Drawing of a fish

((:piscis nat ad sin.))

Description of Drawing (English): fish swimming to the left
Findspot: Smyrna, Basilica (Agora.1)
Drawing Category: Animals
Writing Style: charcoal
  • Graffito Height: 13
  • Graffito Length: 35
Bibliography: Bagnall, R. S. et al., Graffiti from the Basilica in the Agora of Smyrna (2016): 83.
Commentary: Dipinto of a fish. The use of red color, sparsely present in other dipinti in the Basilica, was probably a deliberate allusion to the fish’s species. Indeed, the fish can be identified as a red or barbed mullet (mullus), frequently mentioned in the ancient Roman sources (Seneca, Cicero, Columella, and Pliny among others). The mouth is defined by a straight red line, the body is moderately elongated, and the snout is steep. The two separated dorsal fins are easily recognizable, and the operculum is well defined. Right below it two barbels are also quite evident. The pectoral fin is small and triangular, while the triangular anal fin is markedly elongated. The forked caudal fins are drawn in several thick and overlapping lines.
Suggested Citation: AGP-SMYDP0121, The Ancient Graffiti Project, <http://ancientgraffiti.org/Graffiti/graffito/AGP-SMYDP0121> [accessed: 16 Apr 2024]

Editor: Roger S. Bagnall

Principal Contributor: Roger S. Bagnall

Last Revision: 2016-10-03