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We must also speak of the quail; they are called ὄρτυγες. And here the rearises a general question about words ending in υξ, why the words with this termination do not all have the same letter as the characteristic of the genitive case. I allude to ὄρτυξ and ὄνυξ. For the masculine simple nouns ending in ξ when the vowel υ precedes ξ, and when the last syllable begins with any one of the immutable consonants or those which are characteristic of the first1 conjugation of barytone verbs, make the genitive with κ; as κῆρυξ κήρυκος, πέλυξ πέλυκος, ῎ερυξ ἔρυκος, βέβρυξ, βέβρυκος; but those which have not this characteristic make the genitive with a γ, as ὄρτυξ ὄρτυγος, κόκκυξ κόκκυγος, ὄρυξ ὄρυγος; and there is one word with a peculiar inflexion, ὄνυξ ὄνυχος; and as a general rule, in the nominative case plural, they follow the genitive case singular in having the same characteristic of the [p. 618] last syllable. And the case is the same if the last syllable does not begin with a consonant at all. But with respect to the quail Aristotle says, “The quail is a migratory bird, with cloven feet, and he does not make a nest, but lies in the dust; and he covers over his hole with sticks for fear of hawks; and then the hen lays her eggs in the hole.” But Alexander the Myndian says, in the second book of his treatise on Animals, “The female quail has a thin neck, not having under its chin the same black feathers which the male has. And when it is dissected it is found not to have a large crop, but it has a large heart with three lobes; it has also its liver and its gall-bladder united in its intestines, but it has but a small spleen, and one which is not easily perceived; and its testicles are under its liver, like those of the common fowl.” And concerning their origin, Phanodemus, in the second book of his History of Attica, says:— “When Erysichthon saw the island of Delos, which was by the ancients called Ortygia, because of the numerous flocks of quails which came over the sea and settled in that island as one which afforded them good shelter . . .” And Eudoxus the Cnidian, in the first book of his Description of the Circuit of the Earth, says that the Phœnicians sacrifice quails to Hercules, because Hercules, the son of Asteria and Jupiter, when on his way towards Libya, was slain by Typhon and restored to life by Iolaus, who brought a quail to him and put it to his nose, and the smell revived him. For when he was alive he was, says Eudoxus, very partial to that bird.
1 Athenæus here does not arrange his conjugations as we do; nor is it very plain what he means by an immutable consonant.
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