previous next


At Myra, too, in Lycia, the fish in the Fountain of Apollo, known as Surium, appear and give oracular presages, when thrice summoned by the sound of a flute. If they seize the flesh thrown to them with avidity, it is a good omen for the person who consults them; but if, on the other hand, they flap at it with their tails, it is considered an evil presage. At Hierapolis1 in Syria, the fish in the Lake of Venus there obey the voice of the officers of the temple: bedecked with ornaments of gold, they come at their call, fawn upon them while they are scratched, and open their mouths so wide as to admit of the insertion of the hands.

Off the Rock of Hercules, in the territory of Stabiæ2 in Campania, the melanuri3 seize with avidity bread that is thrown to them in the sea, but they will never approach any bait in which there is a hook concealed.

1 The seat of the worship of the half-fish goddess Addirga, Atergatis, Astarte, or Derceto. See B. v. c. 19. The original names of Hierapolis (the Holy City) were Bambyce and Mabog.

2 See B. iii. c. 9.

3 A Greek name signifying "black-tails." See c. 53 of this Book. Holland translates it "the black-tailed ruffe" or "sea-bream."

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), MYRA
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: