this side and that, in scientific combat, attacking and retiring at the most necessary points, until the elephant turning round and round in an unceasing whirl was brought to the ground with an earth-shaking crash.
LXII. The genus dog breeds twice a year. Maturity for reproduction begins at the age of one. They carry their young for sixty days. Puppies are born blind, and acquire sight the more slowly the more copious the milk with which they are suckled; though the blind period never lasts more than three weeks or less than one. Some people report that a puppy born singly sees on the 9th day, twins on the 10th, and so on, a corresponding number of days' delay in seeing light being added for each extra puppy; and that a bitch of a first litter begins to see sooner. The best in a litter is the one that begins to see last, or else the one that the mother carries into the kennel first after delivery.
LXIII. Rabies in dogs, as we have said, is dangerous to human beings in periods when the dog-star is shining, as it causes fatal hydrophobia to those bitten in those circumstances. Consequently a precautionary measure during the 30 days in question is to mix dungmostly chicken's droppings, in the dog's food, or, if the disease has come already, hellebore. But after a bite the only cure is one which was lately discovered from an oracle, the root of the wild-rose called in Greek dog-rose. Columella states that if a dog's tail is docked by being bitten off and the end joint amputated 40 days after birth, the spinal marrow having been removed the tail does not grow again and the dog is not liable to rabies. The only cases that have come down to us among portents, so far as I have noted of a dog talking and a snake barking when Tarqum was driven from his kingdom.
XIV. Alexander also had the good fortune to a great rarity in horseflesh. They called the animal Bucephalus, either because of its fierce appearance or from the mark of a bull's head branded on its shoulder. It is said that it was bought for sixteen talents from the herd of Philonicus of Pharsalus while Alexander was still a boy, as he was taken to its beauty. This horse when adorned with the royal saddle would not allow itself to be mounted by anybody except Alexander, though on other occasions it allowed anybody to mount. It is also celebrated for a memorable feat in battle, not having allowed Alexander during the attack on Thebes to change to another mount when it had been wounded; and a number of occurrences of the same kind are also reported, on account of which when it died the king headed its funeral procession, and built a city round its tomb which he named after it! Also the horse that belonged to Caesar the Dictator is said to have refused to let anyone else mount it; and it is also recorded that its fore feet were like those of a man, as it is represented in the statue that stands in front of the Temple of Venus Genetrix. The late lamented Augustus also made a funeral mound for a horse, which is the subject of a poem by Germanicus Caesar. At Girgenti a great number of horses' tombs have pyramids over them. Juba attests that Semiramis fell so deeply in love with a horse that she married it. The Scythian cavalry regiments indeed resound with famous stories of horses: a chieftain was challenged to a duel by an enemy and killed, and when his adversary came to strip his body of its armour, his horse kicked him and bit him till he died; another horse, when its blinkers were removed and it found out that a mare it had covered was its dam, made for a precipice and committed suicide. We read that an ostler in the Reate district was savaged by a horse for the same reason. For horses actually understand the ties of relationship, and a filly in a herd is even fonder of going with a sister a year older than with their dam. Their docility is so great that we learn that the entire cavalry of the army of Sybaris used to perform a sort of ballet to the music of a band. The Sybarite horses also know beforehand when there is going to be a battle, and when they lose their masters mourn for them: sometimes they shed tears at the bereavement. When King Nicomedes was killed his horse ended its life by refusing food. Phylarchus records that when Antiochus fell in battle one of the Galatians Centaretus caught his horse and mounted it in triumph, but it was fired with indignation and taking the bit between its teeth so as to become unmanageable, galloped headlong to a precipice where it perished with its rider. Philistus records that Dionysius left his horse stuck in a bog, and when it extricated itself it followed its master's tracks with a swarm of bees clinging to its mane; and that in consequence of this portent Dionysius seized the tyranny.
LXV. The cleverness of horses is beyond description. Mounted javelinmen experience their docility in assisting difficult attempts with the actual swaying of their body; also they gather up the weapons lying on the ground and pass them to their rider. Horses harnessed to chariots in the circus unquestionably show that they understand the shouts of encouragement and applause. At the races in the circus forming part of the Secular Games of Claudius Caesar a charioteer of the Whites named Raven was thrown at the start, and his team took the lead and kept it by getting in the way of their rivals and jostling them aside and doing everything against them that they would have had to do with a most skilful charioteer in control, and as they were ashamed for human science to be beaten by horses, when they had completed the proper course they stopped dead at the chalk line. A greater portent was when in early days a charioteer was thrown at the plebeian circus races and the horses galloped on to the Capitol and raced round the temple three times just the same as if he still stood at the reins; but the greatest was when a chariot-team reached the same place from Veii with the palm-branch and wreath after Ratumenna who had won at Veii had been thrown: an event which subsequently gave its name to the gate. The Sarmatians get their horses into training for a long journey by giving them no fodder the day before and only allowing them a small amount of water, and by these means they ride them on a journey of 150 miles without drawing rein.
Some horses live fifty years, but mares live a shorter time; mares stop growing when five years old, the males a year later. The appearance of the horse that ought to be most preferred has been very beautifully described in the poetry of Virgil, but we also have dealt with it in our book on the Use of the Javelin by Cavalry, and I observe that there is almost universal agreement about it. But a different build is required for the Circus; and consequently though horses may be broken as two-year-olds to other service, racing in the Circus does not claim them before five.
LXVI. Gestation in this genus lasts eleven months and the foal is born in the twelfth month. Breeding takes place as a rule in the spring equinox when both animals are two-year-olds, but the progeny is stronger if breeding begins at three. A stallion goes on serving to the age of 33, as they are sent from the racecourse to the stud at 20. It is recorded that a stallion at Opus even continued to 40, only he needed assistance in lifting his fore-quarters. But few animals are such unfertile sires as the horse; consequently intervals are allowed in breeding, and nevertheless a stallion cannot stand serving fifteen times in the same year. Mares in heat are cooled down by having their manes shorn; they foal yearly up to 40. It is stated that a mare has lived to 75.
In the equine genus the pregnant female is delivered standing up; and she loves her offspring more than all other female animals. And in fact a love-poison called horse-frenzy is found in the forehead of horses at birth, the size of a dried fig, black in colour, which a brood mare as soon as she has dropped her foal eats up, or else she refuses to suckle the foal. If anybody takes it before she gets it, and keeps it, the scent drives him into madness of the kind specified. If a foal loses its dam the other brood mares in the same herd rear the orphan. It is said that a foal is unable to reach the pound with its mouth within the first three days after birth. The greedier it is in drinking the deeper it dips its nostrils into the water. The Scythians prefer mares as chargers, because they can make water without checking their gallop.
LXVII. It is known that in Lusitania in the neighbourhood of the town of Lisbon and the river Tagus mares when a west wind is blowing stand facing towards it and conceive the breath of life and that this produces a foal, and this is the way to breed a very swift colt, but it does not live more than three years. Also in Spain the Gallaic and Asturian tribes breed those of the horse kind that we call 'theldones,' though when more of a pony type they are designated 'cobs', which have not the usual paces in running but a smooth trot, straightening the near and offside legs alternately, from which the horses are taught by training to adopt an ambling pace.
The horse has nearly the same diseases as mankind, and is also liable to shifting of the bladder, as are all beasts of the draft class.
LXVIII. Marcus Varro states that an ass was Ass-bought for the senator Quintus Axius at 400,000 sesterees which perhaps beats the price paid for any other animal. The services of the ass kind are undoubtedly bountiful in ploughing as well, but especially in breeding mules. In mules also regard is paid to locality of originin Greece the Arcadian breed is esteemed and in Italy the Iteatine. The ass itself is very bad at enduring cold, and consequently is not bred in the Black Sea district; and it is not allowed to breed at the spring equinox like all other cattle, but at midsummer. The males make worse sires when not in work. The females breed at two and a half years old at earliest, but regularly from three; they can breed as many times as mares, and in the same months and in a similar way. But the womb cannot retain the genital fluid but discharges it, unless the animal is whipped into a gallop after coupling. It seldom bears twins. When about to bear a foal it shuns the sunlight and seeks the shadow, so as not to be seen by a human being. It breeds through all its lifetime, which is thirty years. It has a very great affection for its young, but a greater dislike for water: she-asses will go through fire to their foals, but yet if the smallest stream intervenes they are afraid of merely wetting their hooves. Those kept in pastures will only drink at springs they are used to, and where they can get to drink by a dry track; and they will not go across bridges with interstices in their structure allowing the gleam of the river to be seen through them; and, surprising to say, they may be thirsty and have to be forced or coaxed to drink, if the stream is not the one they are used to. Only a wide allowance of stall-room is safe for them to lie down in, for when asleep they have a variety of dreams and frequently let out with their hooves, which at once causes lameness by hitting timber that is too hard unless they have plenty of room to kick in. The profit made out of she-asses surpasses the richest spoils of war. It is known that in Celtiberia their foals have made 400,000 sesterces per dam, especially when mules are bred. They say that in she-asses the hair of the ears and the eyelids is an important point, for although the rest of the dam's body is all one colour, the foal reproduces all the colours that were in those places. Maecenas set the fashion of eating donkey foals at banquets, and they were much preferred to wild asses at that period; but after his time the ass lost favour as a delicacy. Animals of this genus very quickly flag when their sight begins to go.
LXIX. A mare coupled with an ass after twelve-months bears a mule, an animal of exceptional strength for agricultural operations. To breed mules they choose mares not less than four or more than ten years old. Also breeders say that females of either genus refuse stallions of the other one unless as foals they were suckled by females of the same genus as the stallions; for this reason they stealthily remove the foals in the dark and put them to mares' or she-asses' udders respectively. But a mule is also got by a horse out of an ass, though it is unmanageable, slow and obstinate. Also all the foals from old mares are sluggish. It causes miscarriage for a mare in foal by a horse to be put to an ass, but not vice versa. It has been observed that female asses are best coupled six days after they have borne a foal, and that males couple better when tired. It is noticed that a female that does not conceive before she casts what are called her milk-teeth is barren, as is one that does not begin to produce foals from the first coupling. Male foals of an ass by a horse were in old days called hinnies, while the term mules was used for the foals of a mare by an ass. It has been noticed that the offspring of two different races of animals belong to a third kind and resemble neither parent; and that such hybrids are not themselves fertile: this is the case with all kinds of animals, and is the reason why mules are barren. A number of cases of reproduction by mules are recorded in our Annals, but these were considered portentous. Theophrastus states that mules breed commonly in Cappadocia, but that the Cappadocian mule is a peculiar species. A mule can be checked from kicking by rather frequent drinks of wine. It is stated in the records of a good many Greeks that a foal has been got from a mare coupled with a mule, called a ginnus, which means a small mule. She-mules bred from a mare and tamed wild-asses are swift in pace and have extremely hard hooves, but a lean body and an indomitable spirit. But as a sire the foal of a wild-ass and a domestic she-ass excels all others. The wild-asses in Phrygia and Lycaonia are pre-eminent. Africa boasts of their foals as an outstanding table delicacy; the vernacular word for them is lalisio. Records at Athens attest a mule's having lived 80 years; for the citizens were so delighted because after it had been put aside owing to old age it encouraged the teams by its company and assistance in their uphill work during the construction of a temple on the citadel, that they made a decree that the corn-dealers were not to keep it away from their stands.
LXX. Indian oxen are reported to be as tall as camels and to have horns with a span of four feet. In our part of the world the most famous are those of Epirus, having been so, it is said, ever since the attention given to them by King Pyrrhns. Pyrrhus achieved this result by not requisitioning them for breeding before the age of four; consequently his oxen were very large, and the remains of his breeds continue even today. But now yearling heifers are called upon for breeding, though they can stand it better at two years, while bulls are made to serve at four. Each bull serves ten cows in the same year. It is said that if the bulb after coupling go away towards the right hand side the offspring will be males, and if towards the left, females. Conception is effected by one coupling, and if this happens to miss, the female goes to a male again twenty days after. They bear the calf in the tenth month; one produced before is of no use. Some authorities say that they bear on the actual last day of the tenth month. They rarely produce twins. Coupling takes place in the thirty days following the rise of the Dolphin on January 4, and occasionally in the autumn also, though nations that live on milk spread it out so that there may be a supply of this nutriment at every season of the year. Bulls do not couple more than twice in one day. Oxen are the only animals that graze even while walking backward; indeed among the Garamantes that is their only way of grazing. The longest life of a cow is 15 years and of a bull 20; they grow to full strength at 5. Washing in hot water is said to fatten them, and also cutting a hole in the hide and blowing air into the flesh with a reed. Even the breeds less praised for their appearance are not to be deemed inferior: the Alpine cows which are the smallest in size give most milk, and do most work, although they are yoked by the head and not the neck. Syrian oxen have no dewlaps, but a hump on the back. Also the Carian breed in a district of Asia is said to be ugly in appearance, with a swelling that projects from the neck over the shoulders and with the horns displaced, but excellent in workalthough when black and white in colour they are said to be no good for ploughing; the bulls have smaller and thinner horns than the cows. Oxen should be broken when three years old; after that it is too late and before too early; the best way to train a young bullock is to yoke it with one already broken in. For we possess in this animal a partner in labour and in husbandry, held in such esteem with our predecessors that among our records of punishments there is a case of a man who was indicted for having killed an ox because a wanton young companion said he had never eaten bullock's tripe, and was convicted by the public court and sent into exile just as though he had murdered his farm-labourer.
Bulls have a noble appearance, a grim brow, bristly ears, and horns bared for action and asking for a fight; but their chief threat is in their fore feet: a bull stands glowing with wrath, bending back either fore foot in turn and splashing up the sand against his bellyit is the only animal that goads itself into a passion by these means. We have seen bulls, when fighting a duel under orders and on show for the purpose, being whirled round and caught on the horns as they fall and afterwards rise again, and then when lying down be lifted off the ground, and even stand in a car like charioteers with a pair of horses racing at full speed. It is a device of the Thessalian race to kill bulls by galloping a horse beside them and twisting back the neck by the horn; the dictator Caesar first gave this show at Rome. The bull supplies costly victims and the most sumptuous appeasement of the gods. In this animal only of all that have a comparatively long tail, the tail is not of the proper size from birth, as it is in the others; and with it alone the tail grows till it reaches right down to the feet. Consequently the test of victims for sacrifice in the case of a calf is that the tail must reach the joint of the hock; if it is shorter the offering is not acceptable. It has also been noted that calves are not usually acceptable if carried to the altars on a man's shoulders, and also that the gods are not propitiated if the victim is lame or is not of the appropriate sort, or if it drags itself away from the altar. It frequently occurs among the prodigies of old times that an ox spoke, and when this was reported it was customary for a meeting of the senate to be held in the open air.
LXXI. In Egypt an ox is even worshipped in place of a god; its name is Apis. Its distinguishing mark is a bright white spot in the shape of a crescent on the right flank, and it has a knob under the tongue which they call a beetle. It is not lawful for it to exceed a certain number of years of life, and they kill it by drowning it in the fountain of the priests, proceeding with lamentation to look for another to put in its place, and they go on mourning till they have found one, actually shaving the hair off their heads. Nevertheless the search never continues long. When the successor is found it is led by 100 priests to Memphis. It has a pair of shrines, which they call its bedchambers, that supply the nations with auguries: when it enters one this is a joyful sign, but in the other one it portends terrible events. It gives answers to private individuals by taking food out of the hand of those who consult it; it turned away from the hand of Germanicus Caesar, who was made away with not long after. Usually living in retirement, when it sallies forth into assemblies it proceeds with lictors to clear the way, and companies of boys escort it singing a song in its honour; it seems to understand, and to desire to be worshipped. These companies are suddenly seized with frenzy and chant prophecies of future events. Once a year a cow is displayed to it, she too with her decorations, although they are not the same as his; and it is traditional for her always to be found and put to death on the same day. At Memphis there is a place in the Nile which from its shape they call the Goblet; every year they throw into the river there a gold and a silver cup on the days which they keep as the birthdays of Apis. These are seven; and it is a remarkable fact that during these days nobody is attacked by crocodiles, but that after midday on the eighth day the creature's savagery returns.
LXXII. Sheep are also of great service either in respect of propitiatory offerings to the gods or in the use of their fleeces. As oxen improve men's diet, so the protection of their bodies is owed to sheep. They breed when two years old on both sides, till the age of nine, and in some cases even till ten. The lambs at the first birth are smaller. They all couple from the setting of Arcturus, that is May 13th, to the setting of Aquila, July 23rd; they carry their lambs 150 days. Lambs conceived after the date mentioned are weak; in old days those born later were called cordi. Many people prefer winter lambs to spring ones, holding that it is more important for them to be well-established before midsummer than before midwinter, and that this animal alone is advantageously born in winter. It is inbred in the ram to despise lambs as mates and to desire maturity in sheep; and the ram himself is better in old age, and also more serviceable when polled. His wildness is restrained by boring a hole in the horn close to the ear. If a ligature is put on the right testicle he gets females and if on the left males. Claps of thunder cause sheep to miscarry when solitary; the remedy is to herd them in flocks, so as to be cheered by company. They say that male lambs are got when a north wind is blowing and female when a south; and in this breed the greatest attention is given to the mouths of the rams, as the wool in the case of the progeny is of the colour of the veins under the tongue of the parent ram, and if these were of several colours the lamb is van-coloured. Also changing the water they drink varies their colour.
There are two principal breeds of sheep, jacketed sheep and farm sheep; the former are softer and the latter more delicate in their pasture, inasmuch as the jacketed sheep feeds on brambles. The best jackets for them are made of Arabian sheep's wool.
LXXIII. The most highly esteemed wool is the Apulian and the kind that is called in Italy wool of the Greek breed and elsewhere Italian wool. The third place is held by the sheep of Miletus. The Apulian fleeces are short in the hair, and not of great repute except for cloaks; they have a very high reputation in the districts of Taranto and Canossa, as have the Laodicean fleeces of the same breed in Asia. No white fleece is valued above that from the district of the Po, and none has hitherto gone beyond the price of a pound. Sheep are not shorn everywherein some places the practice survives of plucking off the wool. There are several sorts of colour, in fact even names are lacking for the wools which are variously designated after their places of origin: Spain has the principal black wool fleeces, Pollentia near the Alps white, Asia the red fleeces that they call Erythrean, Baetica the same, Canossa tawny, Taranto also a dark colour of its own.. All fresh fleeces have a medicinal property. Istrian and Liburnian fleece is nearer to hair than wool, and not suitable for garments with a soft nap; and the same applies to the fleece that Salaeia in Lusitania advertises by its check pattern. There is a similar wool in the district of the Fishponds in the province of Narbonne, and also in Egypt, which is used for darning clothes worn by use and making them last again for a long period. Also the coarse hair of a shaggy fleece has a very ancient popularity in carpets: Homer a is evidence that they were undoubtedly in use even in very early times. Different methods of dyeing these fleeces are practised by the Gauls and by the Parthian races. Self-felted fleeces make clothing, and also if vinegar is added withstand even steel, nay more even fire, the latest method of cleaning them. In fact fleeces drawn from the coppers of the polishers serve as stuffing for cushions, I believe by a French invention: at all events at the present day it is classified under Gallic names. And I could not easily say at what period this began; for people in old times had bedding of straw, in the same way as in camp now. Frieze cloaks began within my father's memory and cloaks with hair on both sides within my own, as also shaggy body-belts; moreover weaving a broad-striped tunic after the manner of a frieze cloak is coming in for the first time now. Black fleeces will not take dye of any colour; we will discuss the dyeing of the other sorts in their proper places under the head of marine shellfish or the nature of various plants.
LXXIV. Marcus Varro informs us, on his own authority, that the wool on the distaff and spindle of Tanaquil (who was also called Gala Caecilia) was still preserved in the temple of Sancus; and also in the shrine of Fortune a pleated royal robe made by her, which had been worn by Servius Tullius. Hence arose the practice that maidens at their marriage were accompanied by a decorated distaff and a spindle with thread. Tanaquil first wove a straight tunic of the kind that novices wear with the plain white toga, and newly married brides. The pleated robe was the first among those most in favour; consequently the spotted robe went out of fashion. Fenestella writes that togas of smooth cloth and of Phrygian wool began in the latest times of the late lamented Augustus. Togas of closely woven poppy-cloth have a an older source, being noticed as far back as the poet Lucilius in the case of Torquatus. Bordered robes found their origin with the Etruscans. I find it recorded that striped robes were worn by the kings, and they had embroidered robes as far back as Homer, these being the origin of those worn in triumphs. Embroidering with the needle was discovered by the Phrygians, and consequently embroidered robes are called Phrygian. Gold embroidery was also invented in Asia, by King Attalus, from whom Attalic robes got their name. Weaving different colours into a pattern was chiefly brought into vogue by Babylon, which gave its name to this process. But the fabric called damask woven with a number of threads was introduced by Alexandria, and check patterns by Gaul. Metellus Scipio counts it among the charges against Capito that Babylonian coverlets were already then sold for 800,000 sesterces, which lately cost the Emperor Nero 4,000,000. The state robes of Servius Tullius, with which the statue of Fortune dedicated by him was draped, lasted till the death of Sejanus, and it was remarkable that they had not rotted away or suffered damage from moths in 560 years. We have before now seen the fleeces even of living animals dyed with purple, scarlet, crimson ... [with eighteen inch scales/pounds] as though luxury forced them to be born like that.
LXXV. In the sheep itself breed is sufficiently shown by shortness of the legs and a well-clothed belly. Sheep with the belly bare used to be called 'misfits' and turned down. The sheep of Syria have tails 18 inches long, and a great deal of wool on that part. It is considered too soon for lambs to be gelt unless five months old.
In Spain, but particularly in Corsica, there is an animal not unlike the sheep, the moufflon, with hair nearer the goat's than the sheep's; these when crossed with sheep produce what in old days were called Umbrians. Sheep are very weak in the head, and consequently must be made to graze with their backs to the sun. The fleecy sheep is the stupidest of animals; if afraid to go into a place they will follow one of the flock that is taken by the horn. Their longest term of life is 10 years, in Ethiopia 13; goats in Ethiopia live 11 years, but in other parts of the world at most eight. In breeding with either kind to couple three times at most is sufficient.
LXXVI. Goats bear as many as four kids at once, but rather seldom; they carry their young for 5 months, like sheep. He-goats are made sterile by over-fattening. They are not very useful as sires till three years old, nor in old age, and they do not serve for more than four years. They begin when six months old and before they are weaned. Both sexes breed better with the horns removed. The first coupling in the day has no result, but the following and subsequent ones are more effectual. She-goats conceive in November so as to bear kids in March when the bushes arc buddingyearlings sometimes and two-year-olds always, but they are not of much use for breeding unless three years old. They go on bearing for eight years. They are liable to miscarriage from cold. A she-goat cures its eyes when bloodshot by pricking them on a rush, he-goats on a bramble. Mucianus has described a case of this animal's cleverness seen by himselftwo goats coming in opposite directions met on a very narrow bridge, and as the narrow space did not permit them to turn round and the length did not allow of backing blindly on the scanty passageway with a rushing torrent flowing threateningly below, one of them lay down and so the other one passed over, treading on top of it. People admire he-goats that are as snub-nosed as possible, with long drooping ears and extremely shaggy flanks. It is a mark of good breeding in she-goats to have two dewlaps hanging down from the neck; not all have horns, but in those that have there are also indications of their years furnished by the growths of the knobs; they give more milk when without horns; according to Archelaus they breathe though the ears, not the nostrils, and are never free from fever: this is perhaps the reason why they are more high-spirited than sheep and hotter in coupling. It is said that goats can see by night as well as they can in the daytime, and that consequently a diet of goat's liver restores twilight sight to persons suffering from what is called night-blindness. In Cilicia and the Syrtes region people wear clothes made of hair shorn from goats. They say that she-goats in the pastures when the sun is setting do not look at one another but lie down with their backs to each other, though at other times of the day they lie facing each other and take notice of one another. From the chin of all goats hangs a tuft of hair called their heard. If you grasp a she-goat by this and drag her out of the herd the others look on in amazement; this also happens as well when one of them nibbles a particular plant. Their bite kills a tree; they make an olive tree barren even by licking it, and for this reason they are not offered in sacrifice to Minerva.
LXXVII. Swine are allowed to breed from the beginning of spring to the vernal equinox, beginning at seven months old and in some places even at three months, and continuing to their eighth year. Sows bear twice a year, carrying their pigs four months: litters number up to 20, but sows cannot rear so many. Nigidius states that for ten days at midwinter pigs are born with the teeth already grown. Sows are impregnated by one coupling, which is also repeated because they are so liable to abortion; the remedy is not to allow coupling at the first heat or before the ears are pendulous. Hogs cannot serve when over three years old. Sows exhausted by age couple lying down; it is nothing out of the way for them to eat their litter. A pig is suitable for sacrifice four days after birth, a lamb in a week and a calf in a month. Coruncanius asserted that ruminant animals are not acceptable as victims before they grow their front teeth. It is thought that a sow that loses an eye soon dies, but that otherwise sows live to fifteen and in some cases even twenty years; but they become savage, and in any ease the breed is liable to diseases, especially quinsy and serofula. Symptoms of bad health in a sow are when blood is found on the root of a bristle pulled out of its back and when it holds its head on one side in walking. If too fat they experience lack of milk; and they have a smaller number of pigs in their first litter. The breed likes wallowing in mud. The tail is curly; also it has been noticed that it is easier to kill them for sacrifice when the tail curls to the right than when to the left. They take 60 days to fatten, but fatten better if feeding up is preceded by three days' fast. The pig is the most brutish of animals, and there used to be a not unattractive idea that its soul was given it to serve as salt. it is a known fact that some pigs carried off by thieves recognized the voice of their swineherd, crowded to one side of the ship till it capsized and sank, and swam back to shore. Moreover the leaders of a herd in the city learn to go to the market place and to find their way home; and wild hogs know how to obliterate their tracks by crossing marshy ground, and to relieve themselves when running away by making water. Sows are spayed in the same way as also camels are, by being hung up by the fore legs after two days without food and having the matrix cut out; this makes them fatten quicker. There is also a method of treating the liver of sows as of geese, a discovery of Marcus Apiciusthey are stuffed with dried fig, and when full killed directly after having been given a drink of mead. Nor does any animal supply a larger number of materials for an eating-house: they have almost fifty flavours, whereas all other meats have one each. Hence pages of sumptuary laws, and the prohibition of hog's paunches, sweetbreads, testicles, matrix and cheeks for banquets, although nevertheless no dinner of the pantomime writer Publius after he had obtained his freedom is recorded that did not include paunchhe actually got from this the nickname of Pig's Paunch.
LXXVIII. But also wild boar has been a popular meat. luxury. As far back as Cato the Censor a we find his speeches denouncing boar's meat bacon. Nevertheless a boar used to be cut up into three parts and the middle part served at table, under the name of boar's loin. Publius Servilius Rullus, father of the Rullus who brought in the land settlement act during Cicero's consulship, first served a boar whole at his banquetsso recent is the origin of what is now an everyday affair; and this occurrence has been noted by historians, presumably for the improvement of the manners of the present day, when it is the fashion for two or three boars to be devoured at one time not even as a whole dinner but as the first course.
Fulvius Lippinus was the first person of Roman nationality who invented preserves for wild pigs and the other kinds of game: he introduced keeping wild animals in the district of Tarquinii; and he did not long lack imitators, Lucius Lucullus and Quintus Hortensius.
Wild pigs breed once a year. The boars are very rough when mating; at this period they fight each other, hardening their flanks by rubbing against trees and plastering their behinds with mud. The females are fiercer when with young, and this is more or less the same in every kind of wild animal. Male boats do not mate till one year old. In India they have curved tusks 18 in. long: two project from the jaw, and two from the forehead like a calf's horns. The wild boar's hair is a sort of copper colour; that of the other species is black. But the hog genus does not occur in Arabia.
LXXIX. In the case of no other kind of animal is it so easy to cross with the wild variety; the offspring of such unions in old days were called 'hybrids,' meaning half-wild, a term also applied as a nickname to human beings, for instance, to Cicero's colleague in the consulship Gaius Antonius. But not only in pigs but in all animals as well whenever there is any tame variety of a genus there is also found a wild one of the same genus, inasmuch as even in the case of man an equal number of savage races have been predicted to exist. Nevertheless the formation of the goat is transferred to a very large number of similar species: there are the goat, the chamois and the ibexan animal of marvellous speed, although its head is burdened with enormous horns resembling the sheaths of swords, towards which it sways itself as though whirled with a sort of catapult, chiefly when on rocks and seeking to leap from one crag to another, and by means of the recoil leaps out more nimbly to the point to which it wants to get. There are also the oryx, the only species according to certain authorities clothed with hair lying the wrong way, towards the head, and the antelope, the white-rumped antelope, the twisted-horn antelope and a great many other not dissimilar species. But the former we receive from the Alps, the latter from places across the sea.
LXXX. The kinds of apes also which are closest to the human shape are distinguished from each other by the tails. They are marvellously cunning: people say that they use bird-lime as ointment, and that they put on the nooses set to snare them as if they were shoes, in imitation of the hunters; according to Mucianus the tailed species have even been known to play at draughts, are able to distinguish at a glance sham nuts made of wax, and are depressed by the moon waning and worship the new moon with delight: and it is a fact that the other four-footed animals also are frightened by eclipses. The genus ape has a remarkable affection for its young. Tame monkeys kept in the house who bear young ones carry them about and show them to everybody, and delight in having them stroked, looking as if they understood that they are being congratulated; and as a consequence in a considerable number of cases they kill their babies by hugging them. The baboon is of a fiercer nature, just as the satyrus is extremely gentle. The pretty-haired ape is almost entirely different in appearance: it has a bearded face and a tail flattened out wide at the base. This animal is said to be unable to live in any other climate but that of its native country, Ethiopia.
LXXXI. There are also several kinds of hare. In the Alps there are white hares, which are believed to eat snow for their fodder in the winter monthsat all events they turn a reddish colour every year when the snow meltsand in other ways the animal is a nurseling of the intolerable cold. The animals in Spain called rabbits also belong to the genus hare; their fertility is beyond counting, and they bring famine to the Balearic Islands by ravaging the crops. Their young cut out from the mother before birth or taken from the teat are considered a very great delicacy, served without being gutted; the name for them is laurer. It is an established fact that the peoples of the Balearics petitioned the late lamented Augustus for military assistance against the spread of these animals. The ferret is extremely popular for rabbit-hunting; they throw ferrets into the burrows with a number of exits that the rabbits tunnel in the ground (this is the derivation of their name cony) and so catch the rabbits when they are driven out to the surface. Archelaus states that a hare is as many years old as it has folds in the bowel: these are certainly found to vary in number. The same authority says that the hare is a hermaphrodite and reproduces equally well without a male. Nature has shown her benevolence in making harmless and edible breeds of animals prolific. The hare which is born to be all creatures' prey is the only animal beside the shaggy-footed rabbit that practises superfetation, rearing one leveret while at the same time carrying in the womb another clothed with hair and another bald and another still an embryo. Also the experiment has been made of using the fur of the hare for making clothes, although it is not so soft to the touch as it is when on the animal's skin, and the garments soon come to pieces because of the shortness of the hair.
LXXXII. Hares rarely grow tame, although they cannot properly be termed wild animalsfor in fact there are a good many creatures that are neither wild nor tame but of a character intermediate between each, for instance among winged things swallows and bees, in the sea dolphins. Many people have also placed in this class these denizens of our homes the mice, a creature not to be ignored among portents even in regard to public affairs; they foretold the war with the Marsians by gnawing the silver shields at Lanuvium, and the death of General Carbo by gnawing at the puttees that he wore inside his sandals. There are more varieties of mice in the district of Cyrene, some with broad and others with pointed heads, and others like hedgehogs with prickly bristles. Theophrastus states that on the island of Chiura when they had banished the inhabitants they even gnawed iron, and that they also do this by a sort of instinct in the iron foundries in the country of the Chalybes: indeed, he says, in gold mines because of this their bellies get cut away and their theft of gold is always detected, so fond are they of thieving. The Public Records relate that during the siege of Casilinum by Hannibal a mouse was sold for 200 francs, and that the man who sold it died of hunger while the buyer lived. The appearance of white mice constitutes a joyful omen. For we have our Records full of instances of the auspices being interrupted by the squeaking of shrews. Nigidius states that shrews themselves also hibernate as do dormice, which sumptuary legislation and Marcus Scaurus the Head of the State during his consulship ruled out from banquets just as they did shell-fish or birds imported from other parts of the world. The shrewmouse itself also is a half-wild animal, and keeping it alive in jars was originated by the same person as started keeping wild pigs. In this connexion it has been noticed that shrew-mice do not associate unless they are natives of the same forest, and if foreigners separated by a river or mountain are introduced they die fighting one another. They feed their parents when exhausted by old age with remarkable affection. Their old age comes to its end during the winter reposefor these creatures also hibernate, and renew their youth at the coming of summer. Dormice hibernate similarly.
LXXXIII. In this connexion it is surprising that Nature has not only assigned different animals to different countries, but has also denied certain animals to some places in the same region. In the Mesian forest in Italy dormice of which we are now speaking are only found in one part. In Lycia the gazelles do not cross the mountains near the Sexi, nor the wild asses the boundary dividing Cappadocia from Cilicia. The stags on the Hellespont do not migrate into unfamiliar districts, and those in the neighbourhood of Arginusa do not go beyond Mount Elaphus, even those on the mountain having cleft ears. In the island of Pordoselene weasels do not cross a road. Similarly in Boeotia moles that undermine the whole of the fields in Orchomenus near by, when imported into Lebadea are shy of the very soil. We have seen counterpanes for beds made out of their skins: so powerless is even superstition to protect the miraculous against luxury. In Ithaca imported hares die on the very edge of the shore, as do rabbits in Iviza, although Spain and the Balearic Islands close by are teeming with them. At Cyrene the frogs were silent, and though croaking frogs have been imported from the mainland the silent breed goes on. Frogs are also silent in the island of Seriphus, but the same frogs croak when removed to some other place, which is also said to happen in the Siccanean Lake in Thessaly. The bite of the shrewmouse in Italy is venomous, but the venomous species is not found in the district beyond the Apennines. Also wherever it occurs it dies if it crosses the track of a wheel. There are no wolves on Mount Olympus in Macedon, nor in the island of Crete. In fact in Crete there are no wolves or bears either, and no noxious animal at all except a poisonous spider: we shall speak of this species in its place, under the head of spiders. It is more remarkable that in the same island there are no stags except in the district of Cydonea, and the same is the case with wild boars and francolins and hedgehogs, while in Africa there are neither wild boars nor stags nor wild goats nor bears.
LXXXIV. Again, some animals harmless to natives of the country are deadly to foreigners, for instance some small snakes at Tiryns that are said to be born from the earth. Similarly serpents in Syria specially found about the banks of the Euphrates do not touch Syrians when asleep, or even if they bite them when trodden on are not felt to cause any evil effect, but they are maleficent to other people of whatever race, killing them voraciously and with torturing pain, on account of which the Syrians also do not kill them. On the other hand Aristotle [FR. 605 Rose] relates that the scorpions on Mount Latmos in Carla do not wound strangers but kill natives.
But we will also speak of the remaining kinds of land animals.