Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 418: 436-437


Pliny: Natural History

permutantibus congios fere binos. nec liquor ullus paene praeter unguenta maiore in pretio esse coepit, nobilitatis etiam gentibus. scombros quidem et Mauretania Baeticaeque Carteia ex oceano intrantes capiunt ad nihil aliud utiles. laudantur et Clazomenae garo Pompeique et Leptis, sicut muria Antipolis ac Thuri, iam vero et Delmatia.


XLIV. Vitium huius est allex atque imperfecta nec colata faex. coepit tamen et privatim ex inutili pisciculo minimoque confici. apuam nostri, aphyen Graeci vocant, quoniam is pisciculus e pluvia nascitur. Foroiulienses piscem ex quo faciunt lupum appellant. transiit deinde in luxuriam, creveruntque genera ad infinitum, sicuti garum ad colorem mulsi veteris adeoque suavitatem dilutum1 ut bibi possit. aliud vero . . .2 castimoniarum superstitioni etiam sacrisque Iudaeis dicatum, quod fit e piscibus squama carentibus. sic allex pervenit ad ostreas, echinos, urticas maris, mullorum iocinera, innumerisque generibus ad saporis gulae coepit sal tabescere. 96haec obiter indicata sint desideriis vitae, et ipsa tamen non nullius usus in medendo. namque et allece scabies pecoris sanatur infusa per cutem incisam, et contra canis morsus draconisve marini prodest, in 97linteolis autem concerptis inponitur. Et garo ambusta recentia sanantur, si quis infundat ac non nominet garum. contra canum quoque morsus



exchanged for about two congiia of the fish. Scarcely any other liquid except unguents has come to be more highly valued, bringing fame even to the nations that make it. The scomber is caught also in Mauretania and at Carteia in Baetica; the scomber enters the Mediterranean from the Atlantic, but it is used only for making garum. Clazomenae too is famous for garum, and so are Pompeii and Leptis, just as Antipolis and Thurii are for muria, and today too also Delmatia.

XLIV. Allex is sediment of garum, the dregs, Allex. neither whole nor strained. It has, however, also begun to be made separately from a tiny fish, otherwise of no use. The Romans call it apua, the Greeks aphye, because this tiny fish is bred out of rain. The people of Forum Julii call lupus (wolf) the fish from which they make garum. Then allex became a luxury, and its various kinds have come to be innumerable; garum for instance has been blended to the colour of old honey wine, and to a taste so pleasant that it can be drunk. But another kind <of garum>b is devoted to superstitious sex-abstinence and Jewish rites, and is made from fish without scales. Thus allex has come to be made from oysters, sea urchins, sea anemones, and mullet’s liver, and salt to be corrupted in numberless ways so as to suit all palates. These incidental remarks must suffice for the luxurious tastes of civilized man. Allex however itself is of some use in healing. For allex both cures itch in sheep, being poured into an incision in the skin, and is a good antidote for the bites of dog or sea draco; it is applied on pieces of lint. By garum too are fresh burns healed, if it is poured over them without mentioning garum. It is also good for dog-bites and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938