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Article

Einige Sperlingsvögel und eine Schlange. Noch einmal zu Arist. Hist. An. 592b22

Vorobyev G.

The article presents two addenda to the author’s recent study concerning the manuscript variants πυρρούλας and πυρρὸς ὕλας in Arist. Hist. An. 592b22. In that previous work, an attempt was made to trace back the Latin fortune of the Greek ὕλας. Now, we scrutinize D’Arcy W. Thompson’s assertion πυρρούλας means ‘bullfinch’ in Modern Greek. Thompson mistakenly refers to Theodor von Heldreich – it is apparently Demetrios Bikelas who he is quoting. The latter, in turn, could have taken the "Modern Greek" bird name πυρρούλας from Skarlatos Vyzantios’ 1835 dictionary. Given Vyzantios’ purist and prescriptive approach to lexicography, he must have drawn the word from a learned source based on Aristotle rather than from a vernacular one close to the oral tradition. That is why Thompson’s "Modern Greek" argumentation for identifying Aristotle’s πυρρούλας with the bullfinch most probably results from a vicious circle. This corroborates Carl Jacob Sundevall’s identification of πυρρούλας with the robin and, furthermore, increases the plausibility of the reading πυρρὸς ὕλας. The second part of the article analyzes three testimonies of the rare bird name πυρρίας/πυρρία and of the homonymous denomination of a snake. Although apparently irrelevant for assessing the variant readings in Arist. Hist. An. 592b22, these words deserve examination. Namely, a comparison of manuscript readings and possible emendations in Ath. 2, 69, 3, Dionys. Per. Ixeut. 3, 13, 22 and Hsch. 4461 suggests that Claudius Salmasius’ conjecture in Ath. 2, 69, 3 should be rejected. Another conjecture is ventured instead.