But as you have had frequent discussions about meats, and birds, and pigeons, I also will tell you all that I, after a great deal of reading, have been able to find out in addition to what has been previously stated. Now the word περιστέριον (pigeon), may be found used by Menander in his Concubine, where he says—
He waits a little while, and then runs upAnd so Nicostratus, in his Delicate Woman, says—
And says—“I've bought some pigeons (περιστέρια) for you.”
These are the things I want,—a little bird,And Anaxandrides, in his Reciprocal Lover, has the line—
And then a pigeon (περιστέριον) and a paunch.
For bringing in some pigeons (περιστέρια) and some sparrows.And Phrynichus, in his Tragedians, says—
Bring him a pigeon (περιστέριον) for a threepenny piece.Now with respect to the pheasant, Ptolemy the king, in the twelfth book of his Memorabilia, speaking of the palace which there is at Alexandria, and of the animals which are kept in it, says, “They have also pheasants, which they call τέταροι, which they not only used to send for from Media, but they also used to put the eggs under broody hens, by which means they raised a number, so as to have enough for food; for they call it very excellent eating.” Now this is the expression of a most magnificent monarch, who confesses that he himself has never tasted a pheasant, but who used to keep these birds as a sort of treasure. But if he had ever seen such a sight as this, when, in addition to all those which have been already eaten, a pheasant is also placed before each individual, he would have added another book to the existing twenty-four of that celebrated history, which he calls his Memorabilia. And Aristotle or Theophrastus, in his Commentaries, says, “In pheasants, the male is not only as much superior to the female as is usually the case, but he is so in an infinitely greater degree.”