A Tale of Two Fishes: Magical Objects in Natural History from Antiquity Through the Scientific Revolution

Brian P. Copenhaver

Journal of the History of Ideas, 52:3, 1991, 373-398

Digital resource PDF file available

A study of two fish as magical objects: the echineis, said to have the power to hold back ships; and the torpedo, able to stun at a distance. The author cites ancient authorities (Pliny, Aristotle, Galen, and others) to explore the origins of the legends, and looks at the effects of the scientific revolution on the belief in them.

Language: English


Last update December 6, 2021