Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 32.52 Plin. Nat. 32.53 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 32.54


Having now completed our exposition of the properties which belong to the aquatic productions, it would appear by no means foreign to my purpose to give a list of the various animated beings which inhabit the seas; so many as these are in number, of such vast extent, and not only making their way into the interior of the land to a distance of so many miles, but also surrounding the exterior of it to an extent almost equal to that of the world itself. These animals, it is generally considered, embrace one hundred and seventy-six different [Note] species, and it will be my object to set them forth, each by its distinct name, a thing that cannot possibly be done in reference to the terrestrial animals and the birds.

For, in fact, we are by no means acquainted with all the wild beasts or all the birds that are to be found in India, Æthiopia, Scythia, or the desert regions of the earth; and even of man himself there are numerous varieties, which as yet we have been unable [Note] to make ourselves acquainted with. In addition, too, to the various countries above mentioned, we have Taprobane [Note] and other isles of the Ocean, about which so many fabulous stories are related. Surely then, every one must allow that it is quite impossible to comprise every species of animal in one general view for the information of mankind. And yet, by Hercules! in the sea and in the Ocean, vast as it is, there exists nothing that is unknown to us, [Note] and, a truly marvellous fact, it is with those things which Nature has concealed in the deep that we are the best acquainted!

To begin then with the monsters [Note] that are found in this ele-

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ment. We here find sea-trees, [Note] physeters, [Note] balænæ, [Note] pistrices, [Note] tritons, [Note] nereids, [Note] elephants, [Note] the creatures known as seamen, [Note] sea-wheels, [Note] oreæ, [Note] sea-rams, [Note] musculi, [Note] other fish too with the form of rams, [Note] dolphins, [Note] sea-calves, [Note] so celebrated by Homer, [Note] tortoises [Note] to minister to our luxury, and beavers, so extensively employed in medicine, [Note] to which class belongs the otter, [Note] an animal which we nowhere find frequenting the sea, it being only of the marine animals that we are speaking. There are dog-fish, [Note] also, drinones, [Note] cornutæ, [Note] swordfish, [Note] saw-fish, [Note] hippopotami [Note] and crocodiles, [Note] common to the sea, the land, and the rivers; tunnies [Note] also, thynnides, siluri, [Note] coracini, [Note] and perch, [Note] common to the sea only and to rivers.

To the sea only, belong also the acipenser, [Note] the dorade, [Note] the asellus, [Note] the acharne, [Note] the aphye, [Note] the alopex, [Note] the

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eel, [Note] the araneus, [Note] the boca, [Note] the batia, [Note] the bacchus, [Note] the batrachus, [Note] the belonæ, [Note] known to us as "aculeati," [Note] the balanus, [Note] the corvus, [Note] the citharus, the least esteemed of all the turbots, the chalcis, [Note] the cobio, [Note] the callarias, [Note] which would belong to the genus of the aselli [Note] were it not smaller; the colias, [Note] otherwise known as the fish of Parium [Note] or of Sexita, [Note] this last from a place of that name in Bætica its native region, the smallest, too, of the lacerti; [Note] the colias of the Mæotis, the next smallest of the lacerti; the cybium, [Note] (the name given, when cut into pieces, to the pelamis [Note] which returns at the end of forty days from the Euxine to the Palus Mæotis); the cordyla [Note]—which is also a small pelamis, so called at the time when it enters the Euxine from the Palus Mæotis—the cantharus, [Note] the callionymus [Note] or uranoscopus, the cinædus, the only [Note] fish that is of a yellow colour; the cnide, known to us as the sea-nettle; [Note] the different kinds of

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crabs, [Note] the striated chemæ, [Note] the smooth chemæ, the chemæ belonging to the genus of pelorides, [Note] all differing in the variety of their colours and in the roundness of the shells; the chemæ glycymarides, [Note] still larger than the pelorides; the coluthia or coryphia; [Note] the various kinds of shellfish, among which we find the pearl oysters, [Note] the cochleæ, [Note] (belonging to which class are the pentadactyli, [Note]) the helices, [Note] by some known as actinophori, the spokes [Note] on whose shells are used for musical purposes; [Note] and, in addition to these, the round cochleæ, the shells of which are used in measuring oil, as also the seacucumber, [Note] the cynopos, [Note] the cammarus, [Note] and the cynosdexia. [Note]

Next to these we have the sea-dragon, [Note] a fish which, according to some, is altogether distinct from the dracunculus, [Note] and resembles the gerricula in appearance, it having on the gills a stickle which points towards the tail and inflicts a wound like that of the scorpion [Note] when the fish is handled—the erythinus, [Note] the echeneïs, [Note] the sea-urchin, [Note] the sea-elephant, a black kind of crayfish, with four forked legs, in addition to two arms with double joints, and furnished, each of them, with a pair of claws, indented at the edge; the faber, [Note] also, or zæus, the glauciscus, [Note] the glanis, [Note] the gonger, [Note] the gerres, [Note]

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the galeos, [Note] the garos, [Note] the hippos, [Note] the hippuros, [Note] the hirundo, [Note] the halipleumon, [Note] the hippocampus, [Note] the hepar, [Note] the ictinus [Note] and the iulis. [Note] There are various kinds also of lacerti, [Note] the springing loligo, [Note] the crayfish, [Note] the lantern-fish, [Note] the lepas, [Note] the larinus, the sea-hare, [Note] and the sea-lion, [Note] with arms like those of the crab, and in the other parts of the body like the cray-fish.

We have the surmullet [Note] also, the sea black-bird, [Note] highly esteemed among the rock-fish; the mullet, [Note] the melanurus, [Note] the mæna, [Note] the mæotis, [Note] the muræna, [Note] the mys, [Note] the mitulus, [Note] the myiscus, [Note] the murex, [Note] the oculata, [Note] the ophidion, [Note] the oyster, [Note] the otia, [Note] the orcynus—the largest of all the pelamides [Note] and one that never returns to the Palus Mæotis, like the tritomus [Note] in appearance, and best when old—the orbis, [Note]

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the orthagoriscus, [Note] the phager, [Note] the phycis [Note] a rock-fish, the pelamis, [Note] (the largest kind of which is called "apolectum," [Note] and is tougher than the tritomus) the sea-pig, [Note] the phthir, [Note] the sea-sparrow, [Note] the pastinaca, [Note] the several varieties of the polyp, [Note] the scallop, [Note] which is larger and more swarthy in summer than at other times, and the most esteemed of which are those of Mitylene, [Note] Tyndaris, [Note] Salonæ, [Note] Altinum, [Note] the island of Chios, and Alexandria in Egypt; the small scallop, [Note] the purple, [Note] the pegris, [Note] the pinna, [Note] the pinnotheres, [Note] the rhine [Note] or squalus of the Latins, the turbot, [Note] the scarus [Note] a fish which holds the first rank at the present day; the sole, [Note] the sargus, [Note] the squilla, [Note] the sarda [Note]—such being the name of an elongated pelamis [Note] which comes from the Ocean; the scomber, [Note] the salpa, [Note] the sorus, [Note] the scorpæna, [Note] the sea-scorpion, [Note] the solas, [Note] the sciæna, [Note] the sciadeus, [Note] the scolopendra, [Note] the smyrus, [Note] the sæpia, [Note] the strombus, [Note] the solen, [Note] otherwise known as the

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aulos, donax, onyx or dactylus; the spondylus, [Note] the smaris, [Note] the starfish, [Note] and the sponges. [Note] There is the sea-thrush [Note] also, famous among the rock-fish, the thynnis, [Note] the thranis, by some writers known as the xiphias; [Note] the thrissa, [Note] the torpedo, [Note] the tethea, [Note] the tritomus, a large kind of pelamis, [Note] which admits of being cut into three cybia; [Note] the shells of Venus, [Note] the grapefish, [Note] and the xiphias. [Note]

Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 32.52 Plin. Nat. 32.53 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 32.54

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