The Sportsman

Etext prepared by John Bickers,

The Sportsman

by Xenophon

Translation by H. G. Dakyns

Xenophon the Athenian was born 431 B.C. He was a
pupil of Socrates. He marched with the Spartans,
and was exiled from Athens. Sparta gave him land
and property in Scillus, where he lived for many
years before having to move once more, to settle
in Corinth. He died in 354 B.C.

The Sportsman is a manual on hunting hares, deer
and wild boar, including the topics of dogs, and
the benefits of hunting for the young.


This was typed from Dakyns' series, "The Works of Xenophon," a
four-volume set. The complete list of Xenophon's works (though
there is doubt about some of these) is:

Work Number of books

The Anabasis 7
The Hellenica 7
The Cyropaedia 8
The Memorabilia 4
The Symposium 1
The Economist 1
On Horsemanship 1
The Sportsman 1
The Cavalry General 1
The Apology 1
On Revenues 1
The Hiero 1
The Agesilaus 1
The Polity of the Athenians and the Lacedaemonians 2

Text in brackets "{}" is my transliteration of Greek text into
English using an Oxford English Dictionary alphabet table. The
diacritical marks have been lost.

A Sportsman's Manual

Commonly Called



To the gods themselves is due the discovery, to Apollo and Artemis,
patrons of the chase and protectors of the hound.[1] As a guerdon they
bestowed it upon Cheiron,[2] by reason of his uprightness, and he took
it and was glad, and turned the gift to good account. At his feet sat
many a disciple, to whom he taught the mystery of hunting and of
chivalry[3]--to wit, Cephalus, Asclepius, Melanion, Nestor,
Amphiaraus, Peleus, Telamon, Meleager, Theseus and Hippolytus,
Palamedes, Odysseus, Menestheus, Diomed, Castor and Polydeuces,
Machaon and Podaleirius, Antilochus, Aeneas and Achilles: of whom each
in his turn was honoured by the gods. And let none marvel that of
these the greater part, albeit well-pleasing to the gods, nevertheless
were subject to death--which is the way of nature,[4] but their fame
has grown--nor yet that their prime of manhood so far differed. The
lifetime of Cheiron sufficed for all his scholars; the fact being that
Zeus and Cheiron were brethren, sons of the same father but of
different mothers--Zeus of Rhea, and Cheiron of the nymph Nais;[5] and
so it is that, though older than all of them, he died not before he
had taught the youngest--to wit, the boy Achilles.[6]

[1] Or, "This thing is the invention of no mortal man, but of Apollo
and Artemis, to whom belong hunting and dogs." For the style of
exordium L. Dind. cf (Ps.) Dion. "Art. rhet." ad in.; Galen,
"Isagog." ad in.; Alex. Aphrodis. "Probl." 2 proem.

[2] The wisest and "justest of all the centaurs," Hom. "Il." xi. 831.
See Kingsley, "The Heroes," p. 84.

[3] Or, "the discipline of the hunting field and other noble lore."

[4] Lit. "since that is nature, but the praise of them grew greatly."

[5] According to others, Philyra. Pind. "Pyth." iii. 1, {ethelon
Kheirona ke Philuridan}; cf. "Pyth." vi. 22; "Nem." iii. 43.

[6] See Paus. iii. 18. 12.

Thanks to the careful heed they paid to dogs and things pertaining to
the chase, thanks also to the other training of their boyhood, all
these greatly excelled, and on the score of virtue were admired.

If Cephalus was caught into the arms of one that was a goddess,[7]
Asclepius[8] obtained yet greater honour. To him it was given to raise
the dead and to heal the sick, whereby,[9] even as a god among mortal
men, he has obtained to himself imperishable glory. Melanion[10] so
far excelled in zest for toil that he alone of all that flower of
chivalry who were his rivals[11] obtained the prize of noblest wedlock
with Atalanta; while as to Nestor, what need to repeat the well-known
tale? so far and wide for many a day has the fame of his virtue
penetrated the ears of Hellas.[12]

[7] Hemera (al. Eos). For the rape of Cephalus see Hes. "Theog." 986;
Eur. "Ion," 269; Paus. i. 3. 1; iii. 18. 7.

[8] Lat. Aesculapius. Father of Podaleirius and Machaon, "the noble
leech," "Il." ii. 731, iv. 194, 219, xi. 518; "Od." iv. 232.

[9] Cf. "Anab." I. ii. 8; Lincke, "z. Xen. Krit." p. 299.

[10] Melanion, s. Meilanion, Paus. iii. 12. 9; v. 17. 10; v. 19. 1.

[11] "Which were his rival suitors." As to Atalanta see Paus. viii.
45. 2; iii. 24. 2; v. 19. 2; Grote, "H. G." i. 199 foll.

[12] Lit. "the virtue of Nestor has so far penetrated the ears of
Hellas that I should speak to those who know." See Hom. "Il." i.
247, and passim.

Amphiaraus,[13] what time he served as a warrior against Thebes, won
for himself the highest praise; and from heaven obtained the honour of
a deathless life.[14]

[13] Amphiaraus. Pind. "Nem." ix. 13-27; "Olymp." vi. 11-16; Herod. i.
52; Paus. ix. 8. 2; 18. 2-4; ii. 23.2; i. 34; Liv. xlv. 27; Cic.
"de Div." i. 40. See Aesch. "Sept. c. Th." 392; Eur. "Phoen." 1122
foll.; Apollod. iii. 6; Strab. ix. 399, 404.

[14] Lit. "to be honoured ever living."

Peleus kindled in the gods desire to give him Thetis, and to hymn
their nuptials at the board of Cheiron.[15]

[15] For the marriage of Peleus and Thetis see Hom. "Il." xxiv. 61;
cf. Pope's rendering:

To grace those nuptials from the bright abode
Yourselves were present; when this minstrel god
(Well pleased to share the feast) amid the quire
Stood proud to hymn, and tune his youthful lyre
("Homer's Il." xxiv.)

Prof. Robinson Ellis ("Comment on Catull." lxiv.) cites numerous
passages: Eur. "I. in T." 701 foll., 1036 foll.; Pind. "Isthm." v.
24; "Pyth." iii. 87-96; Isocr. "Evag." 192. 6; Apoll. Rh. iv. 791;
"Il." xxiv. 61; Hes. "Theog." 1006, and "Epithal." (ap. Tsetz,
"Prol. ad Lycophr.):

{tris makar Aiakide kai tetrakis olbie Peleu
os toisd' en megarois ieron lekhos eisanabaineis}.

The mighty Telamon[16] won from the greatest of all states and wedded
her whom he desired, Periboea the daughter of Alcathus;[17] and when
the first of Hellenes,[18] Heracles[19] the son of Zeus, distributed
rewards of valour after taking Troy, to Telamon he gave Hesione.[20]

[16] See "Il." viii. 283l Paus. i. 42. 1-4.

[17] Or Alcathous, who rebuilt the walls of Megara by Apollo's aid.
Ov. "Met." viii. 15 foll.

[18] Reading {o protos}; or if with L. D. {tois protois}, "what time
Heracles was distributing to the heroes of Hellas (lit. the first
of the Hellenes) prizes of valour, to Telamon he gave."

[19] See Hom. "Il." v. 640; Strab. xiii. 595.

[20] See Diod. iv. 32; i. 42.

Of Meleager[21] be it said, whereas the honours which he won are
manifest, the misfortunes on which he fell, when his father[22] in old
age forgot the goddess, were not of his own causing.[23]

[21] For the legend of Meleager see "Il." ix. 524-599, dramatised by
both Sophocles and Euripides, and in our day by Swinburne,
"Atalanta in Calydon." Cf. Paus. iii. 8. 9; viii. 54. 4; Ov.
"Met." viii. 300; Grote, "H. G." i. 195.

[22] i.e. Oeneus. "Il." ix. 535.

[23] Or, "may not be laid to his charge."

Theseus[24] single-handed destroyed the enemies of collective Hellas;
and in that he greatly enlarged the boundaries of his fatherland, is
still to-day the wonder of mankind.[25]

[24] See "Mem." II. i. 14; III. v. 10; cf. Isocr. "Phil." 111; Plut.
"Thes." x. foll.; Diod. iv. 59; Ov. "Met." vii. 433.

[25] Or, "is held in admiration still to-day." See Thuc. ii. 15;
Strab. ix. 397.

Hippolytus[26] was honoured by our lady Artemis and with her
conversed,[27] and in his latter end, by reason of his sobriety and
holiness, was reckoned among the blest.

[26] See the play of Euripides. Paus. i. 22; Diod. iv. 62.

[27] Al. "lived on the lips of men." But cf. Eur. "Hipp." 85, {soi kai
xeneimi kai logois s' ameibomai}. See Frazer, "Golden Bough," i.
6, for the Hippolytus-Virbius myth.

Palamedes[28] all his days on earth far outshone those of his own
times in wisdom, and when slain unjustly, won from heaven a vengeance
such as no other mortal man may boast of.[29] Yet died he not at their
hands[30] whom some suppose; else how could the one of them have been
accounted all but best, and the other a compeer of the good? No, not
they, but base men wrought that deed.

[28] As to Palamedes, son of Nauplius, his genius and treacherous
death, see Grote, "H. G." i. 400; "Mem." IV. ii. 33; "Apol." 26;
Plat. "Apol." 41; "Rep." vii. 522; Eur. fr. "Palam."; Ov. "Met."
xiii. 56; Paus. x. 31. 1; ii. 20. 3.

[29] For the vengeance see Schol. ad Eur. "Orest." 422; Philostr.
"Her." x. Cf. Strab. viii. 6. 2 (368); Leake, "Morea," ii. 358;
Baedeker, "Greece," 245.

[30] i.e. Odysseus and Diomed. (S. 11, I confess, strikes me as
somewhat in Xenophon's manner.) See "Mem." IV. ii. 33; "Apol." 26.

Menestheus,[31] through diligence and patient care, the outcome of the
chase, so far overshot all men in love of toil that even the chiefs of
Hellas must confess themselves inferior in the concerns of war save
Nestor only; and Nestor, it is said,[32] excelled not but alone might
rival him.

[31] For Menestheus, who led the Athenians against Troy, cf. Hom.
"Il." ii. 552; iv. 327; Philostr. "Her." ii. 16; Paus. ii. 25. 6;
i. 17. 6; Plut. "Thes." 32, 35.

[32] Or, "so runs the tale," e.g. in "The Catalogue." See "Il." ii.
l.c.: {Nestor oios erizen}, "Only Nestor rivalled him, for he was
the elder by birth" (W. Leaf).

Odysseus and Diomedes[33] were brilliant for many a single deed of
arms, and mainly to these two was due the taking of Troy town.[34]

[33] The two heroes are frequently coupled in Homer, e.g. "Il." v.
519; x. 241, etc.

[34] Or, "were brilliant in single points, and broadly speaking were
the cause that Troy was taken." See Hygin. "Fab." 108; Virg.
"Aen." ii. 163.

Castor and Polydeuces,[35] by reason of their glorious display of arts
obtained from Cheiron, and for the high honour and prestige therefrom
derived, are now immortal.

[35] Castor, Polydeuces, s. Pollux--the great twin brethren. See
Grote, "H. G." i. 232 foll.

Machaon and Podaleirius[36] were trained in this same lore, and proved
themselves adepts in works of skill, in argument and feats of

[36] As to the two sons of Asclepius, Machaon and Podaleirius, the
leaders of the Achaeans, see "Il." ii. 728; Schol. ad Pind.
"Pyth." iii. 14; Paus. iii. 26; iv. 3; Strab. vi. 4 (284); Diod.
iv. 71. 4; Grote, "H. G." i. 248.

[37] Or, "in crafts, in reasonings, and in deeds of war."

Antilochus,[38] in that he died for his father, obtained so great a
glory that, in the judgment of Hellas, to him alone belongs the title
"philopator," "who loved his father."[39]

[38] Antilochus, son of Nestor, slain by Memnon. "Od." iv. 186 foll.;
Pind. "Pyth." vi. 28; Philostr. "Her." iv.; "Icon." ii. 281.

[39] Lit. "to be alone proclaimed Philopator among the Hellenes." Cf.
Plat. "Laws," 730 D, "He shall be proclaimed the great and perfect
citizen, and bear away the palm of virtue"; and for the epithet
see Eur. "Or." 1605; "I. A." 68.

Aeneas[40] saved the ancestral gods--his father's and his
mother's;[41] yea, and his own father also, whereby he bore off a
reputation for piety so great that to him alone among all on whom they
laid their conquering hand in Troy even the enemy granted not to be

[40] As to Aeneas see Poseidon's speech, "Il." xx. 293 foll.; Grote,
"H. G." i. 413, 427 foll.

[41] Cf. "Hell." II. iv. 21.

Achilles,[42] lastly, being nursed in this same training, bequeathed
to after-days memorials so fair, so ample, that to speak or hear
concerning him no man wearies.

[42] "The highest form that floated before Greek imagination was
Achilles," Hegel, "Lectures on the Philosophy of History" (Eng.
tr. p. 233); and for a beautiful elaboration of that idea, J. A.
Symonds, "Greek Poets," 2nd series, ch. ii.

Such, by dint of that paintstaking care derived from Cheiron, these
all proved themselves; of whom all good men yet still to-day are
lovers and all base men envious. So much so that if throughout the
length and breadth of Hellas misfortunes at any time befell city or
king, it was they who loosed the knot of them;[43] or if all Hellas
found herself confronted with the hosts of the Barbarians in strife
and battle, once again it was these who nerved the arms of Hellenes to
victory and rendered Hellas unconquered and unconquerable.

[43] Reading {eluonto autous}, or if as L. D., {di autous}, transl.
"thanks to them, they were loosed."

For my part, then, my advice to the young is, do not despise hunting
or the other training of your boyhood, if you desire to grow up to be
good men, good not only in war but in all else of which the issue is
perfection in thought, word, and deed.


The first efforts of a youth emerging from boyhood should be directed
to the institution of the chase, after which he should come to the
rest of education, provided he have the means and with an eye to the
same; if his means be ample, in a style worthy of the profit to be
derived; or, if they be scant, let him at any rate contribute
enthusiasm, in nothing falling short of the power he possesses.

What are the aids and implements of divers sorts with which he who
would enter on this field must equip himself? These and the theory of
each in particular I will now explain. With a view to success in the
work, forewarned is forearmed. Nor let such details be looked upon as
insignificant. Without them there will be an end to practical

[1] Or, "The question suggests itself--how many instruments and of
what sort are required by any one wishing to enter this field? A
list of these I propose to give, not omitting the theoretical side
of the matter in each case, so that whoever lays his hand to this
work may have some knowledge to go upon. It would be a mistake to
regard these details as trivial. In fact, without them the
undertaking might as well be let alone."

The net-keeper should be a man with a real passion for the work, and
in tongue a Hellene, about twenty years of age, of wiry build, agile
at once and strong, with pluck enough to overcome the toils imposed on
him,[2] and to take pleasure in the work.

[2] {toutous}, "by this, that, or the other good quality."

The ordinary small nets should be made of fine Phasian or
Carthaginian[3] flax, and so too should the road nets and the larger
hayes.[4] These small nets should be nine-threaded [made of three
strandes, and each strand of three threads],[5] five spans[6] in
depth,[7] and two palms[8] at the nooses or pockets.[9] There should
be no knots in the cords that run round, which should be so inserted
as to run quite smoothly.[10] The road net should be twelve-threaded,
and the larger net (or haye) sixteen. They may be of different sizes,
the former varying from twelve to twenty-four or thirty feet, the
latter from sixty to one hundred and twenty or one hundred and eighty
feet.[11] If larger they will be unwieldy and hard to manage. Both
should be thirty-knotted, and the interval of the nooses the same as
in the ordinary small nets. At the elbow ends[12] the road net should
be furnished with nipples[13] (or eyes), and the larger sort (the
haye) with rings, and both alike with a running line of twisted cord.
The pronged stakes[14] for the small nets should be ten palms
high,[15] as a rule, but there should be some shorter ones besides;
those of unequal length will be convenient to equalise the height on
uneven ground, and those of equal length on level. They should be
sharp-tipped so as to draw out easily[16] and smooth throughout. Those
for the road nets should be twice the height,[17] and those for the
big (haye) nets five spans long,[18] with small forks, the notches not
deep; they should be stout and solid, of a thickness proportionate to
their length. The number of props needed for the nets will vary--many
or few, according to circumstances; a less number if the tension on
the net be great, and a larger number when the nets are slack.[19]

[3] Phasian or Carchedonian. Cf. Pollux, v. 26.

[4] {arkus, enodia, diktua}.

[5] [L. Dind. brackets.] See Pollux, v. 27, ap. Schn.

[6] {spithame}, a span (dodrans) = 7 1/2 inches. Herod. ii. 106;
{trispithamos}, Hes. "Op." 424; Plat. "Alc." i. 126 C; Aristot.
"H. A." viii. 28. 5; Polyb. v. 3-6.

[7] {to megethos}.

[8] Or, "eight fingers' breadth +" = 6 inches +. {palaiste} or
{palaste}, a palm or four fingers' breadth = 3 inches +.

[9] {tous brokhous}, a purse or tunnel arrangement with slip loop.

[10] Reading {upheisthosan de oi peridromoi anammatoi}. Lit. "the
cords that run round should be inserted without knots." See
Pollux, v. 28 foll.

[11] Lit. "2, 4, 5 fathoms; 10, 20, 30 fathoms."

[12] {akroleniois}, elbows, Pollux, v. 29; al. {akroliniois}, L. & S.,
"on the edges or borders."

[13] {mastous}, al. "tufts."

[14] {skhalides}, forks or net props. Cf. Pollux, v. 19. 31.

[15] i.e. 30 + inches = 2 1/2 + ft., say 36 inches = 3 ft.

[16] {euperispastoi ta akra}, al. "they should be made so that the
nets can be fitted on and off easily, with sharp points"; or "off
the points easily."

[17] {siplasiai}, i.e. 20 palms = 60 + inches, say 72, or 6 ft.

[18] {pentespithamoi}, i.e. 5 x 7 1/2 inches = 37 1/2 inches = 3 ft. 1
1/2 inch; al. 5 x 9 inches = 45 inches = 3 ft. 9 inches.

[19] Or, "if in the particular position the nets are taut, a larger if
they lie slack."

Lastly, for the purpose of carrying the nets and hayes, for either
sort[20] there must be a bag of calf-skin; and billhooks to cut down
branches and stop gaps in the woods when necessary.[21]

[20] Reading, with Lenz, {ekaterois}, or if, as C. Gesner conj., {e
ekatera}, transl. "or either separately."

[21] Or, "for the purpose of felling wood and stopping up gaps where


There are two breeds of sporting dogs: the Castorian and the fox-
like.[1] The former get their name from Castor, in memory of the
delight he took in the business of the chase, for which he kept this
breed by preference.[2] The other breed is literally foxy, being the
progeny originally of the dog and the fox, whose natures have in the
course of ages become blent.[3]

[1] {Kastoriai}, or Laconian, approaching possibly the harrier type;
{alopekides}, i.e. vulpocanine, hybrid between fox and dog.

[2] Or, "get their appellation from the fact that Castor took delight
in the business of the chase, and kept this breed specially for
the purpose." Al. {diephulaxen}, "propagated and preserved the
breed which we now have." See Darwin, "Animals and Plants under
Domestication," ii. 202, 209.

[3] Or, "and through lapse of time the twofold characteristics of
their progenitors have become blent." See Timoth. Gaz. ap.
Schneid. ad loc. for an ancient superstition as to breeds.

Both species present a large proportion of defective animals[4] which
fall short of the type, as being under-sized, or crook-nosed,[5] or
gray-eyed,[6] or near-sighted, or ungainly, or stiff-jointed, or
deficient in strength, thin-haired, lanky, disproportioned, devoid of
pluck or of nose, or unsound of foot. To particularise: an under-sized
dog will, ten to one, break off from the chase[7] faint and flagging
in the performance of his duty owing to mere diminutiveness. An
aquiline nose means no mouth, and consequently an inability to hold
the hare fast.[8] A blinking bluish eye implies defect of vision;[9]
just as want of shape means ugliness.[10] The stiff-limbed dog will
come home limping from the hunting-field;[11] just as want of strength
and thinness of coat go hand in hand with incapacity for toil.[12] The
lanky-legged, unsymmetrical dog, with his shambling gait and ill-
compacted frame, ranges heavily; while the spiritless animal will
leave his work to skulk off out of the sun into shade and lie down.
Want of nose means scenting the hare with difficulty, or only once in
a way; and however courageous he may be, a hound with unsound feet
cannot stand the work, but through foot-soreness will eventually give

[4] Or, "defective specimens (that is to say, the majority) are to be
noted, as follows."

[5] {grupai}.

[6] {kharopoi}. Al. Arrian, iv. 4, 5.

[7] Or, "will probably retire from the chase and throw up the business
through mere diminutiveness."

[8] Or, "a hook-nosed (? pig-jawed, see Stonehenge, "The Dog," p. 19,
4th ed.) dog has a bad mouth and cannot hold."

[9] Or, "a short-sighted, wall-eyed dog has defective vision."

[10] Or, "they are weedy, ugly brutes as a rule."

[11] Or, "stiffness of limbs means he will come off." Cf. "Mem." III.
xiii. 6.

[12] Lit. "a weak, thinly-haired animal is incapable of severe toil."

[13] Or, "Nor will courage compensate for unsound feet. The toil and
moil will be too great to endure, and owing to the pains in his
feet he will in the end give in."

Similarly many different modes of hunting a line of scent are to be
seen in the same species of hound.[14] One dog as soon as he has found
the trail will go along without sign or symptom to show that he is on
the scent; another will vibrate his ears only and keep his tail[15]
perfectly still; while a third has just the opposite propensity: he
will keep his ears still and wag with the tip of his tail. Others draw
their ears together, and assuming a solemn air,[16] drop their tails,
tuck them between their legs, and scour along the line. Many do
nothing of the sort.[17] They tear madly about, babbling round the
line when they light upon it, and senselessly trampling out the scent.
Others again will make wide circuits and excursions; either
forecasting the line,[18] they overshoot it and leave the hare itself
behind, or every time they run against the line they fall to
conjecture, and when they catch sight of the quarry are all in a
tremor,[19] and will not advance a step till they see the creature
begin to stir.

[14] Or, "Also the same dogs will exhibit many styles of coursing: one
set as soon as they have got the trail pursue it without a sign,
so there is no means of finding out that the animal is on the

[15] "Stern."

[16] Or "with their noses solemnly fixed on the ground and sterns

[17] Or, "have quite a different action"; "exhibit quite another

[18] i.e. "they cast forwards to make short cuts," of skirters too
lazy to run the line honestly.

[19] Reading {tremousi}, "fall a-trembling"; al. {atremousi}, stand
stock-still"; i.e. are "dwellers."

A particular sort may be described as hounds which, when hunting or
pursuing, run forward with a frequent eye to the discoveries of the
rest of the pack, because they have no confidence in themselves.
Another sort is over-confident--not letting the cleverer members of
the pack go on ahead, but keeping them back with nonsensical clamour.
Others will wilfully hug every false scent,[20] and with a tremendous
display of eagerness, whatever they chance upon, will take the lead,
conscious all the while they are playing false;[21] whilst another
sort again will behave in a precisely similar style out of sheer
ignorance.[22] It is a poor sort of hound which will not leave a stale
line[23] for want of recognising the true trail. So, too, a hound that
cannot distinguish the trail leading to a hare's form, and scampers
over that of a running hare, hot haste, is no thoroughbred.[24]

[20] Al. "seem to take pleasure in fondling every lie."

[21] Or, "fully aware themselves that the whole thing is a make-

[22] Or, "do exactly the same thing because they do not know any

[23] {ek ton trimmon}. Lit. "keep away from beaten paths," and
commonly of footpaths, but here apparently of the hare's habitual
"run," not necessarily lately traversed, still less the true line.

[24] Lit. "A dog who on the one hand ignores the form track, and on
the other tears swiftly over a running track, is not a well-bred
dog." Al. {ta eunaia}, "traces of the form"; {ta dromaia}, "tracks
of a running hare." See Sturz. s.v. {dromaios}.

When it comes to the actual chase, some hounds will show great ardour
at first starting, but presently give up from weakness of spirit.
Others will run in too hastily[25] and then balk; and go hopelessly
astray, as if they had lost the sense of hearing altogether.

[25] So L. & S., {upotheousin} = "cut in before" the rest of the pack
and over-run the scent. Al. "flash in for a time, and then lose
the scent."

Many a hound will give up the chase and return from mere distaste for
hunting,[26] and not a few from pure affection for mankind. Others
with their clamorous yelping on the line do their best to deceive, as
if true and false were all one to them.[27] There are others that will
not do that, but which in the middle of their running,[28] should they
catch the echo of a sound from some other quarter, will leave their
own business and incontinently tear off towards it.[29] The fact
is,[30] they run on without clear motive, some of them; others taking
too much for granted; and a third set to suit their whims and fancies.
Others simply play at hunting; or from pure jealousy, keep questing
about beside the line, continually rushing along and tumbling over one

[26] Or, {misotheron}, "out of antipathy to the quarry." For
{philanthropon} cf. Pollux, ib. 64; Hermog. ap. L. Dind.

[27] Or, "unable apparently to distinguish false from true." See
Sturz, s.v. {poieisthai}. Cf. Plut. "de Exil." 6. Al. "Gaily
substituting false for true."

[28] "In the heat of the chase."

[29] "Rush to attack it."

[30] The fact is, there are as many different modes of following up
the chase almost as there are dogs. Some follow up the chase
{asaphos}, indistinctly; some {polu upolambanousai}, with a good
deal of guess-work; others again {doxazousai}, without conviction,
insincerely; others, {peplasmenos}, out of mere pretence, pure
humbug, make-believe, or {phthoneros}, in a fit of jealousy,
{ekkunousi}, are skirters; al. {ekkinousi}, Sturz, quit the scent.

[31] Al. "unceasingly tearing along, around, and about it."

The majority of these defects are due to natural disposition, though
some must be assigned no doubt to want of scientific training. In
either case such hounds are useless, and may well deter the keenest
sportsman from the hunting field.[32]

[32] Or, "Naturally, dogs like these damp the sportsman's ardour, and
indeed are enough to sicken him altogether with the chase."

The characters, bodily and other, exhibited by the finer specimens of
the same breed,[33] I will now set forth.

[33] Or, "The features, points, qualities, whether physical or other,
which characterise the better indidivuals." But what does Xenophon
mean by {tou autou genous}?


In the first place, this true type of hound should be of large build;
and, in the next place, furnished with a light small head, broad and
flat in the snout,[1] well knit and sinewy, the lower part of the
forehead puckered into strong wrinkles; eyes set well up[2] in the
head, black and bright; forehead large and broad; the depression
between the eyes pronounced;[3] ears long[4] and thin, without hair on
the under side; neck long and flexible, freely moving on its pivot;[5]
chest broad and fairly fleshy; shoulder-blades detached a little from
the shoulders;[6] the shin-bones of the fore-legs should be small,
straight, round, stout and strong; the elbows straight; ribs[7] not
deep all along, but sloped away obliquely; the loins muscular, in size
a mean between long and short, neither too flexible nor too stiff;[8]
flanks, a mean between large and small; the hips (or "couples")
rounded, fleshy behind, not tied together above, but firmly knitted on
the inside;[9] the lower or under part of the belly[10] slack, and the
belly itself the same, that is, hollow and sunken; tail long,
straight, and pointed;[11] thighs (i.e. hams) stout and compact;
shanks (i.e. lower thighs) long, round, and solid; hind-legs much
longer than the fore-legs, and relatively lean; feet round and cat-

[1] Pollux, v. 7; Arrian, "Cyn." iv.

[2] {meteora}, prominent. ?See Sturz, s.v.

[3] {tas diakriseis batheias}, lit. "with a deep frontal sinus."

[4] Reading {makra}, or if {mikra}, "small."

[5] Al. "well rounded."

[6] "Shoulder blades standing out a little from the shoulders"; i.e.

[7] i.e. "not wholly given up to depth, but well curved"; depth is not
everything unless the ribs be also curved. Schneid. cf. Ov. "Met."
iii. 216, "et substricta gerens Sicyonius ilia Ladon," where the
poet is perhaps describing a greyhound, "chyned like a bream." See
Stonehenge, pp. 21, 22. Xenophon's "Castorians" were more like the
Welsh harrier in build, I presume.

[8] Or, "neither soft and spongy nor unyielding." See Stoneh., p. 23.

[9] "Drawn up underneath it," lit. "tucked up."

[10] Al. "flank," "flanks themselves."

[11] Or, as we should say, "stern." See Pollux, v. 59; Arrian, v. 9.

[12] See Stonehenge, p. 24 foll.

Hounds possessed of these points will be strong in build, and at the
same time light and active; they will have symmetry at once and pace;
a bright, beaming expression; and good mouths.

In following up scent,[13] see how they show their mettle by rapidly
quitting beaten paths, keeping their heads sloping to the ground,
smiling, as it were to greet the trail; see how they let their ears
drop, how they keep moving their eyes to and fro quickly, flourishing
their sterns.[14] Forwards they should go with many a circle towards
the hare's form,[15] steadily guided by the line, all together. When
they are close to the hare itself, they will make the fact plain to
the huntsman by the quickened pace at which they run, as if they would
let him know by their fury, by the motion of head and eyes, by rapid
changes of gait and gesture,[16] now casting a glance back and now
fixing their gaze steadily forward to the creature's hiding-place,[17]
by twistings and turnings of the body, flinging themselves backwards,
forwards, and sideways, and lastly, by the genuine exaltation of
spirits, visible enough now, and the ecstasy of their pleasure, that
they are close upon the quarry.

[13] Lit. "Let them follow up the trail."

[14] Lit. "fawning and wagging their tails."

[15] Lit. "bed" or "lair."

[16] Or, "by rapid shiftings of attitude, by looks now thrown backward
and now forwards to the . . ." Reading {kai apo ton anablemmaton
kai emblemmaton ton epi tas kathedras tou l.}, or if with L. D.,
{kai apo ton a. kai emblemmaton eis ton ulen kai anastremmaton ton
epi tas k.}, transl. "now looking back at the huntsman and now
staring hard into the covert, and again right-about-face in the
direction of the hare's sitting-place."

[17] Lit. "form"; "the place where puss is seated."

Once she is off, the pack should pursue with vigour.[18] They must not
relax their hold, but with yelp and bark full cry insist on keeping
close and dogging puss at every turn. Twist for twist and turn for
turn, they, too, must follow in a succession of swift and brilliant
bursts, interrupted by frequent doublings; while ever and again they
give tongue and yet again till the very welkin rings.[19] One thing
they must not do, and that is, leave the scent and return crestfallen
to the huntsman.[20]

[18] Lit. "let them follow up the chase vigorously, and not relax,
with yelp and bark."

[19] {dikaios}, Sturz, "non temere"; "and not without good reason."
Al. "a right good honest salvo of barks."

[20] Lit. "Let them not hark back to join the huntsman, and desert the

Along with this build and method of working, hounds should possess
four points. They should have pluck, sound feet, keen noses, and sleek
coats. The spirited, plucky hound will prove his mettle by refusing to
leave the chase, however stifling the weather; a good nose is shown by
his capacity for scenting the hare on barren and dry ground exposed to
the sun, and that when the orb is at the zenith;[21] soundness of foot
in the fact that the dog may course over mountains during the same
season, and yet his feet will not be torn to pieces; and a good coat
means the possession of light, thick, soft, and silky hair.[22]

[21] i.e. "at mid-day"; or, "in the height of summer"; al. "during the
dog-days"; "at the rising of the dog-star."

[22] See Pollux, ib. 59; Arrian, vi. 1.

As to the colour proper for a hound,[23] it should not be simply
tawny, nor absolutely black or white, which is not a sign of breeding,
but monotonous--a simplicity suggestive of the wild animal.[24]
Accordingly the red dog should show a bloom of white hair about the
muzzle, and so should the black, the white commonly showing red. On
the top of the thigh the hair should be straight and thick, as also on
the loins and on the lower portion of the stern, but of a moderate
thickness only on the upper parts.

[23] See Stonehenge, p. 25; Darwin, op. cit. ii. 109.

[24] But see Pollux, ib. 65, who apparently read {gennaion touto to
aploun alla therides}; al. Arrian, vi. See Jaques de Fouilloux,
"La Venerie" (ap. E. Talbot, "Oeuvres completes de Xenophon,"
traduction, ii. 318).

There is a good deal to be said for taking your hounds frequently into
the mountains; not so much for taking them on to cultivated land.[25]
And for this reason: the fells offer facilities for hunting and for
following the quarry without interruption, while cultivated land,
owing to the number of cross roads and beaten paths, presents
opportunities for neither. Moreover, quite apart from finding a hare,
it is an excellent thing to take your dogs on to rough ground. It is
there they will become sound of foot, and in general the benefit to
their physique in working over such ground will amply repay you.[26]

[25] Or, "pretty often, and less frequently over."

[26] Lit. "they must be benefited in their bodies generally by working
over such ground."

They should be taken out in summer till mid-day; in winter from
sunrise to sundown; in autumn any time except mid-day; and in spring
any time before evening. These times will hit the mean of

[27] Or, "You may count on a moderate temperature at these times."


The tracks of hares are long in winter owing to the length of night,
and short for the opposite reason during summer. In winter, however,
their scent does not lie in early morning, when the rime is on the
ground, or earth is frozen.[1] The fact is, hoar frost by its own
inherent force absorbs its heat, whilst black frost freezes it.[2]

[1] Or, "when there is hoar frost or black frost" (lit. "ice").

[2] Or, "the ice congeals them," "encases as it were in itself the
heat," i.e. the warm scent; aliter, "causes the tracks to freeze
at the top."

The hounds, moreover, with their noses nipped by the cold,[3] cannot
under these conditions[4] use their sense of smell, until the sun or
the mere advance of day dissolves the scent. Then the noses of the
hounds recover, and the scent of the trail begins to exhale itself

[3] Reading {malkiosai}, Cobet, "N. Lect." 131. "Mnem." 3, 306;
Rutherford, "N. Phry." p. 135. = "nipped, or numb with cold." For
vulg. {malakiosai} = "whose noses are tender," see Lenz ad loc.

[4] Lit. "when the tracks are in this case."

[5] As it evaporates. Aliter, "is perceptible to smell as it is wafted
by the breeze to greet them."

Heavy dews also will obliterate scent by its depressing effect;[6] and
rains occurring after long intervals, while bringing out odours from
the earth,[7] will render the soil bad for scent until it dries again.
Southerly winds will not improve scent--being moisture-laden they
disperse it; whereas northerly winds, provided the scent has not been
previously destroyed, tend to fix and preserve it. Rains will drown
and wash it away, and so will drizzle; while the moon by her heat[8]--
especially a full moon--will dull its edge; in fact the trail is
rarest--most irregular[9]--at such times, for the hares in their joy
at the light with frolic and gambol[10] literally throw themselves
high into the air and set long intervals between one footfall and
another. Or again, the trail will become confused and misleading when
crossed by that of foxes.[11]

[6] Cf. Plut. "Q. Nat." 917 F, ap. Schneid.

[7] Cf. Theophr. "C. Pl." xix. 5, 6; xx. 4.

[8] Reading {to thermo}. Aristot. "Gen. An." iv. 10. Zeune cf. Plut.
"Symp." iii. 10, 657. Macrob. "Sat." vii. 16; Athen. 276 E. Al.
{to thermon}. See Lenz ad loc., "the moon, especially a full moon,
dulls the heat (or odour) of the tracks."

[9] Cf. Poll. v. 67; ib. 66.

[10] "Playing with one another, in the rivalry of sport."

[11] Lit. "when foxes have gone through before."

Spring with its tempered mildness is the season to render the scent
clear, except where possibly the soil, bursting with flowers, may
mislead the pack, by mingling the perfume of flowers with the true
scent.[12] In summer scent is thin and indistinct; the earth being
baked through and through absorbs the thinner warmth inherent in the
trail, while the dogs themselves are less keen scented at that season
through the general relaxation of their bodies.[13] In autumn scent
lies clean, all the products of the soil by that time, if cultivable,
being already garnered, or, if wild, withered away with age, so that
the odours of various fruits are no longer a disturbing cause through
blowing on to the line.[14] In winter, summer, and autumn, moreover,
as opposed to spring, the trail of a hare lies for the most part in
straight lines, but in the earlier season it is highly complicated,
for the little creatures are perpetually coupling and particularly at
this season, so that of necessity as they roam together for the
purpose they make the line intricate as described.

[12] i.e. "with the scent into a composite and confusing whole."

[13] Or, "owing to the relaxed condition of their frames."

[14] Lit. "The fruity odours do not, as commingling currents, injure
the trail."

The scent of the line leading to the hare's form lies longer than that
of a hare on the run, and for this reason: in proceeding to her form
the hare keeps stopping,[15] the other is in rapid motion;
consequently, the ground in one case is thickly saturated all along
with scent, in the other sparsely and superficially. So, too, scent
lies better in woody than on barren ground, since, whilst running to
and fro or sitting up, the creature comes in contact with a variety of
objects. Everything that earth produces or bears upon her bosom will
serve as puss's resting-place. These are her screen, her couch, her
canopy;[16] apart, it may be, or close at hand, or at some middle
point, among them she lies ensconced. At times, with an effort taxing
all her strength, she will spring across to where some jutting point
or clinging undergrowth on sea or freshet may attract her.

[15] "The form tracks are made by the hare leisurely proceeding and
stopping at times; those on the run quickly."

[16] Lit. "Anything and everything will serve to couch under, or
above, within, beside, now at some distance off, and now hard by,
and now midway between."

The couching hare[17] constructs her form for the most part in
sheltered spots during cold weather and in shady thickets during the
hot season, but in spring and autumn on ground exposed to the sun. Not
so the running[18] animal, for the simple reason that she is scared
out of her wits by the hounds.[19]

[17] "The form-frequenting hare."

[18] "Her roving congener," i.e. the hunted hare that squats. The
distinction drawn is between the form chosen by the hare for her
own comfort, and her squatting-place to escape the hounds when

[19] i.e. "the dogs have turned her head and made her as mad as a
March hare."

In reclining the hare draws up the thighs under the flanks,[20]
putting its fore-legs together, as a rule, and stretching them out,
resting its chin on the tips of its feet. It spreads its ears out over
the shoulder-blades, and so shelters the tender parts of its body; its
hair serves as a protection,[21] being thick and of a downy texture.
When awake it keeps on blinking its eyelids,[22] but when asleep the
eyelids remain wide open and motionless, and the eyes rigidly fixed;
during sleep it moves its nostrils frequently, if awake less often.

[20] Pollux, v. 72.

[21] Or, "as a waterproof."

[22] So Pollux, ib.

When the earth is bursting with new verdure,[23] fields and farm-lands
rather than mountains are their habitat.[24] When tracked by the
huntsman their habit is everywhere to await approach, except only in
case of some excessive scare during the night, in which case they will
be on the move.

[23] "When the ground teems with vegetation."

[24] Or, "they frequent cultivated lands," etc.

The fecundity of the hare is extraordinary. The female, having
produced one litter, is on the point of producing a second when she is
already impregnated for a third.[25]

[25] Re hyper-foetation cf. Pollux, v. 73, ap. Schneid.; Herod. iii.
108; Aristot. "H. A." iv. 5; Erastosthenes, "Catasterism," 34;
Aelian, "V. H." ii. 12; Plin. "N. H." vii. 55.

The scent of the leveret lies stronger[26] than that of the grown
animal. While the limbs are still soft and supple they trail full
length on the ground. Every true sportsman, however, will leave these
quite young creatures to roam freely.[27] "They are for the goddess."
Full-grown yearlings will run their first chase very swiftly,[28] but
they cannot keep up the pace; in spite of agility they lack strength.

[26] Cf. Pollux, v. 74.

[27] {aphiasi}, cf. Arrian, xxii. 1, "let them go free"; Aesch. "P.
V." 666; Plat. "Prot." 320 A.

[28] Or, "will make the running over the first ring."

To find the trail you must work the dogs downwards through the
cultivated lands, beginning at the top. Any hares that do not come
into the tilled districts must be sought in the meadows and the
glades; near rivulets, among the stones, or in woody ground. If the
quarry makes off,[29] there should be no shouting, that the hounds may
not grow too eager and fail to discover the line. When found by the
hounds, and the chase has begun, the hare will at times cross streams,
bend and double and creep for shelter into clefts and crannied
lurking-places;[30] since they have not only the hounds to dread, but
eagles also; and, so long as they are yearlings, are apt to be carried
off in the clutches of these birds, in the act of crossing some slope
or bare hillside. When they are bigger they have the hounds after them
to hunt them down and make away with them. The fleetest-footed would
appear to be those of the low marsh lands. The vagabond kind[31]
addicted to every sort of ground are difficult to hunt, for they know
the short cuts, running chiefly up steeps or across flats, over
inequalities unequally, and downhill scarcely at all.

[29] Or, "shifts her ground."

[30] Or, "in their terror not of dogs only, but of eagles, since up to
a year old they are liable to be seized by these birds of prey
while crossing some bottom or bare ground, while if bigger . . ."

[31] {oi . . . planetai}, see Ael. op. cit. xiii. 14.

Whilst being hunted they are most visible in crossing ground that has
been turned up by the plough, if, that is, they have any trace of red
about them, or through stubble, owing to reflection. So, too, they are
visible enough on beaten paths or roads, presuming these are fairly
level, since the bright hue of their coats lights up by contrast. On
the other hand, they are not noticeable when they seek the cover of
rocks, hills, screes, or scrub, owing to similarity of colour. Getting
a fair start of the hounds, they will stop short, sit up and rise
themselves up on their haunches,[32] and listen for any bark or other
clamour of the hounds hard by; and when the sound reaches them, off
and away they go. At times, too, without hearing, merely fancying or
persuading themselves that they hear the hounds, they will fall to
skipping backwards and forwards along the same trail,[33]
interchanging leaps, and interlacing lines of scent,[34] and so make
off and away.

[32] Cf. the German "Mannerchen machen," "play the mannikin." Shaks.
"V. and A." 697 foll.

[33] Passage imitated by Arrian, xvi. 1.

[34] Lit. "imprinting track upon track," but it is better perhaps to
avoid the language of woodcraft at this point.

These animals will give the longest run when found upon the open,
there being nothing there to screen the view; the shortest run when
started out of thickets, where the very darkness is an obstacle.

There are two distinct kinds of hare--the big kind, which is somewhat
dark in colour[35] with a large white patch on the forehead; and the
smaller kind, which is yellow-brown with only a little white. The tail
of the former kind is variegated in a circle; of the other, white at
the side.[36] The eyes of the large kind are slightly inclined to
gray;[37] of the smaller, bluish. The black about the tips of the ears
is largely spread in the one, but slightly in the other species. Of
these two species, the smaller is to be met with in most of the
islands, desert and inhabited alike. As regards numbers they are more
abundant in the islands than on the mainland; the fact being that in
most of these there are no foxes to attack and carry off either the
grown animal or its young; nor yet eagles, whose habitat is on lofty
mountains rather than the lower type of hills which characterise the
islands.[38] Again, sportsmen seldom visit the desert islands, and as
to those which are inhabited, the population is but thinly scattered
and the folk themselves not addicted to the chase; while in the case
of the sacred islands,[39] the importation of dogs is not allowed. If,
then, we consider what a small proportion of hares existent at the
moment will be hunted down and again the steady increase of the stock
through reproduction, the enormous numbers will not be surprising.[40]

[35] {epiperknoi}. Cf. Pollux, v. 67 foll., "mottled with black."

[36] Reading {paraseiron}, perhaps "mottled"; vulg. {paraseron}. Al.
{parasuron}, "ecourtee," Gail.

[37] {upokharopoi}, "subfulvi," Sturz, i.e. "inclined to tawny"; al.
"fairly lustrous." Cf. {ommata moi glaukas kharopotera pollon
'Athanas}, Theocr. xx. 25; but see Aristot. "H. A." i. 10; "Gen.
An." v. 1. 20.

[38] Lit. "and those on the islands are for the most part of low

[39] e.g. Delos. See Strab. x. 456; Plut. "Mor." 290 B; and so Lagia,
Plin. iv. 12.

[40] Lit. "As the inhabitants hunt down but a few of them, these
constantly being added to by reproduction, there must needs be a
large number of them."

The hare has not a keen sight for many reasons. To begin with, its
eyes are set too prominently on the skull, and the eyelids are clipped
and blear,[41] and afford no protection to the pupils.[42] Naturally
the sight is indistinct and purblind.[43] Along with which, although
asleep, for the most part it does not enjoy visual repose.[44] Again,
its very fleetness of foot contributes largely towards dim-
sightedness. It can only take a rapid glance at things in passing, and
then off before perceiving what the particular object is.[45]

[41] Or, "defective."

[42] Al. "against the sun's rays."

[43] Or, "dull and mal-concentrated." See Pollux, v. 69.

[44] i.e. "its eyes are not rested, because it sleeps with them open."

[45] i.e. "it goes so quick, that before it can notice what the
particular object is, it must avert its gaze to the next, and then
the next, and so on."

The alarm, too, of those hounds for ever at its heels pursuing
combines with everything[46] to rob the creature of all prescience; so
that for this reason alone it will run its head into a hundred dangers
unawares, and fall into the toils. If it held on its course
uphill,[47] it would seldom meet with such a fate; but now, through
its propensity to circle round and its attachment to the place where
it was born and bred, it courts destruction. Owing to its speed it is
not often overtaken by the hounds by fair hunting.[48] When caught, it
is the victim of a misfortune alien to its physical nature.

[46] {meta touton}, sc. "with these other causes"; al. "with the
dogs"; i.e. "like a second nightmare pack."

[47] Reading {orthion}, or if {orthon}, transl. "straight on."

[48] {kata podas}, i.e. "by running down"; cf. "Mem." II. vi. 9;
"Cyrop." I. vi. 40, re two kinds of hound: the one for scent, the
other for speed.

The fact is, there is no other animal of equal size which is at all
its match in speed. Witness the conformation of its body: the light,
small drooping head [narrow in front];[49] the [thin cylindrical][50]
neck, not stiff and of a moderate length; straight shoulder-blades,
loosely slung above; the fore-legs attached to them, light and set
close together;[51] the undistended chest;[52] the light symmetrical
sides; the supple, well-rounded loins; the fleshy buttocks; the
somewhat sunken flanks;[53] the hips, well rounded, plump at every
part, but with a proper interval above; the long and solid thighs, on
the outside tense and not too flabby on the inside; the long, stout
lower legs or shanks; the fore-feet, exceedingly pliant, thin, and
straight; the hind-feet firm and broad; front and hind alike totally
regardless of rough ground; the hind-legs far longer than the fore,
inclined outwards somewhat; the fur[54] short and light.

[49] Reading {katophere [stenen ek tou emprosthen]}. See Lenz ad loc.
pp. 23, 24. Pollux, v. 69.

[50] Reading {[lepton, periphere]}.

[51] {sugkola}, al. "compactly knit."

[52] Lit. {ou barutonon}, "not deep sounding" = {ou sarkodes}, Pollux,

[53] Reading {lagonas ugras lagaras ikanos}.

[54] {trikhona}, "the coat."

I say an animal so happily constructed must needs be strong and
pliant; the perfection of lightness and agility. If proof of this
lightness and agility be needed, here is a fact in illustration. When
proceeding quietly, its method of progression is by leaps; no one ever
saw or is likely to see a hare walking. What it does is to place the
hind-feet in front of the fore-feet and outside them, and so to run,
if running one can call it. The action prints itself plainly on snow.
The tail is not conducive to swiftness of pace, being ill adapted by
its stumpiness to act as a rudder to direct the body. The animal has
to do this by means of one or other ear;[55] as may be seen, when she
is on the point of being caught by the hounds.[56] At that instant you
may see her drop and shoot out aslant one of her ears towards the
point of attack, and then, apparently throwing her full weight on that
pivot, turn sharp round and in a moment leave her assailants far

[55] So Ael. "N. A." xiii. 14.

[56] Pollux, v. 71. For punctuation, see Lenz ad loc. p. 25.

So winsome a creature is it, that to note the whole of the proceedings
from the start--the quest by scent, the find, the pack in pursuit full
cry, the final capture--a man might well forget all other loves.[57]

[57] See Arrian, xvi. 6, his criticism. Schneid. cf. Plut. "Mor." 1096
C. Hermog. iii. 319, 11, ed. Walz.

Here it should be added that the sportsman, who finds himself on
cultivated lands, should rigidly keep his hands off the fruits of the
season, and leave springs and streams alone. To meddle with them is
ugly and base, not to speak of the bad example of lawlessness set to
the beholder. During the close season[58] all hunting gear should be
taken down and put away.

[58] Al. "wahrend der Jagdferien," Lenz; "on Sundays," as we might
say. See some remarks on S. 34 in "Hellenica Essays," "Xenophon,"
p. 349.


The equipment of the dogs consists of collar straps, leashes, and
surcingles,[1] and the collar should be broad and soft so as not to
rub the dog's coat; the leash should have a noose for the hand,[2] and
nothing else. The plan of making collar and leash all in one is a
clumsy contrivance for keeping a hound in check.[3] The surcingle
should be broad in the thongs so as not to gall the hound's flanks,
and with spurs stitched on to the leather, to preserve the purity of
the breed.[4]

[1] {stelmoniai}, al. {telamonias}, broad belts or girths, corselets.
Pollux, v. 55.

[2] Pollux, v. 56.

[3] Lit. "since those who make the collar out of the leash do not keep
hold (al. take care) of their hounds well."

[4] See "A Day with Xenophon's Harriers," "Macmillan's Mag." Jan.
1895, p. 183.

As to taking the hounds out to hunt, no hound ought to be taken out
which refuses its food, a conclusive proof that the animal is ailing.
Nor again, when a violent wind is blowing, for three good reasons: the
scent will not lie, the hounds cannot smell,[5] neither the nets nor
hayes will stand. In the absence, however, of any of these hindrances,
take them out every other day.[6] Do not let your hounds get into the
habit of hunting foxes. Nothing is so ruinous; and just at the moment
when you want them, they will not be forthcoming. On the other hand,
vary the hunting-ground in taking them out; which will give the pack a
wider experience in hunting and their master a better knowledge of the
country. The start should be early in the morning, unless the scent is
to fail the hounds entirely.[7] The dilatory sportsman robs the pack
of finding and himself of profit.[8] Subtle and delicate by nature,
scent will not last all day.

[5] "You cannot trust the hound's nose."

[6] "Every third day," {dia trites tes emeras}.

[7] Lit. "in order that they may not be deprived of following up the

[8] Or, "a late start means the hounds will be robbed of a find and
the huntsman of his reward."

The net-keeper should wear a light costume. His business is to fix the
nets about the runs,[9] paths, bends, and hollows, and darksome spots,
brooks, dry torrents, or perennial mountain streams. These are the
places to which the hare chiefly betakes itself for refuge; though
there are of course endless others. These, and the side passages into,
and exits from them, whether well marked or ill defined, are to be
stopped just as day breaks; not too early, so that, in case the line
of nets be in the neighbourhood of covert to be searched for game,[10]
the animal may not be scared at hearing the thud close by.[11] If, on
the contrary, there should be a wide gap between the two points, there
is less to hinder making the net lines clear and clean quite early, so
that nothing may cling to them. The keeper must fix the forked props
slantwise, so as to stand the strain when subjected to tension. He
must attach the nooses equally on the points; and see that the props
are regularly fixed, raising the pouch towards the middle;[12] and
into the slip-rope he must insert a large, long stone, to prevent the
net from stretching in the opposite direction, when it has got the
hare inside. He will fix the rows of poles with stretches of net
sufficiently high to prevent the creature leaping over.[13] In
hunting, "no procrastination" should be the motto, since it is
sportsmanlike at once and a proof of energy by all means to effect a
capture quickly. He will stretch the larger (haye) nets upon level
spaces; and proceed to plant the road nets upon roads and at
converging points of tracks and footpaths;[14] he must attach the
border-ropes to the ground, draw together the elbows or side ends of
the nets, fix the forked props between the upper meshes,[15] adjust
the skirting ropes upon the tops, and close up gaps.

[9] See Pollux, v. 35.

[10] Al. "of the game to be hunted up."

[11] {omou}, "e propinquo." Schn. cf. "Cyrop." III. i. 2; VI. iii. 7.

[12] Or, "giving the funnel or belly a lift in the middle."
{kekruphalon}, Pollux, v. 31.

[13] This sentence according to Lenz is out of its place, referring
solely to the haye nets; the order of the words should be {ta de
diktua teineto en apedois stoikhizeto de, k.t.l.} If so, transl.
"He should stretch the hayes on level ground and fix, etc.; The
road nets should be planted . . . etc."

[14] Al. "at convenient points or where paths converge." See Schneid.
s.v. {sumpheronta}.

[15] {sardonion}, Pollux, v. 31. Al. "fixing the stakes between the

Then he will play sentinel and go his rounds; if a prop or funnel
wants supporting, he will set it up; and when the hare comes with the
hounds behind her he will urge her forwards to the toils, with shout
and halloa thundering at her heels. When she is fairly entangled, he
is to calm the fury of the hounds, without touching them, by soothing,
encouraging tones. He is also to signal to the huntsman with a shout,
that the quarry is taken, or has escaped this side or that, or that he
has not seen it, or where he last caught sight of it.[16]

[16] Or, "'caught,' 'escaped,' (this side or that), 'not seen,'

The sportsman himself should sally forth in a loose, light hunting
dress,[17] and footgear[18] to match; he should carry a stout stick in
his hand, the net-keeper following. They should proceed to the
hunting-field in silence, to prevent the hare, if by chance there
should be one close by, from making off at the sound of voices. When
they have reached the covert, he will tie the hounds to trees, each
separately, so that they can be easily slipped from the leash, and
proceed to fix the nets, funnel and hayes, as above described. When
that is done, and while the net-keeper mounts guard, the master
himself will take the hounds and sally forth to rouse the game.[19]
Then with prayer and promise to Apollo and to Artemis, our Lady of the
Chase,[20] to share with them the produce of spoil, he lets slip a
single hound, the cunningest at scenting of the pack. [If it be
winter, the hour will be sunrise, or if summer, before day-dawn, and
in the other seasons at some hour midway.] As soon as the hound has
unravelled the true line[21] he will let slip another; and then, if
these carry on the line, at rapid intervals he will slip the others
one by one; and himself follow, without too great hurry,[22]
addressing each of the dogs by name every now and then, but not too
frequently, for fear of over-exciting them before the proper moment.

[17] {emelemenen} = neglige, plain, unpretentious.

[18] Pollux, v. 18.

[19] Al. "intent on the working of the pack."

[20] "To thee thy share of this chase, Lord Apollo; and thine to thee,
O Huntress Queen!"

[21] Or, "carries a line straight away from the many that interlace."

[22] Or, "without forcing the pace."

Meanwhile the hounds are busily at work; onwards they press with eager
spirit, disentangling the line, double or treble, as the case may
be.[23] To and fro they weave a curious web,[24] now across, now
parallel with the line,[25] whose threads are interlaced, here
overlapped, and here revolving in a circle; now straight, now crooked;
here close, there rare; at one time clear enough, at another dimly
owned. Past one another the hounds jostle--tails waving fast, ears
dropt, and eyes flashing.

[23] "Discovering two or three scents, as the case may be";
"unravelling her line, be it single or double."

[24] {prophoreisthai} = {diazesthai}, Pollux, vii. 52. Schneid. cf.
Aristoph. "Birds," 4, {apoloumeth' allos ten odon prophoroumeno}.

Still up and down, old sinner, must we pace;
'Twill kill us both, this vain, long, wearing race (Kennedy).

[25] See Arrian, xx. 2.

But when they are really close to the hare they will make the matter
plain to the huntsman by various signs--the quivering of their bodies
backwards and forwards, sterns and all; the ardour meaning business;
the rush and emulaton; the hurry-scurry to be first; the patient
following-up of the whole pack; at one moment massed together, and at
another separated; and once again the steady onward rush. At last they
have reached the hare's form, and are in the act to spring upon her.
But she on a sudden will start up and bring about her ears the barking
clamour of the whole pack as she makes off full speed. Then as the
chase grows hot, the view halloo! of the huntsman may be heard: "So
ho, good hounds! that's she! cleverly now, good hounds! so ho, good
hounds!"[26] And so, wrapping his cloak[27] about his left arm, and
snatching up his club, he joins the hounds in the race after the hare,
taking care not to get in their way,[28] which would stop
proceedings.[29] The hare, once off, is quickly out of sight of her
pursuers; but, as a rule, will make a circuit back to the place where
she was found.[30]

[26] Reading {io kunes, io kunes, sophos ge o kunes, kalos ge o
kunes}. Al. {io kunes, io kakos} = "To her, dogs! that won't do!"
"Ho, ho, Hunde! Ho, ho, falsch! Recht so, Hunde! schon so, Hunde!"

[27] {o ampekhetai}, "the shawl or plaid which he carries on his
shoulders." See Pollux, v. 10.

[28] "Not to head the chase." Sir Alex. Grant, "Xen." p. 167.

[29] {aporon}, "which would be awkward" (see Arrian, xxv. 8).

[30] "Where the nets are set," Sir A. Grant. See his comment, l.c.

He must shout then to the keeper, "Mark her, boy, mark her! hey, lad!
hey, lad!" and the latter will make known whether the hare is caught
or not. Supposing the hare to be caught in her first ring, the
huntsman has only to call in the hounds and beat up another. If not,
his business is to follow up the pack full speed, and not give in, but
on through thick and through thin, for toil is sweet. And if again
they chance upon her in the chevy,[31] his cheery shout will be heard
once more, "Right so! right so, hounds! forward on, good hounds!"

[31] {apantosi diokousai auton}, al. "come across the huntsman again."

But if the pack have got too long a start of him, and he cannot
overtake them, however eagerly he follows up the hunt--perhaps he has
altogether missed the chase, or even if they are ranging close and
giving tongue and sticking to the scent, he cannot see them--still as
he tears along he can interrogate the passer-by: "Hilloa there, have
you seen my hounds?" he shouts, and having at length ascertained their
whereabouts, if they are on the line, he will post himself close by,
and cheer them on, repeating turn and turn about the name of every
hound, and pitching the tone of his voice sharp or deep, soft or loud;
and besides all other familiar calls, if the chase be on a
hillside,[32] he can keep up their spirits with a constant "Well done,
good hounds! well done, good hounds! good hounds!" Or if any are at
fault, having overshot the line, he will call to them, "Back, hounds!
back, will you! try back!"

[32] Or, "if the chase sweeps over a mountain-side."

As soon as the hounds have got back to (where they missed) the
line,[33] he must cast them round, making many a circle to and fro;
and where the line fails, he should plant a stake[34] as a sign-post
to guide the eye, and so cast round the dogs from that point,[35] till
they have found the right scent, with coaxing and encouragement. As
soon as the line of scent is clear,[36] off go the dogs, throwing
themselves on to it, springing from side to side, swarming together,
conjecturing, and giving signs to one another, and taking bearings[37]
they will not mistake--helter-skelter off they go in pursuit. Once
they dart off along the line of scent thus hotly, the huntsman should
keep up but without hurrying, or out of zeal they will overshoot the
line. As soon as they are once more in close neighbourhood of the
hare, and once again have given their master clear indications of the
fact, then let him give what heed he can, she does not move off
farther in sheer terror of the hounds.

[33] {prosstosi}, al. "whenever they check."

[34] Al. (1) "take a stake or one of the poles as a sign-post," (2)
"draw a line on the ground."

[35] {suneirein}. Zeune cf. "Cyrop." VII. v. 6, "draw the dogs along
by the nets." Blane.

[36] "As the scent grows warmer," the translator in "Macmillan's Mag."
above referred to. Aristot. "H. A." ix. 44. 4.

[37] Lit. "fixing landmarks for themselves."

They meanwhile, with sterns wagging, tumbling and leaping over one
another's backs,[38] at intervals loudly giving tongue, and lifting up
their heads and peering into their master's face, as much as to say,
"There is no mistake about it this time,"[39] will presently of
themselves start the hare and be after her full cry, with bark and
clamour.[40] Thereupon, whether the hare falls into the toils of the
funnel net or rushes past outside or inside, whatever incident betide,
the net-keeper must with a shout proclaim the fact. Should the hare be
caught, the huntsman has only to begin looking for another; if not, he
must follow up the chase once more with like encouragement.

[38] Or, "whisking their tails and frisking wildly, and jostling
against one another, and leaping over one another at a great
rate." Al. "over one obstacle, and then another."

[39] Or, "this is the true line at last."

[40] Al. "with a crash of tongues."

When at length the hounds show symptoms of fatigue, and it is already
late in the day, the time has come for the huntsman to look for his
hare that lies dead-beat; nor must he wittingly leave any patch of
green or clod of earth untested.[41] Backwards and forwards he must
try and try again the ground,[42] to be sure that nothing has been
overlooked. The fact is, the little creature lies in a small compass,
and from fatigue and fear will not get up. As he leads the hounds on
he will cheer and encourage them, addressing with many a soft term the
docile creature, the self-willed, stubborn brute more rarely, and to a
moderate extent the hound of average capacity, till he either succeeds
in running down or driving into the toils some victim.[43] After which
he will pick up his nets, both small and large alike, giving every
hound a rub down, and return home from the hunting-field, taking care,
if it should chance to be a summer's noon, to halt a bit, so that the
feet of his hounds may not be blistered on the road.

[41] Lit. "anything which earth puts forth or bears upon her bosom."

[42] Or, "Many and many a cast back must he make."

[43] The famous stanzas in "Venus and Adonis" may fitly close this

And when thou hast on foot the purblind hare,
Mark the poor wretch, to overshoot his troubles
How he outruns the wind and with what care
He cranks and crosses with a thousand doubles:
The many musets through the which he goes
Are like a labyrinth to amaze his foes.

Sometimes he runs among a flock of sheep,
To make the cunning hounds mistake their smell,
And sometimes where earth-delving conies keep,
To stop the loud pursuers in their yell,
And sometimes sorteth with a herd of deer:
Danger deviseth shifts; wit waits on fear:

For there his smell with others being mingled,
The hot scent-snuffing hounds are driven to doubt,
Ceasing their clamorous cry till they have singled
With much ado the cold fault cleanly out:
Then do they spend their mouths: Echo replies,
As if another chase were in the skies.

By this, poor Wat, far off upon a hill,
Stands on his hinder legs with listening ear,
To hearken if his foes pursue him still:
Anon their loud alarums he doth hear;
And now his grief may be compared well
To one sore sick that hears the passing-bell.

Then shalt thou see the dew-bedabbled wretch
Turn, and return, indenting with the way;
Each envious brier his weary legs doth scratch,
Each shadow makes him stop, each murmur stay:
For misery is trodden on by many,
And being low never relieved by any.


For breeding purposes choose winter, and release the bitches from hard
work;[1] which will enable them to profit by repose and to produce a
fine progeny towards spring, since that season is the best to promote
the growth of the young dogs. The bitch is in heat for fourteen
days,[2] and the moment at which to put her to the male, with a view
to rapid and successful impregnation, is when the heat is passing off.
Choose a good dog for the purpose. When the bitch is ready to whelp
she should not be taken out hunting continuously, but at intervals
sufficient to avoid a miscarriage through her over-love of toil. The
period of gestation lasts for sixty days. When littered the puppies
should be left to ther own dam, and not placed under another bitch;
foster-nursing does not promote growth in the same way, whilst nothing
is so good for them as their own mother's milk and her breath,[3] and
the tenderness of her caresses.[4]

[1] Or, "Winter is the time at which to pair dogs for breeding, the
bitches to be released from hard work, so that with the repose so
secured they may produce a fine litter in spring."

[2] Lit. "this necessity holds." Cf. Aristot. "H. A." vi. 20; Arrian,
xxvii., xxxi. 3.

[3] Cf. Eur. "Tro." 753, {o khrotos edu pneuma}.

[4] Cf. Arrian, xxx. 2; Pollux, v. 50; Columella, vii. 12, 12, ap.

Presently, when the puppies are strong enough to roam about, they
should be given milk[5] for a whole year, along with what will form
their staple diet in the future, but nothing else. A heavy diet will
distort the legs of a young dog, engender disease in other limbs, and
the internal mechanism will get out of order.[6]

[5] See Arrian, xxxi.; Stonehenge, p. 264.

[6] Or, "the internal organs get wrong" ({adika}). Cf. "Memorabilia,"
IV. iv. 5.

They should have short names given them, which will be easy to call
out.[7] The following may serve as specimens:--Psyche, Pluck, Buckler,
Spigot, Lance, Lurcher, Watch, Keeper, Brigade, Fencer, Butcher,
Blazer, Prowess, Craftsman, Forester, Counsellor, Spoiler, Hurry,
Fury, Growler, Riot, Bloomer, Rome, Blossom, Hebe, Hilary, Jolity,
Gazer, Eyebright, Much, Force, Trooper, Bustle, Bubbler, Rockdove,
Stubborn, Yelp, Killer, Pele-mele, Strongboy, Sky, Sunbeam, Bodkin,
Wistful, Gnome, Tracks, Dash.[8]

[7] Cf. Arrian, xxxi. 2; Oppian, "Cyn," i. 443; ap. Schneid.

[8] The following is Xenophon's list:--

{Psukhe} = Soul
{Thumos} = Spirit
{Porpax} = Hasp of shield
{Sturax} = Spike of spear at the butt end
{Logkhe} = Lance
{Lokhos} = Ambush, or "Company"
{Phroura} = Watch
{Phulax} = Guard
{Taxis} = Order, Rank, Post, Brigade
{Xiphon} = Swordsman
{Phonax} = Slaughterer, cf. "King Death"
{Phlegon} = Blazer
{'Alke} = Prowess, Victory
{Teukhon} = Craftsman
{'Uleus} = Woodsman, "Dashwood"
{Medas} = Counsellor
{Porthon} = Spoiler, "Rob Roy"
{Sperkhon} = Hastener, "Rocket"
{'Orge} = Fury, Rage
{Bremon} = Growler, Roarer
{'Ubris} = Hybris, Riot, Insolence
{Thallon} = Blooming, "Gaudy"
{'Rome} = Strength, "Romeo"
{'Antheus} = Blossom
{'Eba} = Youth
{Getheus} = Gladsome
{Khara} = Joy
{Leusson} = Gazer
{Augo} = Daybeam
{Polus} = Much
{Bia} = Force
{Stikhon} = Stepping in rank and file
{Spoude} = Much ado
{Bruas} = Gusher
{Oinas} = (1) Vine, (2) Rockdove. See Aristot. "H. A." v. 13,
14; i. 3, 10; Ael. "N. A." iv. 58. = Columba livia =
rockdove, the colour of ripening grapes; al. {oinas} =
the vine.
{Sterros} = "Stiff," "King Sturdy"
{Krauge} = Clamour. Cf. Plat. "Rep." 607 B.
{Kainon} = Killer
{Turbas} = "Topsy-turvy"
{Sthenon} = Strong man
{Aither} = Ether
{'Aktis} = Ray of light
{Aikhme} = Spear-point
{Nors} = Clever (girl)
{Gnome} = Maxim
{Stibon} = Tracker
{'Orme} = Dash. So Arrian ("Cyn." viii. 5) named his favourite hound.

For other names see Herodian, {peri mon. l} (on monosyllables),
12. 7; "Corp. Inscr." iv. p. 184, n. 8319; Arrian, v. 6, xix.;
Colum. vii. 12, 13. According to Pollux, v. 47, Xenophon had a dog
named {ippokentauros} (cf. "Cyrop." IV. iii. 17).

The young hounds may be taken out to the chase at the age of eight
months[9] if bitches, or if males at the age of ten. They should not
be let loose on the trail of a hare sitting,[10] but should be kept
attached by long leashes and allowed to follow on a line while
scenting,[11] with free scope to run along the trail.[12]

[9] Cf. Pollux, v. 54; al. Arrian, xxv., xxvi.

[10] Pollux, v. 12.

[11] "The dogs that are trailing," Blane.

[12] See Stonehenge, "Entering of greyhound and deerhound, of
foxhounds and harriers," pp. 284, 285.

As soon as a hare is found, provided the young hounds have the right
points[13] for running, they should not be let loose straight off: the
huntsman should wait until the hare has got a good start and is out of
sight, then let the young hounds go.[14] The result of letting slip
young hounds, possessed of all the requisite points and full of
pluck,[15] is that the sight of the hare will make them strain too
violently and pull them to bits,[16] while their frames are as yet
unknit; a catastrophe against which every sportsman should strenuously
guard. If, on the other hand, the young hounds do not promise well for
running,[17] there is no harm in letting them go. From the start they
will give up all hope of striking the hare, and consequently escape
the injury in question.[18]

[13] For points see the same authority: the harrier, p. 59; the
foxhound, p. 54.

[14] See Arrian's comment and dissent, xxv. 4.

[15] Lit. "which are at once well shaped and have the spirit for the
chase in them."

[16] Al. "they will overstrain themselves with the hare in sight, and
break a blood-vessel." See Arrian, xxxi. 4, {regnuntai gar autais
ai lagones}.

[17] Or, "are defectively built for the chase."

[18] Or, "will not suffer such mishap."

As to the trail of a hare on the run, there is no harm in letting them
follow it up till they overtake her.[19] When the hare is caught the
carcass should be given to the young hounds to tear in pieces.[20]

[19] Perhaps read {eos an thelosi}, "as long as they choose." The MSS.
have {elthosi}.

[20] See Stonehenge, p. 287, "blooded, so as to make him understand
the nature of the scent"; ib. 284.

As soon as these young hounds refuse to stay close to the nets and
begin to scatter, they must be called back; till they have been
accustomed to find the hare by following her up; or else, if not
taught to quest for her (time after time) in proper style, they may
end by becoming skirters[21]--a bad education.[22]

[21] {ekkunoi}, cf. Arrian, xxv. 5.

[22] {poneron mathema}, ib. 9.

As long as they are pups, they should have their food given them near
the nets, when these are being taken up,[23] so that if from
inexperience they should lose their way on the hunting-field, they may
come back for it and not be altogether lost. In time they will be quit
of this instinct themselves,[24] when their hostile feeling towards
the animal is developed, and they will be more concerned about the
quarry than disposed to give their food a thought.[25]

[23] {anairontai} sc. {ai arkues}, see above, vi. 26.

[24] Or, "abandon the practice."

[25] See Stonehenge, p. 289 (another context): ". . . the desire for
game in a well-bred dog is much greater than the appetite for
food, unless the stomach has long been deprived of it."

As a rule, the master should give the dogs their food with his own
hand; since, however much the animal may be in want of food without
his knowing who is to blame for that, it is impossible to have his
hunger satisfied without his forming an affection for his

[26] Or, "If want in itself does not reveal to him the cause of his
suffering, to be given food when hungry for it will arouse in him
affection for the donor."


The time to track hares is after a fall of snow deep enough to conceal
the ground completely. As long as there are black patches intermixed,
the hare will be hard to find. It is true that outside these the
tracks will remain visible for a long time, when the snow comes down
with a north wind blowing, because the snow does not melt immediately;
but if the wind be mild with gleams of sunshine, they will not last
long, because the snow is quickly thawed. When it snows steadily and
without intermission there is nothing to be done; the tracks will be
covered up. Nor, again, if there be a strong wind blowing, which will
whirl and drift the snow about and obliterate the tracks. It will not
do to take the hounds into the field in that case;[1] since owing to
excessive frost the snow will blister[2] the feet and noses of the
dogs and destroy the hare's scent. Then is the time for the sportsman
to take the haye nets and set off with a comrade up to the hills, and
leave the cultivated lands behind; and when he has got upon the tracks
to follow up the clue. If the tracks are much involved, and he follows
them only to find himself back again ere along at the same place,[3]
he must make a series of circuits and sweep round the medley of
tracks, till he finds out where they really lead.[4]

[1] Lit. "I say it is no use setting out with dogs to this chase."

[2] {kaei}. Cf. Arrian, xiv. 5.

[3] Reading {ekonta} sc. {ton kunegeten . . .} or if {ekonta, kuklous}
[sc. {ta ikhne}], transl. "if the tracks are involved, doubling on
themselves and coming back eventually to the same place."

[4] Or, "where the end of the string is."

The hare makes many windings, being at a loss to find a resting-place,
and at the same time she is accustomed to deal subtly[5] in her method
of progression, because her footsteps lead perpetually to her pursuit.

[5] {tekhnazein}. Cf. Ael. "N. A." vi. 47, ap. Schneid. A fact for
Uncle Remus.

As soon as the track is clear,[6] the huntsman will push on a little
farther; and it will bring him either to some embowered spot[7] or
craggy bank; since gusts of wind will drift the snow beyond such
spots, whereby a store of couching-places[8] is reserved[9]; and that
is what puss seeks.

[6] "Discovered."

[7] "Thicket or overhanging crag."

[8] {eunasima}, "places well adapted for a form."

[9] Al. "many places suited for her form are left aside by puss, but
this she seeks."

If the tracks conduct the huntsman to this kind of covert he had
better not approach too near, for fear the creature should move off.
Let him make a circuit round; the chances are that she is there; and
that will soon be clear; for if so, the tracks will not trend outwards
from the place at any point.[10]

[10] L. Dind. emend. {oudamoi}, "the tracks will not pass in any
direction outwards from such ground."

And now when it is clear that puss is there, there let her bide; she
will not sir; let him set off and seek another, before the tracks are
indistinct; being careful only to note the time of day; so that, in
case he discovers others, there will be daylight enough for him to set
up the nets.[11] When the final moment has come, he will stretch the
big haye nets round the first one and then the other victim (precisely
as in the case of one of those black thawed patches above named), so
as to enclose within the toils whatever the creature is resting
on.[12] As soon as the nets are posted, up he must go and start her.
If she contrive to extricate herself from the nets,[13] he must after
her, following her tracks; and presently he will find himself at a
second similar piece of ground (unless, as is not improbable, she
smothers herself in the snow beforehand).[14] Accordingly he must
discover where she is and spread his toils once more; and, if she has
energy still left, pursue the chase. Even without the nets, caught she
will be, from sheer fatigue,[15] owing to the depth of the snow, which
balls itself under her shaggy feet and clings to her, a sheer dead

[11] Al. "to envelop the victims in the nets."

[12] Lit. "whatever the creature is in contact with inside."

[13] Cf. Aesch. "Prom." 87, Poto tropo tesd' ekkulisthesei tukhes}.

[14] Or, "if the creature is not first suffocated in the snow itself."

[15] See Pollux, v. 50. "She must presently be tired out in the heavy
snow, which balls itself like a fatal clog clinging to the under
part of her hairy feet."


For hunting fawns[1] and deer,[2] Indian dogs[3] should be employed,
as being strong, large, and fleet-footed, and not devoid of spirit;
with these points they will prove well equal to the toil.

[1] See Hom. "Il." xxii. 189, x. 361; "Od." iv. 35; Aelian, "N. A."
xiv. 14; xvii. 26; Geopon. xix. 5.

[2] {e elaphos} (generic, Attic) = hart or hind, of roe (Capreolus
caprea) or red (Cervus elaphus) deer alike, I suppose. See St.
John, "Nat. Hist. and Sport in Moray."

[3] Of the Persian or Grecian greyhound type perhaps. See Aristot. "H.
A." viii. 28; Aelian, "N. A." viii. 1; Pollux, v. 37, 38, 43;
Plin. "H. N." vii. 2, viii. 28; Oppian, "Cyn." i. 413.

Quite young fawns[4] should be captured in spring, that being the
season at which the dams calve.[5] Some one should go beforehand into
the rank meadowlands[6] and reconnoitre where the hinds are
congregated, and wherever that may be, the master of the hounds will
set off--with his hounds and a supply of javelins--before daylight to
the place in question. Here he will attach the hounds to trees[7] some
distance off, for fear of their barking,[8] when they catch sight of
the deer. That done he will choose a specular point himself and keep a
sharp look-out.[9] As day breaks he will espy the hinds leading their
fawns to the places where they will lay them severally to rest.[10]
Having made them lie down and suckled them, they will cast anxious
glances this way and that to see that no one watches them; and then
they will severally withdraw to the side opposite and mount guard,
each over her own offspring. The huntsman, who has seen it all,[11]
will loose the dogs, and with javelins in hand himself advance towards
the nearest fawn in the direction of where he saw it laid to rest;
carefully noting the lie of the land,[12] for fear of making some
mistake; since the place itself will present a very different aspect
on approach from what it looked like at a distance.

[4] See above, v. 14. I do not know that any one has answered
Schneider's question: Quidni sensum eundem servavit homo
religiosus in hinnulis?

[5] "The fawns (of the roe deer) are born in the spring, usually early
in May," Lydekker, "R. N. H." ii. p. 383; of the red deer
"generally in the early part of June," ib. 346.

[6] {orgadas} = "gagnages," du Fouilloux, "Comment le veneur doit
aller en queste aux taillis ou gaignages pour voir le cerf a
veue," ap. Talbot, op. cit. i. p. 331.

[7] Or, "off the wood."

[8] It seems they were not trained to restrain themselves.

[9] Or, "set himself to observe from some higher place." Cf. Aristoph.
"Wasps," 361, {nun de xun oplois} | {andres oplitai diataxamenoi}
| {kata tas diodous skopiorountai}. Philostr. 784.

[10] See Pollux, v. 77; Aristot. "H. A." ix. 5. Mr. Scrope ap.
Lydekker, "R. N. H." ii. p. 346, states that the dam of the red
deer makes her offspring "lie down by a pressure of her nose,"

[11] Lit. "when he sees these things."

[12] Or, "the features of the scene"; "the topography."

When his eye has lit upon the object of his search, he will approach
quite close. The fawn will keep perfectly still, glued[13] as it were
to earth, and with loud bleats suffer itself to be picked up; unless
it happen to be drenched with rain; in which case, it will not stay
quiet in one place. No doubt, the internal moisture of the animal
congeals quickly with the cold[14] and causes it to shift its ground.
Caught in that case it must needs be; but the hounds will have work
enough to run the creature down.[15] The huntsman having seized the
fawn, will hand it to the keeper. The bleating will continue; and the
hind, partly seeing and partly hearing, will bear down full tilt upon
the man who has got her young, in her desire to rescue it. Now is the
moment to urge on the hounds and ply the javelins. And so having
mastered this one, he will proceed against the rest, and employ the
same method of the chase in dealing with them.

[13] {piesas}, "noosling, nestling, buried."

[14] "The blood runs cold."

[15] Or, "but it will give them a good chase; the dogs will have their
work cut out."

Young fawns may be captured in the way described. Those that are
already big will give more trouble, since they graze with their
mothers and the other deer, and when pursued retire in the middle of
the herd or occasionally in front, but very seldom in the rear. The
deer, moreover, in order to protect their young will do battle with
the hounds and trample them under foot; so that capture is not easy,
unless you come at once to close quarters and scatter the herd, with
the result that one or another of the fawns is isolated. The effort
implies[16] a strain, and the hounds will be left behind in the first
heat of the race, since the very absence of their dams[17] will
intensify the young deer's terror, and the speed of a fawn, that age
and size, is quite incredible.[18] But at the second or third run they
will be quickly captured; since their bodies being young and still
unformed cannot hold out long against fatigue.

[16] Lit. "after that violent effort."

[17] Or, "alarm at the absence of the herd will lend the creature

[18] Or, "is past compare"; "is beyond all telling."

Foot-gins[19] or caltrops may be set for deer on mountains, in the
neighbourhood of meadows and streams and wooded glens, on cross-
roads[20] or in tilled fields at spots which they frequent.[21] These
gins should be made of twisted yew twigs[22] stripped of the bark to
prevent their rotting. They should have well-rounded hooplike
"crowns"[23] with alternate rows of nails of wood and iron woven into
the coil.[24] The iron nails should be larger, so that while the
wooden ones yield to the foot, the others may press into it.[25] The
noose of the cord which will be laid upon "the crown" should be woven
out of esparto and so should the rope itself, this kind of grass being
least liable to rot. The rope and noose itself should both alike be
stout. The log or clog of wood attached should be made of common or of
holm oak with the bark on, three spans in length, and a palm in

[19] {podostrabai}, podostrabai so called. Cf. "the boot."

[20] {en tais diodois}, "at points where paths issue," or "cross."

[21] {pros o ti prosie}, "against whatever they are likely to

[22] Or, "should be woven out of Smilax"; "Ebenholz," Lenz; "Ifs,"

[23] {tas de stephanas euk. ekh.} "having circular rims."

[24] {en to plokano} (al. {plokamo}) = the plaited rope, which formed
the {stephane}. See Pollux, v. 32, ap. Schneid. and Lenz.

[25] Al. "so as to press into the foot, if the wooden ones yield."

[26] Or, "27 inches x 3."

To set the trap, dig a hole in the soil to a depth of fifteen
inches,[27] circular in shape, with a circumference at the top exactly
corresponding to the crown and narrowing towards the bottom. For the
rope and wooden clog likewise remove sufficient earth to let them both
be lightly buried. That done, place the foot-gin deep enough to be
just even with the surface of the soil,[28] and round the circle of
the crown the cord-noose. The cord itself and wooden clog must now be
lowered into their respective places. Which done, place on the crown
some rods of spindle-tree,[29] but not so as to stick out beyond the
outer rim; and above these again light leaves, such as the season may
provide. After this put a final coating of earth upon the leaves; in
the first place the surface soil from the holes just dug, and atop of
that some unbroken solid earth from a distance, so that the lie of the
trap may be as much as possible unnoticed by the deer. Any earth left
over should be carried to a distance from the gin. The mere smell of
the newly-turned-up soil will suffice to make the animal
suspicious;[30] and smell it readily she will.

[27] Or, "remove a mass of soil to the depth of five palms so as to
form a circular hole corresponding in size with the rim above-

[28] Or, "like a door over the cavity, somewhat below the surface,
flatwise"; i.e. "in a horizontal position."

[29] So literally, but really Carthamus creticus, a thistle-like plant
used for making spindles (Sprengel ap. L. & S.), the Euonymous
europaeus being our spindle-tree. Aristot. "H. A." ix. 40, 49;
Theocr. iv. 52.

[30] Lit. "if she once sniffs the new-turned soil the deer grows shy,
and that she will quickly do." See Plat. "Laws," 933 A; "Phaedr."
242 C; "Mem." II. i. 4.

The hunter should take his hounds and inspect the traps upon the
mountains, early in the morning if possible, though he should do so
also during the day at other times. Those set on cultivated land must
always be inspected early, before the sun is up in fact,[31] and for
this reason: on the hills, so desert is the region,[32] the creatures
may be caught not only at night but at any time of day; while, on the
cultivated lands, owing to their chronic apprehension of mankind in
daytime, night is the only time.[33]

[31] "Before the sun is up."

[32] Or, "thanks to the lonesomeness of the region."

[33] "It is night or never, owing to the dread of man which haunts the
creature's mind during daytime."

As soon as the huntsman finds a gin uprooted he will let slip his
hounds and with cheery encouragement[34] follow along the wake of the
wooden clog, with a keen eye to the direction of its march. That for
the most part will be plain enough, since stones will be displaced,
and the furrow which the clog makes as it trails along will be
conspicuous on tilled ground; or if the deer should strike across
rough ground, the rocks will show pieces of bark torn from the clog,
and the chase will consequently be all the easier.[35]

[34] See vi. 20; "with view-halloo."

[35] Or, "along that track will not be difficult."

Should the deer have been caught by one of its fore-feet it will soon
be taken, because in the act of running it will beat and batter its
own face and body; if by the hind-leg, the clog comes trailing along
and must needs impede the action of every limb. Sometimes, too, as it
is whirled along it will come in contact with the forked branches of
some tree, and then unless the animal can snap the rope in twain, she
is fairly caught; there ends the chase. But even so, if caught in this
way or overdone with fatigue, it were well not to come too close the
quarry, should it chance to be a stag, or he will lunge out with his
antlers and his feet; better therefore let fly your javelins from a

These animals may also be captured without aid of gin or caltrop, by
sheer coursing in hot summer time; they get so tired, they will stand
still to be shot down. If hard pressed they will plunge into the sea
or take to water of any sort in their perplexity, and at times will
drop down from sheer want of breath.[36]

[36] "From mere shortness of breath."


To cope with the wild boar the huntsman needs to have a variety of
dogs, Indian, Cretan, Locrian, and Laconian,[1] along with a stock of
nets, javelins, boar-spears, and foot-traps.

[1] For these breeds see Pollux, v. 37: for the Laconian, Pind. "Fr."
73; Soph. "Aj." 8; cf. Shakesp. "Mids. N. D." iv. 1. 119, 129

To begin with, the hounds must be no ordinary specimens of the species
named,[2] in order to do battle with the beast in question.

[2] Or, "these hounds of the breed named must not be any ordinary
specimens"; but what does Xenophon mean by {ek toutou tou genous}?

The nets should be made of the same flaxen cord[3] as those for hares
above described. They should be forty-five threaded in three strands,
each strand consisting of fifteen threads. The height from the upper
rim[4] (i.e. from top to bottom) should be ten meshes, and the depth
of the nooses or pockets one elbow-length (say fifteen inches).[5] The
ropes running round the net should be half as thick again as the cords
of the net; and at the extremities[6] they should be fitted with
rings, and should be inserted (in and out) under the nooses, with the
end passing out through the rings. Fifteen nets will be sufficient.[7]

[3] i.e. "of Phasian or Cathaginian fine flax."

[4] {tou koruphaiou}.

[5] {pugon}. The distance from the elbow to the first joint of the
finger = 20 {daktuloi} = 5 {palaistai} = 1 1/4 ft. + (L. & S.)

[6] {ep akrois}. Cf. {akreleniois}.

[7] Reading {ikanai}, vid. Lenz ad loc. and ii. 4.

The javelins should be of all sorts,[8] having blades of a good
breadth and razor-sharpness, and stout shafts.

[8] Al. "of various material." See Pollux, v. 20 ap. Schneid.

The boar-spears should in the first place have blades fifteen inches
long, and in the middle of the socket two solid projecting teeth of
wrought metal,[9] and shafts of cornel-wood a spear-shaft's thickness.

[9] Wrought of copper (or bronze).

The foot-traps should resemble those used for deer.

These hunts should be conducted not singly,[10] but in parties, since
the wild boar can be captured only by the collective energy of several
men, and that not easily.

[10] Lit. "There should be a band of huntsmen"; or, "It will take the
united energies of several to capture this game." See Hom. "Il."
ix. 543, of the Calydonian boar:

{ton d' uios Oineos apekteinen Meleagros,
polleon ek polion theretoras andras ageiras
kai kunas . ou men gar k' edame pauroisi brotoisin
tossos een, pollous de pures epebes' alegeines.}

"But him slew Meleagros the son of Oineus, having gathered
together from many cities huntsmen and hounds; for not of few men
could the boar be slain, so mighty was he; and many an one brought
he to the grievous pyre" (W. Leaf).

I will now explain how each part of the gear is to be used in hunting.

The company being come to some place where a boar is thought to lie,
the first step is to bring up the pack,[11] which done, they will
loose a single Laconian bitch, and keeping the rest in leash, beat
about with this one hound.[12] As soon as she has got on the boar's
track, let them follow in order, one after another, close on the
tracking hound, who gives the lead to the whole company.[13] Even to
the huntsmen themselves many a mark of the creature will be plain,
such as his footprints on soft portions of the ground, and in the
thick undergrowth of forests broken twigs; and, where there are single
trees, the scars made by his tusks.[14] As she follows up the trail
the hound will, as a general rule, finally arrive at some well-wooded
spot; since, as a general rule, the boar lies ensconced in places of
the sort, that are warm in winter and cool in summer.

[11] {kunegesion}, "a hunting establishment, huntsmen and hounds, a
pack of hounds," L. & S. cf. Herod. i. 36; Pollux. v. 17. In
Aristot. "H. A." viii. 5. 2, of wolves in a pack; v. {monopeirai}.

[12] Or, "go on a voyage of discovery."

[13] Reading {te ikhneuouse}, or if vulg. {ikhneusei}, transl. "set
her to follow the trail, at the head of the whole train."

[14] Schneid. cf. Aristot. "H. A." vi. 18; Plin. viii. 52; Virg.
"Georg." iii. 255, "ipse ruit, dentesque Sabellicus exacuit sus";
Hom. "Il." xi. 416, xiii. 475; Hes. "Shield," 389; Eur. "Phoen."
1389; Ovid, "Met." viii. 369.

As soon as she has reached his lair she will give tongue; but the boar
will not get up, not he, in nine cases out of ten. The huntsman will
thereupon recover the hound, and tie her up also with the rest at a
good distance from the lair.[15] He will then launch his toils into
the wild boar's harbourage,[16] placing the nooses upon any forked
branches of wood to hand. Out of the net itself he must construct a
deep forward-jutting gulf or bosom, posting young shoots on this side
and that within, as stays or beams,[17] so that the rays of light may
penetrate as freely as possible through the nooses into the bosom,[18]
and the interior be as fully lit up as possible when the creature
makes his charge. The string round the top of the net must be attached
to some stout tree, and not to any mere shrub or thorn-bush, since
these light-bending branches will give way to strain on open
ground.[19] All about each net it will be well to stop with timber
even places[20] "where harbrough nis to see," so that the hulking
brute may drive a straight course[21] into the toils without tacking.

[15] Lit. "accordingly recover the dog, and tie her up also with the
rest," etc.

[16] {ormous}. Lit. "moorings," i.e. "favourite haunts." Cf. {dusorma}
below. Al. "stelle die Fallnetze auf die Wechsel," Lenz.

[17] {anteridas}. See a note in the "Class. Rev." X. i. p. 7, by G. S.
Sale: "It can only mean long sticks used as stretchers or
spreaders to hold up the net between and beyond the props." Cf.
Thuc. vii. 36, 2.

[18] Or, "within the bay of network."

[19] {sunekhontai en tois psilois ai e}. "Denn diese werden an
unbestandenen Orten durch die Leine niedergezogen," Lenz;
{sunelkontai} conj. Schn.; {sunerkhontai} al., "concurrunt," vid.

[20] {ta dusorma}, met. from "bad harbourage." Cf. Arsch. "Pers." 448;
"Ag." 194. Cf. Lat. "importunus," also of "rough ground."

[21] Or, "make his rush."

As soon as the nets are fixed, the party will come back and let the
hounds slip one and all; then each will snatch up his javelin[22] and
boar-spear, and advance. Some one man, the most practised hand, will
cheer on the hounds, and the rest will follow in good order at some
considerable distance from one another, so as to leave the animal a
free passage; since if he falls into the thick of them as he makes
off, there is a fair chance of being wounded, for he will certainly
vent his fury on the first creature he falls foul of.

[22] Lit. "then they will take their javelins and boar-spears and

As soon as the hounds are near his lair, they will make their
onslaught. The boar, bewildered by the uproar, will rise up and toss
the first hound that ventures to attack him in front. He will then run
and fall into the toils; or if not, then after him full cry.[23] Even
if the ground on which the toils environ him be sloping, he will
recover himself promptly;[24] but if level, he will at once plant
himself firm as a rock, as if deliberating with himself.[25] At that
conjuncture the hounds will press hard upon him, while their masters
had best keep a narrow eye upon the boar and let fly their javelins
and a pelt of stones, being planted in a ring behind him and a good
way off, until the instant when with a forward heave of his body he
stretches the net tight and strains the skirting-rope. Thereupon he
who is most skilful of the company and of the stoutest nerve will
advance from the front and deliver a home thrust with his hunting-

[23] Or, "a pretty chase must follow."

[24] Or, "if within the prison of the net the ground be sloping, it
will not take long to make him spring up; he will be up again on
his legs in no time."

[25] Or, "being concerned about himself."

Should the animal for all that rain of javelins and stones refuse to
stretch the skirting-rope, should he rather relax[26] in that
direction and make a right-about-face turn bearing down on his
assailant, there is nothing for it, under these circumstances, but to
seize a boar-spear, and advance; firmly clutching it with the left
hand forward and with the right behind; the left is to steady it, and
the right to give it impulse; and so the feet,[27] the left advanced
in correspondence with the left arm, and right with right. As he
advances, he will make a lunge forward with the boar-spear,[27]
planting his legs apart not much wider than in wrestling,[28] and
keeping his left side turned towards his left hand; and then, with his
eye fixed steadily on the beast's eye, he will note every turn and
movement of the creature's head. As he brings down the boar-spear to
the thrust, he must take good heed the animal does not knock it out of
his hands by a side movement of the head;[29] for if so he will follow
up the impetus of that rude knock. In case of that misfortune, the
huntsman must throw himself upon his face and clutch tight hold of the
brushwood under him, since if the wild boar should attack him in that
posture, owing to the upward curve of its tusks, it cannot get under
him;[30] whereas if caught erect, he must be wounded. What will happen
then is, that the beast will try to raise him up, and failing that
will stand upon and trample him.

[26] {epanieis}. See Sturz, s.v.

[27] Lit. "forwards the left foot will follow the left arm and the
right foot the other."

[28] "Statum venatoris aprum venabulo excipientis pinxit
Philostratus," "Imag." i. 28, Schn.

[29] Or, "he will step forward and take one stride not much longer
than that of a wrestler, and thrust forward his boar-spear."

[30] Cf. Hes. "Shield," 387; Hom. "Il." xii. 148: "Then forth rushed
the twain, and fought in front of the gates like wild boars that
in the mountains abide the assailing crew of men and dogs, and
charging on either flank they crush the wood around them, cutting
it at the root, and the clatter of their tusks waxes loud, till
one smite them and take their life away" (A. Lang).

From this extremity there is but one means of escape, and one alone,
for the luckless prisoner. One of his fellow-huntsmen must approach
with boar-spear and provoke the boar, making as though he would let
fly at him; but let fly he must not, for fear of hitting the man under
him. The boar, on seeing this, will leave the fallen man, and in rage
and fury turn to grapple his assailant. The other will seize the
instant to spring to his feet, and not forget to clutch his boar-spear
as he rises to his legs again; since rescue cannot be nobly purchased
save by victory.[31] Let him again bring the weapon to bear in the
same fashion, and make a lunge at a point within the shoulder-blade,
where lies the throat;[32] and planting his body firmly press with all
his force.[33] The boar, by dint of his might and battle rage, will
still push on, and were it not that the teeth of the lance-blade
hindered,[34] would push his way up to the holder of the boar-spear
even though the shaft run right through him.[35]

[31] "Safety can only be won with honour by some master-stroke of

[32] {sphage}. Aristot. "H. A." i. 14. 2. "Straight at the jugular."

[33] Or, "throwing his whole weight on the thrust, press home with all
his force."

[34] Or, "but for the intervention of the two projecting teeth of the
lance-blade." See the account of the passage of arms between Col.
Pollock and a boar in his "Incidents of Foreign Sport and Travel."
There the man was mounted, but alone.

[35] Lit. "force his heavy bulk along the shaft right up to the holder
of the boar-spear."

Nay, so tremendous is the animal's power, that a property which no one
ever would suspect belongs to him. Lay a few hairs upon the tusk of a
boar just dead, and they will shrivel up instantly,[36] so hot are
they, these tusks. Nay, while the creature is living, under fierce
excitement they will be all aglow; or else how comes it that though he
fail to gore the dogs, yet at the blow the fine hairs of their coats
are singed in flecks and patches?[37]

[36] {euthus}, i.e. "for a few seconds after death."

[37] The belief is still current, I am told, in parts of India.

So much and even greater trouble may be loked for from the wild boar
before capture; I speak of the male animal. If it should be a sow that
falls into the toils, the huntsman should run up and prod her, taking
care not to be pushed off his legs and fall, in which case he cannot
escape being trampled on and bitten. Ergo, he will not voluntarily get
under those feet; but if involuntarily he should come to such a pass,
the same means[38] of helping each the other to get up again will
serve, as in the case of the male animal; and when he has regained his
legs, he must ply the boar-spear vigorously till she too has died the

[38] {dianastaseis}, "the same methods of mutual recovery."

Wild pigs may be captured further in the following fashion: The nets
are fixed for them at the entrances of woody glens,[39] in coppices
and hollows, and on screes, where there are outlets into rank meadow-
lands, marshes, and clear pools.[40] The appointed person mounts guard
at the nets with his boar-spear, while the others work the dogs,
exploring the best and likeliest spots. As soon as the quarry is found
the chase commences. If then an animal falls into the net, the net-
keeper will grip his boar-spear and[41] advance, when he will ply it
as I have described; if he escape the net, then after him full cry. In
hot, sultry weather the boar may be run down by the hounds and
captured. Though a monster in strength, the creature becomes short of
breath and will give in from sheer exhaustion.

[39] Al. "at the passages from woodland lakes into oak-coppices."

[40] {udata}, "waters," lakes, pools, rivers, etc.

[41] Or, "and proceed to tackle him."

It is a form of sport which costs the lives of many hounds and
endangers those of the huntsmen themselves. Supposing that the animal
has given in from exhaustion at some moment in the chase, and they are
forced to come to close quarters;[42] whether he has taken to the
water, or stands at bay against some craggy bank, or does not choose
to come out from some thicket (since neither net nor anything else
hinders him from bearing down like a tornado on whoever approaches);
still, even so, advance they must, come what come may, to the attack.
And now for a display of that hardihood which first induced them to
indulge a passion not fit for carpet knights[43]--in other words, they
must ply their boar-spears and assume that poise of body[44] already
described, since if one must meet misfortune, let it not be for want
of observing the best rules.[45]

[42] Reading {prosienai} [{ta probolia}]. [The last two words are
probably a gloss, and should be omitted, since {prosienai} (from
{prosiemi}) {ta probolia} = "ply," or "apply their boar-spears,"
is hardly Greek.] See Schneid. "Add. et Corr." and L. Dind. ad

[43] {ekponein}, "to exercise this passion to the full."

[44] Lit. "assume their boar-spears and that forward attitude of

[45] Lit. "it will not be at any rate from behaving correctly."

Foot-traps are also set for the wild boar, similar to those for deer
and in the same sort of places; the same inspections and methods of
pursuit are needed, with consequent attacks and an appeal to the boar-
spear in the end.

Any attempt to capture the young pigs will cost the huntsman some
rough work.[46] The young are not left alone, as long as they are
small; and when the hounds have hit upon them or they get wind of
something wrong, they will disappear like magic, vanishing into the
forest. As a rule, both parents attend on their own progeny, and are
not pleasant then to meddle with, being more disposed to do battle for
their young than for themselves.

[46] Lit. "the piglings will resent it (sc. {to aliskesthai})
strongly"; al. "the adult (sub. {to therion}) will stand anything


Lions, leopards, lynxes, panthers, bears and all other such game are
to be captured in foreign countries--about Mount Pangaeus and Cittus
beyond Macedonia;[1] or again, in Nysa beyond Syria, and upon other
mountains suited to the breeding of large game.

[1] Of these places, Mt. Pangaeus (mod. Pirnari) (see "Hell." V. ii.
17), Cittus (s. Cissus, mod. Khortiatzi), N. W. of the Chalcidice,
Mysian Olympus, and Pindus are well known. Nysa has not been
verified hitherto, I think. Sturz cf. Bochart, "Hieroz." Part I.
lib. iii. c. 1, p. 722. Strabo, 637 (xv. 1. 7), mentions a Mount
Nysa in India sacred to Dionysus, and cites Soph. "Frag." 782--

{othen kateidon ton bebakkhiomenen
brotoisi kleinon Nusan . . . k.t.l.},

but it is a far cry from Xenophon's Syria to India. Possibly it is
to be sought for in the region of Mt. Amanus.

In the mountains, owing to the difficulty of the ground,[2] some of
these animals are captured by means of poison--the drug aconite--which
the hunters throw down for them,[3] taking care to mix it with the
favourite food of the wild best, near pools and drinking-places or
wherever else they are likely to pay visits. Others of them, as they
descend into the plains at night, may be cut off by parties mounted
upon horseback and well armed, and so captured, but not without
causing considerable danger to their captors.[4]

[2] Or, "the inaccessibility of their habitats."

[3] "The method is for the trapper to throw it down mixed with the
food which the particular creature likes best."

[4] For the poison method see Pollux, v. 82; Plin. "H. N." viii. 27.

In some cases the custom is to construct large circular pits of some
depth, leaving a single pillar of earth in the centre, on the top of
which at nightfall they set a goat fast-bound, and hedge the pit about
with timber, so as to prevent the wild beasts seeing over, and without
a portal of admission. What happens then is this: the wild beasts,
hearing the bleating in the night, keep scampering round the barrier,
and finding no passage, leap over it, and are caught.[5]

[5] See "Tales from the Fjeld," Sir George W. Dasent, "Father Bruin in
the Corner."


With regard to methods of procedure in the hunting-field, enough has
been said.[1] But there are many benefits which the enthusiastic
sportsman may expect to derive from this pursuit.[2] I speak of the
health which will thereby accrue to the physical frame, the quickening
of the eye and ear, the defiance of old age, and last, but not least,
the warlike training which it ensures. To begin with, when some day he
has to tramp along rough ways under arms, the heavy infantry soldier
will not faint or flag--he will stand the toil from being long
accustomed to the same experiences in capturing wild beasts. In the
next place, men so trained will be capable of sleeping on hard
couches, and prove brave guardians of the posts assigned them. In the
actual encounter with the enemy, they will know at once how to attack
and to carry out the word of command as it passes along the lines,
because it was just so in the old hunting days that they captured the
wild game. If posted in the van of battle, they will not desert their
ranks, because endurance is engrained in them. In the rout of the
enemy their footsteps will not falter nor fail: straight as an arrow
they will follow the flying foe, on every kind of ground, through long
habituation.[3] Or if their own army encounter a reverse on wooded and
precipitous ground beset with difficulties, these will be the men to
save themselves with honour and to extricate their friends; since long
acquaintance with the business of the chase has widened their

[1] Or, "Respecting the methods employed in different forms of the
chase, I have said my say." As to the genuineness of this and the
following chapter see L. Dind. ad loc.; K. Lincke, "Xenophon's
Dialog." {peri oikonomias}, p. 132.

[2] Lit. "this work"; and in reference to the highly Xenophontine
argument which follows see "Hellenica Essays," p. 342; cf.
"Cyrop." I. vi. 28, 39-41.

[3] "For the sake of 'auld lang syne.'"

[4] Or, "will place them on the vantage-ground of experts."

Nay, even under the worst of circumstances, when a whole mob of
fellow-combatants[5] has been put to flight, how often ere now has a
handful[6] of such men, by virtue of their bodily health[7] and
courage, caught the victorious enemy roaming blindly in some intricacy
of ground, renewed the fight, and routed him. Since so it must ever
be; to those whose souls and bodies are in happy case success is near
at hand.[8]

[5] Or, "allies."

[6] Or, "a forlorn hope."

[7] {euexia}, al. {eutaxia}, "by good discipline."

[8] "Fortune favours the brave," reading {to eutukhesai} (L. D.); or
if {tou eutukhesai}, (vulg.) "those whose health of soul and body
is established are ipso facto nigh unto good fortune."

It was through knowledge that they owed success against their foes to
such a training, that our own forefathers paid so careful a heed to
the young.[9] Though they had but a scant supply of fruits, it was an
immemorial custom "not to hinder[10] the hunter from hunting any of
earth's offspring"; and in addition, "not to hunt by night[11] within
many furlongs of the city," in order that the adepts in that art might
not rob the young lads of their game. They saw plainly that among the
many pleasures to which youth is prone, this one alone is productive
of the greatest blessings. In other words, it tends to make them sound
of soul and upright, being trained in the real world of actual
things[12] [and, as was said before, our ancestors could not but
perceive they owed their success in war to such instrumentality[13]];
and the chase alone deprives them of none of the other fair and noble
pursuits that they may choose to cultivate, as do those other evil
pleasures, which ought never to be learned. Of such stuff are good
soldiers and good generals made.[14] Naturally, those from whose souls
and bodies the sweat of toil has washed all base and wanton thoughts,
who have implanted in them a passion for manly virtue--these, I say,
are the true nobles.[15] Not theirs will it be to allow their city or
its sacred soil to suffer wrong.

[9] Al. "looked upon the chase as a pursuit incumbent on the young."

[10] {me koluein [dia] to meden ton epi te ge phuomenon agreuein}. The
commentators generally omit {dia}, in which case translate as in
text. Lenz reads {un koluein dia meden} (see his note ad v. 34),
and translates (p. 61), "Dass man die Jager nicht hindern solle,
in allem was die Erde hervorbrachte zu jagen," "not to hinder the
huntsmen from ranging over any of the crops which spring from
earth"; (but if so, we should expect {dia medenos}). Sturz, s.v.
{agreuein}, notes "festive," "because the hunter does not hunt
vegetable products." So Gail, "parce que le chasseur rien veut pas
aux productions de la terre."

[11] Or, "set their face against night-hunting," cf. "Mem." IV. vii.
4; Plat. "Soph." 220 D; "Stranger: There is one mode of striking
which is done at night, and by the light of a fire, and is called
by the hunters themselves firing, or spearing by firelight"
(Jowett); for which see Scott, "Guy Mannering," ch. x. It seems
"night hunting was not to be practised within a certain
considerable radius, whereby the proficients in that art might
deprive it (lit. in order that they might not deprive) them (the
young huntsmen) of their game."

[12] Lit. "in truth and reality (not among visionary phantoms)."

[13] These words are commonly regarded as an addition; and what does
{te} signify?

[14] Or, "Here you have the making of brave soldiers and generals.
Here in embryo are to be found your future soldiers and generals
worthy the name."

[15] {outoi aristoi}: these are prima virorum, the true aristocrats.

Some people tell us it is not right to indulge a taste for hunting,
lest it lead to neglect of home concerns, not knowing that those who
are benefactors of their country and their friends are in proportion
all the more devoted to domestic duties. If lovers of the chase pre-
eminently fit themselves to be useful to the fatherland, that is as
much as to say they will not squander their private means; since with
the state itself the domestic fortunes of each are saved or lost. The
real fact is, these men are saviours, not of their own fortunes only,
but of the private fortunes of the rest, of yours and mine. Yet there
are not a few irrational people amongst these cavillers who, out of
jealousy, would rather perish, thanks to their own baseness, than owe
their lives to the virtue of their neighbours. So true is it that the
mass of pleasures are but evil,[16] to which men succumb, and thereby
are incited to adopt the worse cause in speech and course in
action.[17] And with what result?--from vain and empty arguments they
contract emnities, and reap the fruit of evil deeds, diseases, losses,
death--to the undoing of themselves, their children, and their
friends.[18] Having their senses dulled to things evil, while more
than commonly alive to pleasures, how shall these be turned to good
account for the salvation of the state? Yet from these evils every one
will easily hold aloof, if once enamoured of those joys whose brief I
hold, since a chivalrous education teaches obedience to laws, and
renders justice familiar to tongue and ear.[19]

[16] See "Hellenica Essays," p. 371.

[17] "To depravity of speech and conduct" (whether as advocates or
performers). See Aristoph. "Clouds."

[18] Or, "bring down on themselves, their children, and their friends
a spring of misfortunes in the shape of diseases, losses, or even

[19] "For what does a chivalrous education teach save to obey the law,
and to make the theme of justice familiar to tongue and ear?"

In the one camp are those who, subjecting themselves ever to new toil
and fresh instruction, have, at the cost of lessons and exercises
painful to themselves, obtained to their several states salvation; and
in the other are those who for the very irksomeness of the process
choose not to be taught, but rather to pass away their days in
pleasures unseasonable--nature's abjects these.[20] Not theirs is it
to obey either laws or good instruction;[21] nay, how should they, who
never toil, discover what a good man ought to be?--in other words,
wisdom and justice are alike beyond their power. Subject to
indiscipline, they have many a fault to find with him who is well

[20] Lit. "the sorriest of mankind these by nature."

[21] Or, "virtuous argument"; {logois agathois}, lit. "good words."

Through the instrumentality of such as these nothing can go well;
whereas every blessing which mankind enjoys has been discovered by the
efforts of the nobler sort. Nobler, I say, are those who choose to

[22] Or, "of choice spirits; and who are the choice spirits?--Clearly
those who choose to toil."

And this has been proved conclusively by a notable example. If we look
back to the men of old who sat at the feet of Cheiron--whose names I
mentioned--we see that it was by dedicating the years of their youth
to the chase[23] that they learnt all their noble lore; and therefrom
they attained to great renown, and are admired even to this day for
their virtue--virtue who numbers all men as her lovers, as is very
plain. Only because of the pains it costs to win her the greater
number fall away; for the achievement of her is hid in obscurity;
while the pains that cleave to her are manifest. Perchance, if only
she were endowed with a visible bodily frame, men would less have
neglected her, knowing that even as she is visible to them, so they
also are not hid from her eyes. For is it not so that when a man moves
in the presence of him whom he dearly loves,[24] he rises to a height
above himself, being incapable of aught base or foul in word or deed
in sight of him?[25] But fondly dreaming that the eye of virtue is
closed to them, they are guilty of many a base thing and foul before
her very face, who is hidden from their eyes. Yet she is present
everywhere, being dowered with immortality; and those who are perfect
in goodness[26] she honours, but the wicked she thrusts aside from
honour. If only men could know that she regards them, how eagerly
would they rush to the embrace of toilful training and
tribulation,[27] by which alone she is hardly taken; and so should
they gain the mastery over her, and she should be laid captive at
their feet.

[23] Or, "that they made their first essay in hunting when mere boys,
and from hunting upwards were taught many noble arts."

[24] Lit. "is beheld by his beloved." Cf. "Symp." iv. 4; viii. 31.

[25] Lit. "in order not to be seen of him."

[26] Lit. "good with respect to her."

[27] Or, "to those toils and that training."


Now what astonishes me in the "sophists," as they are called,[1] is,
that though they profess, the greater part of them, to lead the young
to virtue, they really lead them in the opposite direction. Never have
we set eyes on the man anywhere who owed his goodness to the sophists
of to-day.[2] Nor do their writings contain anything[3] calculated to
make men good, but they have written volumes on vain and frivolous
subjects, in which the young may find pleasures that pall, but the
essence of virtue is not in them. The result of this literature is to
inflict unncessary waste of time on those who look to learn something
from it all and look in vain, cutting them off from wholesome
occupations and even teaching what is bad. I cannot then but blame
them for certain large offences[4] more than lightly; but as regards
the subject matter of their writings my charge is, that while full of
far-fetched phraseology,[5] of solid wholesome sentiments, by which
the young might be trained to virtue, I see not a vestige. Speaking as
a plain man, I know that to be taught what is good by one's own nature
is best of all,[6] and next best to learn of those who really do know
some good thing rather than of those who have an art to deceive. It
may well be that I fail to express myself in subtle language,[7] nor
do I pretend to aim at subtlety; what I do aim at is to express
rightly-conceived thoughts such as may serve the need of those who
have been nobly disciplined in virtue; for it is not words and names
that give instruction, but thoughts and sentiments worthy the name.

[1] Cf. Isocr. "Against the Sophists"; "Antidosis"; "Hel. Encom.";
Plat. "Sophist."

[2] Who are these {oi nun sophistai}?

[3] Lit. "do they present writings to the world."

[4] Or, "as to certain weightier matters gravely."

[5] {remata} = "words and phrases"; {ynomai} = "moral maxims, just

[6] "Being myself but a private individual and a plain man." According
to Hartman, "A. X. N." p. 350, "ridicule detorquet Hesiodeum":

{outos men panaristos os auto panta noese
esthlos d' au kakeinos os eu eiponti pithetai}.

[7] Al. "in true sophistic style." The writer seems to say: "I lack
subtlety of expression (nor is that at all my object); what I do
aim at is to trace with some exactness, to present with the
lucidity appropriate to them, certain thoughts demanded by persons
well educated in the school of virtue."

Nor am I singular in thus reproaching the modern type of sophist (not
the true philosopher, be it understood); it is a general reproach that
the wisdom he professes consists in word-subtleties, not in ideas.[8]
Certainly it does not escape my notice that an orderly sequence of
ideas adds beauty to the composition:[9] I mean it will be easy to
find fault with what is written incorrectly.[10] Nevertheless, I
warrant it is written in this fashion with an eye to rectitude, to
make the reader wise and good, not more sophistical. For I would wish
my writings not to seem but rather to be useful. I would have them
stand the test of ages in their blamelessness.[11]

[8] {onomasi}, "in names"; {noemasi}, "thoughts and ideas."

[9] Or, "I am alive to the advantage to be got from methodic, orderly
expression artistically and morally."

[10] This passage, since H. Estienne (Stephanus) first wrote against
it "huic loco meae conjecturae succumbunt," has been a puzzle to
all commentators. The words run: {ou lanthanei de me oti kalos kai
exes gegraphthai} [{gegraptai} in the margin of one MS.] {radion
gar estai autois takhu me orthos mempsasthai' kaitoi gegraptai ge
outos k.t.l.} For {takhu me orthos} (1) {takhu ti me orthos}, (2)
{to} (or {ta}) {me orthos}, have been suggested. It is not clear
whether {autois} = {tois sophistais} (e.g. "it will be easy for
these people to lay a finger at once on blots, however unfairly"),
or = {tois suggrammasi} (sc. my(?) compositions; so {auta}, S. 7
below, {ou gar dokein auta boulomai k.t.l.}) (e.g. "since it will
be easy offhand to find fault with them incorrectly") [or if {ta
me orthos}, "what is incorrect in them"]. I append the three
translations of Gail, Lenz, and Talbot. "Je sais combien il est
avantageux de presenter des ouvrages methodiquement ecrits; aussi
par le meme sera-t-il plus facile de prouver aux sophistes leur
futilite!" {radion gar estai} [sub. {emoi}] {mempsasthai outois
takhu (to) me} (sous-entendu) {gegraphthai orthos} (Gail). "Zwar
entgeht mir nicht, dass es schon say die Worte kunstvoll zu
ordnen, denn leichter wird ihnen sonst, schnell, aber mit Unrecht
zu tadeln" (Lenz). "Aussi leur sera-t-il facile de me reprocher
d'ecrire vite et sans ordre" (Talbot). As if {takhu me orthos}
were the reproachful comment of the sophist on the author's

[11] i.e. "the arguments to be blameless at once and irrefutable for
all time."

That is my point of view. The sophist has quite another--words with
him are for the sake of deception, writing for personal gain; to
benefit any other living soul at all is quite beside his mark. There
never was nor is there now a sage among them to whom the title "wise"
could be applied. No! the appellation "sophist" suffices for each and
all, which among men of common sense[12] sounds like a stigma. My
advice then is to mistrust the sonorous catch-words[13] of the
sophist, and not to despise the reasoned conclusions[14] of the
philosopher; for the sophist is a hunter after the rich and young, the
philosopher is the common friend of all; he neither honours nor
despises the fortunes of men.

[12] L. Dind. cf. Eur. "Heracl." 370, {tou tauta kalos an eie} | {para
g' eu phronousin}.

[13] {paraggelmata}. Cf. Aesch. "Ag." 480, "telegraph"; Lys. 121. 32;
Dem. 569. 1; "words of command"; Dion. H. "De Comp." 248,
"instructions, precepts."

[14] {enthumemata}.

Nor would I have you envy or imitate those either who recklessly
pursue the path of self-aggrandisement,[15] whether in private or in
public life; but consider well[16] that the best of men,[17] the true
nobility, are discovered by their virtues;[18] they are a laborious
upwards-striving race; whilst the base are in evil plight[19] and are
discovered by their demerits.[20] Since in proportion as they rob the
private citizen of his means and despoil the state[21] they are less
serviceable with a view to the public safety than any private
citizen;[22] and what can be worse or more disgraceful for purposes of
war than the bodily form of people so incapable of toil?[23] Think of
huntsmen by contrast, surrendering to the common weal person and
property alike in perfect condition for service of the citizens. They
have both a battle to wage certainly: only the one set are for
attacking beasts; and the other their own friends.[24] And naturally
the assailant of his own friends does not win the general esteem;[25]
whilst the huntsman in attacking a wild beast may win renown. If
successful in his capture, he was won a victory over a hostile brood;
or failing, in the first place, it is a feather in his cap that his
attempt is made against enemies of the whole community; and secondly,
that it is not to the detriment of man nor for love of gain that the
field is taken; and thirdly, as the outcome of the very attempt, the
hunter is improved in many respects, and all the wiser: by what means
we will explain. Were it not for the very excess of his pains, his
well-reasoned devices, his manifold precautions, he would never
capture the quarry at all; since the antagonists he deals with are
doing battle for bare life and in their native haunts,[26] and are
consequently in great force. So that if he fails to overmatch the
beasts by a zest for toil transcending theirs and plentiful
intelligence, the huntsman's labours are in vain.

[15] Or, "surrender themselves heedlessly to the ways of self-
seeking." But the phraseology here seems to savour of extreme
youth, or else senility.

[16] {enthumethenta}. Query, in reference to {enthumemata} above?

[17] Reading {andron}. For the vulg. {auton} see Schneid. ad loc., who
suggests {ton aston}.

[18] "Recognisable for the better."

[19] "They are not famous but infamous"; "the bad fare as their name
suggests" (i.e. badly).

[20] "Recognisable for the worse."

[21] Or, "what with private extortionsand public peculation."

[22] {ton idioton}, "laymen," I suppose, as opposed to "professional"
lawyers or politicians.

[23] "What with their incapacity for hard work, their physique for
purposes of war is a mockery and a sham."

[24] Cf. Plat. "Soph."

[25] Or, "earns but an evil reputation in the world."

[26] "They are being bearded in their dens."

I go back to my proposition then. Those self-seeking politicians, who
want to feather their own nests,[27] practise to win victories over
their own side, but the sportsman confines himself to the common
enemy. This training of theirs renders the one set more able to cope
with the foreign foe, the others far less able. The hunting of the one
is carried on with self-restraint, of the others with effrontery. The
one can look down with contempt upon maliciousness and sordid love of
gain, the other cannot. The very speech and intonation of the one has
melody, of the other harshness. And with regard to things divine, the
one set know no obstacle to their impiety, the others are of all men
the most pious. Indeed ancient tales affirm[28] that the very gods
themselves take joy in this work[29] as actors and spectators. So
that,[30] with due reflection on these things, the young who act upon
my admonitions will be found, perchance, beloved of heaven and
reverent of soul, checked by the thought that some one of the gods is
eyeing their performance.[31]

[27] Or, "Those people who would fain have the lion's share in the

[28] Or, "an ancient story obtains."

[29] Sc. "of the chase."

[30] Or {uparkhein} = "it may be considered as given." Scheid. cf.
"Pol. Ath." iii. 9, {oste uparkhein demokratian einai}.

[31] Lit. "that the things in question are beheld by some divinity."

These are the youths who will prove a blessing to their parents, and
not to their parents only but to the whole state; to every citizen
alike and individual friend.

Nay, what has sex to do with it? It is not only men enamoured of the
chase that have become heroes, but among women there are also to whom
our lady Artemis has granted a like boon--Atalanta, and Procris, and
many another huntress fair.


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