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Ἑλληνική

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Book I

This webpage reproduces a Book of the
Halieutica

by
Oppian

published in the Loeb Classical Library,
1928

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!


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Book III

p283 Oppian, Halieutica or Fishing

II

[Link to a page in Greek] Thus do fishes range and feed, thus roam the tribes of the sea; in such mating, in such breeding they delight. All these things, I ween, someone of the immortals hath showed to men. For what can mortals accomplish without the gods? Nay, not even so much as lift a foot from the ground1 or open the bright orbs of the eyes. The gods themselves rule and direct everything, being far, yet very near. And doom unshakable constrains men to obey, and there is no strength nor might whereby one may haughtily wrench2 with stubborn jaws and escape that doom, as a colt that spurns the bit. But evermore the gods who are above all turn the reins all ways even as they will, and he who is wise obeys before he is driven by the cruel lash unwillingly. The gods also have given to men cunning arts and have put in them all wisdom. Other god is namesake of other craft, even that whereof he hath got the honourable keeping. Deo3 hath the privilege of p285yoking oxen and ploughing the fields and reaping the fruitful harvest of wheat. Carpentry of wood and building of houses and weaving of cloth with the goodly wool of sheep — these hath Pallas taught to men. The gifts of Ares are swords and brazen tunics to array the limbs and helmets and spears and whatsoever things Enyo4 delights in. The gifts of the Muses and Apollo are songs. Hermes hath bestowed eloquence5 and doughty feats of strength.6 Hephaestus hath in his charge the sweaty toil of the hammer. These devices also of the sea and the business of fishing and the power to mark the multitude of fishes that travel in the water — these hath some god given to men; even he who also first filled the rent bowels of earth with the gathered rivers and poured forth the bitter sea and wreathed it as a garland, confining it about with crags and beaches; whether one should more fitly call him wide-ruling Poseidon or ancient Nereus or Phorcys, or other god that rules the sea. But may all the gods that keep Olympus, and they that dwell in the sea, or on the bounteous earth, or in the air, have a gracious heart toward thee, O blessed wielder of the sceptre, and toward thy glorious offspring and to all thy people and to our song.

[Link to a page in Greek] Among fishes neither justice7 is of any account nor is there any mercy nor love; for all the fish that swim are bitter foes to one another. The stronger8 ever devours the weaker; this against that swims p287fraught with doom and one for another furnishes food. Some9 overpower the weaker by force of jaws and strength; others have venomous mouth; others have spines wherewith to defend them with deadly blows — bitter, sharp points of fiery wrath. And those to whom God hath not given strength, and who have no sharp sting springing from the body, to these he hath given a weapon of mind, even crafty counsel of many devices; these by guile ofttimes destroy a strong and mightier fish.

[Link to a page in Greek] Thus the Cramp-fish10 of tender flesh is endowed with a specific of valour, self-taught in its own limbs. For soft of body and altogether weak and sluggish it is weighed down with slowness,11 and you could not say you see it swimming; hard to mark is its path as it crawls and creeps through the grey water. But in its loins it hath a piece of craft, its strength in weakness: even two rays planted in its sides, one on either hand. If one approach and touch these, straightway it quenches the strength of his body and his blood is frozen within him and his limbs cannot carry him but he quietly pines away and his strength is drained by stupid torpor. Knowing well12 what a gift it hath received from God, the Cramp-fish lays itself supine among the sands and so remains, lying unmoving as a corpse. But any fish that touches its p289loins is paralysed and falls even so into the deep sleep of weakness, fettered by helplessness. And the Cramp-fish, albeit not swift, speedily leaps up in joy and devours the living fish as if it were dead. Many times also when it meets with fishes swimming in the gulf of the sea, it quenches with its touch their swift career for all their haste and checks them in mid course. And they stay, blasted and helpless, thinking not, poor wretches, either of going on or of flight. But the Cramp-fish stays by and devours them, while they make no defence nor are conscious of their fate. Even as in the darkling phantoms of a dream,13 when a man is terrified and fain to flee, his heart leaps, but, struggle as he may, a steadfast bond as it were weighs down his eager knees: even such a fetter doth the Cramp-fish devise for fishes.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Fishing-frog14 again is likewise a sluggish and p291soft fish and most hideous to behold, with mouth that opens exceeding wide. But for him also craft devises food for his belly. Wrapt himself in the slimy mud he lies motionless, while he extends aloft a little bit of flesh which grows from the bottom of his jaw below, fine and bright, and it has an evil breath. This he waves incessantly, a snare for lesser fishes which, seeing it, are fain to seize it. But the Fishing-frog quietly draws it again gently quivering within his mouth, and the fishes follow, not suspecting any hidden guile until, ere they know it, they are caught within the wide jaws of the Fishing-frog. As when a man, devising a snare for lightsome birds, sprinkles some grains of wheat before the gates of guile while others he puts inside, and props up the trap; the keen desire of food draws the eager birds and they pass within and no more return or escape prepared for them, but they win an evil end to their banquet; even so the weak Fishing-frog deceives and attracts the fishes and they perceive not that they are hastening their own destruction. A like device, I have heard, the cunning Fox15 contrives. When she sees a dense flight of birds, she lies down on her side and stretches out her swift limbs and closes her eyes and shuts fast her mouth. Seeing her you would say that she was deep asleep or even lying quite dead: so breathless she lies stretched out, contriving guile. The birds, beholding, rush straightway upon her in a crowd and tear her fur with their feet, as if in mockery. But when they come nigh her teeth, then p293she opens the doors of guile and suddenly seizes them, and with wide gape cunningly catches her prey, even all that she takes at a swoop.

[Link to a page in Greek] Yea, the crafty Cuttle-fish16 also has found a cunning manner of hunting. From her head17 grow long slender branches,18 like locks of hair, wherewith as with lines she draws and captures fish, prone in the sand and coiled beneath her shell.19 With those locks, too, when the waves rage in wintry weather, she clings to the rocks even as a ship fastens her cables to the rocks upon the shore.

[Link to a page in Greek] Prawns20 are small to look at and small too is the strength of their limbs, yet by their craft they destroy a valiant fish, even the Basse21 named22 for its gluttony. For the Basse are eager and keen to seize the Prawns; and these have no strength either to flee or to fight, yet as they are destroyed they destroy and slay their slayers. When the gaping23 Basse have caught them within their teeth, they leap oftentimes p295and fix in the midst of the palate of the Basse the sharp horn24 which springs from the top of their heads. The Basse, glutted with the prey which he loves, heeds not the prick. But it spreads and creeps apace, until, worn out with pain, doom overtakes him; and too late he knows that he is stricken by the spear of the dead.25

[Link to a page in Greek] There is a fish which is at home in the mud, even the ravenous Ox-ray,26 broadest among all fishes; for indeed his breadth is often eleven cubits or twelve. But in might he is a weakling, and his body is devoid of strength and soft. The teeth within his mouth are inconspicuous, small and not strong. By might he could not overpower anything, but by craft he ensnares and overcomes even cunning men. For he greatly delights to banquet upon man and human flesh above all is to him pleasing and a welcome food. When he beholds anyone of those men who have their business in the deep waters of the brine descending to the nether depths, he rises lightly above his head and swims steadfastly, like the roof of a house, stretched about him inexorably. Where the wretched man goes, he goes, and when the man halts, he stands over him like a lid. As a boy sets a guileful doom for greedy mice; and the mouse, not dreaming of the ambush of the trap, is driven within by the desire of the belly; p297and swiftly the hollow vessel claps too above him and, for all his endeavour, he can no more escape from the strong cover, till the boy seizes and kills him, mocking the while his prey; even so over the man's head the deadly fish extends, preventing him from rising to the surface, until breath leaves him and he gasps out his life amid the waves; where the Ox-ray of evil name sets about him and feasts upon him, having by his wiles captured a difficult prey.

[Link to a page in Greek] And one who observes a Crab among the mossy ledges will praise and admire him for his cunning art. For to him also hath Heaven given wisdom to feed on Oysters, a sweet and unlaborious food. The Oysters open the bars of their doors and lick the mud, and, in their desire for water, sit wide open in the arms of the rocks. The Crab27 on the other hand takes a pebble from the beach, moving sideways, carries it clutched in his sharp claws. Stealthily he draws near and puts the stone in the middle of the Oyster. Then he sits by and makes a pleasant feast. And the Oyster, though fain, is unable to shut his two valves, but gapes perforce until he dies and gluts his captor.

[Link to a page in Greek] A like craft is practised also by the reptile Star-fishes28 p299of the sea; for these too have a device against Oyster. Howbeit they bring no stone as comrade nor ally, but insert in the middle of the open Oyster a rough limb. Thus the Oysters are overcome, while the starfish feed.

[Link to a page in Greek] A shell again keeps the plains of the deep, wherein dwells a fish called Pinna.29 The Pinna herself is weak and can of herself devise nothing nor do aught, but in house and one shelter with her dwells a Crab which feeds and guards her; wherefore it is called the Pinna-guard. Now when a fish comes within the shell, the Crab seizes the unheeding Pinna and wounds her with crafty bite. Then in her pain she claps her shells together and so contrives to catch within a prey for herself and her companion, and p301they take a common meal together.30 Thus even among the swimming tribes that travel in the water some are crafty and some are stupid, as among us men, and not all have a right understanding.

[Link to a page in Greek] Mark now a fish that exceeds all in stupidity, even the Day-sleeper,31 lazy beyond all that the sea breeds. The eyes in his head are turned upward and the ravenous mouth between his eyes. Always he lies all day stretched in the sands asleep and only at night does he awake and wander abroad; wherefore is also called the Bat. But an evil doom is his for his limitless appetite. For he knows no satiety of food nor any measure, but in his shameless belly he nurses gluttony, rabid and endless, nor would he cease from feeding if food were at hand, till his belly itself burst utterly in the midst and himself fall flat upon his back or some other fish kill him, gorged with his latest meal. This sign I tell you of his ravenous p303gluttony. If a man capture him and tempt his prey by offering him food with his hand, he will take it until the food shall be heaped up even32 unto the most gluttonous jaws of him. Hear, ye generations of men, what manner of issue there is to gluttonous folly, what pain follows upon excessive eating. Let a man therefore drive far from heart and hand idleness that delights in evil pleasure, and observe measure in eating nor delight in luxurious tables. For many such there be among men who hold the reins loose and allow all rope to their belly. But let a man behold and avoid the end of the Day-sleeper.

[Link to a page in Greek] Wit and cunning belong also to the prickly Urchins,33 which know34 when the violence of the wind and the fierce storms are rising, and lift each of them upon their backs a stone of such weight as they can easily carry on their spines, that thus weighted they may withstand the driving of the wave. For that is what they most dread — lest the swelling wave roll them on the shore.

[Link to a page in Greek] No one, I think, is ignorant of the craft of the p305Poulpes, which make themselves like35 in appearance to the rocks, even whatsoever rock they embrace and entwine with their tentacles.a By their deceits they easily mislead and escape fishers alike and stronger fishes. When a weaker fish meets them near at hand, straightway they leap forth from their stony form and appear as veritable Poulpes and fishes, and by their craft contrive food and escape destruction. But in winter, they say, the Poulpes never travel over the waters of the sea; for they fear the fierce storms. But sitting down in their hollow chambers they cower, and devour their own feet36 as if they were alien flesh. These feet, when they have glutted their owners, grow again; this gift, I ween, Poseidon has given them. Such a device is used also by the fierce and gluttonous Bears.37 For they, shunning winter's threat, retreat into the rocky covert of their lair, where they lick their own feet, a fasting feast, p307seeking an unsubstantial food, and come not forth, until the mild spring be in its prime.

[Link to a page in Greek] Above all other the dashing Crayfish38 and the Muraena39 and the Poulpes have a bitter feud with each other and destroy one another with mutual slaughter. Always there is fishy war and strife between them, and one fills his maw with the other. The raging Muraena comes forth40 from her sea-washed rock and speeds through the waves of the deep in quest of food. Anon it descries a Poulpe crawling on the edge of the shore and rushes gladly on a welcome prey. The Poulpe is not unaware that the Muraena is at hand. First in terror he turns to flee, but he has no means to escape the Muraena, he crawling while she swims and rushes incontinently. Speedily she catches the Poulpe and fixes her deadly teeth in him. The Poulpe, on the other hand, albeit unwilling, fights under deadly compulsion and twines around her limbs, contriving all manner of twists, now this, now that, with his crooked whips, if haply, embracing her in his nooses, he may stay her onset. But for his evil plight there is no cure nor escape. When the Poulpe enfolds her, the nimble Muraena with her slippery limbs easily escapes through his embrace like water. But the Poulpe twines now round her spotted back, now round her neck, now round her very tail, and anon rushes into the gates of her mouth and the recesses of her jaws. Even as two men skilled in valiant wrestling long time display their might against each other; already from the p309limbs of both pours the sweat warm and abundant and the varied wiles of their art are all abroad and their hands wave about their bodies; even so the suckers of the Poulpe, at random plied, are all abroad, and labour in vain wrestling. But the Muraena with sharp assault of teeth rends the Poulpe; some of his limbs her belly receives, while other parts the sharp teeth still grind in her jaws, others are still quivering and twisting, half consumed, struggling still and fain to escape. As when in the woods the Stag41 of heavy horns, seeking the path of serpents, discovers the track by scent and devours it amain, while the serpent twines about knees and neck and breast, and some of its limbs lie half-eaten, much yet in the Stag's jaws the teeth devour: even so the coiling limbs of the hapless Poulpe writhe, nor does his device of stony craft save him. For even if perchance in his endeavours to escape he twine about a rock and clothe him in a colour like to it, yet he escapes not the wit of the Muraena, but she alone remarks him and his cunning is in vain. Then thou wouldst pity him for his unseemly doom, as he crouches on the rocks, while she stands by, as it were mocking him. Thou wouldst say cruel Muraena spoke and mocked him thus. "Why dost thou skulk, crafty one? Whom hopest thou to p311deceive? Soon shall I assault the rock, if this cliff receive thee within it and close and cover thee." And straightway she fixes in him the curved edge of her teeth and devours him, pulling him all trembling from the rock. But he, even while he is rent, does not leave the rock nor let go. Coiling he clings to it till only his suckers remain fast. As when a city is sacked by the hands of the foemen, and children and women are haled away as the prize of the spear, a man drags away a boy who clings to the neck and arms of his mother; the boy relaxes not his arms that are twined about her neck, nor does the wailing mother let him go, but is dragged with him herself; even so the poor body of the Poulpe, as he is dragged away, clings to the wet rock and lets not go.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Crayfish42 again destroys the Muraena,43 savage though she be, overcome by her valour fatal to herself. He stands near the rock in which dwells the nimble Muraena and extends his two feelers and, breathing hostile breath, challenges the Muraena to battle: even as a chieftain, the champion of an army, who, trusting in the prowess of his hands and his skill in war, arrays in arms his strong body and brandishing his sharp spears challenges any foeman who will to meet him, and presently provokes another chieftain. Even so the Crayfish whets the spirit of the Muraena, and no laggard for battle is the dusky fish, but rushing from her lair with arched neck and quivering with wrath she goes to meet him. Yet for all her terrible rage she hurts not the prickly Crayfish; vainly and idly she fixes in him her jaw and rages with her hard teeth, which in her jaws rebound as from a hard rock and grow weary and p313are blunted by their force. Greatly her fierce heart burns and is stirred, until the Crayfish rushes on her with his long claws and seizes her by the tendon in the midst of her throat, and clings and holds her firm as with brazen tongs, and lets her not go though eager to escape. She, distressed by his violence and vexed by pain, wheels every way her crooked body, and speedily she throws herself about the prickly back of the Crayfish and enfolds him and impales herself on the spine and sharp points of his shell, and, full of many wounds, perishes self-destroyed, dead by her own folly. As when a man skilled in the work of slaying wild beasts,44 when the people are gathered in the house-encircled market-place,45 awaits the Leopard46 maddened by the cracking of whip and with long-edged spear stands athwart her path; she, though she beholds the edge of sharp iron, mantles in swelling fury and receives in her throat, as it were in a spear-stand, the brazen lance; even so wrath slays the unhappy Muraena in her folly, overcome by self-dealt wounds. Such strife, I ween, upon the dry land a Serpent and a prickly Hedgehog wage, when they meet in the woods; for enmity is their lot also. The Hedgehog, seeing in front of him the deadly reptile, fences himself with his close-set bristling spines and rolls himself into a ball, protecting his limbs under his fence within which he crawls. The Serpent, rushing upon him, first assails him with his venomous p315jaws, but his labour is all in vain. For despite his eagerness he cannot reach the flesh within with his devouring teeth; so rough a pile surrounds the Hedgehog; who, like a round boulder, wheels his shifty limbs, rolling turn on turn, and falls upon the coils of the Serpent and wounds him with the sharp arrows of his bristles; and here and there flows the bloody ichor47 and many wounds torment the Serpent. Then the clammy Snake girds the Hedgehog all about with his circling coil and in the embrace of his grievous bonds holds him and bites and puts therein strength of anger. Then swiftly all the sharp-bristling spines of the Hedgehog glide into him; yet, impaled upon the prickles, he abates not his effort though fettered against his will, but remains fast as if held by strong dowels, until he dies; and often by his pressure he destroys the beast as well, and they become doom and bane to one another. But often, too, the dread Hedgehog gets away and escapes, slipping from the reptile and his darksome fetter, bearing still upon his spines the flesh of the dead Serpent. In like fashion also the Muraena perishes by a foolish doom, to the Crayfish an eager and welcome feast.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Crayfish again, prickly though he be and swift, is devoured by the Poulpe,48 albeit he is weaker and sluggish of motion. For when the Poulpe remarks him under the rocks sitting all motionless, stealthily p317he springs upon his back and casts his various bonds about him, oppressing him with the long chains of his strong feet and with the ends of his tentacles withal he constricts and strangles the warm channel in the midst of his mouth and suffers not his airy breath to pass either out or in (for fishes too draw the tide of air),49 but holds him in his embrace. And the Crayfish now swims, now halts, and again struggles, and anon dashes against the jutting crags. But the Poulpe relaxes not the contest of might, until life and strength forsake the other in death. Then when the Crayfish falls prone, the Poulpe sits by him on the sands and feasts, even as a child draws with his lips the sweet milk from the breast of his nurse; even so the Poulpe laps the flesh of the Crayfish, sucking and drawing it forth from its prickly vessel, and fills his belly with sweet food. Even as a day-sleeping50 man, with predatory craft devising dark counsels, never honouring the majesty of justice, skulks at evening in the narrow streets and lies in wait for one passing by after a banquet; the banqueter, heavy with wine, goes forward, singing drunkenly, bawling no very sober melody; and the other p319darts forth stealthily behind and seizes his neck with murderous hands and overpowers and lays him low in a cruel sleep not far from death and despoils him of all his raiment and goes his way with his booty, ill-gotten and unlawful: even such are the devices of the cunning Poulpes.

[Link to a page in Greek] These above all creatures of the sea are hostile and unfriendly and alone among the fishes of varied tribe are avengers and slayers one of the other.

[Link to a page in Greek] Others of the fishes are venomous51 and an ugly venom is bred in their mouths and creeps hateful into their bite. Such is the Scolopendra,52 an ominous reptile of the brine, like in form to the reptile of the land, but deadlier in its hurt. For if one approach and touch it, straightway itch makes a hot redness on his flesh and a weal runs over him as from the grass which, from the pains which it causes, men call the nettle. Most hateful of all is the Scolopendra for fishermen to encounter; for if it touch the bait, not a fish will come near that hook; with such a hateful venom does the Scolopendra infect it.

[Link to a page in Greek] A like bane also is bred in the mouth of the spotted p321Rainbow-wrasses;53 them do men who explore the depths of the sea chiefly abhor — divers and toilsome sponge-cutters.54 For when they behold the searcher of the sea hasting to the depths for his labour under the water, in tens of thousands they spring from the rocks and rush around the man and throng in swarms about him and stay him in his course as he labours, on this side and on that stinging him with relentless mouths. He is wearied by his conflict with water and the hateful Wrasses. With hands and hasting feet he does all he can to ward off and drive away the watery host. But they pursue him stubbornly, like unto flies, the grievous hosts of harvest, which on every side fly about the reapers at their work when they toil in autumn; and the reapers sweat at once with their toil and the intemperate shafts of the air and they are vexed exceedingly by the flies; but these abate nothing of their shamelessness until they die or have tasted the reaper's dusky blood. Even such lust have these fishes also for the blood of men.

[Link to a page in Greek] No feeble bite verily hath the reptile Poulpe55 when p323he wounds, nor the Cuttle-fish,56 but in them also is bred an ichor scanty but noxious. Among fishes armed with sharp stings are the Goby57 which rejoices in the sands and the Scorpion58 which rejoices in the rocks, and the swift Swallows and the Weevers59 and those Dog-fish60 which are named from their grievous spines — all discharging poison with their deadly pricks.

p325 [Link to a page in Greek] For the Sting-ray61 and the Swordfish62 God has put in their bodies most powerful gifts, equipping each with a weapon of exceeding might. Above the jaw of the Swordfish he has set a natural sword, upright and sharp, no sabre of iron but a mighty sword with the strength of adamant. When he puts his weight behind his terrible spear not even the hardest rock may endure the wound; so fierce and fiery is the onset.

[Link to a page in Greek] In the Sting-ray there springs from below the tail a fierce sting, at once grievous in its power and deadly with its venom. Neither the Sword-fishes nor the Sting-rays will taste any food with their jaws, until they have first wounded with their deadly jaws whatever prey is at hand whether it be alive or lifeless. But when the breath of life forsakes the Sword-fish, his mighty sword straightway perishes with him and his weapon is quenched with its master and there is left a bone of no account, a great sword only to behold and thou couldst do nothing with it if thou wouldst. But than the wound of the Sting-ray there is no more evil hurt, neither in the warlike weapons which the hands of the smith contrive nor in the deadly drugs which Persian pharmacists have devised upon their winged arrows. While the Sting-ray lives, a terrible and fiery weapon attends it, such, I ween, as a man trembles to hear of, and it lives when the Sting-ray itself has perished and preserves its unwearied p327strength unchanged; and not only on the living creatures which it strikes does it belch mysterious bane but it hurts even tree and rock and wherever it comes nigh. For if one take a lusty tree that flourishes in its season, with goodly foliage and fruitful crop, and wound it in the roots below with that relentless stroke, then, smitten by an evil bane, it ceases to put forth leaves and first droops as if by disease and its beauty fades away; and at no distant date thou shalt behold the tree withered and worthless and its greenery gone.

[Link to a page in Greek] That sting it was which his mother Circe,63 skilled in many drugs, gave of old to Telegonus for his long hilted spear, that he might array for his foes death from the sea. And he beached his ship on the island that pastured goats; and he knew not that he was harrying the flocks of his own father, and on his aged sire who came to the rescue, even on him whom he was seeking, he brought an evil fate. There the cunning Odysseus, who had passed through countless woes of the sea in his laborious adventures, the grievous Sting-ray slew with one blow.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Tunny and the Sword-fish are ever attended and companioned by a plague, which they can never p329turn away or escape: a fierce gadfly64 which infests their fins and which, when the burning Dog-star is newly risen, fixes in them the swift might of its bitter sting, and with sharp assault stirs them to grievous madness, making them drunk with pain. With the lash of frenzy it drives them to dance against their will; maddened by the cruel blow they rush and now here, now there ride over the waves, possessed by pain unending. Often also they leap into well-beaked ships, driven by the stress of their distemper; and often they leap forth from the sea and rush writhing upon the land, and exchange their weary agonies for death; so dire pain is heavy upon them and abates not. Yea, for oxen65 also, when the cruel gadfly attacks them and plunges its arrow in their tender flanks, have no more regard for the herdsman nor for the pasture nor for the herd, but leaving the grass and all the folds they rush, whetted by frenzy; no river nor untrodden sea nor rugged ravine nor pathless rock stays the course of the bulls, when the gadfly hot and sharp impels, urging them with keen pains. Everywhere there is bellowing, everywhere range their bounding hoofs: such bitter tempest drives. This pain the fishes suffer even as do the cattle.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Dolphins lord it greatly among the herds of the p331sea, pluming themselves eminently on their valiance and beauty and their swift speed in the water; for like an arrow they fly through the sea, and fiery and keen is the light which they flash from their eyes, and they descry, I ween, any fish that cowers in a cleft or wraps itself beneath the sands. Even as the Eagles66 are lords among the lightsome birds or Lions amid ravenous beasts, as Serpents are most excellent among reptiles, so are Dolphins leaders among fishes. Them as they come no fish dares to approach nor any to look them in the face, but they tremble from afar at the dread leaps and snorting breath of the lord of fishes. When the Dolphins set out in quest of food, they huddle67 before them all the infinite flocks of the sea together, driving them in utter rout; they fill with terror every path of the sea, and shady covert and low ravine, and the havens and the bays of the shore are straitened with fishes huddling from every side; and the Dolphin devours whichsoever he will, choosing the best of the infinite fishes at hand.

[Link to a page in Greek] But, notwithstanding, even the Dolphins have foes who meet their encounter, the fish called Amia,68 which care not for the Dolphin but alone fight them face to face. These have a weaker body than the p333Tunny and are clothed in feeble flesh, but in their ravenous mouth bristles sharp a dense array of teeth; wherefore also they have great courage and do not cower before the mighty lord of fishes. For when they see one that has wandered away alone from the rest of the herd of Dolphins, then from this quarter and from that, as a great army at command, they gather in a body together and set forth to battle dauntlessly, like shielded warriors against the tower of the foe. And the bearded Dolphin, when the crowd meets him, at first recks not of them but rushes among them, seizing and rending now one and now another, finding a banquet after his heart. But when the ranks of war surround him on every side and encircle him with their great and dense array, then trouble at length enters his heart and he knows that sheer destruction is upon him, hemmed about as he is, alone among countless foes; and the toil of battle appears. For furiously they fall in a body about the limbs of the Dolphin and fix in him the might of their teeth; everywhere they bite him and cling to him relentlessly, many clutching his head, others his grey jaws, while yet others cleave to his very fins; many in his flanks fix their deadly teeth, others seize the end of his tail, others his belly beneath, others feed upon his back above, others hang from his mane, others from his neck. And, full of manifold distress, he rushes over the sea and his frenzied heart within him is racked with agony and his spirit is afire with pain. Every way he leaps and turns, rushing blindly in the spasms of agony. Like a diver, now he runs over the deep waves like a whirlwind, now he plunges to the nether deeps; and often he springs up and p335leaps above the foam of the sea, if haply the bold swarm of overweening fishes may let him go. But they, relentless, no wise abate their violence but cling to him all the same; when he dives, they dive along with him; when he leaps up again, they likewise spring forth from the sea in his train. You would say that the Shaker of the Earth had gotten a new and monstrous birth, half Dolphin and half Amia; so grievous the bond of teeth wherewith he is bound. As when a cunning physician drains a swollen wound, within which is gathered much unwholesome blood, and he applies to the flesh of the sufferer the watery brood, the dark-hued reptiles of the marsh,69 to feast on his black blood; and straightway they become arched and rounded and draw the filth and abate not until having drained the strong drink of blood they roll of themselves from flesh and fall like drunken men; even so the fury of the Amia abates not until they have devoured with the mouth the flesh which they once seized. But when they leave him and the Dolphin gets a breathing-space from toil, then shalt thou behold the rage of the angry lord of fishes and deadly doom appears for the Amia. They flee; and he behind working havoc, like hurricane of evil noise, lays all waste, devouring them incontinently, and with ravening jaws reddens the sea with blood; and he avenges the despite that he suffered. Even so in p337the woods, as hunters tell, the terrible Jackals70 gather and busy themselves about a Stag; they rush upon him and rend his flesh with their jaws and lap the warm gore of new-shed blood: the Stag bellowing in his bloody pain, full of deadly wounds, bounds now to this mountain-crag, now to that, but the ravenous beasts leave him not but always follow him close, and rend him alive and tear off his hide before he finds death, making a black and woeful banquet. But while the shameless Jackals pay no requital but laugh loud over the dead Stags, the bold Amia soon fight a less happy fight.

[Link to a page in Greek] This other excellent deed of the Dolphins have I heard and admire. When fell disease and fatal draws nigh to them, they fail not to know it but are aware of the end of life. Then they flee the sea and the wide waters of the deep and come aground71 on the shallow shores. And there they give up their breath and receive their doom upon the land; that so perchance some mortal man may take pity on the holy messenger72 of the Shaker of the Earth when he lies low, and cover him with mound of shingle, remembering his gentle friendship; or haply the seething sea herself may hide his body in the sands; nor any of the brood of the sea behold the corse of their lord, nor any foe do despite to his body even in death. Excellence and majesty attend them even when they perish, nor do they shame their glory even when they die.

p339 [Link to a page in Greek] The Grey Mullet,73 I hear, among all the fishes of the sea nurses the gentlest and most righteous74 mind. For only the kindly Grey Mullets harm neither one of their own kind nor any of another race. Nor do they touch with their lips fleshly food nor drink blood, but feed harmlessly, unstained of blood and doing no hurt, a holy race. Either upon the green seaweed they feed or on mere mud, and lick the bodies one of the other. Wherefore also among fishes they have honourable regard and none harms their young brood, as they do that of others, but refrain the violence of their ravenous teeth. Thus always and among all reverend Justice hath her privilege appointed and everywhere she wins her meed of honour. But all p341other fishes come fraught with destruction to one another; wherefore also thou shalt never see fishes sleeping75 but evermore awake and sleepless are their eyes and wits, since always they dread the encounter of a stronger and slay the weaker. Only the tender Parrot-wrasse,76 as fishermen say, never falls into their nets in the darkness but doubtless sleeps77 by night in the hollow ocean caves.

[Link to a page in Greek] Yet it is no marvel that Justice should dwell apart from the sea. For not long since that first of goddesses had no throne even among men, but noisy riots and raging ruin of destroying Wars and Strife, giver of pain, nurse of tearful wars, consumed the unhappy race of the creatures of a day. Nor different at all from wild beasts were many among men; but, more terrible than Lions, well-builded towers and halls and fragrant temples of the deathless gods they clothed with the blood of men and dark smoke of Hephaestus: until the Son of Cronus took pity on the afflicted race and bestowed upon you, the Sons of Aeneas, the earth for keeping. Yet even among the earlier kings of the Ausonians War still raged, arming Celts and proud Iberians and the great space78 of Libya and the lands of the Rhine79 and Ister and Euphrates. Wherefore need I mention those works of the spear? For now, O Justice, nurse of cities, I know thee to share the hearth and home of men, ever since they hold sway together, mounted on their mighty throne — the p343wondrous Sire and his splendid scion:80 by whose rule a sweet haven is opened for me. Them, I pray, O Zeus and ye Sons of Heaven, the choir of Zeus, may ye keep and direct unfailingly through many tens of the revolving years, if there be any reward of piety, and to their sceptre bring the fulness of felicity.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 ποδὸς ἴχνος is so common a periphrasis for πούς (Eur. I. in T. 752 etc.), and αἴρω (Eur. Tr. 342 μὴ κοῦφον αἴρῃ βῆμ᾽ ἐς Ἀργείων στρατόν) so naturally refers to "lifting" the foot, that this seems the safer rendering. Nor does ὑπέκ cause any difficulty (Soph. Ant. 224 κοῦφον ἐξάρας πόδα, Anonym. Poet. ap. Suid. s. Ταῦρος . . . τὸν αὐχένα | κυρτῶς ὑπεξαίροντι). The Schol. has τὸν πόδα ἐκ τοῦ ἴχνους, and a possible rendering would be "to move one foot past another." Cf. Hom. Il. IX.547 ὀλίγον γόνυ γουνὸς ἀμείβων.

2 For the behaviour of the ἄστομος πῶλος or "unmouthed" colt cf. Aesch. Pers. 195 συναρπάζει βίᾳ, Soph. El. 723, Eur. Hipp. 1224 βίᾳ φέρουσιν, Aesch. Ag. 1066, Xen. Eq. 3.5.

3 Demeter.

4 Goddess of War.

5 Hor. C. I.10.1 Mercuri facunde nepos Atlantis.

6 Pind. I. I.60 ἀγώνιος Ἑρμᾶς.

7 Hesiod, W. 276 τόνδε γὰρ ἀνθρώποισι νόμον διέταξε Κρονίων, | ἰχθυσὶ μὲν καὶ θηρσὶ καὶ οἰωνοῖς πετεηνοῖς | ἐσθέμεν ἀλλήλους, ἐπεὶ οὐ δίκη ἐστὶν ἐν αὐτοῖς; Plut. Mor. 964B and ibid. 970B ἄμικτα γὰρ ἐκεῖνα (τὰ ἔναλα ζῷα) κομιδῇ πρὸς χάριν καὶ ἄστοργα; Ael. VI.50.

8 Shakesp. Per. II.1. Fisherman iii. Master, I marvel how the fishes live in the sea. Fisherman i. Why, as men do a‑land; the great ones eat up the little ones.

9 C. IV.25 ff.; A. P. A. 662 B33 ff.; A. 591 B14 πολλάκις δὲ καὶ ἀλλήλων ἅπτονται . . . καὶ τῶν ἐλαττόνων οἱ μείζους.

10 The Torpedo or Electric Ray. Three species occur in Mediterranean — Torpedo marmorata Risso, M. G. μουδιάστρα (Apost. p6), T. narce, T. hebetans; A. 505A‑506B, 540 B18, etc.; Ael. IX.14, I.36, etc.; Antig. 53; Phil. 36; Athen. 314; Plut. Mor. 978B; Plin. IX.143; Claudian, XLIX (XLVI Gesner). The Torpedo has a pair of large electric organs between the pectoral fin and the head.

11 A. 620 B25 ἁλίσκονται (βάτραχος, νάρκη, τρυγών) γὰρ ἔχοντες κεστρέας πολλάκις ὄντες αὐτοὶ βραδύτατοι τὸν τάχιστον τῶν ἰχθύων; Claudian, l.c. 3 Illa quidem mollis segnique obnixa natatu | Reptat.

12 Plin. IX.143 novit torpedo vim suam ipsa non torpens mersaque in limo se occultat piscium qui supernantes obtorpuere corripiens; Claudian, l.c. 8 Conscia sortis | Utitur ingenio longeque extenda per algas | Attactu confisa subit. Immobilis haeret: | Qui tetigere iacent. Successu laeta resurgit | Et vivos impune ferox depascitur artus.

13 Hom. Il. XXII.199 (of Achilles and Hector) ὡς δ᾽ ἐν ὀνείρῳ οὐ δύναται φεύγοντα διώκειν· οὔτ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ὁ τὸν δύναται ὑποφεύγειν οὔθ᾽ ὁ διώκειν; cf. Verg. A. XII.908 Ac velut in somnis, oculos ubi languida pressit | Nocte quies, nequidquam avidos extendere cursus | Velle videmur et in mediis conatibus aegri | Succidimus.

14 Lophius Piscatorius L., M. G. φλάσκα at Chalcis, σκλεμποῦ and βατραχόψαρο at Patras (Apost. p10). Fr. Loup de mer, Diable, Crapaud de mer, etc. In this country Angler, Sea-devil, etc. It is not infrequently cast ashore in Scotland, especially on the E. coast. The attention of the present writer was called (by his son J. L. R. M.) to a fine specimen near Largo in Fife, April 1927, where it lay amid a crowd of Lump-fish, Cyclopterus lumpus, hen-paidle and cock-paidle (Scott, Antiquary c. xi); cf. St. John, N. H. in Moray, p210; A. 540 B18, 620 B11 ff. βάτραχον τὸν ἁλιέα; De gen. 749 A23, etc.; Ael. IX.24; Athen. 286B, 330A; Plin. IX.78 ranae, 143 nec minor sollertia ranae quae in mari piscatrix vocatur. Eminentia sub oculis cornicula turbato limo exerit, adsultantibus pisciculis retrahens, donec tam prope accedant ut adsiliat; Ov. Hal. 126 molles tergore ranae; Cicero N. D. II.125 Ranae autem marinae dicuntur obruere sese arena solere et moveri prope aquam: ad quas quasi ad escam pisces cum accesserint confici a ranis atque consumi. "The first dorsal ray, inserted on the snout, is very long, movable in every direction, and terminates in a dermal flap, which is supposed to be used by the 'Angler' as a bait, attracting other fishes, which are soon ingulfed in the enormous gape" C. N. H. VII p718; Aristotle, classifying it as a Selachian and holding all Selachians to be viviparous, notes the βάτραχος as the one exception (A. 505 B3 τὰ δὲ σελάχη πάντα ζῳοτόκα πλὴν βατράχου: cf. 564 B18, etc., De gen. 749 A23). In De gen. 754 A26 he gives as the reason for this the immense size of its head — πολλαπλασίαν τοῦ λοιποῦ σώματος καὶ ταύτην ἀκανθώδη καὶ σφόδρα τραχεῖαν. διόπερ οὐδ᾽ ὕστερον εἰσδέχεται τοὺς νεοττοὺς οὐδ᾽ ἐξ ἀρχῆς ζῳοτοκεῖ. "Il y avait une bien meilleure réponse à faire, c'est que la baudroie n'est pas un cartilagineux et d'ailleurs il s'en faut beaucoup que les autres cartilagineux soient tous vivipares; enfin, ni les poissons cartilagineux ni les autres ne font rentrer leurs petits dans leur corps" Cuvier, XII p363.

15 Pind. I. III.65 μἦτιν δ᾽ ἀλώπηξ, αἰετοῦ ἅτ᾽ ἀναπιτναμένα ῥόμβον ἴσχει; Ael. VI.24 τὰς δὲ ὠτίδας (Bustards) ἐν τῷ Πόντῳ θηρεύουσιν οὕτως· ἀποστραφεῖσαι αὐταὶ καὶ εἰς γῆν κύψασαι τὴν κέρκον ἀνατείνουσιν . . . αἱ δὲ ἀπατηθεῖσαι προσίασιν ὡς πρὸς ὄρνιν ὁμόφυλον, εἶτα πλησίον γενόμεναι τῆς ἀλώπεκος ἁλίσκονται ῥᾷστα, ἐπιστραφείσης καὶ ἐπιθεμένης.

16 Sepia officinalis L., the Common Cuttle.

17 A. 523 B21 τῶν μὲν οὖν μαλακίων καλουμένων τὰ μὲν ἔξω μόρια τάδ᾽ ἐστίν, ἓν μὲν οἱ ὀνομαζόμενοι πόδες, δεύτερον δὲ τούτων ἐχομένη ἡ κεφαλή.

18 i.e. tentacles, προβοσκίδες, πλεκτάναι. Cf. A. 523 B29 ἰδία τ᾽ ἔχουσιν αἵ τε σηπίαι καὶ αἱ τευθίδες καὶ οἱ τεῦθοι δύο προβοσκίδας μακράς, ἐπ᾽ ἄκρων τραχύτητα ἐχούσας δικότυλον, αἷς προσάγονταί τε καὶ λαμβάνουσιν εἰς τὸ στόμα τὴν τροφήν, καὶ ὅταν χειμὼν ᾖ, βαλλόμεναι πρός τινα πέτραν ὥσπερ ἀγκύρας ἀποσαλεύειν; Plin. I.83 sepiae et loligini pedes duo ex his longissimi et asperi quibus ad ora admovent cibos et in fluctibus se velut ancoris stabiliunt, cetera cirri quibus venantur; Athen. 323D τρέφονται δ᾽ αἱ μικραὶ σηπίαι τοῖς λεπετοῖς ἰχθυδίοις, ἀποτείνουσαι τὰς προβοσκίδας ὥσπερ ὁρμιὰς καὶ ταύταις θηρεύουσαι. λέγεται δ᾽ ὡς ὅταν ὁ χειμὼν γένηται τῶν πετριδίων ὥσπερ ἀγκύραις ταῖς προβοσκίσι λαμβανόμεναι ὁρμοῦσι; Ael. V.41; Plut. Mor. 978D.

19 The Cuttle-fish has no shell. But the σηπίον, or hard (internal) part, towards the back of the body, which is described A. 524 B22 τῇ μὲν οὖν σηπίᾳ καὶ τῇ τευθίδι καὶ τῷ τεύθῳ ἐντός ἐστι τὰ στερεὰ ἐν τῷ πρανεῖ τοῦ σώματος, ἃ καλοῦσι τὸ μὲν σηπίον τὸ δὲ ξίφος, cf. P. A. 654 A20, was apparently sometimes called ὄστρακον, cf. Athen. 323C τὴν σηπίαν δὲ Ἀριστοτέλης (φησὶ) πόδας ἔχειν ὀκτώ . . ., ἔχει δὲ καὶ ὀδόντας δύο . . . καὶ τὸ λεγόμενον ὄστρακον ἐν τῷ νώτῳ. Oppian may have misunderstood this, or, equating ὄστρακον with νῶτον, he may have meant ὑπ᾽ ὀστράκῳ εἰλυθεῖσα as = "hunched up." It seems then advisable not to alter the text.

20 A. 525 A34 γένη δὲ πλείω τῶν καρίδων . . . αἵ τε κυφαὶ καὶ αἱ κράγγονες καὶ τὸ μικρὸν γένος (A. P. A. 684 A14), probably Palaemon squilla, Squilla mantis, and Crangon vulgaris (shrimps). Ael. I.30 gives a similar account of their fight with the Basse, and classes them as ἕλειοι, ἐκ φυκίων, πετραῖαι.

21 Labrax lupus Cuv., M. G. λαυράκι; Apost. p12.

22 i.e. λάβραξ from λάβρος: ἰχθύων ὀψοφαγίστατος, Ael. l.c.

23 Ael. l.c. κέχηνε δὲ ὁ λάβραξ καὶ μέγα.

24 Ael l.c. τὸ ἔξοχον τῆς κεφαλῆς, ἔοικε δὲ τριήρους ἐμβόλῳ καὶ μάλα γε ὀξεῖ, καὶ ἄλλως ἔχει δίκην πριόνων.

25 Ael. l.c. καὶ καινότατα δήπου ἀποκτείνασα ἀνῄρηται.

26 A. 540 B17 σελάχη δ᾽ ἐστὶ τά τε εἰρημένα καὶ βοῦς καὶ λάμια καὶ ἀετὸς καὶ νάρκη καὶ βάτραχος καὶ πάντα τὰ γαλεώδη; 566 B2 δελφὶς καὶ φάλαινα καὶ τὰ ἄλλα κήτη, ὅσα μὴ ἔχει βράγχια ἀλλὰ φυσητῆρα ζῳοτοκοῦσιν, ἔτι δὲ πρίστις καὶ βοῦς; Plin. IX.78 Planorum piscium alterum est genus quod pro spina cartilaginem habet, ut raiae, pastinacae, squatinae, torpedo, et quos bovis, lamiae, aquilae, ranae nominibus Graeci appellant. . . . Omnia autem carnivora sunt talia . . . et cum ceteri pisces ova pariant, hoc genus solum, ut ea quae cete appellant, animal pariat, excepta quam ranam vocant. Cf. Athen. 330A; Ael. I.19, XI.37; Phil. 100; Ov. Hal. 94 Nam gaudent pelago quales scombrique bovesque (Plin. XXXII.152). Clearly one of the Rays — probably Cephaloptera Giorna = Couch's Ox-ray. Some members of this family (Cephalopteridae) attain an incredible size — one taken at Messina weighing more than half a ton.

27 Cambridge N. H. III p111 "Crabs crush the young shells with their claws, and are said to gather in bands and scratch sand or mud over the larger specimens, which makes them open their shells."

28 A. P. A. 681 B8 καὶ τὸ τῶν ἀστέρων ἐστὶ γένος· καὶ γὰρ τοῦτο προσπῖπτον ἐγχυμίζει πολλὰ τῶν ὀστρέων; Ael. IX.22 τὰ μὲν κέχηνε πολλάκις ψύχους δεόμενα καὶ ἄλλως εἴ τἰ σφισιν ἐμπέσοι τούτῳ τραφησόμενα· οἱ τοίνυν ἀστέρες μέσον τῶν ὀστράκων διείρουσιν ἓν κοῦλον τῶν σφετέρων ἕκαστος καὶ ἐμπίμπλανται τῶν σαρκῶν, διειργομένων συνελθεῖν τῶν ὀστράκων αὖθις. Cf. C. N. H. l.c. "Sometimes in a single night a whole bed of oysters will be destroyed by an invasion of Star-fish," where different accounts of the procedure of Star-fish are given: 1. The Star-fish wraps its turned-out stomach round the Oyster, enclosing the mouth of the shell so that the Oyster sickens, the hinge-spring relaxes its hold, and the shell opening permits the Star-fish to suck the gelatinous contents. 2. The Star-fish seizes the Oyster with two of his fingers, while with the other three he files away the edge of the flat valve until he can introduce an arm. 3. The Star-fish suffocates the Oyster by applying two of its fingers so closely to the edge of the valves that the Oyster is unable to open them; after a while the vital powers relax and the shell gapes. 4. The Star-fish pours a secretion from its mouth, which paralyses the hinge-muscle and causes the shell to open. Cf. Plin. IX.183; Plut. Mor. 978B.

29 A genus of bivalve Molluscs. A. 547 B15 αἱ δὲ πίνναι ὀρθαὶ φύονται ἐκ τοῦ βυσσοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἀμμώδεσι καὶ βορβορωδέσιν. ἔχουσι δ᾽ ἐν αὑταῖς πιννοφύλακα, αἱ μὲν καρίδιον [prob. Pontonia Tyrrhena Latr.], αἱ δὲ καρκίνιον [Pinnotheres veterum Bosc.] οὗ στερισκόμεναι διαφθείρονται θᾶττον; ibid. B28 ἐν ταῖς πίνναις οἱ καλούμενοι πιννοτῆραι. Cf. Athen. 83D‑E; Ael. III.29; Phil. 110; Plut. Mor. 980B; Plin. IX.115, XXXII.150; Cic. N. D. II.48.123; De fin. III.19.63; Soph. fr. 116; Aristoph. Vesp. 1510 (of Xenocles, son of Carcinus) ὁ πιννοτήρης οὗτός ἐστι τοῦ γένους; Camb. N. H. III p62 "Several of the Crustacea live associated with certain molluscs. Pinnoteres lives within the shell of Pinna, Ostrea, Astarte, Petunculus, and others. Apparently the females alone reside within the shell of their host, while the males seize favourable opportunities to visit them there."

30 Chrysippus ap. Athen. 83D ἡ πίννη καὶ ὁ πιννοτήρης συνεργὰ ἀλλήλοις, κατ᾽ ἴδια οὐ δυνάμενα συμμένειν. ἡ μὲν οὖν πίννη ὄστρεον ἐστιν, ὁ δὲ πιννοτήρης καρκίνος μικρός. καὶ ἡ πίννη διαστήσασα τὸ ὄστρακον ἡσυχάζει τηροῦσα τὰ ἐπεισίοντα ἰχυύδια, ὁ δὲ πιννοτήρης παρεστῶς ὅταν εἰσέλθῃ τι δάκνει αὐτὴν ὥσπερ σημαίνων, ἡ δὲ δηχθεῖσα συμμύει. καὶ οὕτως τὸ ἀποληφθὲν ἔνδον κατεσθίουσι κοινῇ; Theophrast. C. P. II.17.8 (in a discussion of Parasitism in general) ζῷα ἐν ζῴοις οἷον τά τε ἐν ταῖς πίνναις ἐστὶ καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα ζῳοτροφεῖ; ibid. 9 οὔτε γὰρ ἴσως ταῖς πίνναις βίος εἰ μὴ διὰ τὸν κάρκινον.

31 Uranoscopus scaber, M. G. λύχνος (Bik. p81, λῦχνος Erh. p81, while Apost. p9 would write λίχνος = gourmand). The name οὐρανοσκόπος, referring to the upward direction of the eyes, and καλλιώνυμος, euphemistically referring to ugliness (cf. καλλίας = ape), might be applied to various fishes, e.g. Lophius piscatorius, but the identification of the καλλιώνυμος of Aristotle with Uranoscopus scaber is proved by A. 506 B10 ἔχει δὲ καὶ ὁ καλλιώνυμος (τὴν χολήν, the gall-bladder) ἐπὶ τῷ ἥπατι, ὅσπερ ἔχει μεγίστην τῶν ἰχθύων ὡς κατὰ μέγεθος, which is true of the Uranoscopus, but not of the Callionymus of Linnaeus (Cuv. et Val. XII p262). Cf. Ael. XIII.4 who quotes Aristotle, Menander, and Anaxippus for this peculiarity; Plin. XXXII.69 Callionymi fel cicatrices sanat et carnes oculorum supervacuas consumit. Nulli hoc piscium copiosius ut existimavit Menander quoque in comoedis [= Menand. ap. Ael. l.c. τίθημ᾽ ἔχειν χολήν σε καλλιωνύμου πλείω]. Idem piscis et uranoscopus vocatur ab oculo quem in capite habet; ibid. 146 callionymus sive uranoscopus; Athen. 356A οὐρανοσκόπος δὲ καὶ ὁ ἁγνὸς καλούμενος ἢ καὶ καλλιώνυμος βαρεῖς. Cf. 282D‑E, A. 598 A11 πρόσγειος, which suits Uranoscopus as well as the Callionymus of Linnaeus. For the gall-bladder of Uranoscopus cf. Cuv. III.296 La vésicule du fiel est énorme et a la forme d'une fiole à long cou, suspendu à un canal cholédoque aussi gros que le duodénum.

32 We take αὐτοῦ, not as = "of him," but as qualifying στόματος, "his very jaws," cf. Hom. Il. XIII.615 ὑπὸ λόφον αὐτόν.

33 Sea-urchins generically, Echinus esculentus, etc. A. 530 A34 ἔστι δὲ γένη πλείω τῶν ἐχίνων, ἓν μὲν τὸ ἐσθιόμενον; Hesych. s. ἐχῖνοι . . . καὶ ζῷον θαλάσσιον ἐδώδιμον; cf. Athen. 91B.

34 Plut. Mor. 979A ἐχίνου γέ τινα χερσαίου διηγήσατο πρόγνωσιν Ἀριστοτέλης πνευμάτων (A. 612 B4; Mirab. 831 A15; Plin. VIII.133) . . . ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἐχίνον μὲν οὐδένα Κυζικηνὸν ἢ Βυζάντιον ἀλλὰ πάντας ὁμοῦ παρέχομαι τοὺς θαλαττίους, ὅταν αἰσθωνται μέλλοντα χειμῶνα καὶ σάλον, ἑρματιζομένους λιθιδίοις, κλυδῶνος, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπιμένωσιν ἀραρότως τοῖς πετριδίοις; Plin. IX.100 Ex eodem genere sunt echini . . . tradunt saevitiam maris praesagire eos correptisque opperiri lapillis mobilitatem pondere stabilientes. Cf. Ael. VII.33; Phil. 64.

35 A. 622 A8 θηρεύει τοὺς ἰχθῦς τὸ χρῶμα μεταβάλλων καὶ ποιῶν ὅμοιον οἷς ἂν πλησιάζῃ λίθοις; P. A. 679 A12, Mirab. 832 B14; Plut. Mor. 978D τῶν πολυπόδων τῆς χρόας τὴν ἄμειψιν ὅ τε Πίνδαρος περιβόητον πεποίηκεν εἰπών "ποντίου θηρὸς χρωτὶ μάλιστα νόον προσφέρων πάσαις πολίεσσιν ὁμιλεῖ" (fr. 43) καὶ Θέογνις (215) ὁμοίως "πουλύποδος νόον ἴσχε πολυχρόου, ὃς ποτὶ πέτρῃ τῇπερ ὁμιλήσῃ, τοῖος ἰδεῖν ἐφάνη; Athen. 316F, 513D; Lucian, De salt. c. 67; Ael. V. H. I.1; Dionys. De A. I.9; Phil. 102.13; Antig. 25 and 30; Plin. IX.29; Ov. Hal. 30 At contra scopelis crinali corpore segnis | Polypus haeret et hac eludit retia fraude | Et sub lege loci sumit mutatque colorem, | Semper ei similis quem contigit. Charles Darwin, in his Journal of Researches (H. M. S. Beagle), c. I tells how in 1832 at St. Iago in the Cape de Verd archipelago he was interested in observing the habits of an Octopus: "These animals also escape detection by a very extraordinary chameleon-like power of changing their colour. They appear to vary their tints according to the nature of the ground over which they pass; when in deep water their general shade was brownish-purple, but when placed on the land, or in shallow water, this dark tint changed into one of a yellowish-green," etc.

36 Cf. C. III.176 ff.; Hesiod, W. 524 ἤματι χειμερίῳ ὅτ᾽ ἀνόστεος [i.e. "the Boneless," Hesiod's allusive way of referring to the Poulpe, which has no bony skeleton: A. 524 B28 οἱ δὲ πολύποδες οὐκ ἔχουσιν ἔσω στερεὸν τοιοῦτον οὐδέν. For such allusive expressions, in place of the ordinary name, see Hesiod, A. W. Mair, Oxford, 1908, Introd. pp. xv ff.] ὃν πόδα τένδει | ἔν τ᾽ ἀπύρῳ οἴκῳ καὶ ἤθεσι λευγαλέοισι; Plut. Mor. 965F; Ael. I.27, XIV.26; Antig. 21; Phil. 102.5 ff.; Athen. 316 (who quotes allusions to the belief by Alcaeus, Pherecrat., and Diphilus); Plin. IX.87; A. 591 A4 ὁ δὲ λέγουσί τινες, ὡς αὐτὸς αὑτὸν ἐσθίει, ψεῦδός ἐστιν ἀλλ᾽ ἀπεδηδεμένας ἔχουσιν ἔνιοι τὰς πλεκτάνας ὑπὸ τῶν γόγγρων.

37 C. III.174 n.

38 i.e. the Sea Crayfish or Spiny Lobster: H. I.261 n.

39 H. I.142 n.

40 Ael. I.32 (where the hostilities of Poulpe, Muraena, are described) μύραινα μὲν γὰρ ταῖς ἀκμαῖς τῶν ὀδόντων τὰς πλεκτάνας τῷ πολύποδι διακόπτει, εἶτα μέντοι καὶ ἐς τὴν γαστέρα εἰσδῦσα αὐτῷ τὰ αὐτὰ δρᾷ καὶ εἰκότως· ἡ μὲν γὰρ νηκτική, ὁ δὲ ἔοικεν ἕρποντι· εἰ δὲ καὶ τρέποιτο τὴν χρόαν τὰς πέτρας, ἔοικεν αὐτῷ τὸ σόφισμα αἱρεῖν οὐδὲ ἓν τοῦτο· ἔστι γὰρ συνιδεῖν ἐκείνη δεινὴ τοῦ ζῴου τὸ παλάμημα.

41 Ael. II.9 ἔλαφος ὄφιν νικᾷ κατά τινα φύσεως δωρεὰν θαυμαστήν· καὶ οὐκ ἆν αὐτὸν διαλάθοι ἐν τῷ φωλεῷ ὣν ὁ ἔχθιστος, ἀλλὰ προσερείσας τῇ καταδρομῇ τοῦ δακέτου τοὺς ἑαυτοῦ μυκτῆρας, βιαιότατα εἰσπνεῖ, καὶ ἕλκει ὡς ἴυγγι τῷ πνεύματι, καὶ ἄκοντα προάγει, καὶ προκύπτοντα αὐτὸν ἐσθίειν ἄρχεται; Lucan VI.673 cervi pastae serpente medullae; Plin. VIII.118 Et his (cervis) cum serpente pugna. Vestigant cavernas nariumque spiritu extrahunt renitentes; Nicand. Th. 139 ff. ἢ ὁπότε σκαρθμοὺς ἐλάφων ὀχεῇσιν ἀλύξας | ἀνδρὸς ἐνισκίμψῃ χολόων γυιοφθόρον ἰόν· | ἔξοχα γὰρ δολιχοῖσι κινωπησταῖς κοτέουσι | νεβροτόκοι καὶ ζόρκες· ἀνιχνεύουσι δὲ πάντῃ | τρόχμαλα θ᾽ αἱμασιάς τε καὶ ἰλύους ἐρέοντες, | σμερδαλέῃ μυκτῆρος ἐπισπέρχοντες αὐτμῇ. Cf. Phil. 59, E. M. s. ἔλαφος. It is a common notion in Scotland that Goats destroy Adders.

42 Ael. IX.25.

43 Ael. I.32, IX.25.

44 The reference is to a ludus bestiarius (Senec. Ep. VIII.I.22), in which men, bestiarii (Cic. Pro Sext. 64), opposed wild beasts in the arena. Plin. VIII.18 ff., 131; Juv. IV.100.

45 In the amphitheatre: schol., ἐν ἀγορᾷ κύκλωθεν οἰκήματα ἐχούσῃ. Cf. Poll. VII.125; Claud. In Ruf. II.394.

46 Dio Cass. LXXVIII.21 Λούκιος Πρισκιλλιανός . . . ποτε καὶ ἄρκτῳ καὶ παρδάλει λεαίνῃ τε καὶ λέοντι ἅμα μόνος συνηνέχθη.

47 In Hom. Il. V.340 and 416 ichor means the blood of the gods; later the serous or watery part of the blood (A. P. A. 651 A17 τὸ ὑδατῶδες τοῦ αἵματος), the discharge from a wound, etc. Cf. Milton, Par. Lost., VI.331 of Satan's wound: "from the gash | A stream of nectarous humour issuing flow'd | Sanguine, such as celestial Spirits may bleed;" Byron, Vision of Judgement, 25 of St. Peter, "Of course his perspiration was but ichor | Or some such other spiritual liquor."

48 Ael. IX.25 κάραβος πολύποδι ἐχθρός· τὸ δὲ αἴτιον, ὅταν αὐτῷ τὰς πλεκτάνας περιβάλῃ, τῶν μὲν ἐπὶ τοῦ νώτου ἐκπεφυκότων αὐτῷ κέντρων ποιεῖται οὐδεμίαν ὤραν, ἑαυτὸν δὲ περιχέας αὐτῷ ἐς πνῖγμα ἄγχει· ταῦτα ὁ κάραβος σαφῶς οἶδεν καὶ ἀποδιδράσκει αὐτόν.

49 παλίρροος (Eur. I. in T. 1397, Aesch. Ag. 191), παλιρροία (Soph. fr. 716, Herod. II.23, Diodor. I.32) are constantly used of the ebb and flow of the tide and hence of any ebb and flow, e.g. of fortune (παλιρροία τῆς τύχης Diodor. XVIII.59). Especially natural is the application to air or breath (Tryphiod. 76 παλίρροον ἆσθμα; cf. Theophrast. De vent. 10, A. De spir. 482 B3, Probl. 940 B25). As to the breathing of Fishes, Aristotle classes them among τὰ μὴ ἀναπνέοντα (De sens. 444 B7); but the contrary opinion is maintained by Pliny, IX.16 ff. "They . . . suppose likewise that no fishes having guils do draw in and deliver their wind againe too and fro . . . Among others I see that Aristotle was of that mind . . . For mine owne part . . . I professe that I am not of their judgement. For why? Nature if she be so disposed, may give insteed of lights [i.e. lungs] some other organs and instruments of breath" (Holland's trans.), principally on the ground that (1) they are seen to pant in hot weather, (2) they sleep — "quis enim sine respiratione somno locus?" (3) they have the senses of hearing and of smell — "ex aeris utrumque materia. Odorem quidem non aliud quam infectum aera intelligi potest."

50 From Hesiod, W. 60 μή ποτέ σ᾽ ἡμερόκοιτος ἀνὴρ ἀπὸ χρήμαθ᾽ ἕληται. Cf. E. M. s. ἡμερόκοιτος· Ἡσίοδος, Μήποτέ δ᾽ . . . ἕληται· ὁ τὴν ἡμέραν καθεύδων, τὴν δὲ νύκτα ἀγρυπνῶν, τουτέστιν ὁ κλέπτης. Cf. Suid. and Hesych. s.v. ἡμερόκοιτος· ὁ κλέπτης.

51 Ael. II.50 κωβιός, δράκων, χελιδών, τρυγών are venomous, the last fatally.

52 A. 505 B13 εἰσὶ δὲ καὶ σκολόπενδραι θαλάττιαι, παραπλήσιαι τὸ εἶδος ταῖς χερσαίαις, τὸ δὲ μέγεθος μικρῷ ἐλάττους· γίγνονται δὲ περὶ τοὺς πετρώδεις τόπους; 621 A6 ἣν δὲ καλοῦσι σκολόπενδραν, ὅταν καταπίῃ τὸ ἄγκιστρον, ἐκτρέπεται τὰ ἐντὸς ἐκτός, ἔως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ τὸ ἄγκιστρον· εἶθ᾽ οὕτως εἰστρπεται πάλιν ἐντός. βαδίζουσι δ᾽ αἱ σκολόπενδραι πρὸς τὰ κνισώδη, ὥσπερ καὶ αἱ χερσαῖαι. τῷ μὲν οὖν στόματι οὐ δάκνουσι, τῇ δὲ ἅψει καθ᾽ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα, ὥσπερ αἱ καλούμεναι κνῖδαι; Ael. VII.35. Generally supposed to be an annelid worm, e.g. Nereis. Cf. Plin. IX.145 Scolopendrae terrestribus similes, quas centipedes vocant, hamo devorato omnia interanea evomunt, donec hamum egerant, deinde resorbent; Plut. Mor. 567B ὅσοι δὲ πρόσχημα καὶ δόξαν ἀρετῆς περιβαλόμενοι διεβίωσαν κακίᾳ λανθανούσῃ, τούτους ἐπιπόνως καὶ ὀδυνηρῶς ἠνάγκαζον ἕτεροι περιεστῶτες ἐκτρέπεσθαι τὰ ἐντὸς ἔξω τῆς ψυχῆς, ἰλυσπωμένους παρὰ φύσιν καὶ ἀνακαμπτομένους, ὥσπερ αἱ θαλάττιαι σκολόπενδραι καταπιοῦσαι τὸ ἄγκιστρον ἐκτρέπουσιν ἑαυτάς. The name σκολόπενδρα was also given to an unknown sea-monster (κῆτος θαλάττιον) described by Ael. XIII.23, to which the reference must be in A. P. VI.222, VI.223.

53 Coris iulis, M. G. γύλος (ἰύλος), "poisson rusé, d'où le proverbe: γύλος εἶμαι σὲ γελῶ, καὶ χάνος εἶμαι χάνομαι" i.e. "I am γύλος (as if = 'the mocker') and I laugh at you: I am χάνος (as if = 'the gaper') and I scoff at you;" cf. ἐγχάσκω = mock, Aristoph. Wasps, 721 etc. (Apost. p20). "Equally and even more vivid are the Wrasses, of which many gorgeous sorts are common among the rocks close to the shore. The Iulis Mediterranea [ = Coris iulis] is the brightest of these painted beauties, exceeding all fishes of the Mediterranean for splendour of colour" ("Beacon" Report on E. Mediterranean Fishes ap. E. Forbes, p196).

54 Ael. II.44 αἱ ἰουλίδες ἰχθῦς εἰσι πέτραις ἔντροφοι καὶ ἔχουσιν ἰοῦ τὸ στόμα ἔμπλεων . . . λυποῦσι δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἐν ταῖς ὑδροθηρίαις ὑποδυομένους τε καὶ νηχομένους, πολλαὶ καὶ δηκτικαὶ προσπίπτουσι, ὡς αὐτόχρημα ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς αἱ μυῖαι.

55 Ael. V.144 ἦν δὲ ἄρα δηκτικὸν καὶ ὁ ὀσμύλος καὶ ὁ πολύπους. καὶ δάκοι μὲν ἂν οὗτος σηπίας βιαιότερον, τοῦ δὲ ἰοῦ μεθίησιν ἧττον.

56 Ael. l.c. ἔχει δὲ δῆγμα ἡ σηπία ἰῶδες καὶ τοὺς ὀδόντας ἰσχυρῶς ὑπολανθάνοντας.

57 M. G. κωβιός (γωβιός) is generic for the various species of Goby, of which Gobius niger is the commonest in Greek waters (Apost. p10). A. 598 A11, 610 B4, etc. The identification rests mainly on the use of κωβιός in M. G. Cuvier, XII.4 ff., argues against the identification on two grounds: 1. A. 508 B15 οἱ δ᾽ ἰχθύες (ἀποφυάδας ἔχουσιν, have caeca) ἄνωθεν περὶ τὴν κοιλίαν, καὶ ἔνιοι πολλάς, οἷον κωβιός, γαλεός. . . . Now the Goby has no caeca. But the reading is suspect as the κωβιός also is without caeca. Whereas Oppian and Aelian speak of the formidable spines of the κωβιός, "the simple rays of the Gobies are flexible and cannot wound." Cuvier, basing on Athen. 309C, where we read that the κωβιός was also called κῶθος, or κώθων, identifies the κωβιός with Cottus gobio L., the Bull-head or Miller's Thumb. It is possible that κωβιός was also applied to the fresh-water Gudgeon, Gobio fluviatilis, which may be the fish referred to Athen. 309E ποταμίων δὲ κωβιῶν μνημονεύει Δωρίων ἐν τῷ περὶ ἰχθύων, although the Goby also enters rivers and lakes, A. 601 B21 γίνονται δὲ καὶ οἱ κωβιοὶ πίονες ἐν τοῖς ποταμοῖς, as in Latin writers certainly gobio or gobius sometimes means Goby, Plin. XXXII.146 cobio (i.e. gobio) among "peculiares maris," sometimes Gudgeon, Auson. Mosell. 131 Tu quoque flumineas inter memorande cohortes, Gobio, non geminis maior sine pollice palmis, Praepinguis (an epithet which suggests that even A. 601 B21 may refer to the Gudgeon). The Goby is probably intended in Ov. Hal. 128 Spina nocuus non gobius ulla.

58 H. I.171 n.; Ov. Hal. 116 Et capitis duro nociturus scorpius ictu.

59 Trachinius draco L., the Greater Weever, and allied species, T. vipera, the Lesser Weever, T. radiatus, T. araneus, the first two found in British waters: all in M. G. δράκαινα. Cf. Ael. II.50, V.37, XIV.12; A. 598 A11; Phil. 94; Plin. IX.82 rursus draco marinus captus atque immissus in harenam cavernam sibi rostro mira celeritate excavat; XXXII.148 draco — quidam aliud volunt esse dracunculum [prob. T. vipera], est autem gerriculae [= Gr. μαινίς] amplae, aculeum in branchiis habet ad caudam spectantem, sicut scorpio laedit dum manu tollitur. Also called araneus, Plin. XXXII.145 Peculiares autem maris . . . araneus, IX.155 Aeque pestiferum animal araneus spinae in dorso aculeo noxius. "Ils sont très redoutés par les pêcheurs, leurs blessures déterminant quelquefois de graves accidents. Il est généralement admis que les arêtes de ces poissons sont vénéneuses. Aussi les pêcheurs les saisissent‑ils avec la plus grande précaution; on les apporte rarement intacts au marché; le plus souvent, pour éviter tout danger, on les mutile aussitôt après les avoir capturés" (Apost. p9). Drayton, Polyolbion XXV.167 The Weaver, which although his prickles venom bee, By Fishers cut away which Buyers seldom see. Cf. Day I.78 ff. It is generally thought that the correct spelling of the English name is Weever, O. F. wivre, Lat. vipera, cf. the heraldic Wyvern, though the Lat. araneus = spider suggests some doubt, Weaver (Wyver) being in some places, e.g. Banffshire, in familiar use as a name for a species of spider.

60 Squalus centrina L.; cf. H. I.378 n.

61 Trygon vulgaris Risso (T. pastinaca Cuv.), M. G. τρυγών at Paros, μούτρουβα at Chalcis (Apost. p6). A long spine on the tail represents the dorsal fin. It is sometimes as much as eight inches long and is capable of causing a serious wound. It is used by the savages of the South Sea Islands to tip their spears. Cf. A. 598 A12, etc.; Athen. 330A; Phil. 106; Plin. IX.155 Sed nullum usquam execrabilius quam radius super caudam eminens trygonis, quam nostri pastinacam appellant, quincunciali magnitudine. Arbores infixus radici necat, arma ut telum perforat vi ferri et veneni malo letalis trygon; Auson. Ep. XIV.60; Ael. I.56, II.36, II.50, VIII.26, XI.37, XVII.18.

62 Xiphias gladius, M. G. ξιφίας (Bik. p82). A. 505 B18, 506 B16, 602 A26; Athen. 314E; Ael. IX.40, XIV.23 and 26, XV.6; Plin. IV.3, 54, and 145.

63 The story was told in the Telegony (Kinkel, p57). Cf. Apollod. epit. VII.36 Τηλέγονος [son of Odysseus and Circe] παρὰ Κίρκης μαθὼν ὅτι παῖς Ὀδυσσέως ἐστίν, ἐπὶ τὴν τούτου ζήτησιν ἐκπλεῖ. παραγενόμενος δὲ εἰς Ἰθάκην τὴν νῆσον ἀπελαύνει τινὰ τῶν βοσκημάτων, καὶ Ὀδυσσέα βοηθοῦντα τῷ μετὰ χεῖρας δόρατι Τηλέγονος <τρυγόνος> κέντρον τὴν αἰχμὴν ἔχοντι τιτρώσκει, καὶ Ὀδυσσεὺς θνήσκει; Lycophr. Alex. 795 κτενεῖ δὲ τύψας πλευρὰ λοίγιος στόνυξ | κέντρῳ δυσαλθὴς ἔλλοπος Σαρδωνικῆς. According to one interpretation this is the reference of the prophecy of Teiresias, Hom. Od. XI.134 θάνατος δέ τοι ἐξ ἁλὸς αὐτῷ | ἀβληχρὸς μάλα τοῖος ἐλεύσεται, ὅς κέ σε πέφνῃ κτλ.

64 602 A25 οἱ δὲ θύννοι καὶ οἱ ξιφίαι οἰστρῶσι περὶ κυνὸς ἐπιτολήν· ἔχουσι γὰρ ἀμφότεροι τηνικαῦτα περὶ τὰ πτερύγια οἷον σκωλήκιον τὸν καλούμενον οἶστρον, ὅμοιον μὲν σκορπίῳ, μέγεθος δ᾽ ἡλίκον ἀράχηνς. ποιοῦσι δὲ ταῦτα πόνον τοσοῦτον ὥστ᾽ ἐξάλλεσθαι οὐκ ἔλαττον ἐνίοτε τὸν ξιφίαν τοῦ δελφῖνος, διὸ καὶ τοῖς πλοίοις πολλάκις ἐμπίπτουσιν. Cf. 557 A27; Plin. IX.54 Animal est parvum scorpionis effigie, aranei magnitudine. Hoc se et thynno et ei qui gladius vocatur crebro delphini magnitudinem excedenti sub pinna affigit aculeo, tantoque infestat dolore, ut in naves saepenumero exsiliant; Athen. 302B‑C. The characteristic parasite of the Tunny is Brachiella Thynni Cuv., that of the Sword-fish Pennatula filosa Gmelin.

65 Apoll. Rh. I.1265 ὡς δ᾽ ὅτε τίς τε μύωπι τετυμμένος ἔσσυτο ταῦρος | πίσεά τε προλιπὼν καὶ ἑλεσπίδας, οὐδὲ νομήων | οὐδ᾽ ἀγέλης ὄθεται, πρήσσει δ᾽ ὁδὸν ἄλλοτ᾽ ἄπαυστος, | ἄλλοτε δ᾽ ἱστάμενος καὶ ἀνὰ πλατὺν αὐχέν᾽ ἀείρων | ἵησιν μύκημα κακῷ βεβολημένος οἴστρῳ. Cf. Hom. Od. XXII.299; Verg. G. III.146 ff.

66 As the Eagle (ὤκιστος πετεηνῶν Hom. Il. XXI.253, ἔστι δ᾽ αἰετὸς ὠκὺς ἐν ποτανοῖς Pind. N. III.80) is the type of swiftness in the air, so is the Dolphin (Pind. N. VI.64 δελφῖνί κεν τάχος δι᾽ ἅλμας εἰκάζοιμι Μελησίαν) the type of swiftness in the sea: Pind. P. II.50 θεός, ὃ καὶ πτερόεντ᾽ αἰετὸν κίχε καὶ θαλασσαῖον παραμείβεται δελφῖνα.

67 Hom. Il. XXI.22 ὡς δ᾽ ὑπὸ δελφῖνος μεγακήτεος ἰχθύες ἄλλοι | φεύγοντες πιμπλᾶσι μυχοὺς λιμένος εὐόρμου, | δειδιότες· μάλα γάρ τε κατεσθίει ὅν κε λάβῃσιν; Hesiod, Sc. 211 δοιοὶ δ᾽ ἀναφυσιόωντες | ἀργύρεοι δελφῖνες ἐφοίτων ἔλλοπας ἰχθῦς | τῶν δ᾽ ὕπο χάλκειοι τρέον ἰχθύες; Apost. p40 "il est facile de se rendre compte de la présence du poisson en écoutant le bruit que font les dauphins qui le poursuivent à la surface de l'eau."

68 Pelamys sarda, M. G. παλαμύδα (Apost. p14), the Bonito. Cf. A. 598 A22, 601 B21, etc.; Athen. 277E‑278D, 324D; Plin. IX.49 Amiam vocant cuius incrementum singulis diebus intelligitur.

69 The reference is to the Leech, βδέλλα, Hirudo medicinalis. Cf. Theocr. II.55 τί μευ μέλαν ἐκ χροὸς αἷμα | ἐμφὺς ὡς λιμνᾶτις ἅπαν ἐκ βδέλλα πέπωκας; Herod. II.68; A. De incess. 709 A29; Ael. III.11, VIII.25, XII.15; Plaut. Epid. 188; Plin. VIII.29 hirudine quam sanguisugam vulgo coepisse appellari adverto. For the Leech in medical use cf. Plin. XXXII.123 Diversus hirudinum, quas sanguisugas vocant, ad extrahendum sanguinem usus est. Quippe eadem ratio earum quae cucurbitularum medicinalium ad corpora levanda sanguine, spiramenta laxanda iudicatur; multi podagris quoque admittendas censuere. Decidunt satiatae et pondere ipso sanguinis detractae aut sale aspersae.

70 C. III.338 n.

71 A. 631 B2 διαπορεῖται δὲ περὶ αὐτῶν διὰ τί ἐξοκέλλουσιν εἰς τὴν γῆν· ποιεῖν γάρ φασι τοῦτ᾽ αὐτοὺς ἐνίοτε, ὅταν τύχωσι, δι᾽ οὐδεμίαν αἰτίαν.

72 For τρόχις cf. Aesch. P. V. 941 τὸν Διὸς τρόχιν = Hermes.

73 In Aristotle κεστρεύς is sometimes generic for the Grey Mullets (Mugilidae), including κέφαλος: A. 534 B14 ἄρχονται δὲ κύειν τῶν κεστρέων οἱ μὲν χελῶνες τοῦ Ποσειδεῶνος καὶ ὁ σάργος καὶ ὁ σμύξων καλούμενος καὶ ὁ κέφαλος;º sometimes specific and contrasted with κέφαλος: A. 570 B14 τίκτει δὲ πρῶτον τῶν τοιούτων ἀθερίνη . . . κέφαλος δὲ ὕστατος· . . . τίκτει δὲ καὶ κεστρεὺς ἐν τοῖς πρώτοις. As a specific name κέφαλος is perhaps Mugil cephalus, M. G. κέφαλος, γομβύλι at Chalcis; στειράδια the males and μπάφες the females at Missolonghi: they spawn about the month of May, "de leurs oeufs on fait la boutargue" (Apost. p20). κεστρεύς is perhaps M. capito, M. G. λαγιάδες at Chalcis, βελάνισες at Aitolico (Apost l.c.). But whatever the original distinction, κέφαλος as a name seems to have usurped the place of κεστρεύς (Suid. s. κεστρεύς· ὁ νῦν λεγόμενος κέφαλος) and in the Cyclades is now the generic name for all species of Grey Mullet (Erh. p89). The making of "boutargue" (Sp. botargo) — "produit excessivement recherché" — is described by Apostolides, p66: "La boutargue n'est autre chose que les ovaires des poissons, arrivés à l'état de maturité regorgeant déjà d'oeufs prêts à être pondus et qui sont préparés par salaison. Une fois que le poisson sorti de l'eau, étant encore frais, on incise son ventre et on enlève les ovaires entiers, en tâchant de ne pas produire la moindre coupure à leur mince enveloppe. On les laisse pendant quatre heures dans du sel. Après, on les lave, on les place entre deux planches pour leur donner la forme sous laquelle on les voit habituellement dans le commerce, et on les laisse exposés au soleil pendant 4 à 8 jours. Une fois complètement secs, ils sont prêts à être vendus ; mais si on veut les conserver pendant longtemps, on les entoure d'une couche de cire en les plaçant pendant un instant dans la cire jaune fondue, d'où on les retire brusquement."

74 Cf. H. I.111; A. 591 A17 ἀλληλοφαγοῦσι δὲ πάντες μὲν πλὴν κεστρέως . . . ὁ δὲ κέφαλος καὶ ὁ κεστρεὺς ὅλως μόνοι οὐ σαρκοφαγοῦσιν· σημεῖον δέ, οὔτε γὰρ ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ πώποτ᾽ ἔχοντες εἰλημμένοι εἰσὶ τοιοῦτον οὐδὲν οὔτε δελέατι χρῶνται πρὸς αὐτοὺς ζῴων σαρξὶν ἀλλὰ μάζῃ. τρέφεται δὲ πᾶς κεστρεὺς φυκίοις καὶ ἄμμῳ; Athen. 307; Plut. Mor. 965E; Ael. I.3; Suid. s. κεστρεῖς. The teeth in these fishes are either entirely absent or very fine. "In an aquarium it is most interesting to observe them suck in the sand, the coarser portion of which they almost immediately afterwards expel from their mouths. A sifting or filtering apparatus exists in the pharynx, which precludes large and hard substances from passing into the stomach, or sand from obtaining access to the gills" Day I p229.

75 On the contrary A. 536 B32 ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὰ ἔνυδρα, οἷον οἵ τε ἰχθύες καὶ τὰ μαλάκια καὶ τὰ μαλακόστρακα, κάραβοί τε καὶ τὰ τοιαῦτα· βραχύυπνα μὲν οὖν ἐστι ταῦτα πάντα, φαίνεται δὲ καθεῦδοντα.

76 H. I.134 n.

77 Athen. 320A Σέλευκος δ᾽ ὀ Ταρσεὺς ἐν τῷ Ἁλιευτικῷ μόνον φησὶ τῶν ἰχθύων τὸν σκάρον καθεύδειν· ὅθεν οὐδὲ νύκτωρ ποτὲ ἁλῶναι. τοῦτο δ᾽ ἴσως διὰ φόβον αὑτῷ συμβαίνει.

78 For the use of πόρον Cf. Dion. P. 331 Εὐρώπης λοιπὸν πόρον.

79 For periphrasis cf. H. I.105 ἔργα τ᾽ ὀνίσκων; Dion. P. 916 Ποσιδήια ἔργα.

80 Schol. Ἀντωνῖνος καὶ Κώμοδος.


Thayer's Note:

a A particularly interesting phenomenon, since the octopus (along with its cousins the cuttlefish and the squid) seems to be color-blind. How do these animals do it? A joint team from Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory and the U. S. Military Academy at West Point has started to figure it out: the article, C‑C Chiao, J. K. Wickiser, J. J. Allen, B. Genter, and R. T. Hanlon: "Hyperspectral imaging of cuttlefish camouflage indicates good color match in the eyes of fish predators" appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS Early Edition, week of May 16, 2011. A report of the study can be found at EurekAlert.


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