Phaps Phassa Phatta Phattion

( ay, acca, arca, araov G, palumbes, -is, -a, -bula, -us, teta, titus L) Phatta (with its diminutive form in -ion) is the common word in Attic Greek (cf. Lucian Judicium Vocalium 8) for Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus), the spelling Phassa replaces it in other ancient dialects, and is still the bird's name in modern Greece and (spelled fassa) in Sicily. Phaps is an alternative name for the same bird, except in one passage from a lost work by Aristotle (fr. 347 Rose, cited by Athenaeus 353f and...

Sialis

(ciali5 G) According to Athenaeus (392c), the Alexandrian scholar Didymus (fr. 46 Schmidt) alleges that Sialis was another word for Ortyx (q.v. Common Quail, Coturnix coturnix), so called because of its sweet voice. Three Quail calls can be considered musical the advertising 'Wet-my-lips' repeated several times in quick succession, the contacting 'Hueeed', and in particular the female's disyllabic piping call. It is difficult, however, to see any etymological connection between Sialis and any...

Trygon Trygonin

(xpuyrav, xpuyravtv G, turtur, trygon, trygona L) Generally the Turtle Dove (now Streptopelia turtur), although the slightly smaller Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis) may not have been distinguished from it in those areas (Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Nile delta, Bosporus and some other parts of Turkey) where the two birds co-exist. Both Trygon in Greek and turtur in Latin are named after the Turtle-Dove's call, as ancient writers recognised (tryz- Pollux 5.89, the scholia to Theocritus...

Peleia Peleias Peleias

(neXeia, neXeia , neX ic ) G, columba (sometimes with saxatilis), -bina, -bula, -bus L Both Peleia and Peleias ( 'Darkbird' cf. CGL 3.252, Eustathius 1262.60-62 on Homer Iliad 22.140) occur commonly in ancient Greek from Homer onwards as names for what at the time was generally believed to be one type of Pigeon. The bird that Homer describes as flying into a rock fissure to escape from a Kirkos (q.v. Peregrine Falcon) or Hierax (q.v. small raptor) in Iliad 21.493-94 (cf. 22.139-42, Odyssey...

Ros

(nepicTepa, -piSeu , -piSiov, -piv, -piov, -pi , -po , columbay-binus, -bula, -bulus, -bus L) The spelling Peristera is normal and bisexual in various dialects from the fifth century BC onwards the other forms are (1) a solecistic creation specifying the male (-ros) (2) diminutives (-ridion, -ri o n) and (3) a term for a juvenile (-ideus). In common use (e.g. Athenaeus 393f-94a, Eustathius 1712.41-42 on Homer Odyssey 12.62) Peristera has two basic meanings (1) it is a general name for any...

Birds In The Ancient World From A To Z

Why did Aristotle claim that male Herons' eyes bleed during mating Do Cranes winter near the source of the Nile Was Lesbia's pet really a House Sparrow Ornithology was born in ancient Greece, when Aristotle and other writers studied and sought to identify birds. Birds in the Ancient World from A to Z gathers together the information available from classical sources, listing all the names that ancient Greeks gave their birds and all their descriptions and analyses. Arnott identifies (where...

Korone Koronideus

(Kopravn, KopraviSeu G, cornix L) Three birds share the name Korone (1) Most commonly the Hooded Crow (now Corvus cornix), the species of Crow with a light grey body that is now (and presumably always has been) found in Greece and Italy south of the Alps (where it is one of the two commonest corvids), along with some other areas known to ancient writers such as Egypt (hence not surprisingly Aristotle HA 606a24-5 says the Crows there are the same size as those in Greece ). On the eastern side of...

Psittakos Psittake Bittakos Byttakos Sittake Sittakos Sittas

(yvtxaKo , ymaKn, PmaKo , Puttoko , otTTaKq, oittoko , oItto G, psittacus, sittace L) Psittakos was the commonest name in ancient Greek for a Parakeet (i.e. small Parrot), although variant forms coexisted Byttakos (Ctesias 688F45 p.488 Jacobi) and Bittakos (Eubulus fr. 120.4 Kassel-Austin) before 335 BC, Psittake in Aristotle (HA 597b 27), in the post-classical period Sittakos (Philodemus On Poems 2.20.3 Hausrath, Aelian NA 16.2, Arrian Indica 15.8-9 citing Nearchos 133F9 Jacobi) and Sittake...

Netta Nettarion Nettion Nessa Nessarion Nession Nassa

(i'fjtto1., vrjiTdpiov, vrjruov, vnotw vriooapiov, vt ggiov, vauoctG, anas, anaticula L) Netta (Attic Greek), Nessa (Ionic, Koine e.g. Herodotus 2.77, Aratus 918, 980) and Nassa (Boeotian Aristophanes Acharnians 875) are dialectal variants of the standard word for 'Duck' in ancient Greece, alongside diminutive forms in -arion (some manuscripts of Cyranides 3.31 used also as a term of personal endearment Aristophanes Plutus 1011, Menander fr. 652 K-A, cf. anaticula Plautus Asinaria 693) and in...

Iynx Iyngion

tvifij iityyiov G, iynx, iunx, fritilla L Aristotle's precise and accurate description of this bird HA 504a11-19, closely copied by Pliny NH11.256 , clearly identifies the Iynx as the Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla it has, he says, untypically two toes in front and two behind so also PA 695a23 , is little bigger than a House Sparrow 16-18 cm 14-16 cm , is mottled cf. Pindar Pythians 4.214 , has a protrusible tongue four fingers long, can turn its neck round while the rest of its body stays...

Hierax Irex

iipoc , ipr , -with iiipinfi5ei gt i fledgling, -icKo lt as diminutive G, accipiter, falco L 1 Hierax replaced by Irex in the epic and Ionic dialects is the name given in Aristotle HA 620a17- b5 and ancient Greek generally to all diurnal raptors smaller than the larger Eagles and Vultures i.e. with a length less than about 60 cm but excepting Kites. In Greece today, these include one very small Eagle Booted, Hieraetus pennatus , 4 Buzzards, 3 Hawks, the Osprey Pandion haliaetus , 4 Harriers...

Boskas skis Baskas Phaskas

Pogko , -gk , PacKa , acKa G, boscas, boscis, querquedula L Two kinds of Duck, whose variations in spelling themselves cause problems. According to Hesychius P 842 , Phaskas is a foreign Libyan or Illyrian spelling of Boskas, which appears to be the standard Greek form, but Alexander of Myndos fr. 20 Wellmann Athenaeus 395c-f seems to use Boskas and Phaskas interchangeably, while Aristophanes Birds 885 has the spelling Baskas, and Columella 8.15.1 boscis, which presupposes a Greek form Boskis....

Iktinos Iktin Iktis

IKtTtoi , Ikttvo , itcriv, tini G miluus, -a L Iktinos means Kite, but to which of the two Kites that still figure on Greek and Italian lists Red Milvus milvus or Black M. migrans does the word apply Ancient descriptions of the Iktinos are plentiful and informative, and they confirm that it was well known to ordinary people. The bird was a migrant whose arrival was greeted as the harbinger of spring, telling farmers that it was now time to shear their sheep Aristophanes Birds 499-501, 713-14...

Alektor torideus toris tryon Ornis

iXiliTCOp, xopiosf C, -Topic , -xpixbv, G, gallus gallinaceus shortened to gallus when there is no possibility of confusion with Gallus meaning 'Gaul', gallina, pullus L 1 Virtually always the Domestic Fowl Alektor the cock bird poetic in Attic, but the normal word outside Attica and in later Greek , Alektryon in Attic down to the fourth century BC cf. Phrynichus 200 Fischer used for both cock and hen though Ornis often replaces it for the hen, sometimes along with defining adjectives such as...

Aeiskops

G A subspecies of the Eurasian Scops Owl Otus scops cycladum that is mainly or exclusively resident in many areas of Greece Peloponnese, Aegean Islands, Crete . Aristotle notes HA 617b31-618a7 that those Scops Owls that reside in Greece all year long are called MlOK lJ'ne 'Always-Scops Owls' and are inedible, contrasting with others that appear just for one or two days in the autumn he adds that these latter, however, make good eating, being identical in everything except their superior girth...