But, as Homer has said,
The eels and fish were startled,Archilochus has also said, in a manner not inconsistent with that—
And you received full many sightless eels.But the Athenians, as Tryphon says, form all the cases in the singular number with the υ, but do not make the cases in the [p. 469] plural in a similar manner. Accordingly, Aristophanes, in his Acharnensians, says—
Behold, O boys, the noble eel (ἔγχελυν);and, in his Lemnian Women, he says—
The tunny, orphus, grayling, eel, and sea-dog.But the Attic writers do not form the cases in the plural number as Homer does. Aristophanes says, in his Knights- For you have fared like men who're hunting eels (ἐγχέλεις); and, in his second edition of the Clouds, he says—
Imitating my images of the eels (ἐγχελέων);and in his Wasps we find the dative case—
I don't delight in rays nor in ἐγχέλεσινAnd Strattis, in his Potamii, said—
A cousin of the eels (ἐγχελέων).Simonides, too, in his Iambics, writes—
Like an eel (ἔγχελυς) complaining of being slippery.He also uses it in the accusative—
A kite was eating a Mæandrian eel (ἔγχελυν),But Aristotle, in his treatise on Animals, writes the word with an ι, ἔγχελις. But when Aristophanes, in his Knights, says—
But a heron saw him and deprived him of it.
Your fate resembles that of those who hunthe shows plainly enough that the eel is caught in the mud, (ἐκ τῆς ἴλυος,) and it is from this word ἴλυς that the name ἔγχελυς ends in υς. The Poet, therefore, wishing to show that the violent effect of the fire reached even to the bottom of the river, spoke thus-The eels and fish were troubled; speaking of the eels separately and specially, in order to show the very great depth to which the water was influenced by the fire.
For mud-fed eels. For when the lake is still
Their labour is in vain. But if they stir
The mud all up and down, they catch much fish.
And so you gain by stirring up the city;