While Ulpian was continuing to talk in this way, the servants came in bearing on some dishes some crabs bigger than Callimedon, the orator, who, because he was so very fond of this food was himself called the Crab. Accordingly, Alexis, in his Dorcis, or the Flatterer, (as also others of the comic poets do,) hands him down, as a general rule, as being most devoted to fish, saying—
It has been voted by the fish-sellers,But the taste of the crab is one which many people have been very much devoted to; as may be shown by many passages in different comedies; but at present Aristophanes will suffice, who in the Thesmophoriazusæ speaks as follows—
To raise a brazen statue to Callimedon
At the Panathenaic festival
In the midst of the fish-market; and the statue
Shall in his right hand hold a roasted crab,
As being the sole patron of their trade,
Which other men neglect and seek to crush.
A. Has any fish been bought? a cuttle-fish,But by broad squills he must have meant what we call astaci, a kind of crab which Philyllius mentions in his Cities. [p. 174] And Archestratus, in that famous poem of his where he never once mentions the crab by the name of κάραβος, does speak of the ἄστακος. As he does also in the following passage—
Or a broad squill, or else a polypus;
Or roasted mullet, or perhaps some beet-root?
B. Indeed there was not.
A. Or a roach or dace?
B. Nothing of such a sort?
A. Was there no black-pudding,
Nor tripe, nor sausage, nor boar's liver fried,
No honeycomb, no paunch of pig, no eel,
No mighty crab, with which you might recruit
The strength of women wearied with long toil
But passing over trifles, buy an astacus,And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Marriage, shows plainly that the ἄστακος spoken of by Archestratus is the same as the κάραβος, speaking as follows—
Which has long hands and heavy too, but feet
Of delicate smallness, and which slowly walks
Over the earth's face. A goodly troop there are
Of such, and those of finest flavour, where
The isles of Lipara do gem the ocean:
And many lie in the broad Hellespont.
There are astaci and colybdaenæ, both equipp'd
With little feet and long hands, both coming under
The name of κάραβος.