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Part 3

This webpage reproduces part of the Introduction to
the Cynegetica and 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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Part 5

Introduction
to Oppian

p. xlix On the Identification of Certain Fishes

Ce que l'on doit le plus regretter dans cette masse d'instructions si précieuses c'est que l'auteur [Aristotle] ne se soit pas douté que la nomenclature usitée de son temps pût venir à s'obscurcir, et qu'il n'ait pris aucune précaution pour faire reconnaître les espèces dont il parle. C'est le défaut général des naturalistes anciens ; on est presque obligé de deviner le sens des noms dont ils se sont servis ; la tradition même a changé, et nous induit souvent en erreur : ce n'est que par des combinaisons très pénibles, et le rapprochement des traits épars dans les auteurs, qu'on parvient sur quelques espèces à des résultats un peu positifs ; mais nous sommes condamnés à en ignorer toujours le plus grand nombre.

Cuvier et Valenciennes,

Histoire naturelle de poissons, I p23.

Diese Unzulänglichkeit unsers jetzigen Wissens darf man sicherlich nicht ignoriren — wir sind überzeugt, dass mit der Vermehrung unsrer Kenntnisse in dieser Richtung, der Beobachtung des Haushaltes, der Lebensweise, der Instincte der Thiere Griechenlands eine grosse Anzahl von Angaben des Aristoteles bestätigt und in das rechte Licht gestellt werden wird.

Aubert u. Wimmer, p55.

Certains procédés de pêche qui existent chez nous, étonnant le voyageur au point qu'il les range parmi les fables, se sont maintenus par la tradition. Ceux qui sont familiers avec les écrits des anciens, Aristote, Athénée, Théophraste, Xénocrate, Oppien, etc. et qui se sont occupés d'histoire naturelle, ne trouveront pas étrange notre assertion. Aucun naturaliste moderne n'a poussé la curiosité de l'observation et de la connaissance des moeurs et habitudes des animaux aussi loin que les anciens.

Apostolides, La Pêche en Grèce, p44.

p. l Alphestes, Alphesticus, or Cinaedus; Phycis; Cirrhis

H. I.126 f.

καὶ κίχλαι ῥαδιναὶ καὶ φυκίδες οὕς θ᾽ ἁλιῆες

ἀνδρὸς ἐπωνυμίην θηλύφρονος ηὐδάξαντο.

MSS. and schol. ἅς θ᾽.

1. There can be no doubt that the reference in ἀνδρὸς ἐπωνυμίην θηλύφρονος is to the fish called κίναιδος (cf. the synonyms of κίναιδος in Poll. VI.126 καταπύγων, . . . θηλυδρίας, . . . γυναικίας, . . . ἀνδρόγυνος, . . . θῆλυς τὴν ψυχήν), ἀλφηστής, ἀλφηστικός. The first name occurs Plin. XXXII.146 Cinaedi soli piscium lutei, and is no doubt intended in Hesych. s. κιναουιδες (sic)· ἰχθῦς. For the other names cf. Athen. 281E. Apollodorus of Athens (b. circ. 180 B.C.), after quoting Sophron's "καταπυγοτέραν τ᾽ ἀλφηστᾶν," says: "The ἀλφησταί are a species of fish, yellowish (κιρροειδεῖς) as a whole but purplish in parts. It is said that they are taken in couples, one following in the rear of the other. From this following in the rear (κατὰ τὴν πυγήν) of one another the name was applied to the licentious and lewd" (ἀκρατεῖς καὶ καταφερῖς) [i.e. καταπύγονες]. Aristotle ἐν τῷ περὶ Ζῴων says "μονάκανθον (with a single spine) εἶναι καὶ κιρρὸν (yellow) τὸν ἀλφηστικόν." Numenius, of Heracleia, ἐν Ἁλιευτικῷ mentions it thus: <ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖ πέρκας, ὅτε δὲ στροφάδας παρὰ πέτρην>1a | φυκίδας ἀλφηστήν τε καὶ ἐν χροιῇσιν ἐρυθρὸν | σκορπίον <ἢ πέρκαισι καθηγητὴν μελάνουρον>.1b Also Epicharmus, ἐν Ἥβας γάμῳ· μύες ἀλησταί τε κορακῖνοί τε κοριοειδέες; cf. Eustath. Hom. Il. XVIII. p1166.42; Athen. 305B Diocles ἐν πρώτῳ Ὑγιεινῶν· οἱ δὲ πετραῖοι καλούμενοι μαλακόσαρκοι, κόσσυφοι, p. liκίχλαι, πέρκαι, κωβιοί, φυκίδες, ἀλφηστικός. E. M. s. ἀλφηστής repeats Apollodorus in Athen. 281E as quoted above; cf. E. M. s. θηλυτεράων· ὅτι τὰ λοιπὰ ζῷα ὅρον ἔχει τῆς μίξεως τὴν σύλληψιν, αὗται δὲ ἀεί· διὸ ἐκ τοῦ ἐναντίου οἱ ἄνδρες ἀλφησταὶ λέγονται οἱ κατωφερεῖς, κατὰ μεταφορὰν ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθίων· ἀλφησταὶ γὰρ εἶδος ἰχθύος. Hesych. s. ἀλφηστίς· ἰχθύος εἶδος. In Homer ἀλφησταί is an obscure epithet of men in general, but in later Greek a bad association seems to have attached to ἀλφάνω and its derivatives, perhaps through an idea that παρθένοι ἀλφεσίβοιαι (Hom. Il. XVIII.593, H. Aphr. 119) meant — to quote Dugald Dalgetty — "such quae quaestum corporibus faciebant, as we said of Jean Drochiels at Marischal College";2 cf. Lycophron 1393 τῆς (Mestra) παντομόρφου βασσάρας λαμπουρίδος | τοκῆος (Erysichthon), ἥ τ᾽ ἀλφαῖσι ταῖς καθ᾽ ἡμέραν | βούπειναν ἀλθαίνεσκεν ἀκμαίαν πατρός.

The fish intended is one of the Wrasses (they had the repute of lasciviousness, cf. Epicharm. ap. Athen. 305C [see too 287B, E. M. s. βεμβράς] βαμβραδόνες τε καὶ κίχλαι λαγοὶ δάκοντές τ᾽ ἄλκιμοι, where perhaps λἀγνοι should be read: cf. κιχλίζω), such as Crenilabrus melops, the Gold-sinny or Corkwing.

2. The reading of the MSS. and schol. ἅς θ᾽ would make ἅς refer to φυκίδες. So the Schol. φυκίδες· αἱ λαπίναι. τοῦτο δ᾽ εἶπε σκώπτων τὸν γυναικώδη. φυκίδας εἶπεν ἐνταῦθα ὁ ποιητὴς θέλων λοιδορῆσαί τινα εὐνοῦχον φυκαρίζοντα (i.e. roughing) τὰς παρειὰς αὑτοῦ. ἦν δ᾽ ὁ εὐνοῦχος οὗτος ὃν λοιδορῆσαι θέλει ὁ ποιητής, ὡς ἔοικεν, ὁ καταλαλήσας τὸν Ἀγησίλαον τὸν πατέρα τοῦ ποιητοῦ εἰς τὸν βασιλέα Σεβῆρον, ὡς ἔιπομεν, ὅτι κατεφρόνησεν ὁ Ἀγησίλαος ἐξελθεῖν εἰς p. liiσυνάντησιν τοῦ βασιλέως, ἅτε ζῶν φιλοσόφως καὶ καταφρονῶν τὰ πάντα. All this seems to be pure invention. The fish called φυκίς is mentioned frequently. A. 567 B18 τίκτουσι δ᾽ οἱ μὲν ἄλλοι τῶν ᾠοόκων ἰχθύων ἅπαξ τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ, πλὴν τῶν μικρῶν φυκίδων, αὗται δὲ δίς. διαφέρει δ᾽ ὁ ἄρρην φύκης τῆς θελείας τῷ μελάντερος εἶναι καὶ μείζους ἔχειν τὰς λεπίδας; 591 B10 τὰ δ᾽ ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ νέμονται μὲν τὸν πηλὸν καὶ τὸ φῦκος . . . οἷον φυκὶς καὶ κωβιὸς καὶ οἱ πετραῖοι· ἡ δὲ φυκὶς ἄλλης μὲν σαρκὸς οὐχ ἅπτεται, τῶν δὲ καρίδων; 607 B18 μεταβάλλει δὲ καὶ ἡ φυκὶς τὴν χρόαν· τὸν μὲν γὰρ ἄλλον χρόνον λευκή ἐστι, τοῦ δ᾽ ἔαρος ποικίλη· μόνη δ᾽ αὕτη τῶν θαλαττίων ἰχθύων (builds a nest), ὥς φασι, καὶ τίκτει ἐν τῇ στιβάδι; Plut. Mor. 981F ἰδίᾳ δ᾽ αἱ φυκίδες ἐκ τῶν φυκίων οἷον νεοττιὰν διαπλασάμεναι περιαμπέχουσι τὸν γόνον καὶ σκέπουσιν ἀπὸ τῆς κλυδῶνος; Ovid, Hal. 122 Atque avium phycis (MSS. dulcis, emend. Ulitzius) nidos imitata sub undis; Plin. IX.81 mutat (colorem) et phycis, reliquo tempore candida, vere varia. Eadem piscium sola nidificat ex alga atque in nido parit; XXXII.150 phycis saxatilium; Ael. XII.28 ἰχθῦς δὲ τὴν χρόαν μεταβλητικοὶ οἵδε· κίχλαι τε καὶ κόσσυφοι καὶ φυκίδες τε καὶ μαινίδες; Athen. 305B Διοκλῆς . . . "οἱ δὲ πετραῖοι," φησίν,"καλούμενοι μαλακόσαρκοι, κόσσυφοι, κίχλαι, πέρκαι, κωβιοί, φυκίδες, ἀλφηστικός; 319B Σπεύσιππος ἐν δευτέρῳ Ὁμοίων παραπλησίας εἶναι λέγων πέρκην, χάνναν, φυκίδα . . . Νουμήνιος δ᾽ ἐν Ἁλιευτικῷ "ἄλλοτε δ᾽ αὖ πέρκας, ὅτε δὲ στροφάδας παρὰ πέτρην | φυκίδας ἀλφηστήν τε καὶ ἐν χροιῇσιν ἐρυθρὸν | σκορπιόν (cf. 282A, 320E)"; 319C Ἀριστοτέλης ἐν τῷ περὶ ζωικῶν ἀκανθοστεφῆ φησιν εἶναι καὶ ποικιλόχροα φυκίδα; Marc. S. 19 καὶ σκάροι ἀνθεμόεντες ἐρευθήεσσά τε φυκίς; p. liiiA. P. VI.105 τρίγλαν ἀπ᾽ ἀνθρακιῆς καὶ φυκίδα σοί, λιμενῖτι | Ἄρτεμι, δωρεῦμαι (= Suid. s. φυκίδα). The statement that the φυκίς builds a nest led Cuvier to identify it with Gobius niger, the Black Goby. But all the other evidence points to one of the Wrasses (Labridae), for which χειλοῦ, φυκόψαρο, πετρόψαρο are in M. G. generic names, and it is now known that some at least of the Wrasses build nests. The schol. here, as we have seen above, interprets φυκίδες by λαπίναι. In M. G. Crenilabrus pavo is λήπαινα, at Chalcis λαπίνα μαύρη and λ. μεγάλη and this identification is in all probability right.

It should be pointed out that, both φυκίς and the κίναιδος being Wrasses, it is quite possible that Oppian or Oppian's source may have identified them and thus ἅς θ᾽ may after all be the correct reading.

3. The Cirrhis (κίρρις) of H. I.129, III.187, which is not mentioned in Aristotle, seems to be another of the Wrasses, perhaps Labrus mixtus, cf. E. M. s. κίρρις· ὁ ἰχθύς, ἐπειδὴ κιρρός ἐστι τὴν χροιάν. In H. I.129 the schol., reading σκιρρίς, interprets λεπιδυταί ἢ ὕσκας.

Anthias : Aulopias : Callichthys : Callionymus

The chief references may be grouped as follows:

(1) A. 570 B19 τίκτει δὲ καὶ ὁ αὐλωπίας, ὃν καλοῦσί τινες ἀνθίαν, τοῦ θέρους.

(2) A. 610 B5 the Anthias is one of the gregarious (ἀγελαῖοι) fishes.

(3) A. 620 B33 ὅπου ἂν ἀνθίας ὁραθῇ, οὐκ ἔστι θηρίον· ᾧ καὶ σημείῳ χρώμενοι κατακολυμβῶσιν οἱ σπογγεῖς, καὶ καλοῦσιν ἱεροὺς ἰχθῦς τούτους; cf. p. livAthen. 282C; Plut. Mor. 981E; Ael. VIII.28; Plin. IX.153 certissima est securitas vidisse planos [anthias?] pisces, quia nunquam sunt ubi maleficae bestiae, qua de causa urinantes (i.e. divers) sacros appellant eos.

(4) Ovid, Hal. 45 Anthias his tergo quae non videt utitur armis, Vim spinae novitque suae versoque supinus Corpore lina secat fixumque intercipit hamum; Plin. XXXII.13 anthias tradit idem [sc. Ovidius in eo volumine quod Halieuticon inscribitur, ib. 11] infixo hamo invertere se, quoniam sit in dorso cultellata spina, eaque lineam praesecare; IX.182 idem anthiae cum unum hamo teneri viderint, spinis quas in dorso serratas habent lineam secare traduntur, eo qui teneatur extendente ut praecidi possit; 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; Ael. I.4 ὅταν νοήσωσι τεθηρᾶσθαι τὸν σύννομον, προσνέουσιν ὤκιστα· εἶτα ἐς αὐτὸν τὰ νῶτα ἀπερείδουσιν καὶ ἐμπίπτοντες καὶ ὠθούμενοι τῇ δυνάμει κωλύουσιν ἕλκεσθαι.

Plin. IX.180 describes the mode of catching the Anthias practised in the Chelidonian islands [ἐν μεθορίῳ τῆς Παμφυλίας καὶ Λυκίας, Strabo 651]: parvo navigio et concolori veste eademque hora per aliquot dies continuos piscator enavigat certo spatio escamque proicit. Quicquid ex eo mittitur, suspecta fraus praedae est cavetque quod timuit. Cum id saepe factum est, unus aliquando consuetudine invitatus anthias escam appetit. Notatur hic intentione diligenti ut auctor spei conciliatorque naturae, neque est difficile cum per aliquot dies solus accedere audeat. Tandem et aliquos invenit paulatimque comitatior p. lvpostremo greges adducit innumeros, iam vetustissimis quibusque adsuetis piscatorem agnoscere et e manu cibum rapere. Tum ille paulum ultra digitos in esca iaculatus hamum singulos involat verius quam capit, ab umbra navis brevis conatu rapiens ita ne ceteri sentiant, alio intus excipiente centonibus raptum, ne palpitatio ulla aut sonus ceteros abigat. Conciliatorem nosse ad hoc prodest ne capiatur, fugituro in reliquum grege. This is evidently the method described in Oppian, H. III.205 ff. and is identical with that which was used for the Aulopias in the Tyrrhenian islands (i.e. the Aeoliae insulae between Italy and Sicily) according to Ael. XIII.17: "Having selected in advance places where they suppose the Aulopias to congregate and thereafter having caught in their scoop-nets (ὑποχαί) many Crow-fish (κορακίνους), they anchor their boat and keeping up a continuous din they project the Crow-fish attached to lines (ἅμμασι). The Aulopias, hearing the din and beholding the bait, swim up from all directions and congregate and circle about the boat. And under the influence of the din and the abundance of food they become so tame that even when the fishermen stretch out their hands they remain and suffer the touch of man, enslaved, as I should judge, by the food but, as the experts say, already confident in their valour. And there are among them tame ones whom the fishermen recognize as their benefactors and comrades and towards these they maintain a truce. These leaders are followed by stranger fishes which, as aliens, so to say, the fishermen hunt and kill. But with regard to the tame fishes, the position of which is like that of decoy pigeons, they refrain from hunting them and observe a truce, nor would any p. lvipressure of circumstances induce a wise fisherman to catch a tame Aulopias intentionally: for he is grieved even when he catches one accidentally." Ael. XII.47, on the capture of the Anthias, has nothing which helps identification.

(6) Ananios, ap. Athen. 282B, the Anthias is in prime condition in winter.

(7) The Aulopias is described Ael. XIII.17: "About the Tyrrhenian islands fishermen catch the huge (κητώδη) fish which is found there and which they call Aulopias. . . . In size the largest Aulopias is inferior to the largest Tunnies, but in strength and prowess it would bear away the palm in comparison with them. . . . It opposes the fisherman as an equal adversary, and for the most part gets the better of him. . . . When caught it is beautiful to behold, having the eyes open and round and large, like the ox-eyes of which Homer sings. The jaw is strong . . . yet adds to the beauty of the fish. The back is of the deepest blue, the belly white; from the head a gold-coloured line extends to the hinder part where it ends in a circle."

(8) Oppian thrice mentions the Anthias. (i) H. I.248‑258 the Anthias frequents deep rocks, but ranges everywhere under the impulse of gluttony. The mouth is toothless. There are four species — yellow, white, black, and a fourth called εὐωπός or αὐλωπός,

οὕνεκα τοῖς καθύπερθεν ἑλισσομένη κατὰ κύκλον

ὀφρὺς ἠερόεσσα περίδρομος ἐστεφάνωται (256 f.)

The precise meaning of αὐλωπός is not easy to determine (schol. στενοφθάλμους . . . τοὺς ἔχοντας μεγάλους ὀφθαλμοὺς δίκην αὐλῶν, ὁποῖοί εἰσιν οἱ τῶν p. lviiπαγούρων [Crabs] καὶ ἀστακῶν [Lobsters]; cf. Hesych. s. αὐλωπίας· κοιλόφθαλμος, s. αὐλώπιδι· στενῇ περὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμούς), whether "hollow-eyed" or "with lobster-like eyes": cf. Xen. Symp. V.5 καρκίνον εὐοφθαλμότατον εἶναι τῶν ζῴων. (ii) H. III.192 the bait for the Anthias is the Basse (λάβραξ). (iii) H. III.205‑334, where he describes modes of fishing for the Anthias, and says its "mouth is unarmed" (στόμα τοῖσιν ἄοπλον), i.e. is toothless (328). His account of its struggles to escape — βιώμενος εἰς ἅλα δῦναι (310) — shows that he means by Anthias what Aelian means by Aulopias, XIII.17 ὡς πρὸς ἀντίπαλον ἵσταται τὸν ἁλιέα καὶ κρατεῖ τὰ πλεῖστα, ἐπὶ μᾶλλον ἑαυτὸν πιέσας καὶ κάτω νεύσας τὴν κεφαλὴν καὶ ὠθήσας κατὰ τοῦ βυθοῦ.

(9) Archestratus ap. Athen. 326A νεαροῦ μεγάλου τ᾽ αὐλωπία ἐν θέρει ὠνοῦ | κρανία also suggests a large fish.

Callichthys. To Oppian Callichthys (1) differs from Anthias, (2) is called ἱερὸς ἰχθύς, (3) is comparable in strength to the Anthias, (4) is a deep-sea fish, (5) is called Callichthus, i.e. Beauty-fish, on account of its beauty: H. I.17 οἱ δ᾽ ἐν ἀμετρήτοισιν ἄλην πελάγεσσιν ἔχουσι, | τηλοῦ ἀπὸ τραφερῆς οὐδ᾽ ῃόσιν εἰσὶν ἑταῖροι . . . ἐν τοῖς καὶ κάλλιχθυς ἐπώνυμος, ἱερὸς ἰχθύς; H. III.191 θύννῳ μὲν κάλλιχθυς ἰαίνεται, αὐτὰρ ὀνίσκοις | ὄρκυνος, λάβρακα δ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἀνθίῃ ὁπλίζοιο; III.335 (after an account of capture of Anthias) τοῖον καὶ κάλλιχθυς ἔχει σθένος ἠδὲ γενέθλη | ὀρκύνων ὅσσοι τε δέμας κητώδεες ἄλλοι | πλάζονται· τοίοις δὲ βραχίοσιν ἀγρώσσονται; V.627 ff. sponge-cutters are safe if they see a κάλλιχθυς: τῷ καί μιν ἐφήμισαν ἱερὸν ἰχθύν. Bussemaker, identifying it with ἀνθίας εὐωπός, makes it Serranus gigas, the Métou, which we identify with ὀρφός.

p. lviii The epithet ἱερός is used of a fish in Hom. Il. XVI.407 ὡς ὅτε τις φὼς | πέτρη ἔπι προβλῆτι καθήμενος ἱερὸν ἰχθὺν | ἐκ πόντοιο θύραζε λίνῳ καὶ ἤνοπι χαλκῷ (sc. ἕλκῃ), where acc. to the schol. some interpreted πομπίλος, some κάλλιχθυς, while others took the epithet in a general sense (ἀνετὸν καὶ εὐτραφῆ, ὡς ἱερὸν βοῦν λέγομεν τὸν ἀνειμένον). From Athen. 282E sq. it seems that ἱερός was used of several fishes besides the Anthias (Dolphin, Pilot-fish, Gilthead, etc.) and, while Athenaeus himself seems to identify Anthias and Callichthys, he tells us that Dorion denied the identity: Athen. 282C μνημονεύει δ᾽ αὐτοῦ καὶ Δωρίων ἐν τῷ περὶ ἰχθύων· "τὸν δ᾽ ἀνθίαν τινὲς καὶ κάλλιχθυν καλοῦσιν, ἔτι δὲ καλλιώνυμον καὶ ἔλοπα". . . . Ἀριστοτέλης δὲ καὶ καρχαρόδοντα εἶναι τὸν κάλλιχθυν σαρκοφάγον τε καὶ συνγελαζόμενον. Ἐπίχαρμος δ᾽ ἐν Μούσαις τὸν μὲν ἔλοπα [cf. Ael. VIII.28] καταριθμεῖται, τὸν δὲ κάλλιχθυν ἢ καλλιώνυμον ὡς τὸν αὐτὸν ὄντα σεσίγηκεν. . . . Δωρίων δ᾽ ἐν τῷ περὶ ἰχθύων διαφέρειν φησὶν ἀνθίαν καὶ κάλλιχθυν, ἔτι τε καὶ καλλιώνυμον καὶ ἔλοπα; cf. E. M. s. ἄνθεια (sic)· εἶδος ἰχθύος· ἀνθίαν τινὲς καὶ κάλλιχθυν καλοῦσι καὶ καλλιώνυμον καὶ ἔλλοπα; Suid. s. ἱερὸν ἰχθῶν· . . . οὐ τὸν κάλλιχθυν ἢ τὸν πομπίλον, ὥς τινες.

Callionymus. — The Callionymus is almost certainly Uranoscopos scaber, the Hemerocoetes or Nycteris of Oppian (see note on H. II.199 ff.). It is an ugly fish and was only euphemistically called καλλιώνυμος: cf. E. M. s. ἁλεσούριος· εἶδος ἰχθύος θαλασσίου ὅν τινες κατ᾽ εὐφημισμὸν καλλιώνυμον καλοῦσιν κτλ.; Hesych. s. καλλιώνυμος and s. ἁλεσούριον. From its habit of hiding in the sand it was also called ψαμμοδύτης or Sand-diver, Hesych. s. ψαμμοδύτης· ἰχθύς, ὃν καὶ καλλιώνυμον ὀνομἀζουσιν. The similarity of name p. lix might easily lead to confusion with κάλλιχθυς, but we think that in discussing the identity of that fish and of the Anthias the Callionymus may be left out of the question.

The identification of Anthias and the Callichthys has hitherto proved an insoluble problem. Both are pelagic fishes, comparable in size to the Tunny. The one definite distinction between them, if we can trust it, is that the Anthias is, according to Oppian H. I.253 and III.328, toothless, whereas according to Athen. 282C Aristotle described the Callichthys as καρχαρόδους.

Rondelet,3 who supposed name Anthias to be applied to more than one fish, identified his Anthias primus with Serranus anthias — the Barbier of the Mediterranean — Labrus anthias L., Anthias sacer Bloch, "le plus beau poisson de mer, aux couleurs les plus éclatantes" (Apost. p13). "Le barbier est un des plus beaux poissons de la Méditerranée et des plus faciles à caractériser. La longue épine flexible qui s'élève sur son dos, les filets qui prolongent ses p. lxventrales, et les deux lobes de sa caudale, surtout l'inférieur, suffiraient pour le distinguer de tous les autres poissons ; enfin, l'éclat de l'or et du rubis dont brillent ses écailles, auraient dû attirer de tout temps l'attention des naturalistes" (Cuv. II p250). Against this identification Cuvier vigorously protests: "rien n'a été hasardé plus légèrement, et même, si quelque chose en cette matière peut être susceptible de preuve, c'est qu'aucun des caractères attribués à des anthias ne convient au barbier." For his own part Cuvier would identify the Anthias with Thynnus alalonga, the Albicore: "Pour moi, si j'étais obligé de me prononcer sur le poisson qui a porté ce nom autrefois, je dirais au moins de l'anthias d'Élien que c'est le germon (Scomber alalonga). Il est un peu moindre que le thon, qu'il accompagne souvent ; il va en grandes troupes. Son dos est bleu ; son ventre blanc. On voit sur ses flancs une ligne argentée. On ne peut pas dire qu'il manque de dents ; mais il les a plus faibles même que le thon. On en prend en abondance près des côtes de Sardaigne, et l'on y en prendrait encore davantage, si l'on faisait les mailles des mandragues un peu plus petites que pour le thon.

"Certainement bien des poissons décrits par les anciens, et que l'on croit avoir reconnus, ne l'ont pas été sur autant de caractères.

"A la vérité, il n'y a point de germons, ni d'espèces voisines, qui soient blancs, jaunes ou rouge-noir, comme Oppien le dit de ses anthias ; mais nous sommes si accoutumés à voir le même nom appliqué chez les anciens aux êtres les plus différens, que nous ne devons pas nous étonner qu'Oppien ait entendu celui d'anthias autrement qu'Élien. Peut-être a‑t‑il p. lxivoulu parler du mérou, du cernier, ou de tel autre très-grand acanthoptérygien : toujours est‑il certain qu'il n'a point désigné, par l'épithète de μεγακήτεα, le barbier, petit poisson qui passe à peine cinq ou six pouces."

Glaucus

The chief references may be grouped as follows: (1) A. 508 B20. The Glaucus has few caecal appendages (ἀποφυάδας). (2) A. 598 A13. It is a pelagic (πελάγιος) fish. Cf. gaudent pelago, Ovid, Hal. 94. (3) A. 599 B32 γλαῦκος· οὗτος γὰρ τοῦ θέρους φωλεῖ περὶ ἑξήκονθ᾽ ἡμέρας. Cf. Ovid, Hal. 117 Ac nunquam aestivo conspectus sidere glaucus; Plin. IX.58 quidam rursus aestus impatientia mediis fervoribus sexagenis diebus latent, ut glaucus; XXXII.153 (tradit) (Ovidius) . . . glaucum aestate nunquam apparere. (4) A. 607 B27 ὅμοιοι δὲ κύοντες καὶ μὴ ὀλίγοι [i.e. a few fishes are in the same condition whether with spawn or not], οἷον γλαῦκος. (5) Opp. C. III.113 οἵην μὲν κομιδὴν τεκέων ἐνὶ κύμασι δελφὶς | αἰὲν ἔχει γλαῦκός τε χάροψ; H. I.749 of all oviparous (ᾠοτοκῆες) fishes it shows most affection for its young. When the young are hatched, it remains with them, and when danger threatens, ἀμφιχανὼν κατέδεκτο διὰ στόμα, μέσφα κε δεῖμα | χάσσεται, τότε δ᾽ αὖτις ἀνέπτυσε λευκανίηθεν. So Ael. I.16; Phil. 90. (6) Opp. H. I.170 γλαῦκοι, are mentioned among fishes which ἐν πέτρῃσι καὶ ἐν ψαμάθοισι νέμονται. (7) Opp. H. III.193. The bait for Glaucus is the Grey Mullet (κεστρεύς). (8) Marc. S. 66 σὺν χλοεροῖς λαχάνοις δὲ καθεψομένου γλαύκοιο Σωμὸς ἄγει γάλα λευκὸν ἐελδομένῃσι τιθήναις | πινόμενος, τῆθαι δὲ φίλαι τότε νηπιάχοισι | ἕλκουσιν πόμα λαρὸν εὐγλαγέων ἀπὸ p. lxiiμαστῶν. (9) It was obviously a large further: Geopon. XX.7.2 πρῶτον δὲ πάντων ἐστὶ δέλη πρὸς τὰ μεγάλα ὀψάρια, οἷον . . . γλαύκους; Eupolis ap. Athen. 107B κειμένων ἰχθυδίων | μικρῶν, τρεμόντων τῷ δέει τί πείσεται, | θαρρεῖν κελεύσας ἕνεκ᾽ ἐμοῦ ταῦτ᾽ οὐδὲ ἓν | φήσας ἀδικήσειν ἐπριάμην γλαῦκον μέγαν. Hence special cuts of it are commended: Archestr. ap. Athen. 295C ἀλλά μοι ὀψώνει γαλύκου κεφαλὴν ἐν Ὀλύνθῳ | καὶ Μεγάροις; Anaxandr. ibid. E ὁ πρῶτος εὑρὼν πολυτελὲς τμητὸν μέγα | γλαύκου πρόσωπον τοῦ τ᾽ ἀμύμονος δέμας | θύννου; Amphis ibid. F γλαῦκοι δ᾽ ὅλοι, ῥαχιστὰ κρανίων μέρη . . . and γλαυκινιδίου κεφάλαια; Antiph. ibid. γλαύκου προτομή. (10) Numen. ap. Athen. 295B ὕκην ἢ κάλλιχθυν, ὁτὲ χρόμιν, ἄλλοτε δ᾽ ὀρφὸν | ἢ γλαῦκον περόωντα κατὰ μνία σιγαλόεντα.

The legend that the Glaucus takes in its young would suggest a Dog-fish, but the possession of caeca mentioned in A. 508 B20 is against that supposition, since Selachians have no caeca. Cuvier makes the Glaucus Sciaena aquila. Bussemaker makes it some species of Cod (Gadi quaedam species).

Onos or Assfish : Oniscus : Callarias

1. The ὄνος is mentioned twice in Aristotle: (a) A. 599 B26 "Some fishes hide (φωλεῖ) in the sand, some in the mud, with only the mouth projecting. The majority hide only in winter — Crustaceans and Rock-fishes and Rays and Cartilaginous fishes only during the wintriest days, as is shown by the fact that they are not caught when the weather is cold. But some fishes hide also in summer, for instance the Glaucus, which hides in summer for about 60 days. The Onos and the Gilthead also hide [i.e. in summer]. That the Onos hides for the longest time p. lxiiiseems to be proved by the fact that there is the longest interval when it is not caught. And that the fishes hide in summer seems to be indicated by the fact that catches are made only at the rising4 of the constellations, particularly at the rising of the Dog-star; for at that time the sea is turned up, a thing which is very well known in the Bosporus. For the mud comes to the top and the fishes are brought up. It is said too that often when the sea-bottom is dredged, more fish are caught by the second haul than by the first; and after heavy rains many creatures become visible which previously were not seen at all or only infrequently." Cf. Oppian, H. I.151. See below. (b) A. 620 B29 καθαμμίζουσι δ᾽ ἑαυτὰ καὶ ὄνος καὶ βάτος καὶ ψῆττα καὶ ῥίνη, καὶ ὅταν ποιήσῃ ἑαυτὰ ἄδηλα, εἶτα ῥαβδεύεται τοῖς ἐν τῶν στόματι ἃ καλοῦσιν οἱ ἁλιεῖς ῥαβδία· προσέρχονται δ᾽ ὡς πρὸς φυκία ἀφ᾽ ὧν τρέφονται. It may be noted that the ὄνος is absent in the rendering of this passage in Pliny IX.144 simili modo squatina [= ῥίνη, cf. Plin. XXXII.150 rhine quem squatum vocamus] et rhombus [= ψῆττα] abditi pinnas exsertas movent specie vermiculorum, item quae vocantur raiae [= βάτοι].

Other references to the ὄνος are Athen. 315E ὄνος καὶ ὀνίσκος. "ὄνος, φησὶν Ἀριστοτέλης ἐν τῷ περὶ ζωικῶν, ἔχει στόμα ἀνερρωγὸς ὁμοίως τοῖς γαλεοῖς· καὶ οὐ συναγελαστικός. καὶ μόνος οὗτος ἰχθύων τὴν καρδίαν ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ ἔχει καὶ ἐν τῷ ἐγκεφάλῳ λίθους ἐμφερεῖς μύλαις. φωλεύει τε μόνος ἐν ταῖς ὑπὸ κύνα θερμοτάταις ἡμέραις, τῶν ἄλλων ταῖς χειμεριωτάταις φωλευόντων. p. lxivμνημονεύει δ᾽ αὐτῶν Ἐπίχαρμος ἐν Ἥβας γάμῳ· "μεγαλοχάσμονάς τε χάννας κἠκτραπελογάστορας ὄνους." διαφέρει δ᾽ ὄνος ὀνίσκου, ὥς φησι Δωρίων ἐν τῷ περὶ ἰχθύων γράφων οὕτως· "ὄνος, ὃν καλοῦσί τινες γάδον· γαλλερίας, ὃν καλοῦσί τινες ὀνίσκον τε καὶ μάξεινον." Εὐθύδημος δ᾽ ἐν τῷ περὶ ταρίχων "οἱ μὲν βάκχον, φησί, καλοῦσιν, οἱ δὲ γελαρίην, οἱ δὲ ὀνίσκον." Ἀρχέστρατος δέ φησι· "τὸν δ᾽ ὄνον Ἀνθηδών, τὸν καλλαρίαν καλέουσιν | ἐκτρέφει εὐμεγέθη" κτλ.; Ael. VI.30 ὁ ἰχθὺς ὁ ὄνος τὰ μὲν ἄλλα, ὅσα ἐντὸς προσπέφυκεν, οὐ πάνυ τι τῶν ἑτέρων διεστῶτα κέκτηται, μονότροπος δέ ἐστι καὶ σὺν ἄλλοις βιοῦν οὐκ ἀνέχεται. ἔχει δὲ ἄρα ἰχθύων μόνος οὗτος ἐν τῇ γαστρὶ τὴν καρδίαν [= Ael. V.20] καὶ ἐν τῶν ἐγκεφάλῳ λίθους, οἵπερ οὖν ἐοίκασi μύλαις τὸ σχῆμα. Σειρίου δὲ ἐπιτολῇ φωλεύει μόνος, τῶν ἄλλων ἐν ταῖς κρυμωδεστάταις φωλεύειν εἰθισμένων; Oppian, H. III.138 ff. ἀλλ᾽ ὁπόταν καθέτοισι πελώριοι ἀμφιχάνωσιν | ἰχθύες, οἷα βοῶν τε πέλει προβάτων τε γένεθλα | ἢ βατὶς ἣ καὶ ὄνων νωθρὸν γένος, οὐκ ἐθέλουσιν | ἑσπέσθαι, ψαμάθοισι δ᾽ ἐπὶ πλατὺ σῶμα βαλόντες | ἀθρόοι ἐμβαρύθουσι, μόγον δ᾽ ἁλιεῦσιν ἐθηκαν. | πολλάκι δ᾽ ἐξώλισθον ἀπ᾽ ἀγκίστροιο λυθέντες.

2. Dorion, as quoted above, distinguished ὄνος and ὀνισκος, which we may take to mean that they were not usually distinguished. Oppian thrice mentions the ὀνισκος, H. III.191 as bait for the ὄρκυνος; H. I.105 where he says its habitat is in πηλοῖσι καὶ ἐν τενάγεσσι θαλάσσης (102), while the habitat of the ὄνος is ἐν βένθεσσιν H. I.145 ff. Lastly, H. I.593, the mode of propagation of the ὀνίσκος is said to be unknown. To Oppian therefore the ὄνος and ὀνίσκος were different fishes. On the other hand they are identified by Eustath. Hom. p862 ὄνος, ἰχθὺς ποιός, ὁ καὶ ὀνίσκος καὶ βάκχος.

p. lxv The Latin asellus represents ὄνος. Ovid, Hal. 131 Et tam deformi non dignus nomine asellus; Plin. XXXII.145 peculiares autem maris . . . asellus. See below for Plin. IX.58.

Callarias. — Oppian, H. I.105 mentions καλλάρίαι along with the ὀνίσκος, where incidentally it may be noted that the schol. has ὀνίσκον· ἀειδάρων (γαδαρίων?). We have seen above that Archestratus ap. Athen. 316A equates ὄνος with καλλαρίας. Cf. Athen. 118C καθάπερ καὶ τὸν χελλαρίην· καὶ γὰρ τοῦτον ἕνα ὄντα ἰχθὺν πολλῶν ὀνομασιῶν τετυχηκέναι· καλεῖσθαι γὰρ καὶ βάκχον καὶ ὀνίσκον καὶ χελλαρίην; Hesych. S. γαλαρίας· ἰχθὺς ὁ ὀνικός, and Hesych. s. γαλίαι· οἱ ὀνίσκοι; Hesych. s. λαζίνης· χαραδρίας· καλαρίας ἰχθύς; Pliny IX.61 postea praecipuam auctoritatem fuisse lupo et asellis Nepos Cornelius et Laberius poeta mimorum tradidere . . . asselorum duo genera collyri [= Callariae] minores et bacchi, qui non nisi in alto capiuntur, ideo praelati prioribus; Plin. XXXII.146 collyris, asellorum generis, ni minor esset. Plin. XXXII.145 mentions bacchus among the "peculiares maris."

The generally accepted opinion is that those fishes are Gadidae or members of the Cod-family. A difficulty is suggested by Athen. 306E where discussing the Grey Mullets he says καταδεέστεροι δὲ πάντων οἱ χελλῶνες οἱ λεγόμενοι βάκχοι. The ὄνος is traditionally identified with the Hake (Gadus Merluccius L., Merluccius vulgaris Cuv.), cf. Ital. asinello, Gr. γάδος. A. 620 B29 (quoted above) would seem to imply that the ὄνος has some sort of oral appendages which it employs in catching smaller fishes. The Hake has nothing of the sort, not even barbels (which the Fork-beard Hake, p. lxvi Phycis blennioides, and the Mediterranean Hake, P. mediterranea, have). But it seems probable that in Aristotle l.c. either ὄνος should be omitted, as Plin. IX.144 omits it, or that ῥαβδεύεται should not be extended to it. Bussemaker makes ὄνος Gadus musela L., ὀνίσκος, Gadus merlangus L.

This is a convenient place to explain Oppian, H. I.151 ff. "Among these also is numbered the Hake, which beyond all fishes shrinks from the bitter assault of the Dog-star in summer, and remains retired within his dark recess and comes not forth so long as the breath of the fierce star prevails." The origin of this passage is A. 599 B33 φωλεῖ δὲ καὶ ὁ ὄνος καὶ ὁ χρύσοφρυς· σημεῖον δὲ δοκεῖ εἶναι τοῦ τὸν ὄνον πλεῖστον φωλεῖν χρόνον τὸ διὰ πλείστου χρόνου ἁλίσκεσθαι. τοῦ δὲ καὶ θέρους τοὺς ἰχθῦς φωλεῖν δοκεῖ σημεῖον εἶναι τὸ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄστροις γίνεσθαι τὰς ἁλώσεις καὶ μάλιστα ἐπὶ κυνί· τηνικαῦτα γὰρ ἀνατρέπεσθαι τὴν θάλατταν· ὅπερ ἐν τῷ Βοσπόρῳ γνωριώτατον ἐστιν· ἡ γὰρ ἰλὺς ἐπάνω γίνεται καὶ ἐπιφέρονται οἱ ἰχθύες. A. and W. understand ἐπὶ τοῖς ἄστροις to mean "at the setting" of certain constellations and the Oxford translation "between the rise and setting of certain constellations" is no improvement. It means "at the rising of the constellations" as Pliny IX.58 rightly understood; Quidam rursus aestus impatientia mediis fervoribus sexagenis diebus latent, ut glaucus, asellus, auratae. Fluviatilium silurus caniculae exortu sideratur . . . et alioqui totum mare sentit exortum eius sideris, quod maxime in Bosporo apparet. Alga enim et pisces superferuntur omniaque ab imo versa. The meaning is that hiding of the ὄνος in summer is indicated by the fact that when the sea is turned up by stormy weather catches of this fish occur. Cf. p. lxviiAel. VI.30 Σειρίου δὲ ἐπιτολῇ φωλεύει μόνος [ὁ ὄνος], τῶν ἄλλων ἐν ταῖς κρυμωδεστάταις φωλεύειν εἰθισμένων; Ael. IX.38 ἀριθμοῖτο δ᾽ ἂν ἐν τούτοις [i.e. among fishes which hide in summer] καὶ ὁ ὄνος· δέδοικε δὲ μάλιστα ἰχθύων τὴν τοῦ Σειρίου ἐπιτολὴν οὗτος. For the convulsion of the sea at the rising of the Dog-star cf. Plin. II.107 caniculae exortu accendi solis vapores quis ignorat? cuius sideris effectus amplissimi in terra sentiuntur: fervent maria exoriente eo. And for the association of weather phenomena with the Rising and Setting of certain stars cf. Plin. II.105 ut solis ergo natura temperando intelligitur anno, sic reliquorum quoque siderum propria est quibusque vis et ad suam cuique naturam fertilis. Alia sunt in liquorem soluti umoris fecunda, alia concreti in pruinas aut coacti in nives aut glaciati in grandines, alia flatus, alia teporis, alia vaporis, alia roris, alia rigoris. . . . Nec meantium modo siderum [i.e., Planets] haec vis est sed multorum etiam adhaerentium caelo [i.e. Fixed Stars].

Cetus : Phalaena : Physalus

Κήτεα is used in Oppian, C. I.71, H. I.360, V.46 to denote the larger sea-beasts generally, including not only the Cetaceans (Whales and Dolphins) but also Selachians (cf. H. V.63 where νόσφι κυνῶν implies that the Dog-fish are included among the θῆρες ὑπερφυέεςκήτεα). Cf. Strabo 24 τοῖς μείζοσι τῶν ζῴων οἷον δελφίνων καὶ κυνῶν καὶ ἄλλων κητωδῶν. But in H. V.71 ff. the singular κῆτος seems to indicate a definite animal, and the indications point to the Cachalot or Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus, the only large Whale possessing teeth p. lxviii(V.140). For the occurrence of the Cachalot in Greek waters cf. H. I.368 n.º With the account of the hunting of the κῆτος H. V.111 ff. the reader may compare the hunting of the Sword-fish (ξιφίας or γαλεώτης) in the Straits of Messina as described in Strabo (after Polybius) 24: "One outlook is set for a large number of men who lie in waiting in two-oared boats, two men in each boat. One man rows, the other stands on the prow armed with a spear, when the outlook indicates the appearance of the Sword-fish — the animal swims with a third of its body projecting above the water. When the boat has come to close quarters, the spearman strikes the fish and then withdraws his spear from its body excepting the point, which is barbed and is purposely attached but loosely to the shaft and has a long rope fastened to it. This rope they pay out to the wounded fish until it is weary of struggling and trying to escape. Then they hale it to land or, if it is not altogether a full-sized fish, they take it on board the boat. Even if the spear-shaft fall into the sea, it is not lost, as it is made of oak and pine, and while the oaken part is submerged by its weight the remainder floats and is easily recoverable. Sometimes the oarsman gets wounded through the boat owing to the size of the animal's sword and because its strength, as also the manner of hunting it, is comparable to that of the Wild Boar."

Phalaena H. I.404 and Physalus H. I.368 are sufficiently discussed in the notes on these passages. If they are not identical, possibly Phalaena may be, as A. and W. incline to think, Delphinius tursio, and Physalus the Cachalot. Bussemaker, identifying p. lxixPhysalus with the Cachalot, takes Phalaena to be Balaena musculus, properly Balaenoptera musculus, the Common Finner, the average length of the males being about 60 feet, that of the females rather more.


The Author's Notes:

1a 1b Supplied from Athen. 319B, 320E.

2 Scott, Legend of Montrose, c. IX.

3 Guillaume Rondelet (b. at Montpellier in 1507), the greatest of the sixteenth-century naturalists who laid the foundations of modern Ichthyology. He had a unique knowledge of the fishes of the Mediterranean. Of his work on fishes the first part, Libri de piscibus marinis in quibus verae piscium effigies expressae sunt, appeared at Lyons in 1554; the second, Universae aquatilium historiae pars altera, cum veris ipsorum imaginibus in 1555. Almost simultaneously P. Belon (who was murdered by robbers when gathering herbs at a late hour in the Bois de Boulogne, no doubt in connexion with a translation of Dioscorides, on which he was engaged) published his De aquatilibus libri II, Paris, 1553; H. Salviani his Aquatilium animalium historia, 1554‑1557; and Conrad Gesner — the correspondent of Dr. John Caius — his Historiae animalium liber IV, qui est de piscium et aquatilium animantium natura, Zürich, 1558.

4 As the Editor has elsewhere shown, references to a star as indicating the time of year are (unless the context very definitely — not merely implies — but explicitly asserts the opposite) always to the rising (heliacal) of a star.


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