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Eth. HYLO´PHAGI (Eth. Ὑλοφάγοι, Diod. 3.24; Arrian, Peripl. Mar. Eryth. p. 2), were one of the numerous and obscure tribes of Aethiopians who derived their appellations, with the Greeks at least, from their modes of living and diet. The Hylophagi, or eaters of beech mast, or perhaps dates and fruit generally, dwelt on either bank of the Astaboras or White Nile. The Shangallas occupy these districts at the present day, and are scarcely less uncivilised. The account of the Hylophagi in Diodorus (l.c.) is, however, hardly credible, and seems to be founded upon rumours of the ourang-outan. According to him, the Hylophagi fed in the summer upon fruits, in winter upon the long rank grasses of the river-meadows, sprang from tree to tree like birds or apes, went perfectly naked, were armed with clubs, and had their females in common. The most curious fact in his story is the liability of the Hylophagi to cataract γλαυκώματα) on their eyes, which, by preventing them from climbing, caused the majority of the race to die of hunger.


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