Then there is the sphuræna, or hammer-fish; and these fish, Icesius says, are more nutritious than the congers, but very unpleasant and unpalatable to the taste; and, as to their juicy qualities, they are tolerable. But Dorion says— “The sphuræna, which they call the cestra.” And Epicharmus, in his Muses, having named the cestra, does not after that mention the sphuræna, thinking them the same fish—
The chalcides, the sea-dog, and the cestra,And Sophron, in his Male Farces, says—“The cestræ, which cat the botis.” But Speusippus, in the second book of his treatise on Things which resemble one another, puts down the cestra, the needle-fish, and the sea-lizard as very nearly like one another. And the Attic writers in general call the sphuræna the cestra, and do not so often use the name of sphuræna. Accordingly, Strattis, in his Macedonians, when some Athenian asks the question, as being ignorant of the name, and saying,
And perch with variegated back.
But what is the sphuræna?The other replies,
You, O Athenians, do call it the cestra.And Antiphanes, in his Euthydicus, says—
A. The sphuræna is a common fish.And Nicophon, in his Pandora, says—
B. You should say cestra, in strict Attic Greek.
The cestra and the pike.[p. 509] And Epicharmus, in his Hebe's Wedding, says—
The cestra and the variegated perch.