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1 We learn from various travellers, that there are troops of wild horses and asses in many parts of Tartary and the neighbouring countries; but it is doubtful whether they have proceeded from an original wild stock, or may not have been the produce of some individuals which had accidentally escaped from the domestic state.—B.
2 No doubt Pliny has fallen into an error on this subject, and his elk and achlis are, in reality, the same animal. The description of the latter, for the most part, applies to the former, with the exception of the want of joints in the legs, which is entirely without foundation. Cæsar's account of the elk, Bell. Gall. B. vi. c. 27, agrees generally with Pliny's account of the achlis; he also says, that the legs of the alces are "without articulations and joints."
3 The Romans had but a very imperfect knowledge of the Scandinavian peninsula. They supposed it to be surrounded by the ocean, and to be composed of many islands, which Ptolemy calls Scandiæ. Of these, the largest bore especially the name of Scandia or Scandinavia, by which name the modern Sweden was probably indicated. See B. iv. c. 30.
4 Pliny's account is from Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 45, but, as is often the case, with considerable exaggerations. Aristotle says, that these animals eject their excrements to a distance of four feet, and that it is of so acrid a nature, as to cause the hair of the dog to fall off. The word jugerum is generally used as a measure of superficial surface.—B.
5 Pliny here renders the Greek πλέθρον, by "jugerum," which is ordinarily a measure of superficies. In the present case, therefore, it must mean a measure of length, of 100 Grecian, or 104 Roman feet.
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