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

[image ALT: Click here for the text in ancient Greek.]

[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]

[image ALT: link to previous section]

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Deipnosophistae


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

The text is in the public domain.

This page has not been proofread.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


[image ALT: link to next section]

(Vol. IV) Athenaeus

(Part 2 of 5)

 p29  337b "Clearchus, in his book On Proverbs, says​1 that the teacher of Archestratus was Terpsion, who was the first to write a Gastrology and to direct his disciples in what they should avoid. And so Terpsion improvised the following about the tortoise: ' 'Tis  p31 meet to eat or not to eat the tortoise meat.' Others put it in this way: 'One should either eat tortoise flesh or not touch it at all.'​2 But how, most learned commentators, did that fish-authority, Dorion, occur to you? As if there ever were such a water! I know of a music-master of that name who was fond of fish, but no writer. As a music-teacher he is mentioned by the comic poet Machon thus: 'The music-master Dorion once came to Milltown, but could find nowhere a lodging to hire. So he sate him down in a sanctuary, by chance established without the gates, and seeing the warder sacrificing there, he said: "Tell me, good sir, in the name of Athena and all the gods, whose temple is this here?' And he replied, "It is Zeus-Poseidon's, strange." To which Dorion said, "Well, to be sure! how can a man find lodging here, where even the gods, they tell me, must live two in a room!" ' Lynceus of Samos, the disciple of Theophrastus and brother of the historian Duris, who also became dictator of his country, says in his Apophthegms: 'A man once told Dorion, the piper, that the ray is a good fish to eat. "Yes," he replied, "about as good as eating a boiled shirt." And when another recommended the belly-slices from tunnies, he said, "Yes indeed. However, one should eat them as I eat them."  p33 "And how is that?" he asked. "With pleasure." He said that crayfish have three properties — leisure, sweet taste, and contemplation.​3 When dining at the house of Nicocreon in Cyprus he praised a cup. Nicocreon said, "If you like, the same artisan will make you another." "Ay, he will make it for you," he replied' "give me this one." This was no foolish saying of the piper, in spite of the fact that there is an old saying, "In a piper the gods implanted no sense; no, for with his blowing his sense takes wing and flies from him" '​4 And Hegesander has this to say of Dorion in his Commentaries:​5 'When his slave failed to buy fish in the market, this epicure Dorion flogged him and told him to recite the names of the best fishes. And when the slave enumerated sea-perch, sea-lizard, conger-eel and others of that sort, he said, "I told you to recite the names of fish, not gods." ' The same Dorion once made fun of the storm described by Timotheus in The Sailor,​6 asserting that he had seen a bigger storm in a seething kettle. Aristodemus, in the second book of Ludicrous Memoirs, says:​7 'Dorion the music-master, who was club-footed, once lost the shoe of his lame foot at a dinner-party. He said: "I shall utter no heavier curse upon the thief than the wish that that sandal may fit him." ' And that this Dorion was notorious for his gourmandism is clear from what the comic poet Mnesimachus says in his play, Philip:8  p35 'No; but even at night Dorion is at our house — the cockle-blower.'9

"I know also the jokes that Lasus of Hermionê made about fish, which Chamaeleon of Heracleia has recorded in his book on this very Lasus. He says:​10 'Lasus alleges that the raw fish can be called cooked.​11 When many expressed surprise at this, he argued the point, saying that whatever may be heard is hearable, and whatever may be known is knowable. By the same reasoning, therefore, whatever may be seen is seeable; hence, since it was possible to see the fish, it can be looked at (cooked). And on another occasion he purloined in jest a fish from one of the fishermen, and having taken it he handed it over to one of the bystanders. When the fisherman exacted an oath from him, he swore that he did not have it himself nor did he know of anybody else who had taken it; because he had taken it himself, but somebody else had it, and this person he had instructed to his army on oath, in turn, that he had not taken it himself, nor did he know of anyone else who had it. For Lasus had taken it, but he himself had it.' Similar puns are found in Epicharmus, as for instance in Lord and Lady Logos:​12 'A. Zeus has sent me an invitation to a jam​13 in honour of Pelops. B. That's a very poor dish, my friend, jam!​14 A. But I didn't say jam: I said a jam!'

 p37  "Alexis in Demetrius ridicules a man named Phaÿllus as being a fish-lover in these lines:​15 'In earlier days, if the wind blew keen on the ocean from the north or the south, no one could get a fish to eat. But to‑day, besides these winds, Phaÿllus has added himself as a third gale. Whenever he happens into the market-place, he's a hurricane that swoops upon us, for he buys the fish and is gone, taking with him the whole catch. The result is that we then have to fight at the booths where the greens are sold.' And Antiphanes makes a list of persons who loved fish in She goes a‑fishing:​16 'Give me first the cuttle-fishes. Lord defend us! They've squirted and messed everything. Throw them back into the sea, won't you, and clean up. Never let them say that they got dirty cuttle-fishes from you, Dorias. Set aside this crayfish where the sprats are. It's a fat one, Zeus is my witness! Mighty Zeus, who among your friends, Callimedon,​17 will presently eat you up? Nobody who doesn't put up the price. As for you, blonde mullets, I post you here on the right; you're the dish that the noble Callisthenes likes. At any rate, he is consuming his whole estate for the sake of one Blonde. Who will be the first to come forward and buy this conger-eel, with spiny barbels thicker than Sinope's?​18 For Misgolas​19 isn't exactly an  p39 eater of them. But there is this turbot​20 here, and if Misgolas sees him, he won't keep his hands off. For really, I want to tell you, when it comes to all the harpers, eagerly he manages a clandestine liaison with them. As for Gobio, who is a very good man, I must send him while he is still jumping to the fair Pythionica. For he is a lusty one. But still, she won't touch him; for she is now keen for Old Smoked Fish. These tiny fry and this spiketail I have placed apart here for Theano, for they weigh as much as she does.' In these lines Antiphanes has set up Misgolas for ridicule, with very good reason, as a man much interested in handsome harp-singers. For the orator Aeschines, in the speech Against Timarchus,​21 has these comments on him: 'Misgolas, men of Athens, the son of Naucrates, of the deme Collytus, is a man in all other respects a gentleman, and one could find no fault with him in any way, excepting in this one matter: he is extraordinarily interested in, and always has in his company, certain men who are harp-singers or harp-players. This I tell you, not for the sake of vulgar calumny, but that you may know him for what he is.' And Timocles says in Sappho:​22 'Misgolas is never seen to approach you, although he is inflamed by the sight of young men in their bloom.' And Alexis in Agonis, or The Scarf:​23 'Mother, I entreat you, don't threaten me with Misgolas; for I am no harp-singer.' And when Antiphanes says  p41 that Pythionica loved smoked fish, he meant that she had as her lovers the sons of the smoked-fish seller Chaerephilus. So Timocles says in The Icarians:​24 'Whenever that bloated Anytus goes to join Pythionica and eats something. For she always invites him, so they say, when she entertains the sons of Chaerephilus, those two mighty mackerels whom she likes.' And again:​25 'Pythionica will be glad to welcome you, and probably she will consume all the gifts which you have taken from us. For she is insatiable. Nevertheless, tell her to give you some baskets of food; for she happens to be rich in Smoked Fish, and she's keeping company with two sea-crows, although they are unsalted and have broad snouts.' Before these men appeared she had a lover whose name was Gobio.

"Timocles says of Callimedon the Crayfish, in The Busybody,​26 that he was a fish-lover and cross-eyed: 'Then, suddenly, Callimedon the Crayfish came up. Looking at me, as I thought, at least, he began to talk to another fellow. And iI, though I understood nothing that he said, naturally nodded assent to him inanely. But it turns out that his eyes look in a different direction from what they seem.' Again, Alexis, in Crateias or The Apothecary:​27 'A. Yes, I  p43 have been treating Callimedon's pupils now for three days. B. Were the pupils his daughters? A. No, I mean the pupils of his eyes, which even Melampus, the only man who could cure the daughters of Proteus of their madness, couldn't fix straight.' In similar fashion he ridicules Callimedon also in the play entitle Running-Mates. But on his luxurious eating habits he has the following in Phaedo or Phaedrias:​28 'A. You, if the gods will it, shall be market-commissioner, to do me a favour and stop Callimedon from storming the fish-market twice a day. B. That's a job for tyrants, not market-commissioners. For he is a man who can put up a fight, and besides, he's useful to the State.' The same verses are found also in the comedy entitled In the Well. And in The Woman who drank Belladonna:​29 'If I love any other foreigners better than you, may I turn into an eel and be bought by Callimedon the Crayfish.' And in Crateias:​30 'And Callimedon the Crayfish came along with Orpheus Sea-Perch.' Antiphanes in Gorgythus:​31 'I'd as soon desist from my purpose as Callimedon would give up the head of a grey-fish.' Eubulus in Safe Home:​32 'Other gluttons who have grappled with gods . . . come together in company with Crayfish. He's the only mortal who can gulp down at once salted fish steaks from hot dishes, so that nothing whatever is  p45 left in them.' And Theophilus, in The Physician,​33 ridicules at the same time his frigid oratory: 'Everyone of the lads is eager to serve him. If one buys an eel-slice, he serves it to his father. "Look, Daddy, here's a nice squid." Or, "How about crayfish?" "No," says he; "he's too frigid; away with him! I won't touch politician-meat." ' And Philemon says in The Pursuer:​34 'A crayfish was served to Agyrrhius. As soon as he saw it he cried out, "Hail, dearest papa," and — what did he do? — he a temple up his father!' From this passage Herodicus, the disciple of Crates, proved in his Miscellaneous Notes that Gyrrhius was the son of Callimedon.

"The following persons, also, were given to fish-eating. The poet Atagoras would not allow his slave to put oil on the fish, but only to wash​35 it, as Hegesander says:​36 'Once, with loins girded, he was cooking a dish of conger-eels in the camp. King Antigonus,​37 who stood by, asked him, "Do you think, Antagoras, that Homer could have written up the deeds of Agamemnon if he had cooked conger-eels?" To which Antagoras round rather neatly, "Do you think that Agamemnon could have done those deeds if he had been such a meddler, wanting to know who in his army cooked conger-eels?" And once when Antagoras was boiling a fowl, he declined to go to the bath, for fear that the slaves might guzzle  p47 all the broth. At this Philocydes suggested that his mother would keep an eye on it. "What!" said he. "Am I going to trust chicken broth to my mother" ' Again, Androcydes of Cyzicus, the painter, was a fish-lover, as Polemon records,​38 and he went so far in his passion for luxury that he even painted sedulously pictures of the fishes in the waters about Scylla.

"Concerning Philoxenus of Cythera, author of dithyrambs, the comic poet Machon writes: 'People say that Philoxenus, the dithyrambic poet, was excessively fond of fish. As a consequence, he once bought in Syracuse a polyp measuring a yard, and after preparing it he ate it nearly whole, except the head. Dyspepsia gripped him, and he was in a very bad way. A doctor was summoned to his bedside who, seeing him tossing about in great misery, said: "If you have any matters not yet arranged, make your own will quickly, Philoxenus. For you are going to die before the seventh hour." And Philoxenus said: "All my affairs are settled, doctor, and have long since been put in order. By the blessing of the gods I leave behind my dithyrambs in full maturity, and all of them honoured with crowns. These I dedicate to my foster sisters, the Muses. . . . And Aphrodite and Dionysus shall be their guardians. All this my will makes clear. But now, Timotheus's Charon (the one in his Niobe) won't allow me to dally, but loudly  p49 orders me to board his barque; gloomy Fate calls me,​39 and I cannot choose but hear. And so, to make sure that I have all my possessions when I speed below, give me back — the rest of that polyp!" ' And in another passage Machon says: 'Philoxenus of Cythera, as the saying goes, once prayed that he might get a throat three cubits long. "I want," said he, "to take the longest possible time in swallowing, and have all kinds of food to delight me at one and the same time." '​40 Diogenes the Cynic also died when his belly swelled up after he had eaten a raw polyp. Speaking of Philoxenus, the parodist Sopater also says:​41 'For he sits in the midst of two helpings of fish, gazing at the midmost look-out on Aetna.'42

"The orator Hypereides was another epicure, according to the comic poet Timocles in Delos. Relating the story of the men who took bribes from Harpalus, he writes:​43 'A. Demosthenes has got fifty talents. B. Happy man, provided he doesn't give anybody a share! A. And Moerocles has received a lot of gold. B. Whoever gave it was a simpleton, but he who got it is in luck. A. Demôn and Callisthenes also have something. B. They were poor men, so that I pardon them. A. Yes, and Hypereides of the glib tongue has something. B. Well, he will make our fish-mongers rich. For he's a fish-eater, and will make  p51 Syrians of all the sea-gulls.'​44 And in The Icarians the same poet says:​45 'And so you will cross the Hypereides river, which teems with fish, and in tender tones, or spluttering noisy bombast of reasoned logic, with retraced arguments frequently repeated, is prepared to meet anything when he has loosed the bolts; and ready for hire, he waters the fields of the briber.' And Philetaerus, in Asclepius, says​46 that Hypereides, besides being an epicure, was also a gamester, exactly as Axionicus in Lover of Euripides says of the orator Callias:​47 'Another fish, confident in his size, hath a certain Glaucus (grey-fish) caught in the sea, brought to these parts to be food for epicures, bearing on his shoulders a dear delight for greedy men. What manner of dressing shall I say it must have? Whether to souse it in yellow sauce, or to oil its body with sprinklings of biting pickle and render it over to flaming fire? One hath spoken; and saith that Moschion,​48 that man devoted to the pipes, will eat it stewed in hot pickle. But he clamours a reproach meant only for thee, O Callias. Thou, verily, hast joy only in figs and salt fish-slices, but wilt not taste the gracious dish  p53 served in pickle.' The figs are mentioned because the poet is reviling an informer;​49 the salt fish-slices, doubtless, because Callias did lewd things.​50 And Hermippus, in the third book of his work On the Disciples of Isocrates, says​51 that Hypereides always took walks in the fish-market at early dawn. Timaeus of Tauromenium says that the philosopher Aristotle was also a fish-eater. So, too, was the sophist Maton,​52 as is made clear by Antiphanes in that edition of The Harp Singer which began, 'No untruth utters he at all':​53 'Someone came up and began to gouge an eye, as Maton does the eye of a fish.' And Anaxilas, in The Recluse:​54 'Maton has snatched away and eaten up the mullet's head, and I am undone.' It is an excess of gluttony to snatch when one is eating, especially a mullet's head, unless, to be sure, the experts in these matters know of something useful lurking in a mullet's head; but it would take Archestratus's greediness to make that clear to us.

"Antiphanes, in Rich Men, draws up a list of epicures in these lines:​55 'Euthynus, wearing sandals and signet-ring, and drenched in perfume, was reckoning up the price of a little matter of fish — I know not what; while Phoenicides and dearest Taureas, gentlemen who have long been in the epicure business,  p55 and the kind that greedily gulp down the best cuts in the market, were like to die when they saw the sight, and were furious at the scarcity of fish. Gathering circles around them they said that life wasn't worth living; that it was not to be endured that certain men among you should claim owner­ship of the sea and spend so much money, while not so much as a bit of fish was being imported. What, then, is thing of having island-prefects? Surely it is possible to compel this by law, that fish should have a special convoy. But to‑day Maton has monopolized all the fishermen, and what is more, Diogeiton — of all people! — has persuaded them all to bring their catch to him. It's not democratic, what he's doing, greedily grabbing so much. They had wedding-parties and gay drinking-bouts . . .' And Euphron in The Muses:​56 'When Phoenicides, in a company of young men, saw a seething casserole full of Nereus's offspring, he restrained his hands, excited though they were with fury, and called out, "Who says that he knows how to eat at public expense?​57 Who says that he has skill to snatch hot stuff from the pile? Where now is Lark,​58 or Phyromachus, or mighty Nilus?​59 Let him grapple with us, and perhaps he may get a share of — nothing." '

"Of the same type also was the tragic poet Melanthius, who wrote elegiac verses as well. His luxurious  p57 habits in eating are held up to ridicule by Leucon in Clansmen,​60 Aristophanes in The Peace,​61 Pherecrates in The Broad.​62 And in his play The Fishes,​63 Archippus ties him up and hands him over, as being a fish-eater, to the fishes for them to eat up in revenge. Why, even Aristippus the Socratic was a fish-eater, and when reproached on one occasion by Plato for his love of dainties, as Sotion and Hegesander​64 say — but here is what the Delphian writes: 'When Plato criticized Aristippus for buying so many fish, he replied that he had bought them for only fourpence. To this Plato said that he would have boughtº them himself at that price, whereupon Aristippus said: "You see, Plato! It isn't I who am a fish-lover, but you who are a money-lover." ' And Antiphanes, ridiculing a man named phoenicides for his fish-eating in The Flute-girl, or Twin Sisters,​65 says: 'Menelaus, to be sure, warred ten years against the Trojans for the sake of a woman of lovely countenance, but Phoenicides fights with Taureas for the sake of an eel.' The orator Demosthenes reviled​66 Philocrates for licentiousness and luxury in eating, because he spent the money derived from his treason on harlots and fish. Hegesander says​67 that when somebody asked the fish-lover Diocles which fish was better, a conger or a sea-bass, he replied, 'The first when stewed, the second when baked.' Another fish-lover was Leonteus, the tragedian of Argos, a pupil of Athenion. He had formerly been a slave of Juba, king of the Mauretanians, according to Amarantus  p59 in his work On the Theatre. He says that Juba wrote the following epigram on the occasion of Leonteus's poor performance of Hypsipylê:​68 'Seek not, when gazing on me, Leonteus, echo of an artichoke-eating tragedian, to look into the poor heart of Hypsipylê. For I was once a friend of Bacchus, nor did he ever admire any voice so much as mine, as he listened with golden-lobed ears. But to‑day trivets and jars and dry frying-pans have bereft me of voice, because I indulged the belly.' Hegesander also says​69 that the fish-eater Phoryscus, being unable to cut off the portion of fish that he wanted, since too much of it clung to the piece, recited:​70 'Those that resist are carried away root and branch,' and thereupon consumed the fish entire. And Bion, when somebody snatched away from him the upper parts of the fish, with a sudden twist snatched it away again himself, and having eaten of it liberally he concluded with the quotation:​71 'But Innocent, for her part, finished the work on the other side.' When the wife of the gourmand Diocles died, he took to gourmandizing again during the funeral feast in her honour, weeping the while. Theocritus of Chios said to him: 'Stop your weeping, poor fellow, for it won't do you any good, no matter how much you gourmandize.' Diocles wasted his entire farm in gluttony. Once he swallowed a fish so hot that he said it burnt the  p61 roof of his mouth.​72 Theocritus remarked: 'The only thing left to you to swallow is the sea, and then you will have consumed the three most important elements — earth, sea, and sky.' Clearchus, recording in his Lives a certain fish-lover, says:​73 'Technôn, the piper of old times, who was a fish-lover, when Charmus the piper died, sacrificed to his departed spirit some small fry over the tomb.' The poet Alexis was another fish-eater, according to lynceus of Samos. Some gossips​74 poked fun at him for his gourmandizing, and asked him what he would most like to eat. Alexis answered, 'Some roasted francolins.' There was the tragic poet Nothippus,​75 of whom Hermippus speaks in The Fates:​76 'If it were a question of that class of men, such as we are nowadays, going to war, and they were led by one large roasted ray and a rib of pork, all the others might stay at home after all, and send Nothippus, who would be glad to go.​77 For, single-handed, he could swallow the whole Peloponnesus.' That the poet is meant here is clearly shown by Telecleides in The Hesiods.​78 The tragic actor Mynniscus is thus derided as a gourmand by Plato in Scum of the Earth:​79 'A. Here you have Mr. Perch, from Anagyrus. B. I  p63 know, the man whose friend is Mynniscus of Chalcis. A. Right!' And Lampon the soothsayer is deride for similar reasons by Callias in Shackled80 and by Lysippus in The Bacchae.​81 Cratinus speaks of him in Runaway Girls:​82 'Lampon, whom no flaming decree of mortals has power to debar from his friends' table.' And he then adds: 'Once more he's belching now; for he gobbles anything that is set before him, and he would even fight for the price of a red mullet.' Hedylus, in his epigrams, gives a list of gourmands and mentions one named Phaedon in these terms: 'May Phaedon the harper carry off the sausages and black puddings; for he is a gourmand.' He mentions Agis in these lines: 'The beauty-fish is done; now put the key in the lock, for fear that Agis, that Proteus of the casseroles, may get in. He can turn into water, or fire, or anything he likes, so lock him out! . . . For he will change himself perhaps into these forms and come, even as Zeus in a shower of gold, to attack this casserole of Acrisius.' Again, deriding a woman named Cleio for similar habits he says: 'Cleio, play the gourmand; we shut our eyes. But if you please, eat by yourself. The whole conger cost a shilling. Just put up a girdle or an ear-ring  p65 or some pledge like that; but to look at you, we say, would be the act of a madman. For you are our Medusa; we all, poor devils, are turned to stone, not by the dreadful Gorgon, but by a dish of conger.' Aristodemus says in his Ludicrous Memoirs83 that the gourmand Euphranor, hearing that another fish-eater had died from swallowing a hot slice of fish, exclaimed, 'Death is a sacrilegious robber.' Cindon the gourmand and Demylus (who was another) were once served with a grey-fish, but nothing else. Cindon seized the fish's eye, whereupon Demylus violently attacked Cindon's eye, exclaiming, 'You let go and I'll let go. Once, at a dinner-party, a fine dish of fish was served. Demylus, not knowing how else he could have it all to himself, spat into it. Antigonus of Carystus, in his Life of Zeno, records​84 a remark made by Zeno of Citium, the founder of Stoicism, to the gourmand with whom he lived for a long time. It happened that a large fish was served to them without any other course. Zeno took the entire fish from the platter and made as if he were going to eat it. When the other looked at him reproachfully he said, 'What then, think you, must those who live with you suffer, if you can't endure my gluttony for a single day?' Istrus says​85 that the poet Choerilus received four minas a day from Archelaus and spent them on luxury food, becoming a gourmand. I am not ignorant, either, of the 'fish-eating slaves' whom Clearchus mentions in his work On Sandy Deserts.​86 He alleges that Psammetichus,  p67 the king of Egypt, kept fish-eating slaves because he wished to discover the sources of the Nile; he also kept others trained to go thirsty in order to explore the sands of Libya; of these only a few came through alive. I know also of the oxen in the neighbourhood of Mossynum, in Thrace,​87 who eat tossed to them in their mangers. And phoenicides, when he served fish to those only who had paid their contributions, used to remark​88 that the sea was free to all, but the fish in it belonged only to those who had paid the price.

"Besides the noun 'gourmand,' my comrades, we have also the verb 'gourmandize.' Thus Aristophanes in the second edition of The Clouds:​89 'Not to gourmandize, either, and not to giggle.'​90 Cephisodorus in The Pig:​91 'Not a gourmand and not a gossip either.' Machon in The Letter:​92 'I'm a gourmand; that is the corner-stone of our art. He who would not spoil the materials entrusted to him must have a passionate love of them. The cook who is mindful of his own taste will never be a poor one. Further, you can't go wrong when your organs of sense are clear. Cook, and taste often. Not enough salt; add some. Something else is required; keep tasting it again until the flavour is  p69 right; tighten it, as you would a harp, until it is in tune. Then, when you think that everything is by this time in harmony,​93 bring on your chorus of dishes, singing in unison . . . Nicolaïdas of Myconos . . .' In addition to these gourmands, my comrades, I know also of the Apollo Gourmand worshipped in Elis. He is mentioned by Polemon in his Letter to Attalus.​94 I know also of the painting in the Pisan territory, set up as an offering in the temple of Artemis Alpheiosa,​95 and the work of Cleanthes of Corinth. In it Poseidon is depicted offering a tunny to Zeus, who is in labour,​96 as Demetrius records in the eighth book of The Trojan Battle Order.97

"All this, indeed," said Democritus, "I have myself dished up for you as an additional food-offering, although I have not come forward to pose as a fish-eater because of our most excellent Ulpian. He, following the customs of his native Syria,​98 has deprived us of our fish, while introducing other customs from Syria. And yet the Stoic Antipater of Tarsus,​99 at least, says in the fourth book of his work On Superstition that it is asserted on the part of some authorities that Queen Gatis of Syria was such a fish-lover that she published an educate forbidding anyone to eat fish 'apart from Gatis'​100 (ater Gatis). Not understanding this phrase, the masses call her Atargatis, and abstain from fish. But Mnaseas, in  p71 the second book of his work On Asia says:​101 'In my opinion Atargatis was a cruel queen, and ruled the peoples harshly, even to the extent of forbidding them by law to eat fish; on the contrary, they must bring them to her because of her fondness for that food. For this reason the custom still holds that whenever they pray to the goddess, they bring her offerings of fish made of silver or gold; but the priests bring to the goddess, every day, real fish which they have fancily dressed and served on the table. They are boiled or baked, and the priests of the god, of course, consume the fish themselves.' Proceeding a little further he again says: 'Atargatis, according to Xanthus of Lydia,​102 was captured by Mopsus the Lydian and with her son Ichthys​103 was sunk in the lake of Ascalon because of her outrageous conduct, and eaten up by the fish.' And perhaps you, dear friends, intentionally omitted, as something sacred,​104 the fish mentioned by comic poet Ephippus, which, he says, was dished up for Geryones in the like-named play. His words are these:​105 'Whensoever the dwellers in that country catch a fish — not one of every-day size, but bigger in bulk than Crete, which the sea-waters wash all around — they give him a dish which can hold a hundred of these.​106 And the neighbours round about it are Sindians, Lycians, Mygdoniots, Cranaans, Paphians. These hew the wood  p73 whenever the king cooks that mighty fish; and they haul so much of it that it fills the circuit of the city as it stands, while others light the fire underneath. To make the pickle they draw off a lake full of water, and it takes a hundred ox-teams, for eight continuous months, to bring up the salt for it. On the top of the rim of the t dish there sail five galleys, each with five oars on a side, and the order is given: "Hurry with that fire, you Lycian foreman! It's not hot enough! Now stop the bellows, you Macedonian captain! Put out the fire, you Celt, if you don't want to scorch the fish." ' I am not unaware that Ephippus has these same lines in his play, The Peltast,​107 in which the following also are appended to the foregoing: 'This is the kind of nonsense he babbles at dinner, and he lives in the company of schoolboys who look up to him with admiration, although he couldn't do a sum with counters, and, proud in mien, proudly swishes his foppish coat.' It is high time, noble Ulpian, that you inquire to whom Ephippus alludes in this description, and explain to us, of these sayings, 'if aught therein is indistinct to thee and hard to find out, question again, and learn all clearly; for more leisure is mine than I desire,' as Aeschylus says​108 in his Prometheus."

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 F. H. G. II.319.

2 Because a small amount caused griping pains, a large amount was purgative, Zenob. IV.19. "Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring." In the dialect of Terpsion there is a humorous effect produced by the many aspirates in the line, which suggest the gagging and choking over the dish. Meineke's witty emendation of jjj for jjj adds to the intentional difficulty in pronouncing the line. Cf. "chewed sticken" for "stewed chicken."

3 i.e., the epicure takes a long time to eat them. Anyone who eaten the langouste in a bouillabaisse of Marseilles will bear this out.

4 "Any fool can play the flute," once said the director of an American orchestra.

5 F. H. G. IV.416.

6 Or The Nauplian; see critical note and cf. P. L. G.4 III.619.

7 F. H. G. III.310.

8 Kock I.442.

9 Alluding to his piping and his fondness for shell-fish.

10 Frag. 12 Koepke.

11 The same pun on jjj (cooked up) and jjj (looked up) occurred 98a (see note e).

12 Kaibel 106. This pun is produced by separating two words (jjj) in one case and pronouncing them as one (jjj) in another. So the unfortunate Hegelochus in Aristoph Ran. 303, makes jjj (jjj) sound like jjj. Cf. the Tommy's "je suis" for " 'igh 'am."

13 Literally, picnic-party.

14 Literally, crane.

15 Kock II.314.

16 Kock II.20. A keeper of a bawdy-house, speaking as a fish woman, entrusts a maid, Dorias, with the sale of her wares. For similar, but less witty, use of fish-names for men's and hetaeras' names cf. Archippus, Athen. 301A, 315B.

17 See 100c.

18 A courtesan grown old in her profession, Athen. 586a.

19 "Mr. Good-Mixer."

20 "Mr. Harper"; see 305f.

21 Chap. 41.

22 Kock II.464.

23 Ibid. 298.

24 Kock II.459; see Athen. 119f.

25 Kock II.458. The verses allude again to a courtesan's lovers, designated by the names of fish. For the food-baskets cf. Athen. 407e.

26 Kock II.463, cf. Athen. 104C‑D.

27 Kock II.337. There is a pun on jjj, "girls," and jjj, "pupils" (of the eye).

28 Kock II.388.

29 Ibid. 350.

30 Ibid. 337; pun on jjj and jjj, cf. Athen. 315b.

31 Kock II.42.

32 Ibid. 167.

33 Kock II.474. The punctuation follows Kock's edition.

34 Ibid. 489.

35 jjj, properly of persons, "bathe."

36 F. H. G. IV.416. See Plutarch, Qu. Symp. 668d.

37 Gonatas.

38 Frag. 66 Preller.

39 Cf. Socrates in Plat. Phaedo 115a jjj, "and now the moment has come when, as tragic poet would say, 'Fate is calling me.' "

40 Cf. Aristot. Nic. Eth. 1118a32 jjj.

41 Kaibel 197.

42 Perhaps waiting for the eruption!

43 Kock II.452; see Athen. 245F note d.

44 Syrians abstained from fish, 346C.

45 Kock II.458.

46 Ibid. 230.

47 Ibid. 413, a parody of Euripides. For Glaucus see Athen. 295e, 296a.

48 See 242c.

49 For the etymology of jjj, "fig-informer," see Athen. 743.

50 See 116D‑F, where salt fish-slices are called horaia, an adjective often applied to a beautiful boy.

51 F. H. G. III.50.

52 See 307c, 343a.

53 Kock II.58.

54 Ibid. 269, Athen. 307c.

55 Kock II.89.

56 Kock III.321.

57 i.e., is a parasite.

58 See 240f‑241e.

59 For Nilus see 240f.

60 Kock I.704.

61 vs. 804: he and his brother are jjj . . . jjj.

62 Epithet, pry, of a courtesan: Kock I.185.

63 Ibid. 685.

64 Hegesander, F. H. G. IV.416.

65 Kock II.30.

66 Or. XIX.229.

67 F. H. G. IV.416.

68 See critical notes. If one may "see a smell" (Athen. 134a), "gazing on an echo" may be tolerated.

69 F. H. G. IV.417.

70 Soph. Ant. 714; Haemon addresses his tyrannical father Creon.

71 Eur. Bacchae, 1129. This si is told of Zeno, 186d.

72 ouranos, "roof of the mouth," "palate," regularly means "sky."

73 F. H. G. II.308.

74 The word jjj, "seed-picker," also means a granivorous bird, such as the francolin, 388a, 398c, cf. Aristoph. Av. 232.

75 Literally "Bastardippus." See I. G. II.977a, Wilhelm, Urkunden 101.

76 Kock I.236. The text is doubtful.

77 Or, "send Nothippus all alone"; see critical note.

78 Kock I.214.

79 Ibid. 642.

80 Kock I.697.

81 Ibid. 702.

82 Ibid. 30.

83 F. H. G. III.310.

84 Page 119 Wilamowitz.

85 Om. F. H. G.

86 F. H. G. II.325.

87 See Herod. V.16, Cl. Rev. XXXVII.15.

88 Kock III.335; the meaning is that he represents a cook making the remark.

89 vs. 983.

90 jjj also means to "eat jjj," i.e. either thrushes, or more probably wrasses, hence "eat ravenously."

91 Kock I.802.

92 Kock III.325; a master cook confesses to a pupil his own love of food properly prepared.

93 Cf. 103a; Plut. Qu. Symp. 657d, e. See crit. note.

94 Frag. 70 Preller.

95 Or, Alpheionia; see critical note.

96 At the second birth of Dionysus.

97 Demetrius of Scepsis, frag. 5 Gaede.

98 See 342a.

99 See 186a.

100 i.e., "excepting Gatis."

101 F. H. G. III.155.

102 F. H. G. I.38.

103 i.e., "Fish."

104 On jjj cf. 284c.

105 Kock II.252.

106 What "these" refers to is not known, but probably some gesture of the actor made the reference clear. Cf. Aristoph. Ran. 1504‑1507, where we should come badly off were it not for the scholia. Through the uncertain text the Gargantuan intent shines clear.

107 Kock II.261.

108 vss. 816‑818; Prometheusº to Io. Here ends the speech of Democritus, begun at 331c.

Page updated: 27 Apr 20