Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/591

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525

ANIMALS 525 ANIMALS (II Tim., iv, 17). Lizard. — Immense is the number of tliese reptiles in Palestine; no less than fortjr-four species are found there. Among tho.se mentioncil in the liible we may cite: (I) The Lela'ab, general name of the lizard, apphed especially to the common lizard, the green lizard, the blind worm, etc.; (J) the chOmct, or sand-lizard; (3) the fut, or d^bb of the Arabs (uromaslix spinipes); (4) the kddh, the divers kinds of monitor (psammosaums scincus, hi/drosaurus nilolicus, etc.); (5) the 'SnOqah or gecko; (6) the semamUh or stellio. Locust. — One of the worst scourges of the East, very often referred to in Holy Writ. -Vs many as nine Hebrew words signify either the locust in general or some species: (1) Virbih, probably the locusta niigralnria; (12) gazam, po-ssibly the locust in its larva state, the palmenvorm; (3) Gdbh, the locust in general; (4) chagab, most likely the gra.sshopix;r; (.5) hdfil, "the tlestroyer", [K-rhaps the locust in its caterpillar state, in which it IS most ilestructive; ((i) hdrgol, translated in the D.V. ophiomachus; (7) ycli<], the stinging locust; (8) (eldfiil [xjssibly the cricket; and (9) sul'dm, rendered by attacus, or bald locust (probably the truxatis). Unlike other insects, locusts are most voracious in everj' stage of their existence. Louse. — .ccording to .some this species of vermin was one of the features of the third ICgj'ptian plague. It is but too common through all eastern countries. Mildew. — . word occurring a certain number of times in the D.V. as an equivalent for Hebrew, hafU, which probably means a kind of locust. Mole. — Two Hebrew words are thus renderetl. The first, ttnshcmeth (Lev., xi, 30), would, according to good authorities, rather signify the chameleon; with the second, hnphdrpirMh (Is., ii, 20). some burrowing animal is undoubtedly intended. The mole of Sj-ria is not the common mole of Europe, talpa europaa, but the mole-rat (xpalax tijphlus), a Wind burrowing rodent. Mosquito. — See Gnat (xup.). Moth. — Is in the D.V. besides Is., xiv, 11, where it stands for rimmah, "worms", the common renilering for two words: 'ash (Job, iv, 19), and jw.j (Is., li, 8), the exact meaning of the former is uncertain, whereas by the latter the clothes moth is meant. Mouflon. — See Chamois, Camelopardalus {sup.). Mouse. — This word .seems to be a general one, including the various rats, dormice, jerboas, and hamsters, about twenty-five species of which exist in the country. Mule. — In .spite of the enactment of the Law (Lev., xix, 19), tlie Israelites early in the course of their history po.sscssed mules; these animals, in a liilly region such as the Holy Land, were for many pur- poses preferable to horses and stronger than asses; they were employed both for domestic and warhke use. Ophiom.chus. — See Locust (sup.). Ortx. — See Antelope (sup.). Osprev (Hebr., 'Oznhjyah). — The fishing eagle, which name probably signifies all the smaller eagles. Ossikuage. — See Lammergeyer (sup.). Ostrich. — Still occasionally found in the southeastern deserts of Palestine, the ostrich, if we are to judge from the many mentions made of it, was well known among the Hebrews. The beauty of its iiluinagc, its fleetness, its reputed stupidity, its leaving its eggs on the sand and hatching them by the sun's heat are repeatedly alluded to. Owl. — . generic name under which many species of nocturnal birds are designated, some having a proper name in the Hebrew, some others posse.s,sing none. Among the former we may mention the httle owl (athcne pcrsica), the Egyjjtian eagle-owl (huho a.icalcphus), the great owl of some authors, called ibis in the D.V., the screech or hooting owl, probably the lilHh of Is., xxxiv, and the lamia of St. Jerome and the D.V.; the bam owl (stn/x fUimmca), possibly corresponding to the M/ima^ of the Hebrtiws and rendered by night- hawk in the ..V.; and the qippoz ol Is., xxxiv, 15, as yet unidentified. Ox.^See Cattle (sun.). Ox, Wild, Is., li, 20, probably antUope bubaiis. See .• telope (sup.). Palmerwor.m (Hebr., gUzSm). — A general word for the locust, very likely in its larva state. Pab- TRiDiiK. — .Mthough very common in the Holy Land, the partridge is mentioned only three times in the sacred literature: I K., xxvi, 20 alludes to cha.sing it on the mountains; Jer., x-ii, 11, to the robbing of its eggs; Ecclus., xi, 32, to the keeping a decoy par- tridge. Two kinds of partridges are known to abide in the hilly resorts of Palestine; the francolin in- habits the plains, and various sand-grouse are found in the deserts. Peacock. — The texts where it is .spoken of (III K., x, 22; II Par., ix, 21) clearly in- clicatc that it w;us not indigenous to Palestine, but imported, probably from India. Pelican, D.V., Ps., ci (Hebr., cii), 7, for Hebr. qa'dth, in other places is rendered by bittern, for which it might be advantageously substituted. Pelicans are usually found about marshes (Is., xxxiv, 11), and are in the habit of sitting for hours in sandy de-solate places [Ps., ci (Hebr., cii), 7; Soph., ii, 14] after they have gorged. PnoiNix might possibly De read instead of palmtree (Hebr. hdl) in Job, xxix, 18, where the belief in its immortality seems referred to; however the sen.se .adopted by D.V., after Vulgate and Septua- gint, should not be slighted. Pigeon. — See Dove (sup.). Plunger. — See Cormorant («wp.). Porcu- pi.NE. — BeUeved by some, on account of a certain analogy of the Hebrew (jippOtl with the Arabic name of tliis animal, to be spoken of in the Bible. See Ericius (sup.) PoRPHVRioN is in Vulgate and D.V. (Lev., xi, 18), the equivalent for the Hebrew, rdlfdm, translated in the Septuagint by "swan"; in the Greek version, porphyrion stands for the Hebrew, linshi'mtth, interpreted "swan" by the Latin and English Bibles. The hj'pothesis that the Greek translators used a Hebrew text in which the two words rdhdm and tinshimiih stood contrariwise to their present order in the Massoretic text, might account for this difference. This hypothesis is all the more probable because in Deut., xiv, 17, porphyrion seems to be the Greek tran.slation for rdhdm. What- ever this may be, whether the porphyrion, or purjile water-hen (jxirphyrio anliquorum), or the Egj'ptian vulture, should be iilentified with the Tdl)dm remains uncertain. See Gibr-eagle (sup.) Pygarg (Deut.. xiv, .5). — This word, a mere adaptation from the Greek, means " white-nimped", a character common to many species, though the antilopc addax is possibly signified by the Hebrew word dishdn. Quail. — Tlic description given Ex., xvi, 11-13: Num., xi, 31, 32; Ps., Ixxvii (Hebr., lxx'iii) 27-35, and civ (Hebr., cv), 40, the references to their count- less flocks, their low flying, their habit of aUghting on land in the morning, together with the analogy of the Hebrew and .rabic names, make it certain that the common quail (cnlumix vulgaris) is intended. Rabbit (Prov., x.xx, 26). — A mistranslation for coney or daman. See Cheroorillus, (sup.) Ram. — See Ewe, Flock (sup.). R..ven. — The Bible in- cludes under this genenc name a certain number of birds having more or less resemblance with tlic raven, such as the magpie, the jay, etc. The raven, eight species of which are found in Palestine, is by far the most common of all the birds of that countrj-, where it is with buzzards, vultures, dogs, jack.als, and hyenas, an active scavenger. Its plumage is glossy black, and its habits are frequently aUuiled to in Holy Writ, for instance feeding on carca.sses, wander- ing for its precarious meals, picking out the eyes of the newly-ilropped or weakly animals, resorting to desolate places, etc. The raven, when no other food is nigh, not unfrequently picks out grains freshly .sown; hence its surname of seed-picker, spcrmologos, which, later on became a synonym for