Short URL for this page:

[image ALT: Much of my site will be useless to you if you've got the images turned off!]
Bill Thayer

[image ALT: Cliccare qui per una pagina di aiuto in Italiano.]

[Link to a series of help pages]
[Link to the next level up]
[Link to my homepage]


The Texts on LacusCurtius

The Greek texts and their English translations by A. W. Mair, as well as the Introduction, are those found in the Loeb Classical Library's Oppian, Colluthus, Tryphiodorus, pp. xiii‑lxxx and 1‑515.

As almost always, I retyped the text by hand rather than scanning it — not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend: Qui scribit, bis legit. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.) Here, mind you, what precedes is true only for the English translation and introduction: the Greek text is the result of a collaborative effort with the Perseus Project, where Perseus did the bulk of the work and I supplied some proofreading; thus the same Greek transcription can also be found on that site.

My own transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents below, items are shown on blue backgrounds, meaning that I believe the texts to be completely errorfree; items on red backgrounds would mean that I hadn't finished proofreading. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. Should you spot an error, however . . . please do report it.

Introduction to Oppian — to both the Cynegetica and the Halieutica — in 8 Parts:

The Authorship of the Poems xiii
Zoology before Oppian xxiii
Hunting, Fishing, Fowling xxxii
On the Identification of Certain Fishes xlix
Some Animal Idiosyncrasies lxix
Analyses lxxiv
Bibliography; MSS. of Oppian lxxvi
Greek Text English Translation

Τὰ Κυνηγετικά:

The Chase:



Book 1: 1‑46 Prooemium; 47‑80 Triple division of the hunting of wild creatures — Fowling, Hunting, Fishing; 81‑90 Physical qualities of Hunter; 91‑109 The Hunter's equipment; 110‑146 Seasons of Hunting; 147‑157 The Hunter's weapons; 158‑367 Horses; 368‑538 Dogs.




Book 2: 1‑42 The Inventors of Hunting; 43‑175 Bulls; 176‑292 Deer; 293‑295 Broad-horn; 296‑299 Iorcus; 300‑314 Antelope; 315‑325 Gazelle; 326‑444 Wild Goats and Sheep; 445‑488 Oryx; 489‑550 Elephant; 551‑569 Rhinoceros; 570‑585 Panther, Cat, Dormouse; 586‑597 Squirrel; 598‑604 Hedgehog and Spiny Mouse; 605‑611 Ape; 612‑628 Blind Rat.




Book 3: 1‑6 Prooemium; 7‑62 Lion; 63‑83 Leopard; 84‑106 Lynx; 107‑138 Digression on the affection of animals for their young; 139‑182 Bear; 183‑250 Wild Ass; 251‑261 Wild Horse; 262‑339 Wolf and Hyena; 340‑363 Tiger; 364‑390 Wild Boar; 391‑406 Porcupine; 407‑448 Ichneumon, Crocodile, and Asp; 449‑460 Fox; 461‑471 Giraffe; 482‑503 Ostrich; 504‑525 Hare.




Book 4: 1‑76 Prooemium; general precepts on Hunting; 77‑211 Lion Hunting; 212‑229 Hunting of Thos and Leopard; 230‑353 Leopards and Dionysus; 354‑424 Bear Hunting; 425‑438 Hare Hunting; 439‑447 Gazelle Hunting; 448‑453 Fox Hunting.

Greek Text English Translation

Τὰ Ἁλιευτικά:




Book 1: 1‑79 Prooemium; comparison of Hunting, Fishing, and Fowling; 79‑92 Depth of the Sea, etc.; 93‑445 Habitat and Habit of various Fishes; 446‑512 The Mating of various Fishes; 513‑533 Mating of Eels, Turtles, Poulpes; 554‑579 Mating of Muraena; 580‑583 Mating of Dolphin; 584‑637 Fish-breeding in general; 638‑645 Molluscs, Selachians, etc.; 646‑685 Dolphin; 686‑701 Seal; 702‑733 Love of offspring among animals; 734‑741 Dog-fish; 742‑746 Angel-shark; 747‑755 Glaucus; 756‑761 Tunny; 762‑797 Oysters and Aphya.




Book 2: 1‑42 Prooemium; 43‑55 Fishes prey one on the other; 56‑85 the Torpedo; 86‑119 the Fishing Frog; 120‑27 Cuttle-fish; 128‑140 Prawn; 141‑161 Ox-ray (Cephalopterus Giorna); 167‑180 Crab and Oyster; 181‑185 Star-fish and Oyster; 186‑198 Pinna and Pinnoteres; 199‑224 Uranoscopus scaber; 225‑231 Sea-urchins; 232‑252 Poulpe (Octopus); 253‑421 Spiny Lobster, Muraena, Poulpe; 422‑500 Venomous Fishes — Scolopendra, Iulis, Poulpe, Cuttle-fish, Goby, Scorpion, Sea-swallow, Weever, Squalus centrina, Sting-ray; 501‑532 Parasites of Tunny and Dog-fish; 533‑552 Dolphin; 553‑627 Dolphin and Amia (Bonito); 628‑641 Dolphin; 642‑663 Grey Mullet (κεστρεύς); 664‑688 Epilogue.




Book 3: 1‑28 Prooemium; 29‑49 Attributes of the Fisherman; 50‑71 Seasons for Fishing; 72‑91 Instruments of Fisherman; 92‑97 Wiles of Fish; 98‑116 Grey Mullet (κεστρεύς); 117‑120 Muraena; 121‑125 Basse; 126‑127 Mormyrus; 128‑131 Basse; 132‑137 Orcynus (largest size of Tunny); 138‑143 Ox-ray, Sea-sheep, Skate, Hake (?); 144‑148 Bonito and Fox-shark; 149‑155 Torpedo; 156‑165 Cuttle-fish; 166‑168 Squid; 169‑204 Baits for various Fish; 205‑337 Anthias; 338‑370 Cantharus or Black Sea-bream; 371‑413 Admos; 414‑431 Saupe; 432‑442 Red Mullet; 443‑481 Melanurus; 482‑528 Grey Mullet (κεστρεύς); 529‑575 Sword-fish; 576‑619 Mackerel, Tunny, Needle-fish, Dentex; 620‑648 Tunny.




Book 4: 1‑10 Fishes captured through love of their kind; 11‑39 Address to Love (Eros); 40‑126 Parrot-wrasse; 127‑146 Grey Mullet (κέφαλος); 147‑171 Cuttle-fish; 172‑241 Merle-wrasse and Thrush-wrasse; 242‑263 Dog-fishes; 264‑307 Poulpes; 308‑403 Sargues; 404‑436 Hippurus; 437‑438 Pilot-fish; 439‑449 Squid; 450‑467 Eel; 468‑503 Aphya; 504‑592 Pelamyds; 593‑65 Divers catch Sargue; 616‑634 Divers catch Sciaena; 635‑646 Weel, Hook, Net, Trident, Burning the water; 647‑693 Poisoning the water.




Book 5: 1‑4 Prooemium; 46‑357 Sea-monsters; Whale-guide (67‑108); Whale-hunting (109 ff.); 358‑364 Lamia (Lamna); 365‑375 Dog-fishes; 376‑391 Seal; 392‑415 Turtles; 416‑558 Dolphin, Legends of; 589‑597 Testaceans; 598‑611 Purple-shells; 612‑674 Sponge-fishers; 675‑680 Epilogue.


Text and translation were first published in 1928, and are now in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright expired in 1956 and was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been that year or the year before. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Every line in the Greek text is marked by a local link, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage. In the English translation, the beginning of each paragraph is marked.

You can toggle back and forth from text to translation at any specific section by clicking on the nearest flag; the [Greek flag]Greek text and the [American flag]English translation will display in separate windows. On any unproofread pages, this toggling may be absent or erratic.

Similarly, for citation purposes, the Loeb edition pagination is indicated by local links in the sourcecode.


The Loeb edition here and there attaches to the Greek text a bit of apparatus criticus; it's surely not comprehensive. I've reproduced it.

[image ALT: A naïve drawing of a landscape, left to right: land and sea. On land, distant mountains but in the grassy foreground two dogs mating rear to rear; in the sea, a pair of sea monsters talking to each other, two eels twined around each other much like the snakes of a caduceus, a pair of fish; a lone eel advances from the sea to meet a snake at the shore. The scene illustrates a passage of Oppian's Cynegetica on the mating of various animals, and serves as my icon for that author.]

The icon I use to indicate this author is one of the many charming drawings in a 1554 manuscript of Oppian, Xenophon and Manuel Philes, BNF gr. 2737 (modeled on the famous Marcianus gr. 479 of the 11c): on p. 13v., between Cyn. I.385 and 386, and perfectly illustrating that passage. It is of course in the public domain, as stated by Gallica — a wonderful site, by the way — where the entire manuscript can be viewed, and even read without difficulty: the Greek is in a very clear hand.

I chose this particular illustration out of the hundred or so in that manuscript because both land and sea animals are represented. The thumbnails in my header and footer bars use a sea or land detail as appropriate to the page.

[image ALT: Valid HTML 4.01.]

Site updated: 11 May 12