Table of Contents:
Balani, if they are of the larger sort, are easily digested, and are good for the stomach. But otaria (and they are produced in the island called Pharos, which is close to Alexandria) are more nutritious than any of the before-mentioned fish, but they are not easily secreted. But Antigonus the Carystian, in his book upon Language, says that this kind of oyster is called by the Aeolians the Ear of Venus. Pholades are very nutritious, but they have a disagreeable smell; but common oysters are very like all these sorts of shell-fish, and are more nutritious. There are also some kinds which are called wild oysters; and they are very nutritious, but they have not a good smell, and moreover they have a very indifferent flavour. But Aristotle, in his treatise about Animals, says, "Oysters are of all the following kinds: there are the pinna, the mussel, the oyster, the cteis, the solen, the cockle, the limpet, the small oyster, the balanus. And of migratory fish there are the purple-fish, the sweet purple-fish, the sea-urchin, the strobelus. Now the cteis has a rough shell, marked in streaks; [p. 147] but the oyster has no streaks, and a smooth shell. The pinna has a smooth mouth; but the large oyster has a vide mouth, and is bivalve, and has a smooth shell. But the limpet is univalve, and has a smooth shell; and the mussel has a united shell. The solen and balanus are univalve, and have a smooth shell; and the cockle is a mixture of both kinds. Epænetus also says, in his Cookery Book, that the interior part of the pinna is called mecon. But in the fifth book of his treatise on the Parts of Animals, Aristotle says, “The purple-fish are born about spring, and the ceryces at the end of the winter. And altogether,” says he, “all shell-fish appear in the spring to have what are called eggs; and in the autumn, too, except those kinds of sea-urchins which are good to eat. And these fish indeed have eggs in the greatest number at those seasons, but they are never without them; and they have them in the greatest numbers at the time of full moon, and in the warm weather, with the exception of those fish which are found in the Euripus of the Pyrrhæans; for they are best in the winter, and they are small, but full of eggs. And nearly all the cockle tribe appear to breed in like manner at about the same season.”
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.