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Poseidonius goes on to say of the Mysians that in accordance with their religion they abstain from eating any living thing, and therefore from their flocks as well; and that they use as food honey and milk and cheese, living a peaceable life, and for this reason are called both “god-fearing” and “capnobatae”;1 and there are some of the Thracians who live apart from woman-kind; these are called “Ctistae,”2 and because of the honor in which they are held, have been dedicated to the gods and live with freedom from every fear; accordingly, Homer speaks collectively of all these peoples as “proud Hippemolgi, Galactophagi and Abii, men most just,” but he calls them “Abii” more especially for this reason, that they live apart from women, since he thinks that a life which is bereft of woman is only half-complete (just as he thinks the “house of Protesilaüs” is only “half complete,” because it is so bereft3); and he speaks of the Mysians as “hand-to-hand fighters” because they were indomitable, as is the case with all brave warriors; and Poseidonius adds that in the Thirteenth Book4 one should read “Moesi, hand-to-hand fighters” instead of “Mysi, hand-to-hand fighters.”

1 Scholars have suggested various emendations to “capnobatae,” but there is no variation in the spelling of the word in any of the manuscripts, either here or in section 4 below. Its literal meaning is “smoke-treaders” (cp. ἀεροβάτης, ἀεροβάτῳ Aristophanes, Clouds 225, 1503), and it seems to allude in some way to the smoke of sacrifice and the more of less ethereal existence of the people, or else (see Herodotus 1. 202 and 4.75) to the custom of generating an intoxicating vapor by throwing hemp-seed upon red-hot stones. Berkel and Wakefield would emend, respectively to “capnopatae” and “capnobotae” (“smoke-eaters,” i.e., people who live on food of no value).

2 Literally, “creators” or “founders.” But, like “capnobatae,” the force of the word here is unknown.

3 Hom. Il. 2.701

4 Hom. Il. 13.5

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