But Hegesander the Delphian, in his Commentaries, says that in the reign of Antigonus Gonatas, there were such a number of hares in the island of Astypalæa, that the natives consulted the oracle on the subject. And the Pythia answered them that they ought to breed dogs, and hunt them; and so in one year there were caught more than six thousand. And all this immense number arose from a man of the island of Anaphe having put one pair of hares in the island. As also, on a previous occasion, when a certain Astypalæan had let loose a pair of partridges in the island of Anaphe, there came to be such a number of partridges in Anaphe, that the inhabitants ran a risk of being driven out of the island by them. But originally Astypalea had no hares at all, but only partridges. And the hare is a very prolific animal as Xeno- phon has told us, in his treatise on Hunting; and Herodotus [p. 632] speaks of it in the following terms—“Since the hare is hunted by everything-man, beast, and bird—it is on this account a very prolific animal; and it is the only animal known which is capable of superfetation. And it has in its womb at one time one litter with the fur on, and another bare, and another just formed, and a fourth only just conceived.” And Polybius, in the twelfth book of his History, says that. there is another animal like the hare which is called the rabbit (κούνικλος); and he writes as follows—“The animal called the rabbit, when seen at a distance, looks like a small hare; but when any one takes it in his hands, there is a great difference between them, both in appearance and taste: and it lives chiefly underground.” And Posidonius the philosopher also mentions them in his History; and we our selves have seen a great many in our voyage from Dicæarchia1 to Naples. For there is an island not far from the mainland, opposite the lower side of Dicæarchia, inhabited by only a very scanty population, but having a great number of rabbits. And there is also a kind of hare called the Chelidonian hare, which is mentioned by Diphilus, or Calliades, in his play called Ignorance, in the following terms—
What is this? whence this hare who bears the nameAnd Theophrastus, in the twentieth book of his History, says that there are hares about Bisaltia which have two livers.
Of Chelidonian? Is it grey hare soup,
Mimarcys call'd, so thick with blood?