But Eupolis uses the word in its diminutive form, and in his play called Cities, calls them ὀρτύγια, speaking as follows:— ὀρτύγιον:—
For what now could a man like you perform,It is an odd expression that Pratinas uses, who in his Dymænæ, or the Caryatides, calls the quail a bird with a sweet voice, unless indeed quails have voices in the Phliasian or Lacedæmonian country as partridges have; and perhaps it is from this, also, that the bird called σίαλις has its name, as [p. 619] Didymus says. For nearly all birds derive their tames from the sounds which they make. There is also a bird called the ὀρτυγομήτρα (which is mentioned by Crates in his Chirons, where he says,
Having the soul of a quail (ὀρτυγίου)?
The ὀρτυγομήτρα came from Ithaca.)And Alexander the Myndian also mentions it, and says that in size it is nearly equal to a turtle-dove; that it has long legs, a slender body, and is very timid. And with respect to the hunting for quails, Clearchus the Solensian mentions some very singular circumstances, in his book which is entitled “A Treatise on those things which have been asserted on Mathematical Principles in Plato's Polity,” where he writes as follows—“Quails, about breeding time, if any one puts a looking-glass opposite to them, and a noose in front of it, run towards the bird which is seen in the looking-glass; and so fall into the noose.” And about the birds called jackdaws he makes a similar statement, saying—“And a very similar thing happens to the jackdaws, on account of their naturally affectionate disposition towards each other. For they are a most exceedingly cunning bird; nevertheless when a bowl full of oil is placed near them, they stand on the edge of the bowl, and look down, and then rush down towards the bird which appears visible in the liquid. In consequence of which, when they are soaked through with the oil, their wings stick together and cause them to be easily captured.” And the Attic writers make the middle syllable of the oblique cases of ὄρτυξ long, like δοίδῦκα, and κήρῦκα; as Demetrius Ixion tells us, in his treatise on the Dialect of the Alexandrians. But Aristophanes, in his Peace, has used the word with the penultima short for the sake of the metre, writing—
The tame domestic quails (ὄρτῦγες οἰκογενεῖς).There is also a bird called χέννιον, which is a small kind of quail, which is mentioned by Cleomenes, in his letter to Alexander, where he expresses himself in the following manner— “Ten thousand preserved coots, and five thousand of the kind of thrush called tylas, and ten thousand preserved χέννια.” And Hipparchus, in his Egyptian Iliad, says—
I cannot fancy the Egyptian life,
Plucking the chennia, which they salt and eat.