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Aelian

μὲν λέοντα, ἀναιρεῖ δὲ βασιλίσκον· οὐ μὴν φέρει1 οὔτε αἰλούρους οὔτε ἰκτίνους. αἱ δὲ περιστεραὶ ἀετῶν μὲν κλαγγὴν καὶ γυπῶν θαρροῦσι, κίρκων δὲ καὶ ἁλιαέτων οὐκέτι.

Ἡ δὲ ποίμνη2 καὶ ὁ ἔριφος καὶ πώλιον πᾶν ἐπὶ τὰς μητρῴας θηλὰς ἔρχεται γεννηθέντα παραχρῆμα, καὶ μέντοι καὶ τῶν οὐθάτων σπῶντα ἐμπίπλαται· πολυπραγμονεῖ δὲ τὸ τεκὸν οὐδὲ ἕν, ἀλλὰ ἕστηκεν. ὕπτια δὲ παραβάλλει τὰς θηλὰς τοῖς βρέφεσι τὰ σχιζόποδα πάντα, λύκοι καὶ κύνες καὶ λέαιναι καὶ παρδάλεις.

51. Πολυφωνότατα δὲ τὰ ζῷα καὶ πολύφθογγα ὡς ἂν εἴποις ἡ φύσις ἀπέφηνεν,3 ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους. ὁ γοῦν Σκύθης ἄλλως φθέγγεται καὶ ὁ Ἰνδὸς ἄλλως, καὶ ὁ Αἰθίοψ ἔχει φωνὴν συμφυᾶ4 καὶ οἱ Σάκαι· φωνὴ δὲ Ἑλλὰς ἄλλη, καὶ Ῥωμαία ἄλλη. οὕτω τοι καὶ τὰ ζῷα ἄλλο ἄλλως προΐεται τὸν συγγενῆ τῆς γλώττης ἦχόν τε καὶ ψόφον· τὸ μὲν γὰρ βρυχᾶται, μυκᾶται δὲ ἄλλο, καὶ χρεμέτισμα ἄλλου καὶ ὄγκησις <ἄλλου>,5 ἄλλου βληχηθμός τε καὶ μηκασμός,6 καί τισι μὲν ὠρυγμός, τισὶ δὲ ὑλαγμὸς φίλον, καὶ ἄλλῳ7 ἀρράζειν· κλαγγαὶ δὲ8 καὶ ῥοῖζοι καὶ κριγμοὶ καὶ ᾠδαὶ καὶ μελῳδίαι καὶ τραυλισμοὶ καὶ μυρία ἕτερα δῶρα τῆς φύσεως ἴδια τῶν ζῴων ἄλλα ἄλλων.

52. Ἀνὰ τὴν χώραν τὴν Αἰγυπτίαν ἀσπίδες φωλεύουσι τοῦ Νείλου πλησίον ἐπὶ τῆς ὄχθης ἑκατέρας. καὶ τὸν μὲν ἄλλον χρόνον φιλοχωροῦσι

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On Animals, V

scares a lion and is fatal to a basilisk, and yet it cannot endure cats or kites. And pigeons are not afraid at the cry of eagles and vultures, but they are at the cry of falcons and of sea-eagles.

(ii). The lamb, the kid, and every foal directly it isAnimals suckling their young born goes for its dam’s teats and sucks the dugs until it is full. And the parent shows no concern but stands still. Whereas all animals with parted toes, wolves, hounds, lions, leopards, lie down to give their young suck.

51. Nature has made animals with an immenseThe various sounds made by animals variety or voice and of speech, as it were, even as she has men. For instance, the Scythian speaks one language, the Indian another; the Ethiopian has a natural language, so too have the Sacae; the language of Greece and that of Rome are different. And so it is with animals: each has a different way of producing the tone and the sound natural to its tongue. Thus, one roars, another lows, a third whinnies, <another> brays, yet another baas and bleats; while to some howling is customary, to others barking, and to another snarling. Screaming, whistling, hooting, singing, warbling, twittering, and countless other gifts of Nature are peculiar to different animals.

52. In the Egyptian countryside Asps have theirReptiles foretell and avoid the rising of the Nile holes by the Nile on either bank. Most of the time they stay round about their <lurking-places> and are

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aelian-characteristics_animals.1958