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Apollodorus the Athenian, in the third book of his treatise on a Modest and Prudent Man, which is addressed to those whom he calls Male Buffoons, having first used the expression, “more libidinous than the very Inventors themselves (ἄλφησται),” says, there are some fish called ἄλφησται, being all of a tawny colour, though they have a purple hue in some parts. And they say that they are usually caught in couples, and that one is always found following at the tail of the other; and therefore, from the fact of one following close on the tail of the other, some of the ancients call men who are intemperate and libidinous by the same name. But Aristotle, in his work on Animals, says that this fish, which he calls alphesticus, has but a single spine, and is of a tawny colour. And Numenius of Heraclea mentions it, in his treatise on Fishing, speaking as follows:—
The fish that lives in seaweed, the alphestes,
The scorpion also with its rosy meat.
And Epicharmus, in his Marriage of Hebe, says—
Mussels, alphetæ, and the girl-like fish,
The dainty coracinus.
Mithæcus also mentions it in his Culinary Art.

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