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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Deipnosophistae


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

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(Vol. III) Athenaeus

Book VII
(Part 5 of 6)

p377 (306D) The Mullet. — Hicesius says: "There are several kinds of leucisci (white mullets), as they are called.
Some, namely, are called cephali, others cestreis, others chellones, still others myxini (slime-fish). The best are the cephali as regards both taste and flavour. next to these come the so‑called cestreis, while the myxini are inferior; poorer than any others are the chellones (although those called bacchi are of very good flavour), and they are not nourishing, and are easily eliminated." Dorion, in his work On Fishes, while he discusses in detail the sea mullet, does not recommend the river mullet. FThe prickly protuberance on the head of the cestreus he calls a drum,1 and says that the Cephalinus, also called blepsias, is different from the cephalus. Aristotle, in the fifth book of The Parts of Animals,2 says that "among the mullets, the chellones begin to gestate in the month of December; so also the sarg, the so‑called myxus, p379 and the cephalus. The period of gestation is thirty days. But some of the mullets are not propagated by copulation, but grow out of the slime and the sand." 307In another place Aristotle3 says: "The mullets, although a jagged-toothed fish, do not eat one another, since they are not carnivorous anyway. There is one kind called chellon, another Pheraeus; the chellon feeds close to shore, the Pheraeus does not. The Pheraeus uses as food the mucus which comes from itself, but the chellon eats sand and slime. It is even said that no creature eats the spawn of mullets because the mullets, in turn, eat no other fish." BEuthydemus of Athens, in his treatise On Salt Meats, says that the kinds of mullets are cephalus, spheneus (wedge-fish), and dactyleus (inch-fish). Now the cephali, he says, are so‑called because they have a rather heavy head, the wedge-fishes, because they are narrow and four-square. As to the inch-fishes, they have a breadth of less than two inches. The mullets caught off Abdera are admirable, as Archestratus4 says, and next to them are those which come from Sinope. By some the mullets are called plotes (floaters), as Polemon says in his book On their Rivers of Sicily.5 In fact Epicharmus, also, gives them this name in The Muses:6 C"Speckled-beauties and floaters, and dog-tongues, and maigres too, were in it." Aristotle, in his work On the Habits and Lives of Animals,7 says that mullets stay alive even after their tails are removed. The mullet is eaten p381 off by the sea-bass, the conger-eel by the lamprey. The well-known proverb, "a mullet goes hungry:8 is said of men who practise just dealing, since the mullet is not carnivorous. Anaxilas in The Recluse9 says of the sophist Maton, whom he decries for gluttony: "Maton has snatched away and eaten up the mullet's head, and I am undone. DAnd the noble Archestratus10 says: "Buy a mullet in seagirt Aegina, and you will have the company of charming men." Diocles, in The Sea:11 "He leaps with joy, like a mullet." That the fasters are a kind of mullet is shown by Archippus in Heracles takes a Wife:12 "Faster-mullets, and cephali." Antiphanes, in Lampon:13 "You have, as it happens, faster-mullets instead of soldiers." Alexis, in The Phrygian:14 E"And I, like a faster-mullet, trot off home." Ameipsias, in Playing at Cottabus:15 "A. But I will go to the market-place and try to find a job. B. Ay, in that case you won't have to follow me about, as empty as a faster-mullet." Euphron, in The Ugly Duckling:16 "midas is a mullet: he goes about fasting." Philemon, p383in Dying Together:17 "I bought a small baked faster-mullet." Aristophanes, in Gerytades:18 "Is there a colony of mullet-men within? For that you are fasters is well-known." Anaxandrides, in Odysseus:19 F"One who usually goes about dinnerless is a Fasting-mullet." Eubulus, in Nausicaa:20 "Why! This is the fourth day he has been soaking himself, wearing out the fasting life of a wretched mullet."

When these remarks over this noble dish had at last come to a conclusion, one of the Cynics who had arrived during the evening said: "It cannot be, my friends, that we are celebrating the middle day of the Thesmophoria,21 seeing that we fast like mullets? For as Diphilus says in The Lemnian Women:22 'These fellows have had a good dinner, whereas I, poor devil, 308shall be an empty-bellied mullet through this extreme fasting.' " Then Myrtilus broke in: " 'And stand ye there in order (to quote Theopompus's Hedychares,23 my fasting band of mullets, entertained, like geese, only on boiled greens.' For you shall not have a portion of anything until either you or your fellow-disciple Ulpian explains why the mullet is the only fish that is called faster." And p385Ulpian answered: "Because he eats no live bait, and when he has been pulled in is not baited by meat or by any other living thing, Bas Aristotle24 records. He says that en when he is empty he makes poor food,25 and that when he is frightened he hides his head as if he were hiding his whole body. And so Plato says in Holidays:26 'For as I was coming out, a fisherman met me with a load of mullets — fish that fast and are poor food, at least in my judgement.' But do you tell me, you tricky Thessalian Myrtilus,27 why fish are called ellopes by the poets" myrtilus replied: "Because they are voiceless; by strict analogy of course, the term would be illopes, since they are barred from uttering a sound; for illesthai means 'be barred,' and ops is 'voice.' CYou don't know this, to be sure, being ellops (dumb) yourself." "But I28 answer, since the Cynic's explanation is nonsense, in the words of the clever Epicharmus:29 'That which it took two men to say before me, I can answer sufficiently alone'; and I assert that fish are ellopes because they have scales.30 I will also explain, even if the question has not been asked,31 why the Pythagoreans, who eat moderately of other live animals, some of which they even sacrifice, nevertheless utterly refuse to touch fish alone. Is it because of their p387 silence? They regard silence, in fact, as divine. DSince then you also, Molossian hounds,32 are altogether silent though you are no Pythagoreans, we will proceed to the discussion of other fish."

The Crow-fish. — The sea crow-fishes, says Hicesius, give little nourishment and are easily eliminated; they are moderately well-flavoured. Aristotle, in the fifth book of The Parts of Animals,33 says that it so happens that practically all fish have a rapid growth, but the crow-fish most of all. It spawns close to shore, in places full of sea-weed and leaves. Speusippus, in the second book of Similars, Esays that the black-tail and the crow-fish resemble each other. Numenius, in The Art of Angling,34 says: "Easily may you pull in also the speckled crow-fish." Perhaps, therefore, the speckled-beauties mentioned in Epicharmus's Muses35 are crow-fishes. He says: "Speckled-beauties and floaters, and dog-tongues." Yet, in The Marriage of Hebe,36 he mentions the speckled-beauties as though they were different: "File-fish and wrasses and dark-gleaming crow-fishes, speckled-beauties and floaters, and dog-tongues." Again, Euthydemus, in his work On Salt Meats, says that the crow-fish is by many called saperda.37 FA similar statement is found in Heracleon of Ephesus and again in Phylotimus's Art of Cookery. But that the saperda, like the crow-fish, is also called platistakos,38 is attested by Parmenon of Rhodes in the first book of his Instruction in Cookery. Aristophanes p389 speaks of "black-finned crow-fishes" in The Telmessians.39 A diminutive form of the noun (Coracinus) occurs in Pherecrates' Forgetful Man:40 309"Keeping company with your crow-fishlets and your spratlets." Amphis in Lamentation:41 "Any American who eats a crow-fish from the sea when he can have a grey-fish has no brains." But the experienced know that the Nile crow-fish are sweet and fleshy and have a good flavour besides. They got the name Coracinus from the continual motion of their eyes (corae).42 But the Alexandrians call it broad-fish from its extraordinary contour.43

The Carp. — This also, according to Aristotle's account,44 Bis of the carnivorous and gregarious type. It has a tongue which is attached to the top, not the under part, of the mouth. Dorion, who enumerates it among lake and river fish, writes as follows: "Scaly, which some call carp."45

Gobies. — Very juicy, as Hicesius says, excellent in taste, easily eliminated, of little nourishment, and full of humours. The whiter varieties are better than the black in taste. The flesh of the yellow gobies is rather loose and skinny; they also produce in digestion less and thinner juice, but they are more nourishing on account of their size. CDiocles46 says that those of them which inhabit rocky waters are soft-fleshed. Numenius, in The Art of Angling, p391 calls them cothi:47 "Or a parrot-fish, or fat and very shameless goby (cothus)." And Sophron in The Rustic48 speaks of "goby-cleaners," and perhaps from this word gave the name Cothonias to the tunny-chaser's son. Moreover, it is the Sicilian Greeks who call the goby cothôn, according to Nicander of Colophon in his Glossary49 and Apollodorus in his work On Sophron. DBut Epicharmus has the usual name (cobios) for them in The Marriage of Hebe:50 "Spike-tailed sting-rays and very fat gobies too." Antiphanes, while commending gobies, also shows where the best come from in these lines from Timon:51 "I have just returned, after making lavish purchases for the wedding celebration. The Pennyworth of frankincense I shall distribute among all the gods and goddesses; to the heroes, the honey-cakes. But for us mortals I have bought some gobies. And when I asked that burglar, the fishmonger, to throw in an extra one free, Ehe replied, 'I'll throw in its — deme;52 those fish come from Phalerum! Others would try to sell you, I'm sure, gobies from Otryne.' "53 Menander, in The Man from Ephesus:54 "One of the fishmongers was just now pricing his gobies at four shillings . . . too much." River gudgeons are mentioned by Dorion in his work On Fishes.

p393 Pipers.55 — Epicharmus:56 "And glistening pipers, all of which we split along the back, Fthen bake and season them and eat in little bits." Dorion, also, says that they should be split along the back and baked, seasoned with herbs, cheese, silphium, salt, and oil; they should be turned and basted with oil, sprinkling a little salt under it, and when taken off should be sprinkled with vinegar. Numenius57 calls it red from the fact that it is red, thus: "At one time a red piper or a few small fry, at another time a sea-lizard."

310Dog-shark. — Concerning these the Hesiod or Theognis58 of epicures, Archestratus, speaks. (Now Theognis also was interested in high living, as he himself testifies in these lines:59 "When the Sun in the sky directs his steeds with uncloven hoofs and announces midday, then may we pause from our dinner, abundant as the heart's desire bids one, indulging the belly in every good thing. BAnd let the comely Laconian maid quickly carry out the hand-basin, and bring in the chaplets in her soft hands." And this poet does not even disown paederasty. At any rate he says:60 "If, Academus, you should propose a contest in singing a lovely hymn of praise, and as prize set before us a lad p395with the fair bloom of youth, who should be mine or thine after we had fought for the meed of poetic skill, then would you discover how much better mules are than asses.") Well, as I was saying, Archestratus, in those delightful Counsels61 of his, Cadvises "In this city of Toronê you should buy the belly-slices of the dog-shark, cut from the hollow parts below. Then sprinkle them with caraway-seed and a little salt, and bake. Put nothing else, my friend, upon it, unless it be yellow oil. DBut after it is baked, you may then fetch a sauce and all those condiments which go with it. But whatsoever you stew within the ribs of the hollow casserole, mix no water from a sacred spring, nor wine-vinegar, but simply pour over it oil and dry caraway and some fragrant leaves all together. Cook it over the hot embers without letting the flame touch it and stir it diligently lest you unwittingly scorch it. ENay, not many mortals know of this heavenly viand or consent to eat it — all those mortals, that is, who possess the puny soul of the booby-bird,62 and are smitten with palsy because, as they say, the creature is a man-eater. But every fish loves human flesh if it can but get it.' A part taken from this fish is what the Romansº call tursio; it is the sweetest and most luxurious part.

Sea-bass.63 — These fish, according to Aristotle's p397 account,64 are solitary and carnivorous. They have a bony tongue, closely attached, and a triangular heart. FIn the fifth book of The Parts of Animals65 he says that they, like the mullets and the gilt-heads, spawn chiefly where rivers flow. They spawn in the winter and spawn twice. Hicesius says that sea-bass are well-flavoured but not very nourishing, and inferior as regards elimination, but are rated first in excellence of taste. The fight got its name (labrax) from its voracity (labrotês). It is said, too, that it is superior to all other fishes in sagacity, showing cunning in contriving its escape. Hence the comic poet Aristophanes66 says: 311"Sea-bass, the clever est of all fish." Alcaeus,67 the lyric poet, says that it swims on the surface of the water. And the wise Archestratus:68 "But when thou comest to Miletus, take from the Gaeson69 a mullet of the cephalus variety, and the sea-bass, child of the gods. For they are at their best there; that is the nature of the place. Many others there be that are fatter, in glorious Calydon, or in wealth-bearing Ambracia, or in Lake Bolbê. BBut they have not the fragrant fat of the belly, or fat so pungent. The Milesian, my comrade, are of wonderful excellence. When cleaned of their scales, bake them whole gently and serve without any greasy pickle. But let no Syracusan or Italian Greek come nigh thee when thou art busy p399 with this dish, for they understand not how to treat good fish, Cbut they spoil them by wrongfully putting cheese over all, and sprinkling them with flowing vinegar and a pickle of silphium. For all the thrice-damned rock fishes, they are the best at disposing of them understandingly, and they can prepare for a dinner, with refined skill, many kinds of fish in greasy fol-de‑rule of law of sauces." Aristophanes, in The Knights,70 also mentions the sea-bass of Miletus as superior Dwhen he speaks as follows: "You shall not go on the rampage after devouring Milesian sea-bass." And in The Lemnian Women:71 "To buy no head of sea-bass, no crawfish," evidently because the brain of the sea-bass is excellent, as is that of the grey-fish.72 And Eubulus also says in The Nurses:73 "Not sumptuously, but simply; whatever is required for piety's sake — some little cuttle-fish or squids, small tentacles of a polyp, a mullet, a paunch, a haggis, some beestings, the head of a sea-bass, of good size." Now the Gaeson mentioned by Archestratus74 is the Gaesonian Marsh, which unites with the sea between Prienê and Miletus, as Neanthes of Cyzicus records75 in the sixth book of his Hellenica. But Ephorus, in his fifth book,76 says Ethat the Gaeson is a river which flows into a marsh in the neighborhood of Prienê. Archippus mentions sea-bass in The Fishes, p401and says:77 'An Egyptian, Hermaeus, is the most rascally pedlar of fish. Why! He forcibly peels off the skin of monk-fish and dog-fish and offers them for sale, and he disembowels sea-bass."

The Latus. — This fish, according to Archestratus,78 is best in Italy. FHe says: "Scylla's strait in wooded Italy contains the glorious latus, a wonderful food." Yet the lati which grow in the Nile river are found to have a size which extends even to more than two hundred pounds. This fish is very white and sweet, no matter how it is prepared, being similar to the sheat-fish found in the Danube. The Nile also produces many other kinds of fish all of them very good, especially the crow-fish. There are, in fact, many kinds of these. 312The Nile produces as well the fish called Maeotae, mentioned by Archippus in The Fishes79 in these words: "The Maeotae and salted crow-fishes and sheat-fishes." There are many Maeotae round the Black Sea, deriving their name from the Maeotic Marsh. The fishes of the Nile, if I can still recall them after many years' absence from the country, are: Belectric ray (sweetest of all), schall, mackerel, bream, pike,80 allabes,81 sheat, shilbe, gudgeon, eel, herring, mullet, blind-fish, scale-fish, globe-fish, and grey mullet. But there are many others besides.

The Ray. — This is also called file-fish. Its flesh is white, according to Epaenetus in The Art of Cookery. p403Plato, in The Sophists:82 "Though it be a dog-fish, or a ray, or an eel."

Murries. — Theophrastus, in his work On Land Animals,83 says that the eel and the murry can live a long time out of water because Cthey have small gills and take in but little water. Hicesius says that murries are as nourishing as eels, not even excepting conger-eels. Aristotle, in the second book of The Parts of Animals,84 says that the murry takes on a rapid growth from a small beginning, that it has jagged teeth, and that it spawns small eggs in any season. Epicharmus in The Muses calls them myraenae without the s85 in these words: "Naught of fat conger-eels or murries (myraenae) was absent from his86 store." Similarly also Sophron.87 But Plato (or Cantharus), the  Theº Alliance,88 has it with the s: "There's a ray and a murry (Smyraena) besides." DDorion, in his work On Fishes, says that the river murry has only one spiny fin, similar to that of the oniscus known as gallarias.89 Andreas in his treatise On Poisonous Animals, says that only those murries have a fatal bite which come from a viper, and they are less round and speckled. Nicander, in Theriaca:90 "But there is the terror of the murry, since it often bites the wretched fisher-folk and sends them in headlong flight from their skiffs into the sea when it suddenly darts up from the hold; if, to be p405 sure, it is true that the murry leaves her pasturage in the sea Eand consorts with venomous vipers on dry land." But Andreas, in his work On Popular Superstitions, says that it is not true that the murry moves into lagoons and there mingles with the viper; for vipers do not feed in a lagoon, preferring sandy deserts. Nevertheless Sostratus in his work On Animals (it is in two books)91 agrees as to this mingling.

The Male Murry. — The male murry, as Aristotle92 declares in his fifth book of The Parts of Animals, is different from the Smyraena. FFor she is speckled and not so strong, but he is smooth-skinned93 n powerful, and has a colour like that of the wryneck,94 and teeth both inside and outside. Dorion says that the male murry has no spiny bones in its flesh, but is available for use throughout, and extraordinarily tender; that there are two kinds of them; some are black, others rather reddish, the black being superior. And Archestratus,95 the philosopher-voluptuary, says: 313"Between . . . and Italy,96 under the waves of the narrow strait, lives the murry called the floater. If it ever be caught, buy it, for it is a wonderful food."

Sprats. — These, as Hicesius says, are juicier than gobies, but inferior to them in flavour and in assisting elimination from the digestive tract. Speusippus, in the second book of Similars, says that boces p407and smarides, Bmentioned by Epicharmus in Earth and Sea, resemble the sprat. Thus Epicharmus:97 "as oft as thou behold est many bogues and picarels." And Epaenetus in The Art of Cookery98 says: "Smaris, which some call dog-kennels." Antiphanes, in The Farmer, or Butalion, calls sprats Hecate's food, on account of its scantiness. He says:99 "A. Yes, I hold that all these large fishes are man-eaters. B. How's that, dear friend? Man-eaters! What do you mean? CC. He means, of course, what a man would eat.100 But these are Hecate's food that he speaks of, sprats and minnows." A certain kind are also called white sprats, and these are named boaces by some. Poliochus, in The Corinthiast:101 "In the name of the gods, let nobody who shall come, no matter who he is, persuade you to call boaces white sprats."102

The Black-tail. — Of this fish Numenius says, in The Art of Angling:103 "A sculpin or a black-tail, guide to the perches." DHicesius says that it is similar to the sarg, but inferior in juiciness and flavour; that it is slightly astringent, and is filling. It is mentioned by Epicharmus in The Marriage of Hebe:104 "There were garfish and black-tails too." Aristotle, p409 in the work Pertaining to Animals,105 writes: "Fishes with spotted tail-fins are the black-tail and the sarg, marked with many stirpes, that is, many black stripes." EThe fish called psyrus is like the black-tail, according to Speusippus in the second book of Similars. Numenius106 calls it psorus, thus: "Or a psorus or some saupes or a weever of the shore."

The Sea-bream. — Very nourishing, according to Hicesius. Epicharmus, in The Marriage of Hebe,107 calls them myrms, unless these are different in character. He writes thus: "Flying-fish also, and myrms, which are larger than tunnies." Dorion, in his work On Fishes, calls them mormyli. FLynceus of Samos says in his Treatise on Marketing,108 addressed to one of his friends who had difficulties when going to market: "You will find it useful, when standing at the fish-booths and facing the market-men, who with stony glare refuse to come down in their price, to abuse their fish roundly, quoting Archestratus, the author of High Living109 or one of the other poets, and reciting his verse: 'The mormyre of the shore is a poor fish, and never good for anything.' Or again:110 314'Buy bonito in the autumn' — it is spring now! And again:111 'The mullet, wonderful when winter comes' — but now it is summer. And many remarks p411like that. For you will scare away many customers and bystanders, and by doing that will compel the dealer to accept your own terms."

The Electric Ray. — Plato or Cantharus in The Alliance:112 "For a stew made of electric ray is a nice dish." And the philosopher Plato has a phrase in Meno:113 "To the electric ray out of the sea; for this creature causes a numbness in anyone who touches her." And so its name114 is implied also Bin Homer's phrase:115 "And his hand grew numb at the wrist." Menander used the form narca, with an a, in Phanium:116 "And a numbness has crept all over my skin" — though none of the old writers so employed it. Hicesius says that the electric ray is rather lacking in nourishment and juiciness, having a gristly texture throughout its system, and yet it is very wholesome. Theophrastus, in Animals Which Live in Holes,117a says that the electric ray creeps under the earth to avoid the cold. And in his book on Biting and Venomous Animals,117b he declares that the electric ray can send its shock Ceven through clubs and spearing-irons, numbing those who hold them in their hands. Clearchus of Soli states the cause in his book On the Electric Ray,118 but since what he says is rather long, I have forgotten it, and refer you to the treatise. The electric ray, as Aristotle119 says, belongs to the class of cartilaginous and viviparous fishes. DIt catches the little fishes for its food by touching them, causing them to grow numb and p413motionless. But Diphilus of Laodicaea, in his commentary on Nicander's Theriaca, says that not all of the creature can infect one with numbness, but only a certain part of it. He alleges that he has often experimented with it. Archestratus120 says: "And an electric ray stewed in oil, wine, fragrant herbs, with a little grated cheese." Alexis in Galateia:121 "The electric ray, then, so they say, is to be stuffed and baked whole." And in Demetrius:122 "Then I took an electric ray, being mindful that Ewhen a lady lays tender fingers upon it she must not suffer any hurt in them from its thorny touch."

The Sword-Fish. — Aristotle123 says that this fish has a snout the lower part of which is small, but the upper part is bony and large, equal to the entire length of its body; this part is called a sword. The fish has no teeth. Archestratus124 says: "But when thou comest to Byzantium, get a slice of sword-fish, the joint125 cut right from the tail. This fish is also good Fin the strait hard by the edge of Pelorum's jutting foreland." Who is such a careful tactician or critic of a menu as this poet from Gela, or rather Catagela?126 So diligently, to satisfy his dainty p415 appetite, did he even sail through the strait,127 and put to the test the qualities and flavours of the parts of every fish because of that appetite, with the idea of laying the foundation of a work which should be useful in men's lives.

315The sea-perch. — It is called both orphôs and orphos, according to Pamphilus. Aristotle, in the fifth book of The Parts of Animals,128 says that the growth of all fish is rapid, but the sea-perch in particular, he says, from a small fish quickly becomes large. It is both carnivorous and jagged-toothed, besides being solitary. A peculiarity of the fish is that no seminal ducts are found in it, and it stays alive a long time after dissection. It belongs to the class which live in holes during the most wintry days, Band likes grounds closer to shore rather than in deep seas. It does not live more than two years. Mentioning it, Numenius129 says: "With this bait you can easily take from its lair the long sculpin or the prickly perch; for at the top of their . . ." And again:130 "Grey-fishes, or the race of sea-perch in the waters, or dark-skinned wrasse." Dorion says that the young sea-perch is by some called orphacinê. Archippus has orphôs in The Fishes:131 "For a priest of one of the gods came to them — a sea-perch he was." Cratinus in The Odysseis:132 "A hot slice of sea-perch." Plato p417 in Cleophon:133 C"He has brought you down here to live, you old hag, and be rotten food for sea-perches and sharks and breams to devour." Aristophanes in The Wasps:134 "If he tries to buy sea-perches and refuses to take sardines." The nominative singular is pronounced as an oxytone in Attic Greek. Thus Archippus in The Fishes, cited above.135 Cratinus has the genitive, also oxytone, in The Odysseis:136 "A hot slice of sea-perch (orphó)."

The Horse-mackerel.137 — Dorion, in his work On Fishes, says that the horse-mackerels made their way from the ocean at the Pillars of Heracles Dclear through to our own sea;138 hence a great many are caught in the Spanish and Etruscan seas; from there they disperse to other parts. Hicesius says that those which are caught at Cadiz are fatter, and next to them in merit are those caught in Sicily. But those which are found a great distance from the Pillars of Heracles are wanting in fat because they have swum over a wider space. Now in Cadiz the shoulder-bones139 are preserved separately, just as in the case of sturgeons the jaws Eand the roofs of the mouth and the so‑called 'heart-of‑oak'140 are cut from them and preserved. But Hicesius declares that the belly-pieces taken from them are fatty and far superior in taste to the other parts; but the shoulder-bones have a better taste than these.

The Onus and the Oniscus.141 — The cod, says Aristotle in his work Pertaining to Animals,142 like the dog-fishes, p419 has a widely gaping mouth, and is not gregarious. This is the only fish in which the heart is contained in the belly, and in its brain it has stones resembling millstones. Also it is the only fish that lives in holes during the hottest dog-days, whereas all the others seek holes during the most wintry days. FEpicharmus mentions them in The Marriage of Hebe:143 "Wide-gaping perches and hakes with extraordinary paunches." But the onus according to Dorion in his work On Fishes, differs from the oniscus. He writes: "Onus, which some call gadus; gallerias, which some call oniscus and maxeinus."144 Euthydemus, in his work ON Salt meats, says: "Some call it bacchus, some gelaries,145 and some, oniscus." Archestratus146 says: 316"As for the hake, which they call Callarias, Anthedon nurtures it to a goodly size, but it has, after all, a rather spongy meat, and is in general not pleasant, at least to me; yet others praise it very highly. for one man likes this, another likes that."

The Polyp, genitive poulypodos. — The Attic Greeks say poulypous (sic) by analogy. So also does Homer:147 "As when a polyp (poulypous) is drawn out of its lair." For it comes from pous (foot). For the accusative they say poulypoun, like Alcinoun and Oedipoun. So also it is said that Aeschylus has tripoun, meaning cauldron, in Athamas,148 Bfrom the p421simple formº pous, like nous (mind). But to say pôlypon for the accusative is Aeolic, since Attic writers say poulypoun. Aristophanes in Daedalus:149 "And that though he had poulypous and cuttle-fishes." Again: He laid the polypoun before me." And again: "Twice seven poundings of the beaten poulypous, as the proverb goes."150 Alcaeus in Sisters Seduced:151 "To be a simpleton and have the sense of a poulyp." Ameipsias in The Devourer:152 "We need a lot of poulyps, that is plain." CPlato, in The Baby:153 "like the poulyps, you first of all." Alcaeus:154 "I, like a poulyp, eat myself." But others decline the words poulypous like pous (foot), podos, podi, poda.155 Eupolis in The Demes:156 "A citizen who is a very polyp in his ways."157

Diocles, in the first book of his Hygiene,158 says: "The molluscs incite to pleasure and desire, especially polyps." Aristotle159 records that the polyp has p423 eight feet, of which the two upper and lower160 are smallest, while those in the middle are largest; it also has two suckers by which its food is drawn in; Dtwo eyes above the two front feet; the mouth and teeth in the centre, between the feet. Dissection discloses that it has a bipartite brain. It also has the well-known dark juice, not black like that of the sepia, but reddish, contained in what is known as the poppy. This ink-bag, resembling a bladder, is situated above the stomach. It has no corresponding gut. As food it sometimes uses the tiny flesh-parts of shell-fish, throwing the shells outside its lairs; Efrom this habit the fishermen detect its presence. Generation takes place by embrace, and coition lasts a long time because the creature has no blood. It spawns through the so‑called blow-pipe, which is a tube in its body. The eggs thus spawned are in clusters. They say that whenever it lacks food it eats itself. One of these authorities is the comic poet, Pherecrates. He, namely, in the play entitled Savages,161 says: "What! Live on chervil, wild herbs, and shriveled olives, and when their hunger becomes so very extreme, Fthen, like the polyps, gnaw at neither their own fingers?" And Diphilus in The Merchant:162 "A. He's a polyp, that has all its feelers whole. B. You mean, dear friend, that he hasn't gnawed himself off." But this notion is false. For it is p425 hunted by conger-eels and has its feet injured by them. It is also said that if you drop salt on its lurk-hole, it will immediately come out. Further, it is recorded that when it runs away in fear it changes colour, taking on the same hues as the places in which it hides. 317Hence the Megarian Theognis says in his elegiac verses:163 "Hold fast to the ways of the polyp, which appears to the eye like the rock to which it clings." Clearchus records the like in the second book of his work On Proverbs,164 citing the following verses without disclosing their author: "With the cunning of the polyp, my son, mighty Amphilochus, Badapt thyself to the people into whatsoever country thou come." Clearchus also says that "in Troezen, in the old times, it was not lawful to catch either the sacred polyp, as it was called, or the nautilus-polyp, but they forbade touching them, and the sea tortoise as well. The polyp is easily liquefied,165 also very stupid; for it goes up to the hand of its pursuers and sometimes, when pursued, it does not retreat. The females liquefy after spawning and grow weak, hence they are easily caught. They have even been seen at times to come out on the shore, especially in rocky places; Cfor they avoid smooth ground. They even like plants, such as olives, and are found with their tentacles grasping the stalk." (They have also been caught closely entwined with fig-trees which grow near the water, p427 and eating figs, as Clearchus says in his book On Water Animals.)166 "A proof of their liking for the olive is also this: Dif you let down a branch of this tree into the water where there are polyps, and wait a little, you will easily pull up as many as you want clinging to the branch. Though the other parts are very strong, the neck is weak."

It is said that the male trails along167 a kind of genital organ in one of the tentacles in which are the two larger suckers. It is a sinewy substance adhering throughout its entire length to the tentacles as far as its middle. In the fifth book of The Parts of Animals Aristotle168 says: "The polyp copulates in winter and spawns in the spring. It lives in holes for about two months. EThe creature is very prolific. The male differs from the female in having a head which is more extended in length, and in having what fishermen call its male organ in one tentacle. It broods upon its eggs after it spawns them, hence it is poorest at that season. The polyp drops its spawn into holes or a jar or anything else like it which is hollow. After fifty days the young polyps issue from the eggs like spiders, in great numbers. The female polyp sometimes sits over the eggs, sometimes over the mouth of its lair, Fwith tentacles outstretched." Theophrastus, in the book On Animals that change Colour,169 says that the polyp blends its colour only with that of rocky places, doing this through fear and in self-protection. In his book On Animals living on Land170 he says that polyps do not take in p429 sea-water. In the book On Local Differences171 he says that they are not found in the Hellespont. For the water here is cold and less salty, and both these conditions are inimical to a polyp. "The so‑called nautilus," says Aristotle,172 "is really not a polyp, though having a resemblance in the tentacles. But its back is that of a testacean. 318It rises out of the bottom holding its shell over it that it may not take in water. It turns itself over and sails along with two of its tentacles upraised. These have a thin membrane growing between them, just as the feet of birds are seen to have a skinny membrane between the toes. It drops two other tentacles into the water, which it uses like rudders. But when it sees anything approaching, it contracts its feet, fills itself with water, and retires to the bottom with all speed." BBut in the work Pertaining to Animals and Fishes he says: "One kind of polyp is the turn-colour, another the nautilus."

There is an epigram to this nautilus circulating under the name of Callimachus of Cyrene,173 of the following tenor: "A cockle am I, Zephyritis, a portent of old. Thou, Cypris, holdest me, the nautilus, as the prime offering of Selenê; for I sailed over the seas, what time the wind blew, letting out my canvas from my own stays. But if the shining god of the calm prevailed, then I rowed my vessel with close-set strokes, Cso that my name174 suits my action, until I was cast on the shores of Iulis to become p431 thy admired toy, Arsinoë, and no longer, as aforetime (for my breath is spent) shall the watery halcyon's egg be laid in thy chambers. Nay, give grace to the daughter of Celinias; for she knows how to do the right, and comes from Aeolian Smyrna." DPoseidippus, also, wrote the following epigram in honour of this Aphrodite worshipped at Zephyrium: 'On sea and land alike do honour to this shrine of the Cypris of Philadelphius, who is Arsinoë. She it was, ruling over the Zephyrian shore, whom the admiral Callicrates was the first to consecrate. She, moreover, will grant a fair voyage, and when the storm rages will make smooth as oil the broad sea for them that entreat her." The polyp is mentioned also by the tragedian Ion, Ewho says in The Phoenician:175 "I loathe, too, the polyp, that with bloodless tentacles cleaves to the rock and changes its colour." The kinds of polyp existing are: heledonê, polypodinê, bolbitinê, and osmylus, according to the account in Aristotle176 and in Speusippus. In the book Pertaining to Animal s Aristotle says that molluscs are the polyps, the osmylê, the heledonê, the cuttle-fish, and the squid. Epicharmus, in The Marriage of Hebe:177 "Polyps and cuttle-fish and scudding squids, the ill-smelling bolbitis, too, and sputtering sea-crabs." FArchestratus178 says: "Polyps are best in Thasos p433and in Caria; Corcyra, too, nourishes large ones, many in number." The Dorians pronounce the word with a long o, pôlypos, as in the example from Epicharmus. And so Simonides179 gave it: "Looking for a pôlyp." But the Attic dialect has poulypos180 (it belongs to the class of selachian fishes, those which are cartilaginous being so‑called): "Poulyps, and dog-fishes too." But squid-like creatures are called molluscs. Selachians also are the tribes of monk-fishes.

319Common Crabs. — These are mentioned by Timocles or Xenarchus in The Purple-shell,181 thus: "And so then I, a fisherman of consummate skill in my craft, have discovered all kinds of tricks for catching common crabs (which are detestable to the gods) and little fishes, but I am not to grab with all speed this old ox-tongue?182 That would indeed be a pretty deal!"

Pelamyd Tunny. — Mentioned by Phrynichus in The Muses.183 Aristotle, in the fifth book of Parts of Animals,184 says that the pelamyds and the tunnies spawn in the Black Sea, but not elsewhere. Sophocles, also, mentions them in The Shepherds;185 B"There the neighbouring pelamys lives in winter, a Hellespontian dwelling near, a delight in summer to the Bosporite; for the fish comes often thither."

p435 Perches. — These are mentioned by Diocles, also by Speusippus in the second book of Similars, asserting that the perch, canna, and forked hake are alike. And Epicharmus186 says: "Comarides187 and dog-fishes, too, and spet-fishes and speckled perch." Numenius, in The Art of Angling:188 'Again, at another time perch, at another, swirling beside189 a rock, Cforked hake, and wrasse too, and sculpin with red skin."

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 As of a column (cf. σπόνδυλος, 206A); the word usually means vertebra (314E).

2 Hist. An. 543 B14.

3 p307 Rose.

4 Frag. 26 Ribbeck 44 Brandt; Athen. 314A. In Athen. 118B this estimate is ascribed to Dorion.

5 Frag. 82 Preller.

6 Kaibel 99; Athen. 288B, 308E, 322F.

7 Hist. An. 610 B14.

8 The κεστρεύς was known as the faster because no food was ever found in its intestine. See Diogenianus, II.100.

9 Kock II.269; Athen. 342D.

10 Frag. 25 Ribbeck 43 Brandt; see critical note.

11 Kock I.767.

12 Ibid. 681.

13 Kock II.68.

14 Ibi. 390.

15 Kock I.670. The title refers to men at a dinner playing at κότταβος, for which see Athen. 665E‑665.

16 Kock III.319.

17 Kock II.501.

18 Kock I.430. For the thought cf. 156B, 307D (Alexis).

19 Kock II.148, Athen. 242F.

20 Kock II.188.

21 The women's festival in honour of Demeter and Korê. The "middle" was the second day of the t part of the festival which was celebrated in the city (Dict. Antiq. II.835B), and was also called νηστεία, "the fast." See critical note.

22 Kock II.558; cf. Athen. 156B.

23 Kock I.736. The title means "Delighting in Luxury."

24 Hist. An. 591 b2.

25 Aristotle says that the fish is a scavenger, eating carrion, and is poor food except when it is empty; see critical note.

26 Kock I.608.

27 For Θετταλὸν πάλαισμα see Θετταλὸν σόφισμα, 11B.

28 Ulpian.

29 Kaibel 138; cf. 362D and Plato, Gorg. 505E.

30 Here ἔλλοπες is explained as ἔν-λοπες, "encased in λεπίδες (or λοπίδες), scales."

31 This discussion may be read more fully in Plutarch, Qu. Symp. 729A.

32 Again the familiar pun on Dogs and Cynics, here qualified by Molossian, "huge."

33 Hist. An. 543 A30.

34 Frag. 12 Birt.

35 Kaibel 99; cf. above 288B and note d.

36 Kaibel 99; above, 282A. μῦςBalistes Capriscus.

37 Cf. Athen. 117A. The shabar.

38 Cf. 118C.

39 Kock I.527.

40 Ibid. 160.

41 Kock II.242; cf. Athen. 277C.

42 Cf. 287B and note h.

43 Schweighäuser renders ἀπὸ τοῦ περιέχοντος, "using the generic term for the specific," a sense of περιέχον well known in Aristotle. But a glance at a picture of the sea-bat, one of the Platacidae, will show that the earlier interpretation given above is more probable.

44 p309 Rose.

45 The carp is, in fact, notable for its large scales.

46 173 Wellmann.

47 Frag. 10 Birt; above 304C.

48 Kaibel 162.

49 Frag. 141 Schneider.

50 Kaibel 102.

51 Kock II.100.

52 i.e., add, as in the case of a citizen's name, the deme to which the fish belongs; for the pun on δημόν, "fat," cf. Aristoph. Vesp. 40‑41.

53 A much poorer sort.

54 Kock III.57; Athen. 385F, which has ἐπώλει for ἐτίμα.

55 lit. "cuckoos," apparently a gurnard or garfish.

56 Kaibel 121.

57 Frag. 15 Birt.

58 See Vol. I p. viii.

59 P. L. G.4 546, vss. 977‑1002.

60 Ibid. vss. 993‑996.

61 Frag. 28 Ribbeck 23 Brandt; cf. Athen. 163D‑E.

62 See 163D note e.

63 The λάβραξ (sea-wolf) gives its name in modern ichthyology to fishes known as sea-dace and sea-perch.

64 p310 Rose.

65 Hist. An. 543 b3.

66 Kock I.543.

67 P. L. G.5 frag. 107.

68 Frag. 53 Ribbeck 45 Brandt.

69 See 311D‑E.

70 l. 361; Cleon to the Sausage-seller.

71 Kock I.487 cf. Athen. 302D and note c.

72 See 295C.

73 Kock II.204; cf. Athen. 359A.

74 311A.

75 F. H. G. III.3.

76 F. H. G. I.260.

77 Kock I.684; Athen. 227A.

78 Frag. 29 Ribbeck 51 Brandt. Probably Sciaena Aquila. But the Nile latus is the Nile perch, Lates Niloticus.

79 Kock I.684.

80 ὀξύρυγχος, "sharp-snout," a noun. In Epicharmus (304C) it is an epithet of ῥαφίς, "needle-fish."

81 Cyprinus.

82 Kock I.637.

83 Frag. 171.4 Wimmer.

84 p310 Rose, Hist. An. 543 A20; cf. Athen. 304C.

85 i.e., not Smyraenae; Kaibel 104.

86 Poseidon's; below, 320C.

87 sc. has the form without s; Kaibel 171.

88 Kock I.640.

89 For oniscus see 118C, 315E. Gadus Callarias is the scientific name of the cod.

90 ll. 823 ff.

91 See critical note. On the fact here stated cf. Oppian, Cyn. I.381, Hal. I.554 ff.

92 Hist. An. 543 a 24. A different fish — Myraena unicolor or serpens.

93 Or, "of one colour"; see critical note.

94 Or, as in Aristotle's text, "of a pine-tree"; see critical note.

95 Frag. 32 Ribbeck, 16 brandt.

96 See critical note.

97 Kaibel 95. The smelt is called σμαρίδα in Modern Greek.

98 Cf. 38F Meineke: 'Inditum hoc nomen Pisci (εὐναί) propter salacitatem.'

99 Kock II.39; Athen. 358D.

100 Man-eating (ἀνθρωποφάγοι) fish are this which consume a man's estate by their high cost. But the speaker, a third person, interprets it as meaning man-eaten (ἀνθρωπόφαγοι).

101 One who practised Corinthian immorality, Corinth being famous for its courtesans. Kock III.390, cf. Athen. 559A.

102 Both were small, hence easily confused by the inexpert.

103 Frag. 18 Birt; Athen. 320E.

104 Kaibel 100; Athen. 321C.

105 p297 Rose.

106 Frag. 14 Birt.

107 Kaibel 102; Athen. 321A.

108 Cf. 228C.

109 Frag. 31 Ribbeck 52 Brandt.

110 Frag. 7 Ribbeck 35 Brandt; Athen. 278A‑B.

111 Frag. 26 Ribbeck 44 Brandt; cf. Athen. 307B.

112 Kock I.640.

113 p80A; Meno likens Socrates to the ray.

114 νάρκη, "numbness."

115 Il. VIII.328.

116 Kock III.143 Allinson 446.

117a 117b Frag. 178 Wimmer.

118 F. H. G. II.324; this is the only mention of the work.

119 p311 Rose.

120 Frag. 33 Ribbeck 48 Brandt.

121 Kock II.311.

122 Ibid. 314; cf. Athen. 107C, where the lines are ascribed to Alexis's Crateias.

123 p311 Rose.

124 Frag. 34 Ribbeck 40 Brandt.

125 See 306F note f.

126 The joke is borrowed from Aristoph. Ach. 606. Gela (suggestive of gelôs, "laughter"), the native city of Archestratus, in Sicily, becomes Catagela, "derision."

127 The Bosporus; cf. 116F, 278D.

128 Hist. An. 543 A30; p313 Rose.

129 Frag. 7 Birt; supply perhaps "head" and "back," assuming that mention of their spiny fins followed.

130 Frag. 17 Birt; Athen. 305C, 321B.

131 Kock I.682.

132 Ibid. 59.

133 Kock I.616; cf. Athen. 327D.

134 l. 493.

135 Kock I.682.

136 Ibid. 59.

137 Again the tunny See p361 note a.

138 The Mediterranean.

139 See 303B note c.

140 See 121B.

141 Onos is probably hake or cod, oniscus probably capelan or else rockling or else poutassou. See 118C, 312D, 315F.

142 p311 Rose.

143 Kaibel 102; Athen. 327F.

144 Maxeinus appeared as Myxinus, "slime-fish," 306E, but cf. 332B. See critical note.

145 Cf. also chellaries, 118C. See critical note.

146 Frag. 35 Ribbeck 14 Brandt.

147 Od. V.432.

148 T. G. F.2 3; Athen. 37F.

149 Kock I.436; Athen. 323C. The quotations illustrate poulypous accept. plur., poulypoun accept. sing., poulypou gen. sing.

150 "Twice seven" is supplied from Zenobius, III.24. The polyp (ὀκταπόδιº in Modern Greek) must be beaten to make it tender; cf. 317B. So in the southern United States, the negro cook gives her "beaten bread" forty pats to make it light.

151 Kock I.756; here the gen. sing. is poulypodos.

152 Kock I.671; an example of the gen. plur. poulypôn.

153 Kock I.626; example of acc. plur. poulypodas.

154 Ibid. 764; but see P. L. G.4 III.194, where the lyric poet Alcaeus is supposed to be the author. As the very doubtful quotation stands, it exemplifies nom. sing. poulypous. See critical note.

155 sc. "and not like nous, nou, noun (mind." These examples are not arranged systematically.

156 Kock I.284.

157 Cunning and evasive; below 316F.

158 171 Wellmann.

159 p317 Rose. "Molluscs" here are such as squid, cuttle, octopus, argonaut.

160 Or, front and rear.

161 Kock I.149.

162 Kock II.551. See 226E note e.

163 vs. 215; advice given to Cyrnus.

164 F. H. G. II.318.

165 By the beating necessary to make it tender, 316B.

166 Cf. 332B‑C.

167 See critical note.

168 Hist. An. 544 A6, 549 B 31, 550 B4.

169 Frag. 173 Wimmer.

170 Frag. 171 Wimmer.

171 Frag. 173 Wimmer.

172 p320 Rose.

173 p56 Wilamowitz2.

174 Nautilus, "sailor," or "rower."

175 T. G. F.2 739.

176 p300 Rose. Probably all four words refer to Eledone morchata.

177 Kaibel 101; Athen. 323F.

178 Frag. 36 Ribbeck 53 Brandt.

179 P. L. G.4 II.457; see also Athen. 316B.

180 As before noted, 316A‑C.

181 Kock II.471.

182 "Ox-tongue," name of a fish (288A‑B), was a slang term also for a stupid old man.

183 Kock I.380.

184 Hist. An. 543 b2.

185 T. G. F.2 242.

186 Kaibel 99; Athen. 323A, c.

187 Unknown; possibly a dialect form of κάμμαροι, "lobsters," 306C and note g.

188 Frag. 18 Birt; Athen. 282A, 313D, 320E.

189 Or "around," see critical note.

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