[Sca-cooks] magpies

V A phoenissa at gmail.com
Fri Mar 7 11:46:40 PST 2008

Ok, I rescind "lazy" (I have seen some of Gulick's work).  I never said he
didn't know his Greek, only that he didn't know his birds. ;-)

However, I seem to have found the true root of the confusion.  The Liddell &
Scott lexicon, the big one that weighs like fifty pounds, says "kissa" or
"kitta" (the same word, but the latter is the Attic form) is "jay, Garrulus
glandarius."  But the INTERMEDIATE L&S Lexicon, the comprehensive but
relatively lightweight student version--which is the one I own, and the one
most classicists reference most frequently--says "kissa" is "a chattering,
greedy bird, the jay or magpie."  So the problem is not so much with Gulick,
but with Liddell, Scott and earlier lexicographers, who give us "jay or
magpie" as interchangeable definitions.

Hope that settles it. :-)

Vittoria, your friendly neighborhood classicist

On Fri, Mar 7, 2008 at 7:16 AM, Cindy Renfrow <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

> >>  So I would say this is just a case of a lazy translator who assumed
> >> that jays and magpies are the same species.
> I object to the term 'lazy'.  Dr. Charles Burton Gulick, Eliot
> Professor of Greek Literature at Harvard University devoted more than
> 25 years of his life to bringing us the writings of Athenaeus . His is
> a truly wonderful side-by-side Greek/English translation that is fully
> annotated and indexed. This colossal work was based on extant
> manuscripts that were necessarily collated, and he takes the trouble to
> reference and explain the many ancient citations buried in the text.
> I have the 1958 volume VII index for the entire work. The word 'jay'
> does not appear in the index. The citation for vol. II page 107 is
> listed under 'magpie'.
> Cindy
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