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Let us do justice, also, to the raven, whose merits have been attested not only by the sentiments of the Roman people, but by the strong expression, also, of their indignation. In the reign of Tiberius, one of a brood of ravens that had bred on the top of the temple of Castor,1 happened to fly into a shoemaker's shop that stood opposite: upon which, from a feeling of religious veneration, it was looked upon as doubly recommended by the owner of the place. The bird, having been taught to speak at an early age, used every morning to fly to the Rostra, which look towards the Forum; here, addressing each by his name, it would salute Tiberius, and then the Cæsars2 Germanicus and Drusus, after which it would proceed to greet the Roman populace as they passed, and then return to the shop: for several years it was remarkable for the constancy of its attendance. The owner of another shoemaker's shop in the neighbourhood, in a sudden fit of anger killed the bird, enraged, as he would have had it appear, because with its ordure it had soiled some shoes of his. Upon this, there was such rage manifested by the multitude, that he was at once driven from that part of the city, and soon after put to death. The funeral, too, of the bird was celebrated with almost endless obsequies; the body was placed upon a litter carried upon the shoulders of two Æthiopians, preceded by a piper, and borne to the pile with garlands of every size and description. The pile was erected on the right-hand side of the Appian Way, at the second milestone from the City, in the field gene- rally known as the "field of Rediculus."3 Thus did the rare talent of a bird appear a sufficient ground to the Roman people for honouring it with funeral obsequies, as well as for inflicting punishment on a Roman citizen; and that, too, in a city in which no such crowds had ever escorted the funeral of any one out of the whole number of its distinguished men, and where no one had been found to avenge the death of Scipio Æmilianus,4 the man who had destroyed Carthage and Numantia. This event happened in the consulship of M. Servilius and Caius Cestius, on the fifth day5 before the calends of April.

At the present day also, the moment that I am writing this, there is in the city of Rome a crow which belongs to a Roman of equestrian rank, and was brought from Bætica. In the first place, it is remarkable6 for its colour, which is of the deepest black, and at the same time it is able to pronounce several connected words, while it is repeatedly learning fresh ones. Recently, too, there has been a story told about Craterus, surnamed Monoceros,7 in Erizena,8 a country of Asia, who was in the habit of hunting with the assistance of ravens, and used to carry them into the woods, perched on the tuft of his helmet and on his shoulders. The birds used to keep on the watch for game, and raise it; and by training he had brought this art to such a pitch of perfection, that even the wild ravens would attend him in a similar manner when he went out. Some authors have thought the following circumstance deserving of remembrance:—A crow that was thirsty was seen heaping stones into the urn on a monument, in which there was some rain-water which it could not reach: and so, being afraid to go down to the water, by thus accumulating the stones, it caused as much water to come within its reach as was necessary to satisfy its thirst.

1 In the eighth region of the city.

2 The nephew and son of Tiberius.

3 Festus says that the "fane of Rediculus was without the Porta Capena; it was so called because Hannibal, when on the march from Capua, turned back (redierit) at that spot, being alarmed at certain portentous visions."

4 P. Cornelius Scipio Æmilianus Africanus Minor, the younger son of L. Æmilius Paulus, the conqueror of Macedonia. It is doubtful whether he died a natural death, or was privately assassinated by the partisans of the Gracchi. His wife, Cornelia, and his mother, Sempronia, were suspected by some persons.

5 28th March.

6 One would hardly think that there was anything wonderful in a crow being very black.

7 The "one-horned."

8 Most probably in Asia Minor, and not Eriza in India.

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