But Plato, in his Phaon, says—
The mullet is not wholesome for the nerves,But the mullet is attributed to Hecate as her fish, on account of the common derivation of their names; for Hecate is called τριοδῖτις, as presiding over places where three roads met, and τρίγληνος, as having three eyes; and also they provide her a banquet on the thirtieth day of each month (ταῖς τριακάσι). [p. 512] And, on similar principles, they assign to Apollo the fish κίθαρος, from κιθάρα (the harp); and the βόαξ to Mercury, from βοάω (to speak); and the κιττὸς to Bacchus, from κισσὸς(ivy); and the φάλαρις to Venus, as Aristophanes in his Birds says, from the similarity of its name to the word φαλλός. And so the bird called the νῆσσα (or duck), they call Neptune's bird; and the sea production which we call ἀφυὰ, and others ἀφρύα, and which is more generally called ἀφρὸς (foam), they also give to him; though they say that this also is very dear to Venus, because she herself was born of foam. But Apollodorus, in his books concerning the Gods, says that the mullet is sacrificed to Hecate on account of the resemblance of their names; for that the goddess is τρίμορφος, of a triple form. But Melanthus, in his treatise on the Eleusinian Mysteries, says that both the τρίγλη and the μαινὶς (or sprat), are sacred to Hecate, because Hecate is also a goddess of the sea. But Hegesander the Delphian says that the mullet is accustomed to be carried about in the Artemisia, because it is accustomed diligently to hunt out and destroy the sea-hares, which are poisonous animals; on which account, as it does this to the great benefit of mankind, the mullet as a huntress is considered sacred to the goddess who is also a huntress. And Sophron has called the mullet “bearded,” because those which have beards are better flavoured than those which have not. And there is a place at Athens called τρίγλα, and there there is a shrine to ῾εκάτη τριγανθίνη; on which account Chariclides, in his Chain, says—
For it is sacred to the chaste Diana,
And all excitement hates.
O mistress Hecate, Trioditis,
With three forms (τρίμορφε) and three faces (τριπρόσωπε),
Propitiated with mullets (τρίγλαις).