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“But the Athenians call the word ταὧς,” as Tryphon tells us, “circumflexing and aspirating the last syllable. And they read it spelt in this way in the Deserters from the Army of Eupolis, in the passage which has been already quoted, and in the Birds of Aristophanes—
Are you then Tereus? are you a bird or a peacock (ταὧς)?
And in another passage he writes—
A bird then; what kind? is it not a peacock (ταὧς)?
But in the dative they say ταὧνι, as Aristophanes does in the same play. But it is quite impossible in the Attic or Ionic dialects that, in nouns which have more than one syllable, the last syllable beginning with a vowel should be aspirated; for it is quite inevitable that it should be pronounced with a lene breathing, as νεὢς, λεὢς, τυνδάρεὠς, μενέλεὠς, λειπόνεὠς, εὔνεὠς, νείλεὠς, πρᾶὀς, ὑίὀς, κεῖὀς, χῖὀς, δῖὀς, χρεῖὀς, πλεῖὀς, λεῖὀς, λαιὄς, βαιὂς, φαιὂς, πηὂς, γόὀς, θοὂς, ῥόὀς, ζωὄς. For the aspirate is fond of beginning a word, and is by nature inclined to the lead, and is never included in the last part of a word. And the name ταὧς is derived from the extension (τάσις) of the wings.” And Seleucus, in the fifth book of his treatise on Hellenisms, says: “The peacock, ταὧς:—but the Attics, contrary to all rule, both aspirate and circumflex the last syllable; but the aspirate is only attached to the first vowel, when it begins a word in the simple pronunciation of the word, and there taking the lead, and running on more swiftly, it has the first place in the word. Accordingly, the Athenians, in consequence of this arrangement, observing the inherent character of this breathing, do not put it on vowels, as they do often accents and breathings, but put it before them. And I think that the ancients used to mark the aspirate by the character H, on which account the Romans write the letter H at the beginning of all aspirated nouns, showing its predominan nature; and if this be the proper character of the aspirate, it is plain that it is contrary to all reason and analogy that the word ταῶς has any breathing at all marked upon it by the Attic writers.”

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