There is also a fish called the thratta. And since we have brought the discussion to this point, and have also discussed the thrissa; let us now examine what the thratta are, which are mentioned by Archippus, in his play called the Fishes. For in that play, in the treaty between the Fishes and the Athenians, he introduces the following sentences—
And it is agreed on furtherNow in these lines, perhaps a man may ask what sort of thrattæ among the fishes are meant here, which the fish agree to give up to the men. And since I have got some private things written out on this subject, I will now recite to you that portion of them which bears most on the subject. The thratta, then, is really a genuine sea-fish; and Mnesimachus, in his Horse-breeder, mentions it; and Mnesimachus is a poet of the middle comedy. And he speaks thus— [p. 520]
That both the high contracting parties
Shall restore all they now do hold
Of each other's property.
We shall give up thus the Thrattæ,
And the flute-playing Atherina,
And Thyrsus's daughter Sepia,
And the mullet, and Euclides,
Who was archon t'other day,
And the coraciontes too,
Who from Anagyrus come;
And the offspring of the tench,
Who swims round sacred Salamis;
And the frog who's seated near,
From the marshes of Oreum.
The mullet, and the lebias, and the sparus,But Dorotheus of Ascalon, in the hundred and eighth book of his collection of Words, writes this name θέττα, either because he fell in with a copy of the drama with an incorrect text, or because, as he himself was unused to the word, he altered it so before he published it. But the name thetta does absolutely never occur in any Attic writer whatever. But that they were used to call a sea-fish by the name of thratta, that Anaxandrides establishes, speaking in this manner in his play called Lycurgus,—
The bright æolias, and the thratta too,
The sea-swallow, the cars, and the cuttlefish.
And sporting with the little coracini,And Antiphanes says in his Etrurian—
With little perches, and the little thrattæ.
A. He is of the Halæa borough. This is all
That now is left me, to be abused unjustly.
B. Why so?
A. He will (you'll see) bestow on me
Some thratta. or sea-sparrow, or some lamprey,
Or some enormous other marine evil.