Aristotle, On Marvellous Things Heard

LCL 307: 238-239

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830 a 51. Ἐν τῇ Παιονίᾳ φασὶν ἐν τῷ ὄρει τῷ Ἡσαίνῳ καλουμένῳ, ὃ τὴν Παιονικὴν καὶ τὴν Μαιδικὴν ὁρίζει, εἶναί τι θηρίον τὸ καλούμενον βόλινθον, ὑπὸ 10δὲ τῶν Παιόνων μόναιπον. τοῦτον λέγουσι τὴν μὲν ὅλην φύσιν παραπλήσιον εἶναι βοΐ, διαφέρειν δὲ τῷ μεγέθει καὶ τῇ εὐρωστίᾳ, προσέτι δὲ καὶ τῇ χαίτῃ· ἔχει γὰρ ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐχένος, ὥσπερ ὁ ἵππος, κατατείνουσαν βαθεῖαν σφόδρα, καὶ ἀπὸ τῆς κορυφῆς ἕως τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν. τὰ δὲ κέρατα οὐχ ὥσπερ οἱ βόες, ἀλλὰ κατεστραμμένα, καὶ τὸ ὀξὺ κάτω παρὰ τὰ ὦτα· χωρεῖν δὲ αὐτὰ ἡμιχόου πλεῖον 15ἑκάτερον αὐτῶν, καὶ μέλανα σφόδρα εἶναι, διαστίλβειν δὲ ὡσανεὶ λελεπισμένα. ὅταν δὲ ἐκδαρῇ τὸ δέρμα, κατέχειν τόπον ὀκτακλίνου. ἡνίκα δὲ πληγῇ, φεύγει, κἂν ἐξαδυνατοῦν μένει. ἔστι δὲ ἡδύκρεων. ἀμύνεται δὲ λακτίζον καὶ προσαφοδεῦον ὡς ἐπὶ τέτταρας ὀργυιάς· ῥᾳδίως δὲ χρῆται τούτῳ 20καὶ πολλάκις τῷ εἴδει, καὶ ἐπικαίει δ᾿ ὥστ᾿ ἀποψήχεσθαι τὰς τρίχας τῶν κυνῶν. τεταραγμένου μὲν οὖν τοῦτο ποιεῖν φασὶ τὸν ἄφοδον, ἀταράχου δὲ μὴ ἐπικαίειν. ὅταν δὲ τίκτωσι, πλείους γενόμενοι καὶ συναχθέντες ἅμα πάντες οἱ μέγιστοι τίκτουσι καὶ κύκλῳ προσαφοδεύουσι· πολὺ γάρ τι 25τούτου τοῦ περιττώματος τὸ θηρίον προΐεται.


On Marvellous Things Heard

On Marvellous Things Heard

1. In Paeonia they say that in the mountain called Hesaenus, which divides Paeonia from Maedice, there is a wild 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 like 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. 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 say that it has this effect when the animal is disturbed, but that it does not scorch when it is undisturbed. 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.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.aristotle-marvellous_things_heard.1936