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Troglodytae

Τρωγλοδύται, “dwellers in caves”). A name applied by the Greek geographers to various uncivilized people who had no abodes but caves, especially to the inhabitants of the western coast of the Red Sea, along the shores of Upper Egypt and Aethiopia (Herod.iv. 183). The Troglodytae of the west coast of the Red Sea are described by Agatharchides as a barbarous people, who wore little clothing, had wives in common, and put to death the aged and infirm. They lived on the produce of their flocks and herds. In the Periplus the Ethiopian Troglodytae are described as of a wild appearance and swifter than horses. This swiftness of foot is noticed also by Herodotus as characterizing the Ethiopian Troglodytae, and is said to be still a characteristic of the cavedwellers in the same district. Herodotus adds that their language was like the twittering of bats, and that their food consisted of lizards and other reptiles. There were also Troglodytae in Moesia, on the banks of the Danube.

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