previous next

And when a wild boar was put upon the table, which was in no respect less than that noble Calydonian boar which has been so much celebrated,—I suggest to you now, said he, O my most philosophical and precise Ulpian, to inquire who ever said that the Calydonian boar was a female, and that her meat was white. But he, without giving the matter any long consideration, but rather turning the question off, said—But it does seem to me, my friends, that if you are not yet satisfied, after having had such plenty of all these things, that you surpass every one who has ever been celebrated for his powers of eating,—and who those people are you can find out by inquiry. But it is more correct and more consistent with etymology to make the name σὺς, with a ς; for the animal has its name from rushing (σεύομαι) and going on [p. 633] impetuously; but men have got a trick of pronouncing the word without the ς,ὗς; and some people believe that it is called σῦν, by being softened from θῦν, as if it had its name from being a fit animal to sacrifice (θύειν). But now, if it seems good to you, answer me who ever uses the compound word like we do, calling the wild boar not σῦς ἄγριος, but σύαγρος̣ At all events, Sophocles, in his Lovers of Achilles, has applied the word σύαγρος to a dog, as hunting the boar (ἀπὸ τοῦ σῦς ἀγρεύειν), where he says—
And you, Syagre, child of Pelion.
And in Herodotus we find Syagrus used as a proper name of a man who was a Lacedæmonian by birth, and who went on the embassy to Gelon the Syracusan, about forming an alliance against the Medes; which Herodotus mentions in the seventh book of his History. And I am aware, too, that there was a general of the Aetolians named Syagrus who is mentioned by Phylarchus, in the fourth book of his History. And Democritus said—You always, O Ulpian, have got a habit of never taking anything that is set before you until you know whether the existing name of it was in use among the ancients. Accordingly you are running the risk, on account of all these inquiries of yours, (just like Philetas of Cos, who was always investigating all false arguments and erroneous uses of words,) of being starved to death, as he was. For he became very thin by reason of his devotion to these inquiries, and so died, as the inscription in front of his tomb shows—
Stranger, Philetas is my name, I lie
Slain by fallacious arguments, and cares
Protracted from the evening through the night.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (Charles Burton Gulick, 1927)
load focus Greek (Kaibel)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: