Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/261

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235
A Solution of the Gorgon Myth.

from a large mosaic from Pompeii in the Naples Museum. The combat here shown forms the centre of the picture, with fish of various kinds surrounding it, and speaks for itself. Fig. 24 is from another similar mosaic from Pompeii in the same room. This latter has been but recently exhibited, and when sketched, the room had only been re-opened to the public a very few days. It is on the whole in a much more perfect condition than the other (Fig. 23). Moreover, as this mosaic has not yet been photographed, I am able to offer this sketch as the first publication of it, and I can vouch for the general accuracy of the drawing.

Fig. 24.

No candid reader will contest the value of this Pompeian evidence as to the then common belief in the antagonism of the crayfish family and the octopus. Indeed, this is a fact well known to naturalists of to-day. We read that "the enemy of the lobsters is the cuttle-fish, which crushes and eats it wherever it may be, even in its own holes in the rocks." (Spectator, July 27, 1901.)

Besides these two important scenes in mosaic there is in the room adjoining, a large fresco from Pompeii, numbered 9688, the greater part of which is in good condition. It