And concerning the rest of the oyster tribe, Diphilus says this: “Of the thick chemæ, those of smaller size, which have tender flesh, are called oysters, and they are good for the stomach, and easily digested. But the thick ones, which are called royal chemæ by some people, and which are also called the huge chemæ are nutritious, slow to be digested, very juicy, good for the stomach; and especially do these qualities belong to the larger ones. Of tellinæ there are numbers in Canopus, and they are very common at the place where the Nile begins to rise up to the higher ground. And the thinnest of these are the royal ones, and they are digest- ible and light, and moreover nutritious. But those which are taken in the rivers are the sweetest. Mussels, again, are moderately nutritious, and are digestible and diuretic. But the best are the Ephesian kind; and of them those which are taken about the end of autumn. But the female mussel is smaller than the male, and is sweet and juicy, and moreover nutritious. But the solens, as they are called by some, though some call them αὖλοι and δόνακες, or pipes, and some, too, call them ὄνυχες, or claws, are very juicy, but the juice is bad, and they are very glutinous. And the male fish are striped, and not all of one colour; but they are very wholesome for people affected with the stone, or with any complaint of the bladder. But the female fish is all of one colour, and much sweeter than the male: and they are eaten boiled and fried; but they are best of all when roasted on the coals till their shells open.” And the people who collect this sort of oyster are called Solenistæ, as Phænias the Eresian relates in his book which is entitled, The Killing of Tyrants by way of Punishment; where he speaks as follows:—“Philoxenus, who was called the Solenist, became a tyrant from having been a de- magogue. In the beginning he got his livelihood by being [p. 151] a fisherman and a hunter after solens; and so having made a little money; he advanced, and got a good property.” —“Of the periwinkle the white are the most tender, and they have no disagreeable smell, and have a good effect on the bowels; but of the black and red kinds the larger are exceedingly nice to the taste, especially those that are caught in the spring. And as a general rule all of them are good for the stomach, and digestible, and good for the bowels, when eaten with cinnamon and pepper.” Archippus also makes mention of them in his Fishes—
With limpets and with sea-urchins, and escharæ,But the fish called balani, or acorns, because of their resemblance to the acorn of an oak, differ according to the places where they are found. For the Egyptian balani are sweet, tender, delicious to the taste, nutritious, very juicy indeed, diuretic, and good for the bowels; but other kinds have a salter taste. The fish called ὤτια, or ears, are most nutritious when fried; but the pholades are exceedingly pleasant to the taste, but have a bad smell, and an injurious juice.
With needle-fishes, and with periwinkles.