Trebius Niger

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Trebius Niger was an ancient Roman author and statesman of the second century B.C. He was a companion of a certain Lucullus and in 150 B.C. was the proconsul for Hispania Baetica.[1] He wrote a large work on natural history which was used by Pliny the Elder.[1]

As a fish[edit]

Pliny credited Trebius for his work on ichthyology. However, this acknowledgment was misinterpreted by Thomas of Cantimpré when he wrote his Opus de natura rerum, using Pliny as a source. As such, Thomas records a nonexistent fish called the "black trebius" (trebius niger in Latin). He is followed in this error by St. Albert the Great in his monumental treatise De Animalibus.[2]


  1. ^ a b W. Smith (1870). "Niger, Trebius". A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, II, London. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
  2. ^ Beullens, Pieter. Like a Book Written by God's Finger: Animals Showing the Path toward God, in A Cultural History of Animals in the Medieval Age, ed. Brigitte Resl, 2009.