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Kissa grece avis pica.


In B the lemma is not marked as an extra entry but is part of a continuous text column beginning with the entry Kirukes.


Kissa {"jay"} is Greek for the bird pica {"jay, magpie"} in Latin.


κίσσα /kíssa/, Ionic and Koine κίττα /kítta/, means the "Eurasian jay", Garrulus glandarius L., a bird with a wide Old World distribution.

Simon offers the Latin translation pica, which originally meant "magpie”, i.e. Pica pica L., a bird also of a wide distribution and roughly the same size but of a very different plumage from the jay, the latter being quite multicoloured as opposed to the black and white of the magpie. Apparently the magpie was a late arrival in Italy as Pliny reports, 10, 71, 342, ed. Rackham (1938-62: III):

Nuper et adhuc tamen rara ab Appennino ad urbem versus cerni coepere picarum genera quae longa insignes cauda variae appellantur – "Recently and until now rare birds of the magpie kind have been seen between the Apennines and Rome. Their distinctive feature is a long tail and they are called chequered".

Thus the word pica came to be applied to both bird species, jay and magpie.

Cf. s.v. Kissa in Arnott (2007: 149-50).

Wilf Gunther 05/03/14

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