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1 This assertion reminds us of the healing effects of the fish with which Tobit cured his father's blindness. See Tobit, c. xi. v. 13.
2 See c. 13 of this Book.
3 Identified by Ajasson with the white Rascasse of the Mediterranean. Hardouin combats the notion that this was the fish, the gall of which was employed by Tobit for the cure of his father, and is inclined to think that the Silurus was in reality the fish; a notion no better founded than the other, Ajasson thinks.
4 In his "Messenia," for instance. The fragment has been preserved by Ælian, Hist. Anim. B. xiii. c. 4. Ajasson remarks that the ancients clearly mistook the swimming bladder of the fish for the gall.
5 Or "heaven-gazer."
6 The original has "ab oculo quem,"—but we have adopted the reading suggested by Dalechamps, "Ab oculis quos in superiore capite." Ajasson says that the white rascasse has the eyes so disposed on the upper part of the head as to have the appearance of gazing upwards at the heavens. Hence it is that at Genoa, the fish is commonly known as the prête or "priest."
7 See B. ix. c. 32.
8 See Chapter 17 of the present Book.
10 Meaning, literally, "Fallen from Jupiter," in reference to their supposed descent from heaven in showers of rain.
12 See B. xxxiv. co. 22, 23.
14 Literally, "fish-glue." We can hardly believe Pliny that any fish was known by this name. Hardouin takes the fish here spoken of to be identical with that mentioned in B. ix. c. 17, as being caught in the Borysthene, and destitute of bones. It is most probable, however, that the "ichthyocolla" of the ancients, or "fish-glue," was the same as our isinglass, and that it was prepared from the entrails of various fish, the sturgeon more particularly, the Acipenser huso of Linnæus.
15 The best isinglass still comes from Russia.
16 " Nativi coloris." See B. viii. c. 23. Beckmann says, in reference to the present passage: "We manufacture the wool of our brown sheep in its natural colour, and this was done also by the ancients."—Hist. Inv. vol. ii. p. 110, Bohn's Ed.
17 The "calamites" above mentioned, so called from "calamus," a reed.
18 The Bryonia Cretica of Linnæus; see B. xxiii. c. 16.
19 An eminent surgeon, born at Sidon in Phœnicia, who practised at Rome, probably in the first century B.C.
20 "Mutis," silent," or "voiceless" frogs, as suggested by Gessner, Hist. Anim. B. ii., would almost seem to be a preferable reading here to "multis," "many."
21 Another reading is "tænia," a fish mentioned by Epicharmus, Athenæus informs us, and considered by Ajasson to be probably identical with the Cepola rubescens, or Cepola tænia of Linnæus.
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