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All kinds of fish grow1 with remarkable rapidity, and more especially those in the Euxine; the reason2 of which is the vast number of rivers which discharge their fresh water into it. One fish, the growth of which is quite perceptible, day by day, is known as the amia.3 This fish, and the pelamides, together with the tunnies,4 enter the Euxine in shoals, for the purpose of obtaining a sweeter nutriment, each under the command of its own leader; but first of all the scomber5 ap- pears, which is of a sulphureous tint when in the water, but when out of it resembles other fish in colour. The salt-water preserves6 of Spain are filled with these last fish, but the tunnies do not consort with them.7

1 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. vi. c. 16.

2 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 25.

3 This fish does not seem to have been exactly identified till recently but was generally supposed to have been of the tunny genus. Appian says, that it israther smaller than the tunny. Rondelet, B. viii., speaks of it as being, in his time, known by the name of "byza." Cuvier has the following remark. "The 'amia' of the ancients, as Rondelet was well aware, was the same fish, to which, incorrectly, upon nearly all the coasts of the Mediterranean, the name of 'pelamis' has been transferred. It is, in fact, the same as the 'limosa' of Salvianus, the 'pelamis' of Belon, the ' thynnus primus' of Aldrovandus, and the 'scomber sarda' of Bloch. The proof of all these being synonymous, is the fact, that the ' scomber sarda' is the only species of the tunny genus in the Mediterranean, which has strong, sharp, cutting teeth, and is capable of attacking large fish, which Aristotle relates respecting the amia, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 37. The same author too, was well aware of the length of its gall-bladder, which is greater than in most other fishes."

4 Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. viii. c. 16.

5 Generally supposed, as Cuvier says, to have been the same as the mackerel, or Scomber scombrus of Linnæus, and with very fair reason. From the frequent remarks made on the subject by the Roman poets, we find that it was a very common fish at Rome, of small size, and was in little repute. It was wrapped in paper when exposed for sale, and bad poets were threatened with the mackerel, as they are at the present day with the grocer or butterman; or, as in the time of the Spectator, with the trunk-maker. Thus Persius says, Sat. i, 1. 43. "and to leave writings worthy to be preserved in cedar, and verses that dread neither mackerel nor frankincense." Aristotle, Hist. Anim. B. ix. c. 2, enumerates this fish among those that are gregarious, and places it in company with the tunny and the pelamis, but states that it is inferior in strength, B. viii. c. 2. Cuvier says, that the mackerel still has names in different parts that are derived from the word "scomber," they being called "sgombri" at Con- stantinople, scombri at Venice, and scurmu, scrumiu, and scumbirro in Sicily.

6 Cetarias. These "cetariæ," or "cetaria," Papias says, were pieces of standing salt water, in the vicinity of the sea-shore, in which tunnies and other large fish were kept, and adjoining to which were the salting-houses. In the middle ages these preserves were called "tunnariæ," or "tunneries."

7 As in the Euxine. Tunnies were caught on the Spanish coasts, as we learn from Athenveus, who, as quoted above, mentions the fisheries off Gades, for the orcynus, or large tunny. See N. 37, p. 385.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AROA´NIUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CLEITOR
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