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There is this also in the nature of fish, that some are more highly esteemed in one place, and some in another; such, for instance, as the coracinus1 in Egypt, the zeus,2 also called the faber,3 at Gades, the salpa,4 in the vicinity of Ebusus,5 which is considered elsewhere an unclean fish, and can nowhere6 be thoroughly cooked, wherever found, without being first beaten with a stick: in Aquitania, again, the river salmon7 is preferred to all the fish that swim in the sea.

1 The bolty of the modern Egyptians, as previously mentioned.

2 Or Jove-fish. Cuvier says that Gillius has applied the name of "faber" to the dory, or fish of Saint Peter, and has stated that the Dalmatians, who call it the "forga," pretend that they can find in its bones all the instruments of a forge. After him, other modern naturalists have called the same fish Zeus faber; but nothing, Cuvier says, goes to prove that the dory is the fish so called by the ancients. The epithet even of "rare," given to it by Ovid, Halieut. 1. 112, is far from applicable to the dory, which is common enough in the Mediterranean. If, indeed, the χαλκέυς of the Greeks were the same as the "faber," as, indeed, we have reason to suppose, it would be something in favour of the dory, as Athenæus, B. vii., says that the χαλκέυς is of a round shape: but then, on the other hand, Oppian, Halicut. B. v. 1. 135, ranks it among the rock-fish which feed near rocks with herbage on them; while the dory is found only in the deep sea.

3 Or "blacksmith."

4 Cuvier says that this fish has still the same name in Italy; that it is called the "saupe" in Provence, and the "vergadelle" in Languedoc, being the Sparus salpa of Linnæus; and that it still answers to all the ancient characteristics of the salpa, eating grass and filling its stomach, and having numerous red lines upon the body. It is common, and bad eating, but is no better at Ivica, the ancient Ebusus, than anywhere else. M. De la Roche, when describing the fishes of that island, says expressly that the flesh of the saupe is but very little esteemed there. Ovid, Halieut. 1. 122, speaks of it as "deservedly held in little esteem."

5 See B. iii. c. 11.

6 Neither at Ebusus nor anywhere else.

7 Hardouin remarks, that Pliny and Ausonius are the only Latin writers that mention this fish; while not one among the Greeks speaks of it. It was probably a native of regions too far to the north for them to know much about it. In this country it holds the same rank that the scarus and the mullet seem to have held at the Roman tables.

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