ἡ χελώνη, -ης – a turtle, a tortoise. Also: a shed protecting besiegers, a testudo of shields.
χελώνη τις, ὡς λέγουσιν, ἀπέκτεινε τὸν Αἰσχύλον, τὸν τραγικὸν ποιητήν· πῶς τοῦτο; ἰδού, ὁ Αἰλιανὸς διηγεῖται ἡμῖν·
„Τὰς χερσαίας χελώνας οἱ ἀετοὶ συλλαβόντες εἶτα ἄνωθεν προσήραξαν ταῖς πέτραις, καὶ τὸ χελώνιον συντρίψαντες οὕτως ἐξαιροῦσι τὴν σάρκα καὶ ἐσθίουσι. ταύτῃ τοι καὶ Αἰσχύλον τὸν Ἐλευσίνιον τὸν τῆς τραγῳδίας ποιητὴν τὸν βίον ἀκούω καταστρέψαι. καὶ ὁ μὲν Αἰσχύλος ἐπί τινος πέτρας καθῆστο, τὰ εἰθισμένα δήπου φιλοσοφῶν καὶ γράφων· ἄθριξ δὲ ἦν τὴν κεφαλὴν καὶ ψιλός. οἰηθεὶς οὖν ὁ ἀετὸς πέτραν εἶναι τὴν κεφαλὴν εἶτα μέντοι κατ’ αὐτῆς ἀφῆκεν ἣν κατεῖχε χελώνην, καὶ ἔτυχε τοῦ προειρημένου τὸ βέλος, καὶ ἀπέκτεινε τὸν ἄνδρα.”
A tortoise, they say, killed Aeschylus, the tragic poet. How? Here’s what Aelian tells us: „Eagles lift up tortoises and dash them on rocks from above. Having smashed the tortoise’s shell they extract and eat the flesh. It was in this way, I am told, that Aeschylus of Eleusis, the tragic poet, met his end. Aeschylus was seated upon a rock, meditating, I suppose, and writing as usual. He had no hair on his head and was bald. Now an eagle supposing his head to be a rock, let the tortoise which it was holding fall upon it. And the missile struck the aforesaid poet and killed him.“ (Aelian, On Animals VII.16)