When Dionysiocles was silent upon this, Varus the grammarian said,—But Antiphanes the poet, also, in his Deucalion, mentions these kinds of pickled salt-fish, where he says—
If any one should wish for caviarAnd in his Parasite he says— [p. 196]
From mighty sturgeon, fresh from Cadiz' sea;
Or else delights in the Byzantine tunny,
And courts its fragrance.
Caviar from the sturgeon in the middle,And Nicostratus or Philetærus, in his Antyllus, says—
Fat, white as snow, and hot.
Let the Byzantine salt-fish triumph here,And a little further on, he proceeds—
And paunch from Cadiz, carefully preserved.
But, O ye earth and gods! I found a man,After this Ulpian, looking upon Plutarch, chimed in,—It seems to me that no one, in all that has been said, has included the Mendesian fish, which are so much fancied by you gentlemen of Alexandria; though I should have thought that a mad dog would scarcely touch them; nor has any one mentioned the hemineri or half-fresh fish, which you think so good, nor the pickled shads. And Plutarch replied,— The heminerus, as far as I know, does not differ from the half-pickled fish which have been already mentioned, and which your elegant Archestratus speaks of; but, however, Sopater the Paphian has mentioned the heminerus, in his Slave of Mystacus, saying—
An honest fishmonger of pickled fish,
Of whom I bought a huge fish ready scaled,
Cheap at a drachma, for two oboli.
Three days' hard eating scarcely would suffice
That we might finish it; no, nor a fortnight,
So far does it exceed the common size.
He then received the caviar from a sturgeonAnd the same man includes the Mendesian in his list—
Bred in the mighty Danube, dish much prized,
Half-fresh, half-pickled, by the wandering Scythians.
A slightly salt Mendesian in season,And all those who have tried, know that these dishes are by far more delicate and agreeable than the vegetables and figs which you make such a fuss about. Tell us now also, whether the word τάριχος is used in the masculine gender by the Attic writers; for we know it is by Epicharmus.
And mullet roasted on the glowing embers.