Xenophon, On Hunting (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyn.].
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9.18On coming across a caltrop upset, slip the hounds, give them a hark-forward, and follow along the track of the clog, noticing which way it runs. That will be clear enough for the most part: for the stones will be displaced and the trail of the clog will be obvious in the cultivated ground; and if the deer crosses rough places, there will be fragments of bark torn from the clog on the rocks, and the pursuit will be all the easier.

9.19If the deer is caught by the fore-foot it will soon be taken, as it hits every part of its body and its face with the clog during the run; or if by the hindleg, the dragging of the clog hampers the whole body; and sometimes it dashes into forked branches of trees, and unless it breaks the cord, is caught on the spot. 9.20But, whether you catch it in this way or by wearing it out, don't go near it; for it will butt, if it's a stag, and kick, and if it's a hind, it will kick. So throw javelins at it from a distance.

In the summer months they are also caught by pursuit without the aid of a caltrop; for they get dead beat, so that they are hit standing. When hard pressed, they will even plunge into the sea and into pools in their bewilderment; and occasionally they drop from want of breath.

ch. 10 10.1For hunting the wild boar provide yourself with Indian, Cretan, Locrian and Laconian [Note] hounds, boar nets, javelins, spears and caltrops. In the first place the hounds of each breed must be of high quality, that they may be qualified to fight the beast. 10.2The nets must be made of the same flax as those used for hares, of forty-five threads woven in three strands, each strand containing fifteen threads. The height should be ten knots, counted from the top, [Note] and the depths of the meshes fifteen inches. The ropes at top and bottom must be half as thick again as the nets. There must be metal rings at the elbows, and the ropes must be inserted under the meshes, and their ends must pass out through the rings. [Note] Fifteen nets are sufficient. [Note]

10.3The javelins must be of every variety, the blades broad and keen, and the shafts strong. The spears must have blades fifteen inches long, and stout teeth at the middle of the socket, forged in one piece but standing out; and their shafts must be of cornel wood, as thick as a military spear. The caltrops must be similar to those used in hunting deer. There must be several huntsmen, for the task of capturing the beast is no light one even for a large number of men. I will now explain how to use each portion of the outfit in hunting.

10.4First then, when the company reach the place where they suppose the game to lurk, let them slip one of the Laconian hounds, and taking the others in leash, go round the place with the hound. 10.5As soon as she has found his tracks, let the field follow, one behind another, keeping exactly to the line of the track. The huntsmen also will find many evidences of the quarry, the tracks in soft ground, broken branches where the bushes are thick, and marks of his tusks wherever there are trees. 10.6The hound following the track will, as a rule, arrive at a well-wooded spot. For the beast usually lies in such places, since they are warm in winter and cool in summer. As soon as the hound reaches the lair, she will bark. 10.7But in most cases the boar will not get up. So take the hound and tie her up with the others at a good distance from the lair, and have the nets put up in the convenient anchorages, hanging the meshes on forked branches of trees. Out of the net itself make a long projecting bosom, putting sticks inside to prop it up on both sides, so that the light of day may penetrate as much as possible into the bosom through the meshes, in order that the interior may be as light as possible when the boar rushes at it. Fasten the (lower) rope to a strong tree, not to a bush, since the bushes give way at the bare stem. [Note] Wherever there is a gap between a net and the ground, [Note] fill in the places that afford no anchorage with wood, in order that the boar may rush into the net, and not slip out.

10.8As soon as they are in position, let the party go to the hounds and loose them all, and take the javelins and the spears and advance. Let one man, the most experienced, urge on the hounds, while the others follow in regular order, keeping well behind one another, so that the boar may have a free passage between them; for should he beat a retreat and dash into a crowd, there is a risk of being gored, since he spends his rage on anyone he encounters.

10.9As soon as the hounds are near the lair, they will go for him. The noise will cause him to get up, and he will toss any hound that attacks him in front. He will run and plunge into the nets; or if not, you must pursue him. If the ground where he is caught in the net is sloping, he will quickly get up; if it is level, he will immediately stand still, intent on himself. 10.10At this moment the hounds will press their attack, and the huntsmen must fling their javelins at him warily, and pelt him with stones, gathering round behind and a good way off, till he shoves hard enough to pull the rope of the net tight. Then let the most experienced and most powerful man in the field approach him in front and thrust his spear into him.



Xenophon, On Hunting (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Xen. Cyn.].
<<Xen. Cyn. 9.5 Xen. Cyn. 10.3 (Greek) >>Xen. Cyn. 10.17

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