Publisher: Forgotten Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2018
Binding: Kobo eBook
This book contains materials for research in greater measure than it presents the results of it; and, accordingly, it is not my purpose to preface it with an extended summary of the many wide generalizations to which the assemblage of fact and legend here recorded may seem to lead. This book indeed includes only a small part of the notes I have gathered together since I began years ago, as an undergraduate, ignorant of the difficulties of the task, to prepare the way for a new edition of the Natural History of the Philosopher. Three points, however, in my treatment of the present subject deserve brief explanation here.
Instead of succeeding in the attempt to identify a greater number of species than other naturalist-commentators, dealing chiefly with the Aristotelian birds, have done, I have on the contrary ventured to identify a great many less. This limitation on my part is chiefly due to the circumstance that I have not ventured to use for purposes of identification a large class of statements on which others have more or less confidently relied. A single instance may serve to indicate the statements to which I allude. In the Historia Animalium (especially in the Ninth Book, great part of which seems to me to differ in character and probably in authorship from all but a few isolated passages of the rest of the work), in the works of such later writers as Pliny, Aelian and Phile, and scattered here and there in earlier literary allusions, we find many instances recorded of supposed hostility or friendship between different animals.