Praedam ipsi in se expetendam sciunt solam esse in armis suis , quae iuba cornua appellat , Herodotus tanto antiquior et consuetudo melius dentes . Quam ob rem deciduos casu aliquo vel senecta defodiunt . Hoc solum ebur est ; cetero et in his quoque , qua corpus intexit , vilitas ossea . Quamquam nuper ossa etiam in laminas secari coepere paenuria : etenim rara amplitudo iam dentium praeterquam ex India reperitur ; cetera in nostro orbe cessere luxuriae . Dentium candore intellegitur iuventa . Circa hos beluis summa cura : alterius mucroni parcunt , ne sit proeliis hebes , alterius operario usu fodiunt radices , inpellunt moles ; circumventique a venantibus primos constituunt quibus sint minimi , ne tanti proelium putetur , postea fessi inpactos arbori frangunt praedaque se redimunt .
Mirum in plerisque animalium scire quare petantur , sed et fere cuncta quid caveant . Elephans homine obvio forte in solitudine et simpliciter oberrante clemens placidusque etiam demonstrare viam traditur ; idem vestigio hominis animadverso prius quam homine intremescere insidiarum metu , subsistere ab olfactu , circumspectare , iras proflare nec calcare , sed erutum proximo tradere , illum sequenti , simili nuntio usque ad extremum , tunc agmen circumagi et reverti aciemque derigi . Adeo omnium odori durare virus illud maiore ex parte ne nudorum quidem pedum .
Elephanti gregatim semper ingrediuntur . Ducit agmen maximus natu , cogit aetate proximus . amnem transituri minimos praemittunt , ne maiorum ingressu atterente alveum crescat gurgiti altitudo . Antipater auctor est duos Antiocho regi in bellicis usibus celebres etiam cognominibus fuisse ; etenim novere ea . Certe Cato , cum imperatorum nomina annalibus detraxerit , eum , qui fortissime proeliatus esset in Punica acie , surum tradidit vocatum altero dente mutilato .
These animals are well aware that the only spoil that we are anxious to procure of them is the part which forms their weapon of defence , by Juba , called their horns , but by Herodotus , a much older writer , as well as by general usage and more appropriately , their teeth . 1 Hence it is that , when their tusks have fallen off , either by accident or from old age , they bury them in the earth . 2 These tusks form the only real ivory , and , even in these , the part which is covered by the flesh is merely common bone , and of no value whatever ; though , indeed , of late , in consequence of the insufficient supply of ivory , they have begun to cut the bones as well into thin plates . Large teeth , in fact , are now rarely found , except in India , the demands of luxury3 having exhausted all those in our part of the world . The youthfulness of the animal is ascertained by the whiteness of the teeth4 These animals take the greatest care of their teeth ; they pay especial attention to the point of one of them , that it may not be found blunt when wanted for combat ; the other they employ for various purposes , such as digging up roots and pushing forward heavy weights . When they are surrounded by the hunters , they place those in front which have the smallest teeth , that the enemy may think that the spoil is not worth the combat ; and afterwards , when they are weary of resistance , they break off their teeth , by dashing them against a tree , and in this manner pay their ransom .
It is a wonderful thing , that most animals are aware why it is that they are sought after , and what it is , that , under all circumstances , they have to guard against . When an elephant happens to meet a man in the desert , who is merely wandering about , the animal , it is said , shows himself both merciful and kind , and even points out the way . But the very same animal , if he meets with the traces of a man , 1 before he meets the man himself , trembles in every limb , for fear of an ambush , stops short and scents the wind , looks around him , and snorts aloud with rage ; and then , without trampling upon the object , digs it up , 2 and passes it to the next one , who again passes it to the one that follows , and so on from one to the other , till it comes to the very last . The herd then faces about , returns , and ranges itself in order of battle ; so strongly does the odour , in all cases , attach itself to the human footstep , even though , as is most frequently the case , the foot itself is not naked .
Elephants always move in herds . 4 The oldest takes the lead , and the next in age brings up the rear . When they are crossing a river , they first send over the smallest , for fear lest the weight of the larger ones may increase the depth of the channel , by working away the bed of the river . We learn from Antipater , that King Antiochus had two elephants , which he employed in his wars , and to which he had given the names of celebrated men ; and that they were aware too of this mark of distinction . 5 Cato , in his Annals , while he has passed over in silence the names of the generals , has given that of an elephant called Surus , which fought with the greatest valour in the Carthaginian army , and had lost one of its tusks .
They are aware that the only spoil we desire of them are the weapons , which , by Juba , is called the hoof , but by Herodotus , a much older and customary writer and honestly , teeth . Who , on account of these things , once they fall , by chance , someone , or old age , are burried . These are only ivory , and likewise in these , which are covered in flesh , are cheap bone . Although , recently , with the scarcity , they are beginning to also cut the bone into plates . Indeed , great teeth are now rarely discovered except in India , the luxury withdrawing from our territory . The youth is understood by the whiteness of the teeth . These beats worry the most around their teeth , they show consideration to the sharp points of the other , so that it won’t be blunt when they fight , and the other to dig up roots and push large mass . And when they are encircled in a hunt , they set up those with the smallest ( teeth ) first , so that they don’t think the battle will be of such great size , and after they are tired , they thrust the spoils against a tree to break them off to redeem themselves .
It is wonderful that the majority of animals know why we beat them , but nearly all avoid this being taken . When the elephants are exposed in the wilderness to a man who is simply wandering about , ( the animal ) , is merciful and loving and also points out the way to deliver ( go ) . Likewise , if they notice the footprints of the humans first , they tremble in fear of an ambush , stops short and smells the air , looks about , exhales with rage not trampling ( the nearest root ) , but digs up the nearest root to hand over to those following , the messengers pass it all the way to the end , then the heard leads around and turns back and guides with the sharp points . The poisiness odor attatches itself to all humans feet that are , most of the time , indeed a nude part of him .
Elephants always walk in flocks . The greatest in age lead the flock , the next in age rounds up ( the heard ) . When crossing a river they send the youngest , not the largest who’s walking would rub against the river bed and increase the depth of the abyss . Antipater , the king who had two elephants , which he udes in war , and also gave them the same name as those celbrated ; and even they ( the elephants ) knew this ( their names ) . Certain Cato , in his chronicles , excludes the names of his generals , gave that of ( an elephant ) the strongest in a fight in the Carthaginian battle line , and was called to maime and surrender his tusk to the Syrians .