19 May 2015

Antigonus 78–83: Coloured flocks, androgynous eels, and other curiosities

78(84)[1] If sheep drink from the river called Psychros in the Chalcidice, by Thrace, it causes their offspring to be black. [2] And in Antandria there are two rivers, of which one makes offspring white, the other, black. [3] The Scamander is supposed to make them yellow, and because of this the Poet addressed it as “Xanthus” [i.e., 'yellow'] instead of “Scamandrus”. [4] And in Euboea, along the Histiaean boundary with Chalcis, there are two rivers, Ceron and Neleus, from which if goats drink about the time of conception, they give birth to black [offspring] if from the river Ceron and white, if from the Neleus.

So my mother drank from the Ceron and the Neleus ... what's it to you?
79(85) He [Aristotle] says that ants, when sprinkled with oregano and sulphur, abandon their anthill.

80(86) The eel is neither male nor female.

81(87) With partridges, if the female stands downwind of the male, it becomes pregnant.

82(88) The so-called starfish is so hot that whatever fish it catches hold of is at once scorched.

83(89) And the sponge has perception: if it becomes aware that someone is about to pull it off, it contracts and is a hard job to remove. The same thing happens when there is wind or a rough sea.

Cross-references: Not available

© R. Hardiman 2015


Image Credits
Valais Blackneck goat, by Quartl via Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Walliser_Schwarzhalsziege_qtl1.jpg


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