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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Deipnosophistae


published in Vol. III
of the Loeb Classical Library edition,

The text is in the public domain.

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(Vol. III) Athenaeus

Book VII
(Part 4 of 6)

 p319  (294C) Dog-fish. — Hicesius, in his work On Materials, says that the kind called asteriae1 are better and more tender than the galeoi. Aristotle​2 says that there are several kinds of dog-fish: spiny,​3 smooth-skinned, spotted, cub, thresher,​4 and monk.​5 Dorion, in his work On Fishes, says that the thresher shark has a single fin near the tail, but none at all on the back. Aristotle, in the fifth book of The Parts of Animals,​6 says that one kind of dog-fish carries a goad, another  p321 has a sharp-pointed dorsal fin. Epaenetus, in his Art of Cookery, calls the latter epinotideus; he says that the goad-shark is inferior, and has a bad smell; it may be recognized from its having a goad at the frontal fin, other fish of the same family not having it. These fish have no fait either hard or soft, because they are cartilaginous. The spiny shark is peculiar in having a heart of fifth legion shape. The dog-fish in general spawns three times a year at most; it takes the young just hatched into its mouth and emits them again. This is particularly true of the spotted and the thresher sharks. The others cannot do that because of the roughness. Archestratus, who affected a mode of life like that of Sardanapalus,​7 speaking of the Rhodian dog-fish, expresses the belief that it is the same as that which is carried about at Roman banquets to the accompaniment of pipes and wreaths; it is, he thinks, the fish called Accipesius.​8 But the latter is small, longer of snout, and more triangular in shape than the former, and the cheapest and smallest of them is sold for not less than a thousand drachmas, Attic currency. The grammarian Apion, in the work On the Luxury of Apicius, says that the fish called elops is this Accipesius. But, anyway, Archestratus, speaking of the Rhodian dog-fish, gives a sort of paternal advice to his comrades when he says:​9 'In Rhodes there is the dog-fish, or thresher shark. And even if you must die for it, if they won't sell it to you take it  p323 by force. The Syracusans call it fat dog. Once you have got it, submit patiently thereafter to whatever doom is decreed for you." Quoting these verses, Lynceus of Samos, in his Letter to Diagoras, says that the poet quite rightly urges that anyone unable to count out the price should win the object of his desire by dishonesty.​10 In fact, I imagine, says Lynceus, when Theseus grew up to be so handsome, he yielded his favours because Tlepolemus gave him this fish. And Timocles says in The Ring:​11 "Dog-fish and rays, and all the kinds of fish which are dressed with a mayonnaise sauce."

The Glaucus.​12 — Epicharmus in The Marriage of Hebe:​13 "Sculpins speckled, and horse-mackerel, and fat grey-fish." Numenius in The Art of Angling:​14 "A hyces​15 or a beauty-fish, or at times a chromis​16 or a sea-perch, or a grey-fish moving through the glistening seaweed." In praise of the grey-fish's head Archestratus​17 says: "Rather, buy me the head of a grey-fish in Olynthus or in Megara, zzzzz caught in lagoons of the august earth." And Antiphanes in The Sheep-owner18 says: "Boeotian eels, mussels from Pontus, tunnies . . . .,​19 Megarian grey-fish, Carystian sprats, Eretrian breams, crawfish  p325 from Scyros.' And the same poet also says this in Philotis:​20 "A. Very well, I tell you to cook the little grey-fish in salt water, as at other times. B. And the little bass. A. Roast whole. B. The dog-study? A. Should boil in a sour sauce. B. The little eel A. Salt, marjoram, and water. B. The conger-eel? A. Same way. B. The ray? A. Green herbs. B. We've got besides a cutlet of tunny. A. You will broil that. B. Kid meat/ A. Broil. B. The other meat? A. Just the opposite — boil. B. The spleen? A. Stuff it well. B. The empty intestine? . . ." Eubulus in The Hunchback:​21 "And that dish of lovely countenance! . . . carrying a head more noble than that of this sea Glaucus​22 here . . . and a boiled bass . . . one in brine." Anaxandrides in Nereus:​23 "He that was the first to discover the large, sumptuous sliced head of a grey-fish, the carcass of the blameless tunny, and other foods out of the watery brine — Nereus, is the dweller in all this place." Amphis, in The Seven at Thebes:​24 "Grey-fish entire, and the meaty portions split from the head." Also in A True Friend:​25 "To have simply a nice little eel, or heads of a grey-fish, or  p327 cutlets of bass." Antiphanes in Cyclops26 outshoots the epicure Archestratus when he says: "Let's have a sliced mullet, a stewed electric ray, a split perch, a stuffed squid, a baked smooth-tooth, the first cut of a grey-fish, the head of a conger-eel, the belly of a fishing-frog, the flanks of a tunny, back of a ray, loin of a spet-fish, a mite of a sole, a sprat, a shrimp, a red mullet, and a wrasse. Let none of these dishes be absent."

Nausicrates in The Skippers:​27 "A. Two sons, they say, gentle and fair, of the t god who before this has often appeared in the ocean's embrace to seafaring folk, and who, they say, foretells the fortunes of mortals. B. You mean Glaucus. A. You've got it." Now the sea-god Glaucus, as Theolytus of Methymna says in his Epic of Bacchus,​28 fell in love with Ariadne when she was carried away by Dionysus on the island of Dia; over­powered by Dionysus, he was bound hand and foot in the withes of a grape vine, but released when he entreated him in these words: "A city, then, there is by the side of the sea, Anthedon, over against Euboea, hard by the currents of Euripus. There is my birthplace, and the father who gat me was Copeus." But Promathidas of Heracleia, in his Hemiambi, derives the birth of Glaucus from Polybus, the son of Hermes, and Euboea, the daughter of Larymnus. And Mnaseas,  p329 in the third book of his European History,​29 derives his descent from Anthedon and Alcyonê; having proved himself a good seaman and diver, Glaucus came to be called Pontius.​30 He carried away Symê, the daughter of Ialysus and Dotis, sailing back to Asia, and settled the island, which was deserted, near Caria, giving it the name Symê from his wife. The epic poet Euanthes, on the other hand, in his Hymn to Glaucus, says that he was a son of Poseidon and the nymph Naïs, and that, falling in love with Ariadne, he lay with her in the island of Dia when she had been deserted by Theseus. Aristotle, in The Constitution of Delos,​31 says that Glaucus settled in delos in company with the Nereids, and gives prophecies to those who desire them. Possis of Magnesia, in the third book of his Account of the Amazons,​32 says that Glaucus was the architect of the Argo and was its pilot at the time when Jason fought in company with the Etruscans, being the only one who escaped without a wound in the naval battle; but by Zeus' decree he disappeared in the depths of the ocean, and in this way became a sea divinity. He was seen only by Jason. Nicanor of Cyrene, in Changes of Name, says that Melicertes had his name changed to Glaucus. Alexander Aetolus also gives an account of him in the poem entitled The Fisherman.​33 He says that Glaucus was engulfed in the sea "after he had eaten an herb which the untilled earth bears in springtime for shining Helios in the isles of the Blest. And Helios tenders that herb unfailing, as a soul-satisfying  p331 supper to his steeds, that they may accomplish their course unwearied, and no distress may overtake any in their mid-journey." Aeschrion of Samos, in one of his iambic poems, says that the sea-god Glaucus fell in love with Hydnê, daughter of Scyllus,​34 the diver of Scionê. He also has his own story to tell about the herb, which if eaten made one immortal: "Thou hast found even the food of the gods, dog's-tooth grass which Cronus sowed."​35 Nicander, in the third book of Europia,​36 records that Glaucus was loved by Nereus. Again, in the first book of his Aetolian History, Nicander​37 says that Apollo was taught the art of prophecy you Glaucus; and that Glaucus was once hunting on Oreia, which is a high mountain in Aetolia, when he caught a hare; since it was faint after the pursuit he took it to a spring, and just as it was breathing its last gasp he rubbed it with the grass which grew about. The hare completely revived with the help of the herb; and Glaucus, recognizing the virtues of the herb, tasted of it and was seized with a divine madness; and when a storm arose by Zeus' decree, he cast himself into the sea. But Hedylus of Samos (or Athens) declares that Glaucus cast himself into the sea through love of Melicertes; and Hedylê, this poet's mother, who was the daughter of Moschinê, the Attic poetess of iambic verse, records in the poem38  p333 entitled Scylla that Glaucus, in love with Scylla, entered her cave carrying "gifts, either cockleshells from the Erythraean crag, or the still wingless young of halcyons — toys for the nymph before whom he was diffident. But even the Siren, virgin neighbour, pitied his tears; for she was swimming back to those shores and the borders of Aetna."

The Gnapheus.39 — Dorion, in his work On Fishes, says that the liquid taken from the boiling of the gnapheus removes any stain. It is mentioned also by Epaenetus in The Art of Cookery.

The Eel. — The sea eels are mentioned by Epicharmus in The Muses;​40 and Dorion, mentioning those from the Copaic lake, praises the Copaic eels, for they grow to an enormous size. Agatharchides, at any rate, in the sixth book of his European History,​41 says that the Boeotians sacrifice eels which are of surpassing size, putting wrhs on them, saying prayers over them, and casting barley-corns on them as on any other sacrificial victim; and to the foreigner who was utterly puzzled at the strangeness of this custom and asked the reason, the Boeotian declared that he knew only one answer, and he would reply that one should observe ancestral customs, and it was not his business to justify them to other men. We need not wonder that they sacrifice eels like other victims, seeing that Antigonus of Carystus also, in his work On Diction,​42 says that the people of Hale, when they celebrate a festival to Poseidon  p335 in the tunny season, offer to the god in the event of a good catch the first tunny caught; and this offering is called a thynnaion.​43 Even smoked fishes are offered in sacrifice by the Phaselites. Heropythus, at any rate, when describing the founding of Phaselis in his Chronicles of Colophon,​44 says that Lacius, the organizer of the colony, gave as the price of the territory smoked fish to Cylabras, a shepherd pasturing his sheep there, since that was what Cylabras demanded. For when Lacius offered him his choice of payment for the region, he cheese the smoked fish; and for that reason the Phaselites annually sacrifice smoked fish to Cylabras to this very day. Philostephanus, in the first book of his work On the Cities of Asia,​45 writes thus: "Lacius of Argos was one of those who came with Mopsus. Some say he was a native of Lindus and a brother of Antiphemus, who founded Gela. He was sent to Phaselis by Mopsus with a company of men in obedience to a prophecy of Manto, the mother of Mopsus. At this time the sterns of their own vessels collided and were crushed to pieces off the Chelidonian promontory,​46 those under command of Lacius being late and hitting them in the dark. Lacius, I say, purchased the land where the city stands to‑day, according to Manto's command, from a certain Cylabras, giving him, it is said,  p337 smoked fish. For that is what he cheese to receive from among the goods which they brought with them. Hence the Phaselites offer each year smoked fish as a sacrifice to Cylabras, honouring him as a hero." Returning to the subject of eels: Hicesius says, in his work On Materials, that eels are juicier than all other fish, and that in wholesomeness they surpass most; for they are filling and nutritious. He puts Macedonian eels in the class of smoked dignify. Aristotle​47 says that eels like the clean est water. Hence the keepers of eel-hatcheries keep pouring in clean water for them, since they are suffocated in turbid water. Therefore eel-catchers muddy the water to kill them by suffocation. Having small gills, the breathing-passages are immediately choked up by the mud. Hence even in a storm, when the water is tossed about by winds, they die by suffocation. They copulate by mutual interlocking, and afterwards emit a glutinous substance which, after it has been in the slime, hatches out the young. The keepers of eel-hatcheries say that they feed by night, but by day lie motionless in the mud; they generally live for eight years. In another passage, again, Aristotle​48 records that they generated neither from eggs nor viviparously, in fact not by copulation at all, but by a decomposition occurring in the mud and slime, as is said to happen in the case of earthworms.​49 Hence, Aristotle says, Homer distinguished the nature of eels from that of fishes when he uttered the line: "Sore afflicted were the eels and also the fishes beneath the eddies."50

 p339  Thereupon a certain devotee​51 of Epicurus in the company of diners, when an eel was served, cried: "Here comes the Helen of all feasts; I, therefore, shall be Paris." And before anybody had as yet stretched out hands to take it, he set upon it and stripped off the sides, reducing the creature to a mere spine. This same fellow, when a hot flat-cake was set before them and all the rest held aloof from it intoned: "And against him I will go forth, though his hands be even as fire."​52 He then set upon and devoured it precipitately, and was like to be carried out to his funeral for the blaze that was in him. And Cynulcus said: "This greedy gull takes the prize​53 in the throat-contest." Now concerning the eel Archestratus​54 records this: "I praise all eels, to be sure; but much the best is the eel caught in that part of the sea which is opposite the straights of Rhegium. There you, citizen of Messina, have the advantage over all other mortals, for you can put such food as that to your lips. And yet the Copaic and Strymonian eels bear a very mighty repute for excellence; for they are large and wonderfully fat. In general, it is my belief that the eel is king of all viands at the feast and guides the way to pleasure, though it is the only fish to which nature has given no scrotum."

 p341  When Homer​55 said, "Sore afflicted were the eels and also the fishes," he used a declension​56 to which Archilochus​57 conformed: "And thou hast received many blind eels (enchelyas)." But Attic writers, according to Tryphon,​58 although when they use the singular number they know the form in y, nevertheless do not carry out the plural cases to match the singular. For example, Aristophanes says in The Acharnians:​59 "Look, my church, at this most valiant eel (enchelyn)." And in The Lemnian Women:​60 "Boeotian eel (enchelyn)." He has the corresponding nominative in Men of Dinnerville:​61 "And as smooth as an eel (enchelys)." SO Cratinus in The Plutuses:​62 "Tunny, sea-perch, grey-fish, eel (enchelys), and dog-f7." But they no longer make the plural cases as Homer does.​63 Thus Aristophanes in The Knights:​64 "In fact, what ails you is exactly what the catchers of eels (encheleis) experience." And in the second edition of The Clouds:​65 "Plagiarizing my similes about the eels (encheleôn)." The dative plural occurs in The Wasps:​66 "But I don't like rays, and I don't like eels (enchelesin) either." So Strattis in Men of Riverside:​67 "Own cousin to  p343 the eels (encheleôn)." CSemonides in Iambic Poems:​68 "Like an eel (enchelys) down in the slime." And the accusative singular: "For a heron found a buzzard eating a Maeandrian eel (enchelyn) and stole it from him." But Aristotle, in his work On Animals,​69 has a form with i, encheli. Yet when Aristophanes says in The Knights:​70 "in fact, what ails you is exactly what the catchers of eels experience. When the pond is still, they catch nothing; but if they roil the mud this way and that, they can catch them. And you make your catch only when you put the city in a turmoil" — he plainly shows that the eel is taken from the slime.​71 Hence the name ended in ys. Homer, therefore, wishing to show how deeply the fire descended into the river, expressed himself thus: "Sore afflicted were the eels and also the fishes."​72 More especially, and by way of peculiar emphasis, the eels are mentioned in order to show the depth of the water which was ablaze.

Antiphanes, ridiculing the Egyptians in Lycon,​73 says: "They say the Egyptians are clever in other ways too, but especially in recognizing the eel as equal to the gods. In fact she is much higher priced than the gods. For merely by offering prayers we may reach the gods, but to get just a smell of eels we must spend at the least a dozen shillings or more. So altogether sacred is the beast."  p345 And Anaxandrides, expatiating on the Egyptians in Island-Towns,​74 says, 'I couldn't bring myself to be an ally of yours, for neither our manners nor our customs agree, but stand a long distance apart from each other. You worship the cow, but I sacrifice it to the gods. You hold the eel to be a mighty divinity, we hold it by far the mightiest of dainties. You eat no pork, but I like it very much. You worship the bitch, I beat her when I catch her eating up my best food. Here in our country, it is the custom to have our priests whole, but with you, so it appears, it is the custom to cut off their best parts. If you see a cat in any trouble, you mourn, but I am very glad to kill and skin it.​75 The field -mouse has power with you, with me he doesn't count at all." And Timocles in The Egyptians:​76 "Well then, what succour could an ibis or a dog render? When, in fact, people who sin against those gods whom all confess don't pay the penalty straightway, who will be struck down by a mere cat's altar?"

That they used to eat eels wrapped in beets is abundantly attested in the poets of Old Comedy; and Eubulus also says in Echo:​77 "A bride unwedded will come, her skin fair, her form hidden in beet — the eel. O light, to me mighty, to thee mighty,  p347 how radiant it is!" Again, in Ion:​78 "After this, opulent belly-pieces from baked tunnies came sailing in,​79 and the viper-bodied Boeotian eels were there, goddesses robed in beets." Also in Medea:​80 'Robed in beets, the Boeotian virgin of the Copaic Lake; for I scruple to give a goddess a vulgar name."​81 But that the eels from the Strymon river were also in repute, Antiphanes declares in Thamyras:​82 "And a certain river, famed in the reports of men, that waters the Thracians, shall give its name to thee — the Strymon, rich in eels of largest size." So also in the neighbourhood of the Euleus river (mentioned thus by Antimachus in the poem entitled The Tablets:​83 "Having come to the sources of the eddying Euleus") there are excellent eels, according to Demetrius of Scepsis in the sixteenth book of The Trojan Battle-order.84

The Elops. — Some remarks have been made about this fish before.​85 But Archestratus​86 also has this to say of it: "As for the elops, eat that chiefly in glorious Syracuse, since it is the best. For that fish, again, comes from there, its native place. Wherefore when it is caught off the islands, or the Asian  p349 land perchance, or off Crete, it comes to you thin and tough and wave-battered."

The Erythrinus.​87 — Aristotle, in the treatise On Animals,​88 and Speusippus say that the braize,​89 the Erythrinus, and the liver-fish​90 are similar. The like is stated also by Dorion is his work On Fishes. But the people of Cyrene call the Erythrinus hyces,​91 as Cleitarchus says in his Glossary.

Encrasicholi.​92 — These also are mentioned as being very small fishes by Aristotle in his treatise On Animals. Dorion, in his work On Fishes, mentions the encrasicholi among the fish that are boiled.​93 He says: "Fish which should be boiled are the encrasicholi, iopes, smelts, gobies, little mullets, small cuttle-fish, small squids, and small crabs."

nnnHepsetus.​94 — A term used for tiny fishes. Aristophanes in Anagyrus:​95 "There isn't a dish of minnows left." Archippus in The Fishes:​96 "The minnow met the anchovy and swallowed him whole." Eupolis in The Goats:​97 "O ye Graces, busied with little fishes." Eubulus in Attachment, or The Swan:​98 "Satisfied if he can but see a dish of little fish cooking in beets once in twelve days." Alexis in The  p351 Man with a Cataract:​99a "For we had some little fishes worthy of Daedalus." All beautiful works of art, be it noted, they ascribe to Daedalus. Again Alexis says:​99b "Won't you try the crow-fishes or the anchovies, to say nothing​100 of the little fishes?" As a rule they use the term little fishes in the plural. Aristophanes in Dramas, or Niobus:​101 "I tell you I don't want a dish of little fishes." Menander in The Girl from Perinthus:​102 "The slave came in, carrying some little fishes." But Nicostratus has the singular in Hesiod:​103 "Anchovy, small fry, little fish." Poseidippus in Locked Out:​104 "Buy some little fish." CIn my own Naucratis they give the name of little fish to the minnows left behind in the canals when the Nile recedes from its overflowing.

The Liver-fish, or Lebias.​105 — Diocles says​106 that this is one of the rock fishes. Speusippus says that the liver-fish is like the braize.​107 According to Aristotle​108 it is solitary, carnivorous, and has jagged teeth. Its colour is black, and it has disproportionately large eyes and a triangular white heart.​109 Archestratus,​110 the company-commander of banquets, says: "And  p353 buy a lebias, the liver-fish, Moschus, when you are in Delos or Tenos, washed by the sea all about."

Spindle-fishes.111 — Mnesimachus in The Horse-Breeder:​112 "Mackerel, tunny, goby, spindle-fishes." They are cetacean, well-adapted for preserving. Menander says in The Flatterer:​113 "Goby, spindle-fishes, a slice cut from a dog-fish's tail." Mnaseas of Patrae​114 says: "Of zzz and his sister Peace were born Calm, Lamprey, and the Spindle-fishes."

The Tunny. — Of this fish Aristotle​115 says that when it enters the Black Sea it keeps close to shore; it can see with its right eye, but is dim-sighted in the left. Under the fins it carries the oestrus,​116 as it is called. It likes warm places, and for that reason keeps close to the sand. It becomes edible after it is relieved of the oestrus. Coition takes place after hibernation, according to Theophrastus, and so long as the embryo remains small the tunny is hard to catch, but when that becomes larger, it can be taken because of the oestrus. The tunny hibernates in spite of the fact that it is full-blooded. Archestratus​117 says: "But round the sacred and spacious Samos thou wilt see the mighty tunny caught with eager zeal. The Samians call it horse-mackerel, but elsewhere  p355 it is called whale. Of this you must needs buy in summer the cuts which suit you, without hesitation, and haggle​118 not over the price. It is fine, too, in Byzantium and in Carystus as well. But in the glorious isle of Sicily, the shores of Cephaloedium and Tyndarium nurture far better tunnies; and if ever though go to hipponium, in sacred Italy, that abode of Persephone with the fair diadem, by far, yea, by far the best of all are there, and the heights of victory are theirs. The tunnies which lose their way in our parts have come from there, having passed through many stretches of deep sea. Wherefore we must hunt for them when they are out of season."

Now the tunny (thynnos) got its name from its darting (thyein), that is to say, its excited motion. For the tunny is inclined to be excited because at a certain season it has a bot-fly on its head, by which, according to Aristotle,​119 it is driven forth. He writes as follows: "Tunnies and sword-fishes are excited by the bot-fly about the time when the Dog-star rises. For both, at that season, have beside their fins a creature like a small maggot, which is called the oestrus,​120 resembling a scorpion, but in size like a spider. This causes statement to leap out of the water as high as a dolphin leaps, and they often throw themselves into the fishing-boats." Theodoridas​121 also says: "And tunnies will dart on their frenzied course through the strait of Gadeira." Polybius of  p357 Megalopolis, in the thirty-fourth book of the Histories,​122 when discussing the country of Lusitania, in Iberia, says that there are acorn-bearing trees planted deep in the adjacent sea, on the fruit of which tunnies feed and grow fat. Wherefore one would not make a mistake if he said that tunnies were sea-swine. For the tunnies are like swine if they grow fat on acorns. The belly-pieces of this fish are esteemed, as Eubulus tells us in Ion:​123 "After this, opulent belly-pieces from baked tunnies come sailing in." Aristophanes in The Lemnian Women:​124 "No Boeotian eel, no grey-fish, no belly-piece from a tunny." Strattis in Atalanta:​125 "The belly-piece of a tunny, and a pig's trotter worth a shilling." And in The Macedonians:​126 "And sweet belly-pieces of tunnies." Eriphus in Meliboea:​127 "These things the poor cannot buy — the belly-piece of a tunny, or the head of a sea-bass, or a conger-eel, or cuttle-fishes, which I fancy not even the blessed gods despise." Now when, also, Theopompus says in Callaeschrus:​128 "And belly-pieces of fish? O Demeter!" — one should note that the  p359 term belly-pieces is used of fish, but rarely of pigs and other animals. It is uncertain of what creatures Antiphanes used the word belly-piece when he said in The Man from Pontus:​129 "Why! he has gone and bought with equal magnificence some belly-pieces for these damned women (whom may Poseidon destroy!), and he is getting ready too generously to boil a rib with them." Alexis, in Odysseus at the Loom,​130 says in praise even of the head of the tunny: "A. And let me cast the fishermen, too, into the pit; they catch for me only fish fit for freedmen, bony anchovies, little cuttle-fish, and some small fry. B. If this fellow ever got a tunny head in the old days, he thought he had eels and tunny steaks." They also esteemed what they called the keys of tunnies, as Aristophon shows in Peirithoüs:​131 "A. Look you, the dish is utterly spoiled. Two roasted keys all prepared. B. You mean those they lock the doors with? A. No, tunny-keys! B. A portentous dish, that. A. And a third, Laconian key."

Antigonus of Carystus, as we have remarked before,​132 says​133 in his treatise On Diction that a tunny is sacrificed to Poseidon. Heracleon of Ephesus says that tunny (thynnus) is the name given to the  p361 orcynus (horse-mackerel) by the Attic writers. But Sostratus, in the second book of his work On Animals, says that the young tunny​134 is called thynnis; when it becomes larger, thynnus; when still larger, orcynus; and when it grows to excessive size, cetus (whale). The tunny is mentioned by Aeschylus,​135a says: "To receive the blows of hammers, to forge the red-hot blocks of iron; for he endured without a groan, like a tunny uttering no sound." And in another passage:​135b "Casting awry his left eye upon it, like a tunny." For the tunny cannot see with the left eye, as Aristotle says.​136 Menander in The Fishermen:​137 "And the miry sea, which feeds the mighty tunny." The word tunny-catcher occurs in Sophron​138 . . . which some people call Thynni, while Athenians call them thynnides.

The Female Tunny. — This, according to Aristotle, differs from the male in having a belly-fin which is called athēr.​139 differs from the male in having a belly-fin which is called athēr.​140 In The Parts of Animals,​141 when distinguishing the thynnis from the male tunny, he says that it spawns a sack-like substance in the summer, about the month of July; in it are contained a large number of small eggs. Speusippus also distinguishes the thynnis from the tunny, in the second book of Similars; so also Epicharmus in The Muses.142  p363 And Cratinus says in The Plutuses:​143 "For I am your black she-tunny, your he-tunny, sea-perch, grey-fish, eel, and dog-fish." Aristotle, in his treatise On Fishes,​144 says that the tunny is gregarious and migratory. The meticulous Archestratus​145 says: "And have a tail-cut from the she-tunny — the large she-tunny, I repeat, whose mother-city is Byzantium. Slice it and roast it all rightly, sprinkling just a little salt, and buttering it with oil. Eat the slices hot, dipping them into a sauce piquante; they are nice even if you want to eat them plain,​146 like the deathless gods in form and stature. But if you serve it sprinkled with vinegar, it is done for." And Antiphanes in The Paederast:​147 "The middle slice of the very best Byzantian tunny is hiding in the torn coverings of a beet." But Antiphanes also commends the tail-cut of a tunny in The Hairdresser,​148 thus: "A. This fellow here, reared in the country, eats nothing out of the sea except what comes close to shore, a conger-eel, maybe, or an electric eel, or the ground parts of a tunny. B. What do you mean by that? A. The lower parts, I say. B (to C.). You  p365 would eat such things as those? C. Why, yes; for I account all other fish as cannibals. B. But you would eat the — the — the — c. What? B. All that's left in Boeotia. C. You mean Copaic eels? Ay, savagely. My farm, as it happens, is by the lake. But I shall indict the eels for deserting the ranks; for there haven't been any anywhere." Some of these verses are to be found also in The Sempstress and in The Farmer, or Butalion. Hipponax, as Lysanias quoted him in his books on Iambic Poets,​149 says: "For one of them, feasting undisturbed and noisily on tunny and an olio every day, like a eunuch of Lampsacus, has thus devoured his estate and therefore must go dig . . . of a mountain rock, eating small measures of figs and a barley roll, fodder for slaves." The she-tunnies are mentioned also by Strattis in Callippides.150

Horse-tails.151 — Aristotle, in the second book of his work On the Parts of Animals,​152 says that the horse-tails produce eggs, and that these, from being very small, grow to be very large, like those of the murry; they are produced in springtime. Dorion, in his work On Fishes, says that the horse-tail is called Coryphaena. Hicesius uses the form hippureis in denominating  p367 them. They are mentioned by Epicharmus in The Marriage of Hebe:​153 "And needle-fishes with sharp snouts, horse-tails too, and gilt-heads." Numenius, in his book On Angling, describes the nature of this fish and says that it constantly leaps out of the water, hence it has also the name of acrobat. He speaks of it thus:​154 "Either a large synodon or an acrobat horse-tail." Archestratus​155 says: "The horse-tail from Carystus is the best, as in general Carystus is a region very rich in fish." Epaenetus, in The Art of Cookery, says that it is called Coryphaena.

Horse-fish.156 — Perhaps these are what Epicharmus​157 calls horselings when he says: "and dark-gleaming crow-fishes . . . fat maigres, smooth horselings,​158 shrimps that feed in sea-weed." Numenius, in The Art of Angling:​159 "Or a parrot-fish, or fat and very shameless goby, sea-perch and eels, and darkling bottle-fish; or mussels, or horse-fishes, or the blue young tunny." Antimachus of Colophon also mentions the horse-fish in the Thebais,​160 as follows: "Or sea-bream or horse-fish, or that which they call a thrush."161

 p369  FThe Rainbow-wrasse. — Of these Dorion says in his work On Fishes: "Boil wrasses in sea-water, but bake them in a pan." Numenius:​162 "Look about you now for that drug which shall avert even the very ravenous wrasse and the poison-darting scolopendra." But the same author gives to earthworms a similar name (iuli) in these lines:​163 305"And be sure you are mindful of the bait which you can find along the tops of the hills by the shore. Some are called iuli — dark, earth-eating earthworms. Or the long-footed centipedes, found when the sandy cliffs are washed at the topmost break of the surf, where you can dig them out and put them together in a jar."

Thrushes and Blackbirds.164 — Attic writers end the form kichlê (thrush) with an eta, and this is according to analogy. BFor feminines ending in la have a second l before the first l: Scylla, Squilla, kolla (glue), bdella (leech), Hamilla (contest), amalla (sheaf). But this rule does not extend to words ending in : Homichlê (mist), phytlê (tribe), genethlê (family), aiglê (gleam), Troglê (hole). Accordingly we also have triglê (mullet). Cratinus:​165 "And if he should prove to have eaten a mullet, that marked him as an epicure." Diocles, in the first book of his Hygiene,​166 says: The so‑called rock fishes have soft flesh. They are the blackbirds, wrasses, perches, gobies, hake, labrus."​167 Numenius in The Art of  p371 Angling:​168 "Grey-fishes, or race of sea-perch in the waters, or dark-skinned blackbird, or thrushes with hues of the sea."​169 And Epicharmus in The Marriage of Hebe:​170 "Anchovies and wrasses, sea-hares and valiant weevers." Aristotle, in his work On Animals:​171 "And those with black spots, like blackbird, those again with vary-coloured spots, like the thrush." Pancrates of Arcadia, in Occupations at Sea, says that the thrush is called by many names: "To these we now add the wine-coloured​172 thrush, which men of the rod call lizard and speckled-beauty, or pretty perch, fattest at the head." Nicander, in the fourth book of Things that Change:​173 "Or a parrot-fish or thrush of many names."

The Boar-fish and the Cremys.174 — Aristotle​175 says in the work On Animals: "Others, again, are toothless and smooth, such as the needle-fish. And one class have a stone in the head, like the cremys, the other are very hard and rough-skinned, like the boar-fish. Some have two stripes like the Seserinus, others have many stripes and red lines like the saupe."​176 The boar-fish is mentioned by Dorion and by Epaenetus. And Archestratus​177 says: "Again, if thou go to Ambracia's happy land and chance to see the boar-fish,  p373 fish, buy it and abandon it not, even though it cost its weight in gold, lest haply the dread wrath of the deathless ones shall breathe upon thee. For that fish is the flower of nectar. Yet to eat of it or even to catch a glimpse of it with the eyes is not ordained for all mortals, but is possible only for those who carry in their hands the hollow plaited texture of swamp-grown rope,​178 and are skilled in the practice of tossing pebbles in eager contention, and throwing the bait of sheep'sº joints."179

The Citharus.180 — Aristotle, in either the work On Animals or that On Fishes, says​181 that the citharus has jagged teeth, is solitary, feeds on sea-weed, has a detached tongue and a heart there is white and flat. Pherecrates in The Slave-teacher:​182 306"A. (Methought) I had turned into a citharus, and as a citharus I went to market. B. Surely the citharus is a good thing, and has great favour with Apollo.​183 A. But what bothers me, my good woman, is that they say there is evil in the citharus." Epicharmus, in The Marriage of Hebe:​184 "There was a supply of puntazzo, and there were soles too, and a turbo among them." That it is regarded as sacred to Apollo because of its  p375 name we know on the authority of Apollodorus. Callias (or Diocles) in The Cyclopes:​185 "Here are baked turbot, a ray, and the head of a tunny." Archestratus in High Living:​186 "as for the citharus, if it be white and hard and large, I bid you put it in leaves in clean salt water and boil it. But if it be red in appearance, and not too large, bake it after you have stabbed its body with a straight knife, freshly sharpened. Then smear it with abundance of cheese and oil. For it likes to see people who spend money, and it is prodigal."

The Cordylus.187 — This creature, Aristotle​188 says, is amphibious, and dies when dried by the sun. Numenius, in The Art of Angling,​189 calls it curylus: "Anything with which you can arm yourself is suited to these as bait — tadpole (curylus) or water-spider or centipede that lives in the sea." He also mentions a cordylis in these words:​190 "Or mussels, or horse-fishes, or the blue young tunny (Corydylis)."º

Lobsters.191 — Epicharmus, in The Marriage of Hebe:​192 "And added to these again, were bogues, smelts, small fry, crayfish." Sophron also mentions them in  p377 Mimes of Women.​193 It is a kind of prawn (karides) and by the Romans is so called.194

Sharks. — Numenius of Heracleia in The Art of Angling195 says: "At one time a shark, at another, a guttling sand-fish." Sophron in The Tunny-catcher:​196 "Your belly is a shark's when ye want aught." Nicander of Colophon in his Glossary197 says that the shark is called both lamia and scylla.

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 The spotted dogfish, Scyllium stellare.

2 p303 Rose.

3 Perhaps Squalus acanthias L.

4 S. vulpes.

5 i.e., with rough skin.

6 Frag. 310 Rose; see critical note.

7 Cf. Aristoph. Av. 1021; Aristot. Nic. Eth. 1095 B21.

8 Lat. acipenser, "sturgeon."

9 Frag. 13 Ribbeck 21 Brandt; Athen. 286A and note f.

10 See cr. n. and 285F‑286A.

11 Kock II.451, Athen. 385A.

12 Named from its grey colour, it is as yet unidentified.

13 Kaibel 100, cf. Athen. 320E.

14 Frag. 8 Birt; Athen. 328B.

15 See below, 327C.

16 See 282B, note d.

17 Frag. 15 Ribbeck 20 Brandt.

18 Kock II.92.

19 See critical note.

20 Kock II.109; Athen. 662B.

21 Ibid. 179; the quotation is hopelessly mutilated.

22 See Plato, Rep. 611C, and below, 296A, 342B.

23 Kock II.145.

24 Ibid. 240; for the title see 294A, note a.

25 Kock II.247.

26 Kock II.65.

27 Ibid. 295; add the fragment given by Athen. 325E‑F.

28 p9 Powell.

29 F. H. G. III.151.

30 Belonging to the sea.

31 p465 Rose.

32 F. H. G. IV.483.

33 p121 Powell.

34 Or Scyllias, Herod. VIII.8.

Thayer's Note: Also Paus. X.19.1‑2. The story told by Herodotus and Pausanias, whether fact or fiction or somewhere in between, is the first recorded account of submarine warfare, and the first evidence of the use of a snorkel. See my note to A. R. Buchanan, ed., The Navy's Air War, p90, and my further note linked there; also the discussion in the article Urinator in Daremberg & Saglio.

35 P. L. G.4 II.517; addressed to Glaucus.

36 Frag. 25 Schneider.

37 Frag. 2 Schneider.

38 Frag. 1 Diehl.

39 The word means "fuller," but the fish has not been identified.

40 Kaibel 104.

41 F. H. G. III.192.

42 p174 Wilamowitz; below, 303B.

43 Or, reading jjj with Meineke, "this festival is called the Thynnaea."

44 F. H. G. IV.428.

45 F. H. G. III.29; cf. K. O. Muller, Dorier, I.114, who shows that Lacius (Cretan form of Rhacius) is a mythical personage, husband of Manto and father of Mopsus; but the text is badly mutilated.

46 For the dangers to shipping in this region see Lucian, Navig. 8, Strabo 520.

47 p305 Rose, cf. Hist. An. 592 A1.

48 Hist. An. 570 A20.

49 Literally "the so‑called earth-guts."

50 Il. XXI.353.

51 Literally "celebrator of the 20th day" (of Gamelion), the anniversary of Epicurus's death. Cf. jjj, 287F and note b.

52 Il. XX.371.

53 Or, omitting jjj, "is carried away out of the throat-contest," which seems pointless. See critical note.

54 Frag. 18 Ribbeck 8 Brandt.

55 Cf. above, 298D.

56 In the form enchelyes.

57 P. L. G.4 frag. 101.

58 Frag. 21 Velsen.

59 Line 889.

60 Kock I.487; more fully quoted below, 302D.

61 Kock I.447. The line may be completed from Schol. Theocr. XI.10, "with golden curls," of a dandy.

62 Kock I.63, below, 303D.

63 i.e., the jjj of the stem disappears.

64 Line 864, cf. below. The sausage-seller is speaking to the demagogue Cleon, who can fish only in troubled waters.

65 Line 559.

66 Line 510.

67 Kock I.722; the title refers to a deme in Attica.

68 Semonides of Amorgos, P. L. G.4 II.453.

69 Frag. 311 Rose and some MSS. of Hist. An.

70 See p341, note j.

71 And so the word for eel (enchelys) is derived from the word for slime (ilys)! Cf. Aristotle's remark above, 298B.

72 Il. XXI.353.

73 Kock II.71.

74 Kock II.150.

75 The cat was a very rare animal on the Greek side of the Mediterranean at this period.

76 Kock II.451; Philodemus (Phaedrus Epicureius), Nat. Deor. 25 Petersen.

77 Kock II.176; cf. Athen. 113F, in the same metre.

78 Kock II.177; below, 302D.

79 For the verb cf. 230F, jjj.

80 Kock II.186.

81 viz. "eel," which was sometimes applied to a courtesan, 169C, or to a dandified rascal, 299B and note g.

82 Kock II.52.

83 Frag. ep. 56.

84 Frag. 11 Gaede.

85 282D. The sturgeon. The term elops is applied in modern zoology to the family to which the herring belongs.

86 Frag. 19 Ribbeck 11 Brandt.

87 Said to be a sea-bream or redsnapper. The waubeen of South America is classified to‑day as an Erythrinus. See Athen. 327B.

88 p306 Rose.

89 A red fish (P. pagrus), one of the sea-breams, also called becker; cf. 301C.

90 Athen. 108A.

91 284C, 327B, where zenodotus is the authority given.

92 285A, 328E. The term seems to be applied specifically to a single kind of small fish, but whether it is a minnow, white bait, shiner, anchovy, or sardine, who shall say?

93 See 285A and note e; cf. the Italian fritto misto.

94 Boiled fish. This lemma and the text under it are Athenaeus's own contribution; see 301C.

95 Kock I.405.

96 Ibid. 682.

97 Ibid. 259.

98 Kock II.196. The meaning of the title is uncertain.

99a 99b Kock II.303.

100 For the expression jjj cf. 244E.

101 Kock I.464.

102 Kock III.113, Allinson 422. This and Menander's Andria formed the basis of Terence's Andria. For this line see Ter. Andr. II.2.31, where we read further, "worth only a penny." See critical note.

103 Kock II.223.

104 Kock III.337. The title refers to a jilted girl.

105 Mentioned at 118B, where it is identified with the delcanos.

106 p173 Wellmann.

107 Cf. 300E.

108 p306 Rose.

109 See critical note.

110 Frag. 30 Ribbeck; 27 Brandt.

111 Perhaps the sergeant-fish, also called cobia.

112 Kock II.438; cf. Athen. 402F.

113 Kock III.85, Allinson 296.

114 F. H. G. III.155.

115 Hist. An. 598 B19: "Tunnies enter the Adriatic keeping close to the right shore, but they come out by the left shore, because they see better with the right eyes;" below, 303C.

116 See below, 302B note c.

117 Frag. 21 Ribbeck 34 Brandt.

118 See critical note.

119 Hist. An. 602 A25.

120 Literally gad-fly, or bot-fly, the larvae of which infest many animals.

121 Frag. 2 Diehl.

122 XXXIV.8.1 Hultsch.

123 Kock II.177; cf. above, 300C.

124 Kock I.487; above, 299A. The verse which preceded the one here quoted is given at 311D.

125 Kock I.713; cf. Athen. 399C.

126 Kock I.719.

127 Kock II.429; see critical note.

128 Kock I.738; Athen. 399D.

129 Kock II.92.

130 Ibid. 354. It is not easy to see how the quotation praises the tunny head. The second speaker implies that the parvenu who has just spoken would have been satisfied with very little.

131 Ibid. 278. The "keys" are the cooked shoulder bones (claviculae, 315D). There is a double meaning in jjj, "cooked" and "looked at" (see Athen. 98A, 338C) or "visible" keys, opposed to the secret or invisible lock known as the Laconian key. The best description of the Greek lock and key is in H. Diels' Parmenides, Appendix.

132 297E.

133 p174 Wilamowitz.

134 For the jjj see 118A, 120F; for jjj, properly female tunny, 303C ff.; for jjj, "horse-mackerel," 315C.

135a 135b T. G. F.2 96.

136 Athen. 301E.

137 Kock III.11.

138 It is, in fact, the title of one of his mimes, Kaibel 162; but the text is garbled here, and I have indicated a lacuna.

139 Hist. An. 543 A12.

140 Probably a barb or prickle.

141 Hist. An. 543 B11.

142 Kaibel 104.

143 Kock I.63; Athen. 299B.

144 p299 Rose.

145 Frag. 20 Ribbeck 37 Brandt. The epithet jjj applied to Archestratus is a slang word quoted by Aristot. Nic. Eth. IV.1.39 of a miser, "tight-wad." Here it refers to the epicure's care for details.

146 Literally "dry."

147 Kock II.85; for jjj, of a choice cut, cf. Athen. 95A, and for the garnish of beets, 300B.

148 Kock II.63. The three speakers were distinguished by Dobree.

149 P. L. G.5 frag. 35, Diehl Frag. 39.

150 Kock I.715.

151 Either giltheads, or the species Coryphaena hippurus. Both belong to the mackerel family.

152 Hist. An. 543 A22; cf. Athen. 312C.

153 Kaibel 100; cf. below, 319C, 328B.

154 Frag. 6 Birt; Athen. 322BF.

155 Frag. 22 Ribbeck 50 Brandt.

156 Not identified.

157 Kaibel 99; cf. 282A, 288B (from which the word maigres is supplied here), 307B, 308A, 322F.

158 See critical note.

159 Frag. 10 Birt; Athen. 306C, 309B, 327F.

160 Not in Kinkel.

161 Otherwise wrasse.

162 Frag. 5 Birt.

163 Frag. 1 Birt.

164 For the thrush or wrasse see above, 304E and note i. They and the blackbirds are fresh-water labroid fishes; see 324C.

165 Kock I.106.

166 p172 Wellmann.

167 The jjj was mentioned in the form jjj, 281E‑F.

168 Frag. 17 Birt; cf. Athen. 315B.

169 Cf. below, jjj.

170 Kaibel 101; above, 287B.

171 p297 Rose.

172 Referring to the wine-coloured hues of the Mediterranean, hence sea-coloured; above, 305C.

173 Frag. 59 Schneider.

174 The first belongs to a well-known family (Caproidae). The second, jjj or jjj, may be dialectal for jjj (282B, note d), which belongs to the family Chromidae, allied with Chichlidae just mentioned.

175 p296 rose.

176 'Salpa is a fowle fisshe and lytell set by, for it will neuer be ynough for no maner of dressinge Tyll it haue ben beten with grate hamers and staues' (Early Eng. Texts, p237.)

177 Frag. 23 Ribbeck 15 Brandt.

178 i.e., a creel, not for holding but for catching; see 105F.

179 For this interpretation, varying greatly from all preceding attempts, see Brandt, pp176, 193. On the Dalmatian coast, when the water is rough so that the fish cannot be seen, the fishermen through small stones smeared with oil in a semicircle round the boat. This reminds the poet of the boys' game of ducks and drakes, jjj. See critical note.

180 Turbot? The name was connected with jjj, "lyre."

181 p308 Rose.

182 Kock I.155.

183 See 287A, 325A‑B.

184 Kaibel 102; Athen. 288B, 326E, 330A.

185 Kock I.694; Athen. 286A‑B.

186 Frag. 27 Ribbeck 31 Brandt.

187 Said to be a newt of some kind.

188 p309 Rose.

189 Frag. 2 Birt. The sense is very uncertain: jjj generally means "disarm." What jjj (jjj?) is I do not know.

190 Frag. 10 Birt, above 304E. The word quoted (jjj, "young tunny") does not illustrate his remark about jjj, apparently merely a feminine variant of jjj, "newt."

191 jjj (lobsters) is more properly written jjj, so 286F, Lat. cammarus, French homard, German Hummer. The jjj (see seventh book), the word used in Modern Greek for "lobster," is probably a crayfish. Indeed jjj also includes crayfish.

192 Kaibel 101; Athen. 286F.

193 Kaibel 158; Athen. 106E.

194 Caris (sinuosa caris, cf. jjj, Athen. 105E) occurs, so far as I know, only in Pseudo-Ovid, Hal. 132.

195 Frag. 11 Birt; Athen. 327A, where the jjj is called a jjj (pig-fish).

196 Kaibel 162.

197 Frag. 137 Schneider.

Page updated: 27 Apr 20