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Bill Thayer

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Book II

This webpage reproduces a Book of the


published in the Loeb Classical Library,

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Book IV

 p345  Oppian, Halieutica or Fishing


[Link to a page in Greek] Come now, O Wielder of the Sceptre, mark thou the cunning devices of the fisher's art and his adventures in the hunting of his prey, and learn the law of the sea and take delight in my lay. For under they sceptre rolls the sea and the tribes of the haunts of Poseidon, and for thee are all deeds done among men. For thee the gods have raised me up to be thy joy and thy minstrel among the Cilicians beside the shrine of Hermes. And, O Hermes,​1 god of my fathers,​2 most excellent of the children of the Aegis-bearer, subtlest mind​3 among the deathless gods, do thou enlighten and guide and lead, directing me to the goal of my song. The counsels of fishermen excellent in wit thou didst thyself, O Lord, first devise and didst reveal the sum of all manner of hunting, weaving doom for fishes. And thou didst deliver the art of the deep for keeping to Pan of Corycus,​4 thy son,​5 who, they say, was the saviour  p347 of Zeus — the saviour of Zeus but the slayer of Typhon.​6 For he tricked terrible Typhon with promise of a banquet of fish and beguiled him to issue forth from his spacious pit and come to the shore of the sea, where the swift lightning and the rushing fiery thunderbolts laid him low; and, blazing in the rain of fire, he beat his hundred heads upon the rocks whereon he was carded all about like wool. And even now the yellow banks by the sea are red with the blood of the Typhonian battle. O Hermes, glorious in counsel, thee especially do fishermen worship.​7 Therefore invoking thee with the gods who aid their hunt I pursue the glorious song of their chase.

[Link to a page in Greek] First of all the fisher should have body and limbs both swift and strong, neither over fat nor lacking in flesh. For often he must fight with mighty fish in landing them — which have exceeding strength so long as they circle and wheel in the arms of their mother sea. And lightly he must leap from a rock; and, when the toil of the sea is at its height, he must swiftly travel a long way and dive into the deepest depths and abide amongst the waves and remain labouring at such works as men upon the sea toil at with enduring heart. Cunning of wit too and wise  p349 should the fisher be, since many and various are the devices that fishes contrive, when they chance upon unthought-of snares. Daring also should he be and dauntless and temperate and he must not love satiety​8 of sleep but must be keen of sight,​9 wakeful of heart and open-eyed. He must bear well the wintry weather and the thirsty season of Sirius;​10 he must be fond of labour and must love the sea. So shall he be success­ful in his fishing and dear to Hermes.

[Link to a page in Greek] In the autumn season fishing is best in the evening and when the morning-star rises. In winter the fisher should set out with the spreading rays of the sun. In bloomy spring the whole day is prosperous in all manner of fishing, what time all fishes are drawn to haunt the coasts near the land by the travail of birth and the thirst of desire. Look always for a wind that blows gentle and fair, lightly rolling a tranquil sea. For fishes fear and loathe violent winds and will not wheel over the sea, but with a temperate wind fishing is exceedingly favourable. All the fishes that swim the sea speed against wind and wave, since this is the easier way for them in their march toward the shores, and they do not suffer through being driven forcefully by the current. But when the  p351 fisher puts to sea let him set his sail with the wind — Northward when the wet South Wind blows; Southward when the North Wind drives the sea; when the East Wind rises, towards the paths of the West Wind; towards the East let the West Wind bear his vessel; for so will infinite shoals meet him and his fishing will be blest with luck.

[Link to a page in Greek] Fourfold​11 modes of hunting their prey in the sea have fishermen devised. Some delight in Hooks;​12 and of these some fish with a well-twisted line​13 of horse-hair​14 fastened to long reeds,​15 others simply cast a flaxen cord​16 attached to their hands, another rejoices in landed lines​17 or in line with many hooks.​18 Others prefer to array Nets;​19 and of these there are those called casting-nets, and those called draw-nets — drag-nets and round bag-nets and seines. Others they call cover-nets, and, with the seines,  p353 there are those called ground-nets and ball-nets and the crooked trawl: innumerable are the various sorts of such crafty-bosomed Nets. Others again have their minds set rather upon Weels​20 which bring joy to their masters while they sleep​21 at ease, and great gain attends on little toil. Others with the long pronged Trident​22 wound the fish from land or from a ship as they will. The due measure and right ordering of all these they know certainly who contrive these things.

[Link to a page in Greek] Fishes, it seems, not only against one another employ cunning wit and deceit­ful craft but often also they deceive even the wise fishermen themselves and escape from the might of hooks and from the belly of the trawl when already caught in them, and outrun the wits of men, outdoing them in craft, and become a grief to fishermen.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Grey Mullet,​23 when caught in the plaited arms of the net, is not ignorant of the encircling snare, but leaps up, eager to reach the surface of the water, hasting with all his might to spring straight up with nimble leap, and fails not of his wise purpose. For often he lightly overleaps​24 in his rush the utmost  p355 bounds of the corks​25 and escapes from doom. But if at his first upward rush he slips back again into net, he makes no further effort and leaps no more in his grief but taught by trial, ceases from his endeavours. As when a man, long distressed by painful disease, at first, in his yearning and desire for life, obeys the physicians and does all things that they bid him; but when the unescapable fates of death prevail, he cares no more for life but lies stretched out, giving over to death his exhausted limbs, beholding already at hand the final day of fate; even so the Grey Mullet knows what manner of end is come upon him and lies prone, awaiting doom from his captor.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Muraena,​26 when they are caught in the net, circle about in the enclosure seeking for a wider mesh and through it making their way, after the manner of snakes, with slippery limbs they all escape.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Basse​27 digs with its fins in the sand a trench large enough to admit its body and lays itself therein as in a bed. And the fishermen bring down to the shore a net but the Basses by simply lying in the mud gladly avoids them and escapes the net of destruction.

 p357  [Link to a page in Greek] A like device is practised by the Mormyrus:​28 when it perceives that it has fallen into the net, it hides in the sands.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Basse,​29 when smitten by the point of the bent hook, leaps on high and incessantly presses its head violently on the line itself, till the wound becomes wider and it escapes destruction.

[Link to a page in Greek] The mighty Orcynus​30 employ a similar device. For when they have seized the jaw of the guile­ful hook, swiftly they strain and rush to the nether depths, putting pressure on the hand of the fisher; and if they reach the bottom, straightway they beat their head against the ground and tear open the wound and spit out the barb.31

[Link to a page in Greek] But when giant fishes swallow the landed hooks — such as the tribes of the Ox-ray​32 and the Sea-sheep​33 and the Skate​34 or the sluggish race of the Hake​35 — they will not yield to it but throwing their flat bodies in the sands they put all their weight upon the line and cause trouble to the fishermen, and often they get free from the hook and escape.

 p359  [Link to a page in Greek] The swift Amia​36 and the Fox-sharks,​37 when they are hooked, straightway hasten upward to forestall the fisher and speedily bite through with their teeth the middle of the line or the extreme hairs. Therefore for them the fishermen forge a longer socket on the hook, as a protection against their teeth.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Cramp-fish,​38 moreover, forgets not its cunning in the pain of being struck, but straining in its agony it puts its flanks against the line, and straightway through the horse-hair and through the rod​39 runs the pain which gives the fish its name​40 and lights in the right hand of the fisher; and often the rod and the fishing-tackle escape from his palm. Such icy numbness straightway settles in his hand.

 p361  [Link to a page in Greek] The Cuttle-fishes41 again practise this craft.​42 They have seated in their heads a dark muddy fluid blacker than pitch, a mysterious drug causing a watery cloud, which is their natural defence against destruction. When fear seizes them, immediately they discharge the dusky drops thereof and the cloudy fluid stains and obscures all around the paths of the sea and ruins all the view; and they straightway through the turbid waters easily escape man or haply mightier fish.

[Link to a page in Greek] A like craft is practised also by the air-travelling43 tribes of the Calamary.​44 Only their fluid is not black but reddish,​45 but the device which they employ is altogether similar.

[Link to a page in Greek] Such are the cunning devices​46 of fishes; yet notwithstanding they perish by the subtle wiles of fishermen. Those which run in the sheer depths of the sea the fishers capture easily, since they possess no subtle craft. For ere now one has caught and landed a deep-sea fish with onions​47 or with bare hooks. Those on the other hand which range near the sea-girding land have sharper wits; yet even of these  p363 the small fishes are caught with the feeble Prawn: they swallow tentacled Poulpe or Crab or tiny Hermit-crabs48 or bait of salted flesh​49 or rock-haunting Worms or anything of the fishy kind​50 that may be at hand. The small fish thou shouldst use as bait for the larger; for rejoi­cing in the banquet they speed their own destruction; gluttonous verily always is the race of the swimming tribes that roam the water. The Crow-fish​51 attracts the Tunny, the fat Prawn attracts the Basse,​52 the Channus​53 is a bait beloved of the Braize,​54 as the Bogue​55 is to the Dentex​56 and the Rainbow-wrasse57 to the Hippurus;​58 the Red Mullet​59 slays the Merou,​60 the Perch​61 catches the Cirrhis,​62 the Gilt-head​63 is landed by the Maenis;​64 while the baleful Muraena​65 haste after the flesh of the Poulpe.​66 As for those fishes which are of enormous size, the Beauty-fish67 delights in the Tunny, the Orcynus​68 in the Oniscus;​69 while for the Anthias​70 thou shouldst array the Basse,​71 the Hippurus​72 for the Swordfish,​73 and for the Glaucus​74 thou shouldst impale the Grey Mullet.​75 To entrap  p365 other fish employ other breeds, the weaker as bait for the stronger; since verily all fishes are welcome food to one another and gluttonous destruction. So true it is that naught is deadlier than hunger and the grievous belly,​76 which bears harsh sway among men and is a stern mistress to dwell with: who never forgets her tribute and who misleads the wits of many and casts them into ruin and binds them fast to shame. The belly bears sway over wild beasts and over reptiles and over the flocks of the air, but it has its greatest power among fishes; for them evermore the belly proves their doom.

[Link to a page in Greek] Hear first the cunning mode of taking the Anthias​77 which is practised by the inhabitants of our glorious fatherland​78 above the promontory of Sarpedon,​79 those who dwell in the city of Hermes,​80 the town of Corycus,​81 famous for ships, and in sea-girt Eleusa.​82 A skilful man observes those rocks near the land, under which the Anthias dwell: caverned rocks, cleft with many a covert. Sailing up in his boat he makes a loud noise by striking planks together; and the heart of the Anthias rejoices in the din, and one haply rises presently from the sea, gazing at the boat and the man. Then the fisher straightway lets down into the waves the ready bait of Perch or Crowfish,  p367 offering a first meal of hospitality. The fish rejoices and greedily feasts on the welcome banquet and fawns upon the crafty fisherman. As to the house of a hospitable man there comes one famous for his deeds of hand or head, and his host is glad to see him at his hearth and entreats him well with gifts and feast and all manner of loving-kindness; and at the table both rejoice and take their pleasure in pledging cup for cup; even so the fisher rejoices in hope and smiles while the fish delights in new banquets. Thenceforward the fisherman journeys to the rock every day and relaxes not his labour and ceases not to bring food. And straightway the Anthias gather all together in the place to feast, as if a summoner brought them. Always for more and readier fishes he provides the coveted food, and they have no thought of other paths or other retreats, but there they remain and linger, even as in the winter days the flocks abide in the steadings of the shepherds and care not to go forth even a little from the fold. And when fishes descry the boat that feeds them starting from the land and speeding with the oars, immediately they are all alert and gaily they wheel over the sea, sporting delightfully, and go to meet their nurse. As when the mother Swallow, the bird that first heralds​83 the West Wind​84 of Spring, brings food to her unfledged nestlings and they with soft cheeping leap for joy about their mother in the nest  p369 and open their beaks in their desire for food, and all the house of some hospitable man resounds with the shrill crying of the mother bird; even so the fishes leap joyfully to meet their feeder as he comes, even as in the circle of a dance. And the fisherman fattening them with dainty after dainty and with his hand stroking them and proffering them his gifts from his hand, tames their friendly heart, and anon they obey him like a master, and wheresoever he indicates with his finger,​85 there they swiftly rush. Now behind the boat, now in front, now landward he points his hand; and thou shalt see them, like boys in a place of wrestling, according to the wisdom of a man, rushing this way or that as their master bids. But when he has tended them enough and bethinks him of taking them, then he seats himself with a line in his left hand and fits thereto a hook, strong and sharp. Then all the fishes alike he turns away, commanding them with his hand, or he takes a stone and casts it in the water, and they dive after it, thinking to be food. One picked fish alone he leaves, whichsoever he will — unhappy fish, rejoi­cing in a banquet which is to be its last. Then he reaches down the hook over the sea and the fish swiftly seizes its doom; and the bold fisher draws it in with both hands, winning a speedy prey by his cunning. And he avoids the notice of the rest of the company of Anthias; for if they see or hear the din of the unhappy victim being landed, then the fisher will never more have banquets enough to tempt the fishes to return, but they spurn with loathing both his attentions and the place of destruction.  p371 But the fisher should be a power­ful man and land his fish by force of strength or else a second man should lend a hand in his labour. For so, unwitting of their crafty doom, fattened themselves they fitly fatten others; and always when thou wilt, success­ful fishing shall be thine.

[Link to a page in Greek] Others trust in their valiant might and strength of limb when they array the great adventure against the Anthias, not cultivating friendship nor proffering food but having recourse at once to the pointed hook and overcoming the fish by their valour. The hook is fashioned of hard bronze or iron, and two separate barbs are attached to the great rope of twisted flax. On it they fix a live Basse — if a live one be at hand; but if it be a dead one, speedily one puts in its mouth a piece of lead, which they call a dolphin;​86 and the fish, under the weight of the lead, moves his head to and fro, as if alive. The line is strong and well-woven. When the Anthias hear the noise and leap from the sea, then some attend to the labour of the oar, while the fisherman from the stern-end lets down the crooked snare into the sea, gently waving it about. And the fishes all straightway follow the ship and seeing before their eyes what seems to be a fleeing fish, they rush in haste after the banquet, each striving to outstrip the other: thou wouldst say it was a foeman plying swift knees in pursuit of a routed foe: and they are eager for goodly victory. Now whichever fish the fisher sees to be best, to it he offers the banquet, and with eager gape it rushes after the gift that is no gift. Thereupon thou shalt see the valour of both, such a struggle there is as man and captive fish contend. His strong arms and  p373 brows and shoulders and the sinews of his neck and ankles swell​87 with might and strain with valour; while the fish, chafing with pain, makes a fight, pulling against the pulling fisher, striving to dive into the sea, raging incontinently. Then the fisher bids his comrades plunge in their oars; and as the ship speeds forward, he on the stern is dragged bodily backward by the rush of the fish, and the line whistles, and the blood drips from his torn hand. But he relaxes not the grievous contest. As two keen men of mighty valour stretch their grasp​88 about one another and endeavour each to pull the other, hauling with backward strain; and long time both, enduring equal measure of toil, pull might and main and are pulled; even so between those, the fisher and the fish, strife arises, the one eager to rush away, the other eager to pull him in. Nor do the other Anthias fishes desert the captive in his agony but are fain to help him​89 and violently hurl their backs against him and fall each one upon him, foolishly, and know not that they are afflicting their comrade. Often also when they are fain to tear through the line with their jaws, they are helpless, since their mouth is unarmed.​90 At last when the fish is weary with labour and pain and the quick rowing, the man over­powers him and pulls him in.  p375 But if the fisher yield to him even a little, he cannot pull him in — so tremendous is his strength. Often he tears and cuts the line on his sharp spine and rushes away, leaving the fisherman empty-handed. A like strength is possessed by the Beauty-fish91 and the race of the Orcynus​92 and others of monstrous body that roam the deep; and even by such arms are they captured.

[Link to a page in Greek] Others the fisherman catches with the wile of food and feast. A good fish will be the Black Sea-bream,​93 which ever rejoices in rough rocks.​94 Plait a round weel​95 as large as may be, fashioning it with Iberian broom​96 or withes and putting staves round it. Let the entrance be smooth and the belly yawning wide. As bait, put within it reptile Poulpe or Crayfish, in either case broiled​97 on the fire; for the savour entices the fishes within. Having thus prepared the plaited deceit, lean it obliquely beside a rock, to be an ambush under the sea. And immediately the odour will rouse the Black Sea-bream and he will come within the weel, not very confident on his first journey, but with all haste he makes his meal and speeds away again. Thereafter the weel-fisher puts in the weel ever fresh pleasant food for them and ill-omened gluttony speedily gathers them within, and one fish brings another comrade to share the banquet. At length without fear they gather all together within the weel and remain sitting therein  p377 all the day, as if they had acquired a house, and an evil nest they find it. As when to the house of a fatherless youth his age-fellows, who study not sobriety, gather all day bidden and unbidden, wasting evermore the possessions of the masterless house, in such practices as foolish young men are incited to by the waywardness of youth, and in their folly find an evil end; even so for the gathered fishes doom stands nigh at hand. For when they become many and fat, then the man puts a well-fitting cover on the mouth of weel and takes captive the fishes huddling within the enclosure and sleeping their last sleep. Too late they perceive their doom and struggle and strive to get out — foolish fishes who find the weel no longer so pleasant a home.

[Link to a page in Greek] Against the Admon​98 they prepare in autumn a weel of osiers and moor it in the midst of the waves, fastening to the bottom a bored stone​99 by way of anchor, while corks​100 support the trap above. In it they always put four wet stones from the beach. On the wet stones grows a milky slime of the sea, desire for which attracts the wretched little fishes, a greedy race, which gather and rush to the weel and remain in its embrace. The Admon, seeing them gathered within the hollow retreat, all speedily rush upon them, eager for a feast. But them they do not overtake: they easily slip away: but the Admon are nowise able, for all their endeavour, to escape again from the plaited ambush, but, preparing woe  p379 for others, they find destruction for themselves. As when some hunter on the hills prepares a trap in the woods for a wild beast and with hard heart ties up a dog,​101 fastening him by a cord about his private parts; the loud howling of the dog in pain travels afar and the wood resounds about him; the Leopard hears and is glad and hastes to track the cry; swiftly she arrives and leaps upon the dog; then a hidden device snatches the dog aloft, while the Leopard rolls headlong in the pit, and has no more thought of feasting but of flight; but for it there is no escape prepared: even such is the fate of the hapless Admon and in place of food they rush upon their fate and the unescapable net of Hades.

[Link to a page in Greek] In like fashion for the Shad​102a also and the Pilchard​102b one devises capture in the autumn and so one takes the Larinus​103 and the tribes of the Trachurus.​104 The fisherman weaves compactly a weel of broom and therein puts a cake of parched vetches,​105 moistened with fragrant wine, and mixes therewith the tear​106 of the Assyrian daughter of Theias:​107 who, they say, did a deed of ill contrivance for love of her father and came into his bed, through the anger of  p381 Aphrodite; but since the doom of the gods rooted her and the tree that bears her name, she wails and mourns her woeful fate, wetted with tears for the sake of her bed: her holy sap the fisher mingles with the rest and moors his weel in the waves; and swiftly the lily fragrance runs over the sea and summons the herds of various kind; and the fishes moved by the sweet breath obey the call and speedily the weel is filled, bringing to the fisherman a recompense of goodly spoil.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Saupes​108 always delight above all things in moist seaweed​109 and by that bait also they are taken. On previous days the fisherman sails to one place and always casts in the waves stones of a handy size, to which he has fastened fresh seaweed. But when the fifth morning sees his toil and the gathered Saupes feed about that place, then he arrays his crafty weel. Within it he casts stones wrapped in seaweed and about the mouth he binds such grasses of the sea as Saupes and other plant-eating fishes delight in. Then the fishes gather and eat the grasses and thereafter speed inside the weel. Straightway the fisher sails swiftly to the spot and pulls up the weel. His work is done silently, the men not speaking and the oars hushed. For silence​110 is profitable in all fishing but above all​111 in the case  p383 of the Saupes; since their wits are easily scared and a scare renders vain labour of the fisher.

[Link to a page in Greek] No fish, I declare, delights in meaner bait than doth the Red Mullet;​112 for it feeds on all the silt​113 of the sea that it can find and it loves especially evil-smelling food. It delights exceedingly in the rotting bodies of men, when the dolorous sea makes any man its prey. Wherefore fishers easily take them with smelly baits which have a hateful breath. Red Mullets and Swine,​114 I declare, have like habits, wallowing always in filth for the desire of the belly: and the Red Mullets have the same distinction among the finny tribes as Swine have among the herds of the land.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Melanurus​115 thou shalt not easily beguile and carry away either with weel or with the encircling net. For the Melanurus among all fishes is eminent at once for cowardice and for prudence, and gluttonous bait​116 is never pleasing to it. Always when the sea is calm it lies in the sands and rises not from brine. But when under stress of violent winds the sea rages and billows, then do the Melanurus alone speed over the sea together, fearing not any man nor any creature of the sea. While all the rest for fear dive to the nether foundations of the sea, the Melanurus haunt the sounding shores or draw to the rocks as they roam in search of any food that the wind-beaten sea may show them. Foolish fishes! which know not how much more cunning are men, who take them captive despite all their endeavour  p385 to escape. When the sea boils with stormy flood, a man stands upon a jutting sea-beaten cliff,​117 where the wave bellows loudly on the rocks, and scatters dainties​118 in the breaking waves, even cheese mixed with flour;​119 and the Melanurus rush eagerly upon the welcome food. But when they are gathered together within range of his cast, he himself turns his body aside, that he may not cast his shadow on the water, and the fish be frightened. In his hands he holds ready a thin rod and a thin line of light hair all untwined, whereon are strung numerous light hooks. On these he puts the same bait as before he cast in the water, and lets it down into the deep turmoil of the waves. Seeing it the Melanurus immediately rush upon it and snatch — their own destruction. Nor does the fisher hold his hand at rest, but ever and again draws up his hooks from eddying waters, even if they be often empty. For in the seething sea he cannot mark for certain whether a fish is hooked or whether it is but the waves that shake the line. But when a fish swallows the hook, swiftly he pulls him forth, ere he thinks of guile, ere he cause fright to the feeble Melanurus. In such wise he accomplishes his treacherous fishing in stormy weather.

 p387  [Link to a page in Greek] Yea, and the Grey Mullet,​120 albeit he is no glutton,​121 they yet deceive by clothing narrow hooks with bait mixed with flour and gifts of curdled milk.​122 Therewith they knead also the sweet-smelling herb of mint. Mint, men say, was once a maid​123 beneath the earth, a Nymph of Cocytus, and she lay in the bed of Aidoneus; but when he raped the maid Persephone from the Aetnaean hill, then she complained loudly with overweening words and raved foolishly for jealousy, and Demeter in anger trampled her with her feet and destroyed her. For she had said that she was nobler of form and more excellent in beauty than dark-eyed Persephone and she boasted that Aidoneus would return to her and banish the other from his halls: such infatuation leapt upon her tongue. And from the earth sprang the weak herb that bears her name. Mint, then, the fishers mingle with the bait which they put upon their hooks. And in no long time the Grey Mullet, when the odour reaches him, first approaches the hook distantly and regards with eyes askance the snare; like to a stranger who, chancing upon  p389 much trodden cross-ways,​124 stands pondering, and at one moment his heart is set on going by the left road, at another by the right, and he looks on this side and on that and his mind fluctuates like the wave and only at long last he reaches a single purpose; even so also the spirit of the Grey Mullet ponders variously, now thinking of a snare and now of harmless food. At last his mind impels him and brings him nigh his doom. And immediately he starts back in fear and many times as he touches it, terror seizes him and checks his impulse. As when a little maiden girl, when her mother is abroad, is faint for some eatable or whatever it may be; and to touch it she is afraid for the anger of her mother, yet, unwilling to withdraw, she dares the deed: stealthily she creeps to it and again turns away; now courage, now fear enters her heart; and always her keen eyes are strained watchfully upon the door: even so then the gentle fish approaches and retires. But when he takes heart and draws nigh, not readily does he touch the bait but first lashes with his tail and stirs the hook to see whether haply there is any warm breath in its body; for to eat of aught living is for the Grey Mullet a thing forsworn. Then he nibbles and plucks at the bait with the tip of his mouth; and straightway the fisher strikes and pierces him with the bronze, even as a charioteer constrains a gallant horse by the stern compulsion of the bit, and pulls him up and casts him struggling on the loathed earth.

 p391  [Link to a page in Greek] The Swordfish​125 also men deceive by deadly hooks. But the doom of the Swordfish is not such as that of the Grey Mullet nor like that of other fishes. For the fishermen do not put bait upon their hooks, but the hook hangs from the line naked and without deceit, furnished with two recurved barbs, while some three palms above it they tie a soft white fish, fastening it skilfully by the tip of its mouth. When the furious Swordfish comes, straightway he rends the body of the fish with his fierce sword, and as the fish is rent, its members slip down from the fastening and are entangled right about the barbs of the hook. But the fish perceives not the crooked guile but swallows the grievous bait and is caught and hauled up by the might of the man.

[Link to a page in Greek] Many are the devices which fishers contrive against the Swordfish, and those above all who fish the Tyrrhenian​126 tract of sea and about the holy city of Massalia​127 and in the region of the Celts.​128 For there, wondrous and not at all like fishes, range  p393 monster fishes unapproachable. The fishermen fashion boats in the likeness of the Swordfishes themselves, with fishlike body and swords, and steer to meet the fish. The Swordfish shrinks not from the chase, believing that what he sees are not benched ships but other Swordfishes, the same race as himself, until the men encircle him on every side. Afterwards he perceives his folly when pierced by the three-pronged spear; and he has no strength to escape for all his desire but perforce is overcome. Many a time as he fights the valiant fish with his sword pierces in his turn right through the belly of the ship; and the fishers with blows of brazen axe swiftly strike all his sword from his jaws, and it remains fast in the ship's wound like a rivet, while fish, orphaned of his strength, is hauled in. As when men devising a trick of war against their foes, being eager to come within their towers and city, strip the armour from the bodies of the slain and arm themselves therewith and rush nigh the gates; and the others fling open their gates as for their own townsmen in their haste, and have no joy of their friends; even so do boats in his own likeness deceive the Swordfish.

[Link to a page in Greek] Moreover, when encircled in the crooked arms of the net the greatly stupid Swordfish perishes by his own folly. He leaps in his desire to escape but near at hand he is afraid of the plaited snare and shrinks back again and forgetteth what manner of weapon is set in his jaws and like a coward remains aghast till they hale him forth upon the beach, where with downward-sweeping blow of many spears men crush his head, and he perishes by a foolish doom.

[Link to a page in Greek] Folly slays also the Mackerel​129 and the fat Tunny  p395 and the Needle-fishes and the tribes of the wide-spread Dentex. The Mackerels, when they see others crouching in the net, are fain to enter the many-meshed snare of destruction — such delight possesses them when they behold: like untried children who, when they see the bright flashing of blazing fire, rejoice in its rays and are fain to touch it and stretch a childish hand into the flame, and speedily the fire proves unkind; even so the Mackerels are fain to rush within the covert of the ambush whence there is no return and find their fondness fatal. Then some land in the wider meshes and leap out, but others, penned in the narrower openings, suffer a bitter fate by strangling. When the net is hauled ashore, thou shalt see them in multitudes on either side fixed as with nails, some still minded to enter the net of destruction, others already eager to escape from their evil plight, held fast within dripping nets.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Tunnies again suffer like affliction with the Mackerel by their foolishness. For they also are possessed by a similar fatal desire to come within the loins of the crafty net; they do not however essay to enter the belly of the net under water but assail it with their crooked teeth, devising to make a passage sufficient for their body. The wet net becomes stretched about their infixed teeth and they have no means of escape, but labouring under the entanglement about their mouth they are haled to the land, taken by their own witlessness.

[Link to a page in Greek] Such also is the counsel of the Needle-fishes.​130 These when they have escaped the bosom of the net  p397 and are gotten free from trouble, turn again​131 and in their anger fix their teeth in the net; and it enters into their mouths and holds fast the close-set teeth within.

[Link to a page in Greek] The Dentex​132 travel in separate bands, like companies of soldiers. When a man lets down a hook for them, they stand aloof and all bend sidelong looks on one another and are unwilling to approach. But when one leaps forth from another rank and swiftly seizes the bait, then also one of them takes courage in his heart and draws nigh to the hook and is haled in. The Dentex, eyeing one another and delighting in their banquet, rejoice even while they are being caught, and they vie with one another as to which shall die first, like children exulting in their sports.

[Link to a page in Greek] The breed of Tunnies​133 comes from the spacious Ocean, and they travel into the regions of our sea​134 when they lust after the frenzy of mating in the spring. First the Iberians who plume themselves upon their  p399 might capture them within the Iberian brine;​135 next by the mouth of the Rhone the Celts and the ancient inhabitants of Phocaea​136 hunt them; and thirdly those who are dwellers in the Trinacrian isle​137 and by the waves of the Tyrrhenian sea. Thence in the unmeasured deeps they scatter​138 this way or that and travel over all the sea. Abundant and wondrous is the spoil for fishermen when the host of Tunnies set forth in spring. First of all the fishers mark a place in the sea which is neither too straitened under beetling banks nor too open to the winds, but has due measure of open sky and shady coverts. There first a skilful Tunny-watcher139 ascends a steep high hill,​140 who remarks the various shoals, their kind and size,​141 and informs​142 his comrades.  p401 Then straightway all the nets are set forth in the waves like a city,​143 and the net has its gate-warders and gates withal and inner courts. And swiftly the Tunnies speed on in line,​144 like ranks of men marching tribe by tribe — these younger, those older, those in the mid season of their age. Without end they pour within the nets, so long as they desire and as the net can receive the throng of them; and rich and secret is the spoil.145

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Schol. Κίλιξ γὰρ ὁ ποιητὴς ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀναζάρβου (Amm. Marc. XIV.8.3; Suid. s.v.; Plin. V.93; Steph. Byz. s. Ἀναζαρβά) ὅπου ἦν Ἑρμοῦ ἱερόν.

2 Introd. p. xix.

3 The craft of Hermes is proverbial; Hom. H. (Herm.) III.413 κλεψίφρονος, 514 ποικιλομῆτα. φαῖνε seems to be used absolutely as in Theocr. II.11, Hom. Od. VII.102, etc., or it may govern νύσσαν, cf. Theocr. IX.28 βουκολικαὶ Μοῖσαι μάλα χαίρετε, φαίνετε δ’ ᾠδάν. The order of the words is against taking νόημα as object to φαῖνε. For νόημα cf. Pind. O. VII.71 ἔνθα Ῥόδῳ ποτὲ μιχθεὶς τέκεν | ἑπτὰ σοφώτατα νοήματ’ ἐπὶ προτέρων ἀνδρῶν παραδεξαμένους παῖδας; P. VI.28 ἔγεντο καὶ πρότερον Ἀντίλοχος βιατὰς | νόημα τοῦτο φέρων; Hom. Od. VIII.548 νοήμασι κερδαλέοισιν.

4 H. III.209 n.

5 Schol. Ἑρμοῦ γὰρ καὶ Πηνελόπης ὁ Πᾶν; Hom. H. XIX.1. Ἑρμείαο φίλον γόνον; Plin. VII.204 Pan Mercuri (filius).

6 i.q. Typhos (Aesch. P. V. 370; Pind. P. I.16, VIII.16), Typhoeus (Hes. Th. 821), son of Tartarus and Gaia (Hes. l.c.). In mythology his birth and life is mostly associated with Cilicia (Pind. P. I.16 Τυφὼς ἑκατοντακάρανος τόν ποτε | Κιλίκιον θρέψεν πολυώνυμον ἄντρον, VIII.16 Τυφώς Κίλιξ, Aesch. P. V. 351 τὸν γηγενῆ τε Κιλικίων οἰκήτορα | ἄντρων, Hom. Il. II.784, his death with Sicily (Aesch. P. V. 365 ἰπούμενος ῥίζαισιν Αἰτναίαις ὕπο; Pind. P. I.18 ταί θ’ ὑπὲρ Κύμας ἀλιερκέες ὄχθαι Σικελία τ’ αὐτοῦ πιέζει στέρνα λαχνάεντα).

7 Pan father of Hermes as a νόμιος θεός (Hom. H. XIX.5) is patron alike of Hunting, Fishing, cf. A. P. VI.167 (a dedication to Pan) ὦ δισσᾶς ἀγέτα θηροσύνας· σοὶ γὰρ καστορίδων ὑλακὰ καὶ τρίστομος αἰχμὴ | εὔαδε καὶ ταχινῆς ἔργα λαγωσφαγίης | δίκτυά τ’ ἐν ῥοθίοις ἀπλούμενα καὶ καλαμευτὰς | κάμνων καὶ μογερῶν πεῖσμα σαγηνοβόλων,, and Fowling, cf. A. P. VI.180 ταῦτά σοι ἔκ τ’ ὀρέων ἔκ τ’ αἰθέρος ἔκ τε θαλάσσας | τρεῖς γνωτοὶ τέχνας σύμβολα, Πάν, ἔθεσαν. Cf. ibid. 11‑16, 179, 181‑187.

8 H. V.616 ὕπνῳ τ’ οὐχ ἁλιεῦσιν ἐοικότι.

9 Hom. H. XIX.14 (Pan) ὀξέα δερκόμενος.

10 Cf. C. III.322 κύνα Σείριον; H. I.152 ὀπωρινοῖο κυνός. Sirius, or the Dog-star, the heliacal (morning) rising of which in July was associated with extreme heat: Hesiod, S. 397 ἴδει ἐν ἀκροτάτῳ ὅτε τε χρόα Σείριος ἄζει, cf. ibid. 153; W. 417, 587, 609; the dies caniculares or dog-days; cf. Calverley, Lines on Hearing the Organ: Neath the baleful star of Sirius, When the postmen slowlier jog, And the ox becomes delirious, And the muzzle decks the dog. Alcaeus fr. 39 τέγγε πλεύμονα οἴνῳ· τὸ γὰρ ἄστρον περιτέλλεται, | ἀ δ’ ὤρα χαλέπα, πάντα δὲ δίψαισ’ ὑπὰ καύματος. The name Sirius does not occur in Homer, but the star is referred to Il. V.4 ἀστέρ’ ὀπωρινῷ ἐναλίγκιον ὅς τε μάλιστα | λαμπρὸν παμφαίνῃσι λελουμένος Ὠκεανοῖο; XXII.26 παρφαῖνονθ’ ὥς τ’ ἀστέρ’ ἐπεσσύμενον πεδίοιο | ὅς ῥά τ’ ὀπώρης εἶσιν ἀρίζηλοι δέ οἱ αὐγαὶ | φαίνονται πολλοῖσι μετ’ ἀστράσι νυκτὸς ἀμολγῷ, | ὅν τε κύν’ Ὠρίωνος ἐπίκλησιν καλέουσι· | λαμπρότατος μὲν ὅ γ’ ἐστί κακὸν δέ τε σῆμα τέτυκται, | ταί τε φέρει πολλὸν πυρετὸν δειλοῖσι βροτοῖσιν.

11 Introd. p. xxxix.

12 Hom. Od. IV.368 αἰεὶ γὰρ νῆσον ἀλώμενοι ἰχθυάασκον | γναμπτοῖς ἀγκίστροισιν, XII.330 καὶ δὴ ἄγρην ἐφέπεσκον ἀλητεύοντες ἀνάγκη, | ἰχθῦς ὄρνιθάς τε, φίλας ὅτι χεῖρας ἵκοιτο, | γναμπτοῖς ἀγκίστροισιν; A. P. VI.4.1 εὐκαμπὲς ἄγκιστρον; VI.5.2 γυρῶν ἀγκίστρων λαιμοδακεῖς ἀκίδας (barbs); ibid. 27.6; 28.2, etc.; Theocr. XXI.10.

13 A. P. VI.4.2 ὁρμειήν; E. M. s. ὅρμος . . . παρὰ τὸ εἴρω, ἐξ οὗ καὶ ὁρμιά, ἡ σειρᾶ πρὸς ἣν τὸ ἄγκιστρον ἐπησφάλισται δεδεμένων; Hesych. s. ὁρμιά· σχοινίον λεπτόν; s. ὁρμιευτής· ἁλιεύς; Eur. Hel. 1615 ὁρμιατόνοι = fishermen.

14 A. P. VI.23.7 καὶ βαθὺν ἱππείης πεπεδημένον ἅμματι χαίτης, | οὐκ ἄτερ ἀγκίστρων, λιμνοφυῆ δόνακα; VI.192.3 γαμψὸν χαίτῃσιν ἐφ’ ἱππείῃσι πεδηθὲν ἄγκιστρον.

15 A. P. VI.4.1 δούρατα δουλιχόεντα; VI.27.2 ἀγκίστρων συζυγίην δονάκων; VI.28.1 καμπτομένους δόνακας, cf. VI.29.4. Also called κάλαμοι; Theocr. XXI.10, and 43, κάλαμος sing. ibid. 47. Lat. arundo.

16 Hom. Il. XVI.406 ἕλκε δὲ δουρὸς ἐλὼν ὑπὲρ ἄντυγος ὡς ὅτε τις φὼς | πέτρῃ ἐπὶ προβλῆτι καθήμενος ἱερὸν ἰχθὺν | ἐκ πόντοιο θύραζε λίνῳ καὶ ἤνοπι χαλκῷ. The reference is to what is now called "hand-lines."

17 κάθετος is properly a plummet, Lat. perpendiculum. Here of a fishing-line weighted at the end. A. P. VII.637 Πύρρος ὁ μουνερέτης ὀλίγῃ νεὶ λεπτὰ ματεύων | φυκία καὶ τριχίνης μαινίδας ἐκ καθέτης; cf. Apost. p48 "Pour la pêche des serrans (χάνους) et celle des pagels on emploie une ligne appelée χανικό, καθετή . . . Cet engin porte à son extrémité libre un morceau cônique de plomb (μολυβίθρα) à la partie supérieure duquel sont attachés sur des avancées 4 ou 8 hameçons. Il est totalement en crins de cheval tordus ; il est employé surtout par les amateurs de pêche, dans leurs moments de loisir. On se rend sur de petites embarcations dans les endroits rocheux, on mouille le bateau et l'on commence la pêche en jetant la ligne, à laquelle le poids du plomb fait prendre, dans l'eau, une direction perpendiculaire ; une fois qu'elle a touché le fond, on la soulève un peu et on la tient ainsi disposée pour la pêche."

18 Introd. p. xxxix.

19 For the varieties of net mentioned here see Introd. p. xl.

20 Lat. nassa, Sil. Ital. V.47, Plin. IX.132, etc.; a long basket of wickerwork (σχοινίδι κύρτῃ Nicand. A. 625, Plat. Tim. 79D κύρτου πλέγματι, cf. Plin. XXI.114) with wide funnel-shaped mouth and narrow throat, so constructed that once the fish has entered, it cannot get out again. Theocr. XXI.11; Poll. X.132, A. P. VI.23 πλωτῶν τε πάγην περιδέα κύρτον; cf. VI.192.

21 Plato, Laws 823E εὕδουσι κύρτοις ἀργὸν θήραν διαπονουμένοις.

22three-pronged fork for spearing fish: Poll. X.133 τριόδους, τρίαινα, ἰχθύκεντρον; Plat. Soph. 220C; Athen. 323E; A. P. VI.30; Hom. Od. X.124 ἰχθῦς δ’ ὣς πείροντες, where Eustath. τριαίναις ἤ τισιν ἑτέροις ἀπωξυμμένοις ὀργάνοις; Plin. IX.51, 8492.

23 H. II.642 n.

24 The leaping powers of the Grey Mullet (τὸν τάχιστον τῶν ἰχθύων A. 620 B26) necessitate a special arrangement of nets; Apost. p34 "Les filets, simples ou compliqués, servent à capturer tous les poissons, excepté les muges, qui, sauteurs par excellence, peuvent d'un bond passer par-dessus le piège tendu. Pour attraper ce poisson, on ajoute aux filets simples et placés perpendiculairement à la surface des eaux d'autres filets compliqués, lesquels, convenablement tendus par des roseaux, se tiennent sur une ligne horizontale à celle de la surface même de l'eau ; ainsi le muge en sautant pour échapper au piège tombe sur ces autres filets aux mailles desquels il se prend en se débattant."

25 The corks which both support the net and mark its position. Pind. P. II.79 ἅτε γὰρ εἰνάλιον πόνον ἐχοίσας βαθὺ σκευᾶς ἑτέρας ἀβάπτιστός εἰμι φελλὸς ὥς ὑπὲρ ἕρκος ἅλμας; Aesch. Ch. 505 παῖδες γὰρ ἀνδρὶ κληδόνες σωτήριοι | θανόντι· φελλοὶ δ’ ὣς ἄγουσι δίκτυον, | τὸν ἐκ βυθοῦ κλωστῆρα σώζοντες λίνου; A. P. VI.192.5 ὃ ἀβάπτιστόν τε καθ’ ὕδωρ | φελλὸν ἀεὶ κρυφίων σῆμα λαχόντα βόλων; Alciphr. Ep. I.1.4 μικρὸν δὲ ἄπωθεν τῆς ἀκτῆς χαλάσαντες, φεῦ τῆς εὐοψίας, ὅσον ἰχθύων ἐξειλκύσαμεν· μικροῦ καὶ τοὺς φελλοὺς ἐδέησε κατασῦραι ὑφάλους τὸ δίκτυον ἐξωγκωμένον; Pausan. VIII.12 Ἀρκάδων δὲ ἐν τοῖς δρυμοῖς εἰσιν αἱ δρῦς διάφοροι, καὶ τὰς μὲν πλατυφύλλους αὐτῶν, τὰς δὲ φηγοὺς καλοῦσιν, αἱ τρίται δὲ ἀραιὸν τὸν φλοιὸν καὶ οὕτω δή τι παρέχονται κοῦφον, ὥστε ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν θαλάσσῃ ποιοῦνται σημεῖα ἀγκύραις καὶ δικτύοις· ταύτης τῆς δρυὸς [Quercus suber] τὸν φλοιὸν ἄλλοι τε Ἰώνον καὶ Ἑρμησιάναξ ὁ τὰ ἐλεγεῖα ποιήσας φελλὸν ὀνομάζουσιν; Plut. Mor. 127D ὅπως, κἃν πιεσθῇ ποτε, φελλοῦ δίκην ὑπὸ κουφότητος ἀναφέρηται; Poll. I.97; X.133.

26 Ael. I.33 ὅταν δὲ αὐτὴν τὸ δίκτυον περιβάλῃ, διανήχεται καὶ ζητεῖ ἢ βρόχον ἀραῖον ἢ ῥῆγμα τοῦ δικτύου πάνυ σοφῶς· καὶ ἐντυχούσα τοιούτων τινὶ καὶ διεκδῦσα ἐλευθέρα νήχεται αὖθις· εἰ δὲ τύχοι μία τῆσδε τῆς εὐερμίας, καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ ὅσαι τοῦ αὐτοῦ γένους συνεαλώκασι κατὰ τὴν ἐκείνης φυγὴν ἐξίασιν, ὡς ὁδόν τινα λαβοῦσαι παρ’ ἡγεμόνος.

27 Plut. Mor. 977F ὥσπερ τῷ λάβρακι· συρομένην (τὴν σαγήνην) γὰρ αἰσθανόμενος βίᾳ διίστησι καὶ τύπτει κοιλαίνων τοὔδαφος· ὅταν δὲ ποιήσῃ ταῖς ἐπιδρομαῖς τοῦ δικτύου χώραν, ἔωσεν ἑαυτὸν καὶ προσέχεται, μέχρι ἂν παρέλθῃ.

28 C. I.74 n.; H. I.100 n.; Plut. Mor. 977F ἀμφιβλήστροις μὲν γὰρ καὶ ὑποχαῖς . . . ἁλίσκονται μόρμυροι κτλ.

29 Plut. Mor. 977B ὁ δὲ λάβραξ ἀνδρικώτερον τοῦ ἐλέφαντος οὐχ ἕτερον ἀλλ’ αὐτὸς ἑαυτόν, ὅταν περιπέσῃ τῷ ἀγκίστρῳ, βελουλκεῖ, τῇ δεῦρο κἀκεῖ παραλλάξει τῆς κεφαλῆς ἀνευρύνων τὸ τραῦμα καὶ τὸν ἐκ τοῦ σπαραγμοῦ πόνον ὑπομένων, ἄχρι ἂν ἐκβάλῃ τὸ ἄγκιστρον.

30large-sized Tunny. In M. G. ὀρκύνοςThynnus brachypterus (Apost. p14). Cf. Athen. 303B Ἡρακλέων δ’ ὁ Ἐφέσιος <θύννον> τὸν ὄρκυνόν φησι λέγειν τοὺς Ἀττικούς. Σώστρατος δ’ ἐν δευτέρῳ περὶ ζῴων τὴν πηλαμύδα θυννίδα καλεῖσθαι λέγει, μείζω δὲ γινομένην θύννον, ἔτι δὲ μείζονα ὄρκυνον, ὑπερβαλλόντως δὲ αὐξανόμενον γίνεσθαι κῆτος. Cf. Hesych. s. θύννον and s. ὄρκυνος; A. 543 B4 οἱ δ’ ὄρκυνες (τίκτουσιν) ἐν τῷ πελάγει. For the form ὄρκυνες cf. Anaxandr. ap. Athen. 131E; Plin. XXXII.149 orcynus — hic est pelamydum generis maximus neque ipse redit in Maeotim, similis tritomi, vetustate melior. Cf. P. Rhode, Thynnorum Captura, p10.

31 Ael. I.40 ὅταν γοῦν περιπαρῇ τῷ ἀγκίστρῳ, καταδύει αὑτὸν εἰς βυθόν καὶ ὠθεῖ καὶ προσαράττει τῷ δαπέδῳ καὶ κρούει τὸ στόμα, ἐκβαλεῖν τὸ ἄγκιστρον ἐθέλων· εἰ δὲ ἀδύνατον τοῦτο εἴη, εὐρύνει τὸ τραῦμα καὶ ἐκπτύεται τὸ λυποῦν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐξάλλεται.

32 H. II.141 n.

33 H. I.146 n.

34 H. I.103 n.

35 H. I.151 n.

36 H. II.554 n. A. 621 A16, immediately after the allusion to the Fox-shark quoted in next note, adds συστρέφονται δὲ καὶ αἱ ἄμιαι, ὅταν τι θηρίον ἴδωσι, καὶ κύκλῳ αὑτῶν περινέουσιν αἱ μέγισται, κἂν ἅπτηταί τινος ἀμύνουσιν· ἔχουσι δ’ ὀδόντας ἰσχυρούς, καὶ ἤδη ὦπται καὶ ἄλλα καὶ λάμια ἐμπεσοῦσα καὶ καθελκωθεῖσα. Ael. I.5 describes ὁ ἰχθὺς ὁ τρώκτης, by which he clearly means the Amia: ἁλοὺς ἀγκίστρῳ μόνος ἰχθύων ἐς τὸ ἔμπαλιν ἑαυτὸν οὐκ ἐπανάγει ἀλλ’ ὠθεῖται, τὴν ὁρμιὰν ἀποθερίσαι διψῶν, οἱ δὲ ἁλιεῖς σοφίζονται τὰ ἐναντία· τὰς γάρ τοι ων ἀγκίστρων λαβὰς χαλκεύονται μακράς κτλ.; Plut. Mor. 977A τῶν δ’ ἀγκίστρων τοῖς μὲν στρογγύλοις ἐπὶ κεστρέας καὶ ἀμίας χρώνται μικροστόμους ὄντας· τὸ γὰρ εὐθύτερον εὐλαβοῦνται.

37 H. I.381 n. Cf. A. 621 A6 ἣν δὲ καλοῦσι σκολόπενδραν, ὅταν καταπίῃ τὸ ἄγκιστρον, ἐκτρέπεται τὰ ἐντὸς έκτός, ἕως ἂν ἐκβάλῃ τὸ ἄγκιστρον· εἶθ’ οὕτως εἰστρέπεται πάλιν ἐντός. . . . τῶν δ’ ἰχθύων αἱ ὀνομαζόμεναι ἁλώπεκες ὅταν αἴσθωνται ὅτι τὸ ἄγκιστρον καταπεπώκασιν, βοηθοῦσι πρὸς τοῦτο ὥσπερ καὶ ἡ σκολόπενδρα· ἀναδραμοῦσα γὰρ ἐπὶ πολὺ πρὸς τὴν ὁρμιὰν ἀποτρώγουσιν αὐτῆς· ἁλίσκονται γὰρ περὶ ἐνίους τόπους πολυαγκίστροις ἐν ῥοώδεσι καὶ βαθέσι τόποις; Plin. IX.145 Scolopendrae . . . hamo devorato omnia interanea evomunt, donec hamum egerant, deinde resorbent. At vulpes marinae simili in periculo gluttiunt amplius usque ad infirma lineae qua facile praerodant; Ael. V. H. I.5 (ἡ ἀλώπηξ ἡ θαλαττία) ἀνέθορε καὶ ἀπέκειρε τὴν ὁρμιὰν καὶ νήχεται αὖθις; Antig. 49 τὰς δὲ καλουμένας ἀλώπεκας, ὅταν αἴσθωνται ὅτι τὸ ἄγκιστρον καταπεπώκασιν, ἀναδραμούσας ἄνωθεν τῆς ὁρμιᾶς ἀποτρώγειν. But Ael. N. A. IX.12 ἣ γὰρ οὐ πρόσεισι τῷ ἀγκίστρῳ τὴν ἀρχὴν ἢ καταπιοῦσα παραχρῆμα ἑαυτῆς τὸ ἐντὸς μετεκδῦσα ἔστρεψεν ἔξω, ὥσπερ οὖν χιτῶνα τὸ σῶμα ἀνελίξασα, καὶ τοῦτον δήπου τὸν τρόπον ἐξεώσατο τὸ ἄγκιστρον; Plut. Mor. 977B ἡ δ’ ἀλώπηξ οὐ πολλάκις μὲν ἀγκίστρῳ πρόσεισιν ἀλλὰ φεύγει τὸν δόλον, ἁλοῦσα δ’ εὐθὺς ἐκτρέπεται· πέφυκε γὰρ δι’ εὐτονίαν καὶ ὑγρότητα μεταβάλλειν τὸ σῶμα καὶ στρέφειν, ὥστε τῶν ἐντος ἐκτὸς γενομένων ἀποπίπτειν τὸ ἄγκιστρον.

38 H. II.56 n.

39 Ael. IX.14 εἴ τις προσάψαιτο τῆς νάρκης ὅτι τὸ ἐκ τοῦ ὀνόματος πάθος τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καταλαμβάνει, τοῦτο καὶ παιδάριον ὢν ἥκουσα τῆς μητρὸς λεγούσης πολλάκις, σοφῶν δὲ ἀνδρῶν ἐπυθόμην ὅτι καὶ τοῦ δικτύου ἐν ᾧ τεθήραται εἴ τις προσάψαιτο ναρκᾷ πάντως. Cf. Plut. Mor. 978B‑C; Athen. 14C.

40 i.e. νάρκη, cramp; cf. Ael. l.c. and I.36 ὁ ἰχθὺς ἡ νάρκη ὅτου ἂν καὶ προσάψηται τὸ ἐξ αὐτῆς ὄνομα ἔδωκέ τε καὶ ναρκᾶν ἐποίησεν; Athen. 314B ἡ δὲ κλῆσις αὐτῆς καὶ παρ’ Ὁμήρῳ [Il. VIII.328] "νάρκησε δὲ χεὶρ ἐπὶ καρπῷ."

41 H. II.121 n.

42 A. 524 B15 τοῦτον (sc. τὸν θόλον) δὲ πλείστον αὐτον (sc. τῶν μαλακίων) καὶ μέγιστον ἡ σηπία ἔχει· ἀφίησι μὲν οὖν ἅπαντα, ὅταν φοβηθῇ, μάλιστα δὲ ἡ σηπία; cf. P. A. 679 A4 ff. But it is not only through fear that it employs this artifice: A. 621 B28 τῶν δὲ μαλακίων πανουργότατον μὲν ἡ σηπία καὶ μόνον χρῆται τῷ θόλῳ κρύψεις χάριν καὶ οὐ μόνον φοβουμένη· ὁ δὲ πολύπους καὶ ἡ τευθὶς διὰ φόβον ἀφίησι τὸν θόλον; Plut. Mor. 978A; Ael. I.34; Phil. 105; Plin. IX.84; Cic. N. D. II.50.127; Ov. Hal. 18 Sepia tarda fugae, tenui cum forte sub unda | Deprensa est iam iamque manus timet illa rapaces, — Inficiens aequor nigrum vomit ore cruorem | Avertitque vias, oculos frustrata sequentes.

43 Schol. ἠερόφοιτα· ἀέρι πετόμενα· τὰς τευθίδας φησὶν ἠερόφοιτα γένεθλα ὡς ἐν τῷ ἀέρι φοιτῶντα· πέτονται γὰρ καὶ διὰ τοῦ ἀέρος φέρονται ὡς ὑπόπτερα· τευθίδες δ’ εἰσὶ τὰ κοινῶς λεγόμενα καλαμάρια. One might be tempted to take the sense to be "travelling in darkness" like Homer's ἠερόφοιτος Ἐρινύς (Il. IX.571), but the reference is no doubt, as the schol. takes it, to its flying habits; cf. H. I.427 ff.; Epicharm. ap. Athen. 318E ποταναὶ τευθίδες.

44 H. I.428 n. Cf. note on v. 156 above.

45 Athen. 326B ἔχει δὲ (ἡ τευθίς) καὶ θόλον . . . οὐ μέλανα ἀλλ’ ὠχρόν. But Ov. Hal. 129 Et nigrum niveo portans in corpore virus | Loligo.

46 Cf. H. I.7.

47 On baits in general see A. 534 A11‑534 B10; 591A‑B.

48 H. I.320 ff.

49 A. 534 A16 ἔτι δὲ πολλοὶ τῶν ἰχθύων διατρίβουσιν ἐν σπηλαίοις, οὓς ἐπειδὰν βούλωνται προκαλέσασθαι πρὸς τὴν θήραν οἱ ἁλιεῖς, τὸ στόμα τοῦ σπηλαίου παραλείφουσι ταριχηραῖς ὀσμαῖς, πρὸς ἃς ἐξέρχονται ταχέως; Ael. XIII.2 περιπείρει τῷ ἀγκίστρῳ γλυκόστομον ὅντα ἡμιτάριχον.

50 A. 534 A23 ff.

51 One of the Sciaenidae, perhaps Corvina nigra Cuv.; "à Chalcis un vieux pêcheur m'a dit qu'on l'appelle Σκιὸς καλιακούδα, c'est-à‑dire Corv. corneille," Apost. p13.

52 H. II.130 n.

53 H. I.124 n.

54 C. II.391 n.

55 Cf. H. I.110 where ἀμφότεροι βῶκες refers to the two species Box boops (Box vulgaris), M. G. βώπα or γοῦπα, and Box salpa, M. G. σάλπα (Apost. p17). They belong to the Sparidae or Sea-breams.

56 H. III.610 n.

57 H. II.434 n. For ἴουλοςἰουλίς cf. Eratosth. ap. Athen. 284D ἔτι ζώοντας ἰούλους.

58 H. IV.404 n.º

59 C. II.392 n.

60 H. I.142 n.

61 H. I.124 n.

62 H. I.129.

63 H. I.169 n.

64 Three species of the genus Maena occur in the Mediterranean: M. vulgaris, M. osbeckii, M. jusculum. σμαρίς (ἰσμαρίς), by which the schol. glosses μαινίς here and H. I.108, is an allied genus (M. G. σμαρίς, μαρίς) of the same family Maenidae (Apost. p18). Cf. Ov. Hal. 120 Fecundumque genus maenae.

65 H. I.142 n.

66 H. I.306 n.

67 Introd. p. lvii.

68 H. III.132 n.

69 H. I.593 n.

70 Introd. p. liii.

71 H. II.130 n.

72 H. IV.404 n.

73 H. II.462 n.

74 Introd. p. lxi.

75 H. II.642 n.

76 Hom. Od. VII.216 οὐ γάρ τι στυγερῇ ἐπὶ γαστέρι κύντερον ἄλλο | ἔπλετο.

77 Introd. p. liii.

78 Introd. p. xix.

79 Promontory of Cilicia: Strabo 627 Καλλισθένης δ’ ἐγγὺς τοῦ Καλυκάδνου καὶ τῆς Σαρπηδόνος ἄκρας παρ’ αὐτὸ τὸ Κωρύκιον ἄντρον (φησίν) εἶναι τοὺς Ἀρίμους. Cf. 670, 682; Ptolem. V.8.3; Plin. V.92 mox flumen Calycadnus, promunturium Sarpedon.

80 A. P. IX.91 Ἑρμῃ Κωρύκιον ναίων πόλιν. Cf. Hicks, I. H. S. XII p240 (metrical dedication of statues of Hermes and Pan from the Corycian cave). Hermes appears on coins of Corycus, Adana, Mallos.

81 Seaport in Cilicia, N.‑E. of Sarpedon, Strabo 670 Κώρυκος ἄκρα, ὑπὲρ ἧς ἐν εἴκοσι σταδίοις ἐστὶ τὸ Κωρύκιον ἄντρον; Plin. V.92 Iuxtaque mare Corycos, eodem nomine oppidum et portus et specus; Strabo 671 mentions τὴν εὐπορίαν τῆς τε ναυπηγησίμου ὕλης καὶ τῶν λιμένων in this region.

82 Island off Cilicia: Strabo 671 εἶθ’ ἡ Ἐλαιοῦσσα νῆσος μετὰ τὴν Κώρυκον, προσκειμένη τῇ ἡπείρῳ; 537 τὴν Ἐλαιοῦσσαν νήσιον εὔκαρπον. Cf. ibid. 535; Plin. V.130.

83 Ov. F. II.853 Fallimur, an veris praenuntia venit hirundo. The Swallow as herald of Spring is proverbial: Hes. W. 568; Aristoph. Pax 800, Eq. 419 σκέψασθε παίδες· οὐχ ὁρᾳθ’; ὥρα νέα χελιδών.

84 The "genitabilis aura Favoni" Lucret. I.11; cf. V.735 It ver et Venus et Veneris praenuntius ante | Pennatus graditur Zephyrus; Plin. II.122 Favonium quidam a. d. VIII kalendas Martii chelidoniam vocant ab hirundinis visu. The Swallow (Hirundo rustica) arrives in Attica about the second week of March, Mommsen, Griechische Jahreszeiten, p254.

85 Apost. p39 "Pour faire tomber les Athérines dans le piège le pêcheur promène sur l'eau un morceau d'étoffe noire attaché au bout d'un long roseau, qu'il tient de la main droite. Les poissons le suivent en grand nombre, et de la main le pêcheur leur montre en quelque sorte le chemin à prendre."

86 H. IV.81 n.

87 So of a fisherman Theocr. I.42 f. φαίης κα γυίων νιν ὅσον σθένος ἐλλοπιεύειν· | ὧδέ οἱ ᾠδήκαντι κατ’ αὐχένα πάντοθεν ἶνες.

88 ἅμματα is not = σχοινία (ropes), as the schol. interprets, but the hold of the grasp of the wrestler. Cf. Plut. Alcib. ii. ἐν μὲν γὰρ τῷ παλαίειν πιεζούμενος ὑπὲρ τοῦ μὴ πεσεῖν ἀναγαγὼν πρὸς τὸ στόμα τὰ ἅμματα τοῦ πιεζοῦντος οἷος ἦν διαφαγεῖν τὰς χεῖρας. ἀφέντος δὲ τὴν λαβὴν ἐκείνου καὶ εἰπόντος· "Δάκνεις, ὧ Ἀλκιβιάδη, καθάπερ αἱ γυναῖκες," "Οὐκ ἔγωγε," εἶπεν, "ἀλλ’ ὡς οἱ λέοντες"; Fab. xxiii. ὥσπερ ἀθλητὴς ἀγαθὸς ἐπαγωνιζόμενος τῷ Ἁννίβᾳ καὶ ῥᾳδίως ἀπολυόμενος αὐτοῦ τὰς πράξεις, ὥσπερ ἅμματα καὶ λαβὰς οὐκέτι τὸν αὐτὸν ἐχούσας τόνον.

89 Ael. I.4 τούτων (τῶν ἀνθιῶν) γοῦν ἕκαστοι, ὅταν νοήσωσι τεθηρᾶσθαι τὸν σύννομον, προσνέουσιν ὤκιστα· εἶτα ἐς αὐτὸν τὰ νῶτα ἀπερείδουσιν καὶ ἐμπίπτοντες καὶ ὠθούμενοι τῇ δυνάμει κωλύουσιν ἕλκεσθαι; Plut. Mor. 977C οἱ δ’ ἀνθίαι τῷ συμφύλῳ βοηθοῦσιν ἰταμώτερον· τὴν γὰρ ὁρμιὰν ἀναθέμενοι κατὰ τὴν ῥάχιν καὶ στήσαντες ὀρθὴν τὴν ἄκανθαν ἐπιχειροῦσι διαπρίειν τῇ τραχύτητι καὶ διακόπτειν.

90 i.e., toothless.

91 Introd. p. lvii.

92 H. III.132 n.

93 Cantharus griseus (Cantharus lineatus), M. G. ἀσκάθαρος, βαγιοῦνο at Corfu (Apost. p18).

94 Day I p26 "Prefers rocky ground, feeding on the finer kinds of seaweeds. It is found in bays and harbours, and frequently captured by anglers fishing from the shore, rocks, or piers."

95 H. III.86 n.

96 C. I.156 n.

97 A. 534 A22 καὶ ὅλως δὲ πρὸς τὰ κνισώδη πάντες φέρονται μᾶλλον. καὶ τῶν σηπιῶν δὲ τὰ σαρκία σταθεύσαντες ἕνεκα τῆς ὀσμῆς δελεάζουσι τούτοις· προσέρχονται γὰρ μᾶλλον. τοὺς δὲ πολύπους φασὶν ὀπτήσαντες εἰς τοὺς κύρτους ἐντιθέναι οὐδενὸς ἄλλου χάριν ἢ τῆς κνίσης.

98 Admon or Admos, only here. Schol. ἄδμωσι· συακίοις, κατὰ τῶν ἀδμώνων· ἄδμωνες εἶδος ἰχθύος τῶν λεγομένων συακίων. This points to some species of Flat-fish, as in late Greek σύαξ, συάκιονψῆττα. Cf. Du Cange s. σιάκιον and s. σύαξ.

99 Hom. Od. XIII.77 πεῖσμα δ’ ἔλυσαν ἀπὸ τρητοῖο λίθοιογρώνης χερμάδος Lycophr. 20. Cf. Hesych. s. γρώνους. With εὐναστῆρα cf. εὐναί = anchors, Hom. Il. I.436, etc.

100 H. III.103 n.

101 Cf. C. IV.217.

102a 102b H. I.244 n.

103 Schol. λαρινόν· τὸ λεγόμενον κύλας, εἶδος ἰχθύος; Hesych. s. λαρινός· ἰχθὺς ποιός. Not identified.

104 Schol. τραχούρων· τρίχων and on H. I.99 τραχούρων· ὅμοια πηλαμύσιν καὶ τῶν τριχαίων. Probably Trachurus trachurus Mor. (Scomber trachurus L.), M. G. σαυρίδι: "poisson très abondant et qui se pêche à partir des derniers jours du mois de mai jusqu'à la fin du mois de juin" (Apost. p14). Athen. 326A; Ael. XIII.27; Hesych. s. σισόρβακος, s. σκίθακος, s. σκίθαρκος; Galen, De aliment. fac. III.31; cf. σαῦροι H. I.106 n.

105 Vicia ervilia.

106 i.e., myrrh, the resinous exudation of Balsamodendron myrrha. "δάκρυ" is the regular expression in Greek for such exudation: Herod. II.96 τὸ δὲ δάκρυον κόμμι ἐστίν. Cf. A. 553 B28; 623 B29; Meteor. 388 B19 τὸ ἤλεκτρον καὶ ὅσα λέγεται ὡς δάκρυα . . . οἷον σμύρνα, λιβανωτός, κόμμι; Theophrast. H. P. IX.1.2 ὁ λίβανος καὶ ἡ σμύρνα, δάκρυα καὶ ταῦτα.

107 Apollodor. III.14.4 Θείαντος βασιλέως Ἀσσυρίων,º ὃς ἔσχε θυγατέρα Σμύρναν. αὕτη κατὰ μῆνιν Ἀφροδίτης . . . ἴσχει τοῦ πατρὸς ἔρωτα καὶ ἀγνοοῦνι τῷ πατρὶ . . . συνευνάσθη. ὁ δὲ ὡς ᾔσθετο, σπασάμενος ξίφος ἐδίωκεν αὐτήν· ἡ δὲ περικαταλαμβανομένη θεοῖς εὔξατο ἀφανὴς γενέσθαι. θεοὶ δὲ κατοικτείραντες αὐτὴν εἰς δένδρον μετήλλαξαν, ὃ καλοῦσι σμύρναν. In some versions the father is called Cinyras, the daughter Myrrha: Ov. M. X.298 ff. She became mother of Adonis: Lycophr. 829 Μύρρας ἐρυμνὸν ἄστυ, τῆς μογοστόκους | ὠδῖνας ἐξέλυσε δενδρώδης κλάδος.

108 Box salpa (Gen. Box, Fam. Sparidae), M. G. σάλπα: Apost. p17; Plin. IX.68.

109 A. 591 A15 ἡ δὲ σάλπη (τρέφεται) τῇ κόπρῳ καὶ φυκίοις· βόσκεται δὲ καὶ τὸ πράσιον, θηρεύεται δὲ καὶ κολοκύνθῃ [gourd, Cucurbita maxima] μόνη τῶν ἰχθύων; 534 A15 ἔνια γὰρ δελεάζεται τοῖς δυσώδεσιν, ὥσπερ ἡ σάλπη τῇ κόπρῳ.

110 A. 533 B15 ἔτι δὲ ἐν ταῖς θήραις τῶν ἰχθύων ὅτι μάλιστα εὐλαβοῦνται ψόφον ποιεῖν ἢ κώπης ἢ δικτύων οἱ περὶ τὴν θήραν ταύτην ὄντες, ἀλλ’ ὅταν κατανοήσωσιν ἔν τινι τόπῳ πολλοὺς ἀθρόους ὄντας, ἐκ τοσούτου τόπου τεκμαιρόμενοι καθιᾶσι τὰ δίκτυα, ὅπως μήτε κώπης μήτε τῆς ῥύμης τῆς ἁλιάδος ἀφίκηται πρὸς τὸν τόπον ἐκεῖνον ὁ ψόφος· παραγγέλλουσί τε πᾶσι τοῖς ναύταις ὅτι μάλιστα σιγῇ πλεῖν, μέχρι περ ἂν συγκυκλώσωνται.

111 The acuteness of hearing of the Saupe is mentioned A. 534 A8 μάλιστα δ’ εἰσὶ τῶν ἰχθύων ὀξυήκοοι κεστρεύς, χρέμψ, λάβραξ, σάλπη, χρόμις. Cf. Ael. IX.7; Plin. X.193 produntur etiam clarissime audire mugil, lupus, salpa, chromis, et ideo in vado vivere.

112 C. II.392 n.

113 591 A12 αἱ δὲ τρίγλαι καὶ φυκίοις τρέφονται καὶ ὀστρέοις καὶ βορβόρῳ καὶ σαρκοφαγοῦσιν.

114 A. 595 A18 εὐχερέστατον πρὸς πᾶσαν τροφὴν τῶν ζῴων ἐστίν (ἡ ὗς).

115 C. II.391 n. Oppian's account of the habits of the Melanurus in paraphrased by Ael. I.41.

116 A. 591 A15 μελάνουρος φυκίοις (τρέφεται).

117 Hom. Il. XV.406 ὡς ὅτε τις φὼς | πέτρῃ ἐπὶ προβλῆτι καθήμενος ἱερὸν ἰχυὺν | ἐκ πόντοιο θύραζε λίνῳ καὶ ἤνοπι χαλκῷ (sc. ἕλκει).

118 The mode of capture here described seems to be identical with the modern method as described by Apost. p49: "Pendant l'été on pêche, dans les Sporades, les oblades [M. G. μελανούρια] et les daurades avec des bouchons de liège (φελλάρια). L'appareil est ainsi disposé : on perce le liège et on fait passer une racine anglaise [sheep-gut] à l'un des bouts. On attache un hameçon, à l'autre bout un morceau de bois pour empêcher la racine de sortir. On retire la racine et quand le hameçon vient toucher le liège, on le couvre de pâte de farine mêlée de fromage [cf. τῦρον ὁμοῦ Δήμητρι μεμιγμένον 463] et on laisse le liège, amorcé, libre dans la mer. Les poissons en venant manger l'appât avalent aussi l'hameçon. Lorsqu'ils se déplacent ils entraînent avec eux le liège, ce qui avertit le pêcheur qui vient les ramasser. Cette pêche est excessivement amusante. Quand on emploie une grande quantité de lièges et que le poisson mord, c'est un perpétuel va-et‑vient pour décrocher les poissons qui s'y sont pris et amorcer de nouveau les engins."

119 Δήμητρι: for the metonymy for bread or flour cf. C. I.434 n. and 484 below.

120 H. II.642 n.

121 H. II.643 n. On the other hand A. 591 B1 λαίμαργος δὲ μάλιστα τῶν ἰχθύων ὁ κεστρεύς έστι καὶ ἄπληστος, where, however, the word κεστρεύς is suspect.

122 i.e., cheese, as in v. 463. Speaking of fishing for, amongst others, Grey Mullets (κεφαλόπουλα), Apost. p43 says: "On amorce aussi simplement avec de la pâte de pain mêlée avec du fromage pour lui donner un peu d'odeur." Cf. A. 591 A18 ὁ δὲ κέφαλος καὶ ὁ κεστρεὺς ὅλως μόνοι οὐ σαρκοφαγοῦσιν· σημεῖον δέ, οὔτε γὰρ ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ πώποτ’ ἔχοντες εἰλημμένοι εἰσὶ τοιοῦτον οὐδέν, οὔτε δελέατι χρῶνται πρὸς αὐτοὺς ζῴων σαρξὶν ἀλλὰ μάζῃ.

123 Strabo 344 πρὸς ἕω δ’ ἐστιν ὄρος τοῦ Πύλου λησίον ἐπώνυμον Μίνθης, ἣν μυθεύουσι παλλακὴν τοῦ Αἵδου γενομένην πατηθεῖσαν ὑπὸ τῆς Κόρης εἰς τὴν κηπαίαν μίνθην μεταβαλεῖν, ἥν τινες ἡδύοσμον [Mentha viridis, spearmint, Theophrast. H. P. VII.7.1] καλοῦσι; schol. Nicandr. Alex. 375 Μίνθη Αἵδου παλλακὴ οὕτω καλουμένη, ἣν διεσπάραξεν ἡ Περσεφόνη, ἐφ’ ᾗ τὴν ὁμώνυμον πόαν ἀνέδωκεν ὁ Αἵδης; Ov. M. X.728 an tibi quondam | Femineos artus in olentes vertere menthas, | Persephone, licuit?

124 Cic. De div. I.54.123 Idem etiam Socrates cum apud Delium male pugnatum esset, Lachete praetore, fugeretque cum ipso Lachete, ut ventum est in trivium, eadem qua ceteri fugere noluit. Quibus quaerentibus cur non eadem via pergeret, deterreri se a deo dixit. Tum quidem ii qui alia via fugerant, in hostium equitatum inciderunt; Theogn. 911 ἐν τριόδῳ δ’ ἕστηκα· δύ’ εἰσὶ τὸ πρόσθεν ὁδοί μοι· | φροντίζω τούτον ἥντιν’ ἴω προτέρην; Pind. P. X.38 ἦ ῥ’, ὦ φίλοι, κατ’ ἀμευσίπορον τρίοδον ἐδινήθην, | ὀρθὰν ὁδὸν ἰὼν τὸ πρίν; Plato, Laws, 799C στὰς δ’ ἄν, καθάπερ ἐν τριόδῳ γενόμενος καὶ μὴ σφόδρα κατειδὼς ὁδόν, εἴτε μόνος εἴτε μετ’ ἄλλων τύχοι πορευόμενος, ἀνέροιτ’ ἂν αὑτὸν καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους τὸ ἀπορούμενον.

125 H. II.462 n.

126 The Mare Tyrrhenum, bounded on E. by Italy, S. by Sicily, W. by Sardinia and Corsica, N. by Gaul. Dion. P. 83 Τυρσηνίδος οἶδμα θαλάσσης; Strabo 55 Τυρρηνικοῦ πελάγους; Plin. III.75 ab eo (sc. mari Ligustico) ad Siciliam insulam Tuscum, quod ex Graecis alii Notium alii Tyrrenum, e nostris plurimi inferum vocant.

127 Marseilles, 27 miles E. of the mouth of the Rhone, founded about 600 B.C. by colonists from Phocaea (cf. v. 626 below) in Asia Minor; Strabo 179; Plin. III.34. The epithet "holy" is taken by the schol. as a mere colourless epithet (ἱερήν· μεγάλην), but we rather imagine it to refer to the position of Massalia (Massilia) as the great outpost of Hellenic culture in the West. Under the Empire especially it was, as it were, a great University town: Strabo 181 πάντες γὰρ οἱ χαρίεντες πρὸς τὸ λέγειν τρέπονται καὶ φιλοσοφεῖν, ὥσθ’ ἡ πόλις μικρὸν μὲν πρότερον τοῖς βαρβάροις ἀνεῖτο παιδευτήριον καὶ φιλέλληνας κατεσκεύαζε τοὺς Γαλάτας ὥστε καὶ τὰ συμβόλαια ἑλληνιστὶ γράφειν, ἐν δὲ τῷ παρόντι [Strabo's date is c. 63 B.C.‑23 A.D.] καὶ τοὺς γνωριμωτάτους Ῥωμαίων πέπεικεν ἀντὶ τῆς εἰς Ἀθήνας ἀποδημίας ἐκεῖσε φοιτᾶν φιλομαθεῖς; Tacitus, Agr. 4 statim parvulus sedem ac magistram studiorum Massiliam habuit, locum Graeca comitate et provinciali parsimonia mixtum et bene compositum; id. Ann. IV.44 (L. Antonium) seposuit Augustus in civitatem Massiliensem, ubi specie studiorum nomen exilii tegeretur. This on the whole seems more likely than that the reference is to the foundation of Massalia under the direct guidance of Ἄρτεμις Ἐφεσία (Diana of the Ephesians) whose temple was a conspicuous feature of the city (Strabo 179). Cf. Ammian. Marc. XV.9.7.

128 i.e., the Gauls of Gallia Narbonensis, in which Massalia was situated. The reference is to the Mare Gallicum: Plin. III.74 τὸ Γαλατικὸν καλούμενον (πέλαγος); A. De mundo 393 A27. Cf. Dion. P. 74 Γαλάτης ῥόος, ἔνθα τε γαῖα | Μασσαλίη τετάνυσται, ἐπίστροφον ὅρμον ἔχουσα.

129 H. I.101 n.

130 The Gar-fish, Belone acus, M. G. βελονίδα, ζαργάνα. Cf. C. II.392 n.

131 A curious parallel to this is mentioned in his account of the present-day fishing for the Belone by Apost. p41: "quelques-uns effrayés, au début, fuient au large, mais ils reviennent aussitôt rejoindre la grande bande qui n'a pas bougé."

132 Dentex vulgaris Cuv., one of the Sea-breams (Sparidae), M. G. συναγρίδα (Apost. p18). Cf. A. 591 A11, B5, 10; 598 A13; 610 B5; Epicharm. ap. Athen. 322B συνόδοντάς τ’ ἐρυθροποικίλους; Marc. S. 29 κρεῖοι (κιρροί?) συνόδοντες; Ov. Hal. 107 fulvi synodontes.

133 A. 543 A9 ἡ θύννις ἅπαξ τίκτει, ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸ τὰ μὲν πρώια τὰ δὲ ὄψια προίεσθαι δὶς δοκεῖ τίκτειν· ἔστι δ’ ὁ μὲν πρῶτος τόκος περὶ τὸν Ποσειδεῶνα [November-December] πρὸ τροπῶν [before the Winter Solstice, 22 December] ὁ δ’ ὕστερος τοῦ ἔαρος; 543 B2 αἱ δὲ πηλαμύδες καὶ οἱ θύννοι τίκτουσιν ἐν τῷ Πόντῳ [Black Sea], ἄλλοθι δ’ οὔ. Cf. Plin. IX.47 (Thynni) intrant e magno mari Pontum verno tempore gregatim, nec alibi fetificant; A. 543 B11 (τίκτει) θέρους περὶ τὸν Ἑκατομβαιῶνα [June-July] θυννίς, περὶ τροπὰς θερινάς [Summer Solstice, 21 June]; A. 571 A11 ὀχεύονται δ’ οἱ θύννοι . . . περὶ τὸν Ἐλαφηβολιῶνα φθίνοντα [about middle of March], τίκτουσι δὲ περὶ τὸν Ἑκατομβαιῶνα ἀρχόμενον [about middle of June]; 598 A26 θυννίδες καὶ πηλαμύδες καὶ ἄμιαι εἰς τὸν Πόντον ἐμβάλλουσι τοῦ ἔαρος καὶ θερίζουσιν.

134 i.e., they come from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean on the way to their spawning-grounds in the Euxine. Cf. Theodorid. ap. Athen. 302C θύννοι τε διοιστρήσοντι Γαδείρων δρόμον, i.e. the Straits of Gibraltar, τὸν Γαδειραῖον πορθμόν Plut. Sert. viii.; cf. Plin. III.74 in eo maria nuncupantur, unde inrumpit, Atlanticum, ab aliis magnum, qua intrat. Porthmos a Graecis, a nobis Gaditanum fretum. For GadeiraGades cf. Plin. IV.120 Poeni Gadir (appellant); Strabo 169 ff.; Pind. N. IV.69; fr. 256; Dion. P. 63 ἀφ’ ἑσπέρου Ὠκεανοῖο | ἔνθα τε καὶ στῆλαι [Pillars of Hercules] περὶ τέρμασιν Ἡρακλῆος | ἐστᾶσιν, μέγα θαῦμα, παρ’ ἐσχατόωντα Γάδειρα; ibid. 11; 451 ff.

135 i.e., the sea off the south of Spain (Iberia). Strabo 122 καλοῦσι δὲ . . . τὸ μὲν (πέλαγος) Ἰβηρικόν, τὸ δὲ Λιγυστικόν, τὸ δὲ Σαρδόνιον, τελευταῖον δὲ μέχρι τῆς Σικελίας τὸ Τυρρηνικόν; Plin. III.74 cum intravit, Hispanum (mare nuncupatur) quatenus Hispanias adluit, ab aliis Ibericum aut Baliaricum.

136 The people of Massilia, cf. note on 544 above. Cf. Ael. XIII.16 ἀκούω δὲ Κελτοὺς καὶ Μασσαλιώτας . . . ἀγκίστροις τοὺς θύννους θηρᾶν.

137 Sicily. For Tunnies in Sicilian seas cf. Archestr. ap. Athen. 302A ἐν Σικελῶν δὲ κλυτῇ νήσῳ Κεφαλοιδὶς [on N. coast of Sicily, Strabo 266 Κεφαλοίδιον, Plin. III.90 Cephaloedis] ἀμείνους | πολλῷ τῶνδε τρέφει θύννους καὶ Τυνδαρὶς ἀκτή [also on N. coast, Strabo l.c., Plin. l.c.]. Cf. Hices. ap. Athen. 315D; Ael. XV.6.

138 Dorio ap. Athen. 315B Δωρίων . . . τοὺς ὀρκύνους (large Tunnies) ἐκ τῆς περὶ Ἡρακλέους στήλας θαλάσσης περαιουμένους εἰς τὴν καθ’ ἡμᾶς ἔρχεσθαι θάλασσαν· διὸ καὶ πλείστους ἁλίσκεσθαι ἐν τῷ Ἰβηρικῷ καὶ Τυρρηνικῷ πελάγει· κἀντεῦθεν κατὰ τὴν ἄλλην θάλασσαν διασκίδνασθαι.

139 Analogous to the "Hooer" in the Cornish Pilchard fishing: A. 537 A19 πολλάκις δὲ καὶ οἱ θυννοσκόποι περιβάλλονται καθεύδοντας; Theocr. III.25 f. ές κύματα τηνῶ ἁλεῦμαι | ὧπερ τὼς θύννως σκοπιάζεται Ὄλπις ὁ γριπεύς. Hence metaphorically Aristoph. Eq. 312 f. ὅστις [i.e. Cleon] ἡμῶν τὰς Ἀθήνας ἐκκεκώφωκας βοῶν, | κἀπὸ τῶν πετρῶν ἄνωθεν τοὺς φόρους θυννοσκοπῶν. Cf. Suid. s.v. Alciphr. I.20 ὁ σκοπιωρός in same sense.

140 The outlook, θυννοσκοπεῖον, Strabo 223; 225; 834, etc., was sometimes a high mast (Varr. ap. Non. I p49; cf. Philostr. Imag. I.13 σκοπιωρεῖται γάρ τις ἀφ’ ὑψηλοῦ ξύλου), sometimes a more elaborate platform (Ael. XV.5).

141 According to Plut. Mor. 980A he was helped in his computation by the cubical formation of the shoal: ὁ γοῦν θυννοσκόπος, ἂν ἀκριβῶς λάβῃ τὸν ἀριθμὸν τῆς ἐπιφανείας, εὐθὺς ἀποφαίνεται πόσον καὶ ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθός ἐστιν, εἰδῶς ὅτι καὶ τὸ βάθος αὐτῶν ἐν ἴσῳ τεταγμένον στοιχείῳ πρός τε τὸ πλάτος ἐστὶ καὶ τὸ μῆκος.

142 Philostr. Imag. l.c. κἂν ἐμβάλλοντας τοὺς ἰχθῦς ἴδῃ, βοῆς τε ὡς μεγίστης [hence the point of βοῶν in Aristoph. Eq. 312 quoted on 638 above] δεῖ αὐτῷ πρὸς τοὺς ἐν τοῖς ἀκατίοις καὶ τὸν ἀριθμὸν λέγει καὶ τὰς μυριάδας αὐτῶν; Ael. XV.5 ὁ σκοπὸς ἰδὼν . . . λέγει μὲν τοῖς θηραταῖς ὁπόθεν ἀφικνοῦνται· . . . ἐρεῖ γε μὴν πολλάκις καὶ τὸν πάντα ἀριθμόν.

143 The comparison is easily understood when one reads the account in Ael. XV.5 ὁ τὴν σκοπιὰν φυλάττων μάλα ὀξὺ έκβοήσας λέγειν διώκειν ἐκεῖθι καὶ τοῦ πελάγους ἐρέττειν εὐθύ. οἱ δὲ ἐξαρτήσαντες ἐλάτης τῶν τὸν σκοπὸν ἀνεχουσῶν τῆς ἑτέρας [i.e. one of the two πρέμνα ἐλάτης ὑψηλά which support the platform of the θυννοσκοπεῖον] σχοῖνον εὖ μάλα μακρὰν τῶν δικτύων ἐχομένην, εἶτα ἐπαλλήλοις ταῖς ναυσῖν ἐρέττουσι κατὰ στοῖχον ἔχονταί τε ἀλλήλων, ἐπεί τοι καὶ τὸ δίκτυον ἐφ’ ἑκάστῃ διῄρηται, καὶ ἤ γε πρώτη τὴν ἑαυτῆς ἐκβαλοῦσα μοῖραν τοῦ δικτύου ἀναχωρεῖ, εἶτα ἡ δευτέρα δρᾷ τοῦτο, καὶ ἡ τρίτη, καὶ δεῖ καθεῖναι τὴν τετάρτην, οἱ δὲ τὴν πέμπτην ἐρέττοντες ἔτι μέλλουσι, τοὺς δὲ ἐπὶ ταύτῃ οὐ χρὴ καθεῖναί πω· εἶτα ἐρέττουσιν ἄλλοι ἄλλῃ καὶ ἄγουσι τοῦ δικτύου τὴν μοῖραν, εἶτα ἡσυχάζουσι. Cf. Apost. p31 "Au mois de mai plus de 20 bateaux de Spetzia, quelques-uns de Skiathos se livrent . . . à la pêche des thons. Quand l'arrivée des thons dans les parages de ces îles est annoncée, les pêcheurs font leurs préparatifs de campagne. Tous les bateaux . . . se placent à l'entrée du golfe d'Argolide, que les poissons traversent toujours pour pénétrer dans l'intérieur de ce golfe; les pêcheurs approchent de la côte, y jettent l'une des extrémités du filet, et, en avançant vers le large, ils y jettent le reste. Cela fait, ils enfoncent dans l'eau une poutre et y laissent un gardien [the θυννοσκόπος]. Le bateau revient à terre en décrivant une courbe et traînant après lui une corde, avec laquelle, en tirant l'extrémité placée du côté de la mer, ils font décrire au filet une ligne circulaire. Aussitôt que le gardien annonce, par des signaux, à ses camarades qu'un nombre assez considérable de thons se trouve à leur portée, ceux-ci tirent de la terre le filet où ils englobent les poissons.] "

144 Philostr. Imag. l.c. νέουσι δὲ οἷον στρατιωτῶν φάλαγξ ἐπὶ ὀκτὼ καὶ ἐφ’ ἑκκαίδεκα καὶ δὶς τόσοι, . . . ἄλλος ἄλλῳ ἐπινέοντες, τοσοῦτον βάθος ὅσον αὐτῶν τὸ εὖρος.

145 Philostr. Imag. l.c. οἱ δὲ ἀποφράξαντες αὐτοὺς αθεῖ καὶ κλειστῷ δικτύῳ δέχονται λαμπρὰν ἄγραν.

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