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Offidion secundum Plinium est pisciculus congro similis.


Whole entry missing in p
Offidion A ej | Offidyon C | Ofidion B f
congro efj | congruo AC {interference from congruus} | agio B


Offidion according to Pliny is a little fish similar to the conger-eel.


Greek ὁφίδιον /ophidion/ is formally the diminutive of ὄφις /óphis/ "snake", which LSJ simply gloss ὁφίδιον /ophidion/ "a kind of fish" and Lewis & Short gloss the Latinised form ophidian "a fish resembling the conger".

Simon alludes to Pliny, 32, 35, 109, ed. W.H.S. Jones (1938-63: VIII.530): Urinae incontinentiam hippocampi tosti et in cibo saepius sumpti emendant, ophidian pisciculus congro similis cum lili radice ..., which Jones translates (1938-63: VIII.531) "Incontinence of urine is remedied by the sea-horse, roasted and taken often as food, by the ophidian, a little fish like the conger, with lily-root added, …".

The word is only attested in Pliny, firstly in the passage above, and secondly in 53, (1938-63: VIII.556), in a long listing of sea creatures, where Jones (1938-63: VIII.557) translates it as "eel (?)".

Zoological identification:

W.S.H. Jones, the editor of Pliny, vol. VIII, in his Index of Fishes compiled by E.H. Warmington, p. 592, suggests: "Ophidion … an Eel or a related fish; includes perhaps Oxystomus serpens", i.e. a synonym of Ophisurus serpens (Linnaeus, 1758), the "serpent eel", [[1]]. The information is however insufficient to attempt any definite identification.

WilfGunther (talk) 07/05/2014

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