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Antigonus 53–55

 Citations / parallels in other classical sources

Cross-references Summary

53 Aristotle HA IX 45: 630a 19–20; 630a 24; 630b 2–4; 630b 9–14 — MA 1 — Pliny VIII 40 — Aelian NA VII 3
54(a) Aristotle HA IX 46 630b 22–23 (b) Aristotle HA IX 47 631a 1–8 — Pliny VIII 156
cf MA 2 — Aristotle HA VI 22 576a 18–20
55 Aristotle HA IX 48 631a 9–14 — Pliny IX 24; 27; 28; 33 — Aelian NA V 6

Cross-references Text

Aelian NA V 6

The Dolphin is believed to love its own kin, and here is the evidence. Aenus is a city in Thrace. Now it happened that a Dolphin was captured and wounded, not indeed fatally, but the captive was still able to live. So when its blood flowed the dolphins which had not been caught saw this and came thronging into the harbour and leaping about and were plainly bent on some mischief. At this the people of Aenus took fright and let their captive go, and the dolphins, escorting as it might be some kinsman, departed. But a human being will hardly attend or give a thought to a relative, be it man or woman, in misfortune. [Trans. Scholfield, via Internet Archive]

Aelian NA VII 3

There is an animal in Paeonia a called Monops, and it is the size of a shaggy bull. Now when this creature is pursued, in its agitation it voids a fiery and acrid dung, so I am told; and should this happen to fall on any of the hunters, it kills him. [Trans. Scholfield, via Internet Archive]

Aristotle HA 576a 18–20

Horses will cover mares from which they have been foaled and mares which they have begotten; and, indeed, a troop of horses is only considered perfect when such promiscuity of intercourse occurs. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [576a]

Aristotle HA 630a 19–20

The bison is found in Paeonia on Mount Messapium, which separates Paeonia from Maedica; and the Paeonians call it the monapos. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [630a]

Aristotle HA 630a 24

It is the size of a bull, but stouter in build, and not long in the body; its skin, stretched tight on a frame, would give sitting room for seven people. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [630a]

Aristotle HA 630b 2–4

... It has no upper teeth, as is the case also with kine and all other horned animals. Its legs are hairy; it is cloven-footed, and the tail, which resembles that of the ox, seems not big enough for the size of its body. ... [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [630b]

Aristotle HA 630b 9–14

It defends itself against an assailant by kicking and projecting its excrement to a distance of eight yards; this device it can easily adopt over and over again, and the excrement is so pungent that the hair of hunting-dogs is burnt off by it. It is only when the animal is disturbed or alarmed that the dung has this property; when the animal is undisturbed it has no blistering effect. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [630b]

Aristotle HA 630b 22–23

When the male [elephant ]has had sexual union with the female, and the female has conceived, the male has no further intercourse with her. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [630b]

Aristotle HA 631a 1–8

A story goes that the king of Scythia had a highly-bred mare, and that all her foals were splendid; that wishing to mate the best of the young males with the mother, he had him brought to the stall for the purpose; that the young horse declined; that, after the mother’s head had been concealed in a wrapper he, in ignorance, had intercourse; and that, when immediately afterwards the wrapper was removed and the head of the mare was rendered visible, the young horse ran way and hurled himself down a precipice. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [631a]

Aristotle HA 631a 9–14

Among the sea-fishes many stories are told about the dolphin, indicative of his gentle and kindly nature, and of manifestations of passionate attachment to boys, in and about Tarentum, Caria, and other places. The story goes that, after a dolphin had been caught and wounded off the coast of Caria, a shoal of dolphins came into the harbour and stopped there until the fisherman let his captive go free; whereupon the shoal departed. [Trans. Thompson, via University of Adelaide] [631a]

MA 1

[1] In Paeonia they say that in the mountain called Hesaenus, which divides Paeonia from Maedice, there is a beast called "bolinthus," which the Paeonians call "monaepus." They say that the beast is in general character like an ox, but that it is larger and stronger, and also more hairy: for it has a mane on its neck lie a horse, stretching down very thickly, and spreading from its brow to its eyes. Its horns are not like those of oxen, but are turned downwards, and come to a sharp point by the ears; each of these holds more than three pints and is pitch black, but they shine as though they were peeled. But when the hide is skinned it covers the space of eight couches. [2] But when the beast is hit it flees, and even if incapacitated continues to do so; its flesh is sweet. It protects itself by kicking and voiding excrement over a distance of forty feet; it easily and often employs this form of defence, which scorches so fiercely that it will scrape off a dog's hair. They sav that it has this effect when the animal is disturbed, but that it does not scorch when it is undisturbed. [3] When they bring forth their young they meet in large numbers, and collecting in a herd all the biggest bring forth young and void excrement in a circle. For the beast voids a great deal of such excrement. [Trans. Hett] [1]

MA 2

They say that camels [kamelos] in Arabia do not mate with their dams, and will not do so even if force is used. A story is told that once, when no stallion was available, the man in charge secretly introduced a colt. Apparently the colt completed the mating, but soon after bit the camel-driver to death. [Trans. Hett] [2]

Pliny VIII 40

In Pæonia, it is said, there is a wild animal known as the bonasus; it has the mane of the horse, but is, in other respects, like the bull, with horns, however, so much bent inwards upon each other, as to be of no use for the purposes of combat. It has therefore to depend upon its flight, and, while in the act of flying, it sends forth its excrements, sometimes to a distance of even three jugera; the contact of which burns those who pursue the animal, just like a kind of fire. [Trans. Bostock and Riley, via Perseus]

Pliny VIII 156

The Scythian horsemen make loud boasts of the fame of their cavalry. On one occasion, one of their chiefs having been slain in single combat, when the conqueror came to take the spoils of the enemy, he was set upon by the horse of his opponent, and trampled on and bitten to death. Another horse, upon the bandage being removed from his eyes, found that he had covered his mother, upon which he threw himself down a precipice, and was killed. We learn, also, that for a similar cause, a groom was torn to pieces, in the territory of Reate. For these animals have a knowledge of the ties of consanguinity, and in a stud a mare will attend to its sister of the preceding year, even more carefully than its mother. [Trans. Bostock and Riley, via Perseus]

Pliny IX 24; 27; 28; 33

24. The dolphin is an animal not only friendly to man, but a lover of music as well; he is charmed by melodious concerts, and more especially by the notes of the water-organ. He does not dread man, as though a stranger to him, but comes to meet ships, leaps and bounds to and fro, vies with them in swiftness, and passes them even when in full sail.

27. Before this, there was a similar story told of a child at the city of Iasus, for whom a dolphin was long observed to have conceived a most ardent affection, until at last, as the animal was eagerly following him as he was making for the shore, it was carried by the tide on the sands, and there expired. Alexander the Great appointed this boy high priest of Neptune at Babylon, interpreting this extraordinary attachment as a convincing proof of the favour of that divinity. Hegesidemus has also informed us, that in the same city of lasus there was another boy also, Hermias by name, who in a similar manner used to traverse the sea on a dolphin's back, but that on one occasion a tempest suddenly arising, he lost his life, and was brought back dead; upon which, the dolphin, who thus admitted that he had been the cause of his death, would not return to the sea, but lay down upon the dry land, and there expired.

28. Theophrastus informs us, that the very same thing happened at Naupactus also; nor, in fact, is there any limit to similar instances. The Amphilochians and the Tarentines have similar stories also about children and dolphins; and all these give an air of credibility to the one that is told of Arion, the famous performer on the lyre. The mariners being on the point of throwing him into the sea, for the purpose of taking possession of the money he had earned, he prevailed upon them to allow him one more song, accompanied with the music of his lyre. The melody attracted numbers of dolphins around the ship, and, upon throwing himself into the sea, he was taken up by one of them, and borne in safety to the shore of the Promontory of Tænarum.
[Trans. Bostock and Riley, via Perseus]

33. The account which Mucianus gives of a similar mode of fishing in the Iasian Gulf differs from the preceding one, in the fact that there the dolphins make their appearance of their own accord, and do not require to be called: they receive their share from the hands of the people, each boat having its own particular associate among the dolphins; and this, although the fishing is carried on at night-time by the light of torches. Dolphins, also, form among themselves a sort of general community. One of them having been captured by a king of Caria and chained up in the harbour, great multitudes of dolphins assembled at the spot, and with signs of sorrow which could not be misunderstood, appealed to the sympathies of the people, until at last the king ordered it to be released. The young dolphins, also, are always attended by a larger one, who acts as a guardian to them; and before now, they have been seen carrying off the body of one which had died, that it might not be devoured by the sea-monsters. [Trans. Bostock and Riley, via Perseus]