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Eth. CO´LOBI (Κολοβοί, Diod. 3.32; Agatharch. p. 46; Ptol. 4.7.28), a tribe of Troglodytes situated on a strip of land in the vicinity of the promontory of Bazium in lat. 24° N., and on the western shore of the Red Sea. Ptolemy (4.7.7) mentions a mountain (Κολοβὸν ὄρος, ἄκρον), and Strabo (xvi. p.771) a forest, of the Colobi (Κολοβῶν ἄλσος) in this region, between Berenice and the harbour of Antiphilos. Pomponius Mela (3.8) places a town of Coloba between the promontory of Aeneum and Philoteris. The Colobi, like the entire Troglodytic nation, were the subject of many fables. In the Greek language their name imports “the mutilated,” and they seem to have practised the rite of circumcision after a manner peculiar to themselves (Aristot. Hist. An. 3.8.6; Diod. 3.32). They were probably a dwarfish people, and among the varieties of the Aethiopict race whose low stature or deformity led finally to the fable of the Pygmies. The region which they inhabited was barren, and they were excluded from the pasture grounds to the west of it by their stronger kinsmen or neighbours. Hence their diet was principally shell-fish and the casual products of the chase, and their curtailed proportions were confirmed by their poor diet.


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 3.32
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 4.7
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