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He then goes on to describe the manner in which they catch the sword-fish at Scyllæum. One look-out directs the whole body of fishers, who are in a vast number of small boats, each furnished with two oars, and two men to each boat. One man rows, the other stands on the prow, spear in hand, while the look-out has to signal the appearance of a sword-fish. (This fish, when swimming, has about a third of its body above water.) As it passes the boat, the fisher darts the spear from his hand, and when this is withdrawn, it leaves the sharp point with which it is furnished sticking in the flesh of the fish: this point is barbed, and loosely fixed to the spear for the purpose; it has a long end fastened to it; this they pay out to the wounded fish, till it is exhausted with its struggling and endeavours at escape. Afterwards they trail it to the shore, or, unless it is too large and full-grown, haul it into the boat. If the spear should fall into the sea, it is not lost, for it is jointed of oak and pine, so that when the oak sinks on account of its weight, it causes the other end to rise, and thus is easily recovered. It sometimes happens that the rower is wounded, even through the boat, and such is the size of the sword with which the galeote is armed, such the strength of the fish, and the method of the capture, that [in danger] it is not surpassed by the chase of the wild boar. From these facts (he says) we may conclude that Ulysses' wanderings were close to Sicily, since Homer describes Scylla1 as engaging in a pur- suit exactly similar to that which is carried on at Scyllæum. As to Charybdis, he describes just what takes place at the Strait of Messina:

“ Each day she thrice disgorges,2

Odyssey xii. 105.
instead of twice, being only a mistake, either of the scribe or the historian.

1 There is a very fine medallion in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, portraying Scylla as half woman, half dolphin, with a trident in her left hand, and seizing a fish with her right. From her middle protrude two half-bodied dogs, who assist the monster in swimming.

2 Odyssey xii. 105.

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