Digital Athenaeus
G. Kaibel: Athenaei Naucratitae Dipnosophistarum libri 15

Book 3

Paragraph
45

περὶ δὲ τῶν κατὰ τὴν Ἰνδικὴν γινομένων ὀστρέων οὐ γὰρ ἄκαιρον καὶ τούτων μνησθῆναι διὰ τὴν τῶν μαργαριτῶν χρῆσιν Θεόφραστος μὲν ἐν τῷ περὶ λίθων γράφει οὕτως· τῶν θαυμαζομένων δὲ λίθων ἐστὶν καὶ μαργαρίτης καλούμενος, διαφανὴς μὲν τῇ φύσει· ποιοῦσι δʼ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τοὺς πολυτελεῖς ὅρμους. γίνεται δὲ ἐν ὀστρέῳ τινὶ παραπλησίῳ ταῖς πίνναις, πλὴν ἐλάττονι. μέγεθος δὲ ἡλίκον ἰχθύος ὀφθαλμὸς εὐμεγέθης. Ἀνδροσθένης δʼ ἐν τῷ τῆς Ἰνδικῆς Παράπλῳ γράφει οὕτως· τῶν δὲ στρόμβων καὶ χοιρίνων καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν κογχυλίων ποικίλαι αἱ ἰδέαι καὶ πολὺ διάφοροι τῶν παρʼ ἡμῖν· γίνονται δὲ πορφύραι τε καὶ ὀστρέων πολὺ πλῆθος τῶν λοιπῶν· ἓν δὲ ἴδιον καλοῦσιν ἐκεῖνοι βέρβερι, ἐξ οὗ μαργαρῖτις λίθος γίνεται. αὕτη δʼ ἐστὶ πολυτελὴς κατὰ τὴν Ἀσίαν καὶ πωλεῖται περὶ Πέρσας τε καὶ τοὺς ἄνω τόπους πρὸς χρυσίον. ἐστὶ δʼ μὲν τοῦ ὀστρέου ὄψις παραπλησία τῷ κτενί, οὐ διέγλυπται δὲ ἀλλὰ λεῖον τὸ ὄστρακον ἔχει καὶ δασύ, οὐδὲ ὦτα ἔχει δύο ὥσπερ κτεὶς ἀλλὰ ἕν. δὲ λίθος γίνεται ἐν τῇ σαρκὶ τοῦ ὀστρέου, ὥσπερ ἐν τοῖς συείοις χάλαζα, καί ἐστιν μὲν χρυσοειδὴς σφόδρα, ὥστε μὴ ῥᾳδίως διαγνῶναι ὅταν παρατεθῇ παρὰ τὸ χρυσίον, δὲ ἀργυροειδής, δὲ τελέως λευκή, ὁμοία τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς τῶν ἰχθύων. Χάρης δʼ Μιτυληναῖος ἐν ἑβδόμῃ τῶν περὶ Ἀλέξανδρον ἱστοριῶν φησι· θηρεύεται δὲ κατὰ τὴν Ἰνδικὴν θάλασσαν, ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ κατὰ τὴν Ἀρμενίαν καὶ Περσικὴν καὶ Σουσιανὴν καὶ Βαβυλωνίαν, παρόμοιον ὀστρέῳ· τὸ δʼ ἐστὶν ἁδρὸν καὶ πρόμηκες, ἔχον ἐν αὑτῷ σάρκα καὶ μεγάλην καὶ λευκήν, εὐώδη σφόδρα. ἐξ ὧν ἐξαιροῦντες ὀστᾶ λευκὰ προσαγορεύουσι μὲν μαργαρίτας, κατασκευάζουσι δʼ ἐξ αὐτῶν ὁρμίσκους τε καὶ ψέλια περὶ τὰς χεῖρας καὶ τοὺς πόδας· περὶ σπουδάζουσιν Πέρσαι καὶ Μῆδοι καὶ πάντες Ἀσιανοὶ πολὺ μᾶλλον τῶν ἐκ χρυσίου γεγενημένων.

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