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Eth. ELEPHANTO´PHAGI, ELEPHANTO´MAGI (Eth.Ἐλεφαντοφάγοι, Eth. Ἐλεφαντομάγοι, Diod. 3.26; Strabo xvi. p.771; Plin. Nat. 6.35, 8.13; Solin. 100.25), one of the numerous tribes which roamed over the plains north of the Abyssinian highlands, and derived their names from their peculiar diet or occupation. The elephant eaters and hunters, who seem also to have been denominated Asachaei or Asachae (Agatharch. de Rub. Mar. p. 39), employed, according to Diodorus (l.c.), two methods of killing the elephant. The hunter singled out individuals from the herd, and ham-strung them with a sharp-pointed knife,--a feat which often terminated in the destruction of both the hunter and his prey; or, sawing nearly through the trees against which the elephants were accustomed to lean, watched for their falling with the sawn trunk, and as their unwieldy size prevented the animals from rising, destroyed the elephants at leisure. The Elephantophagi brought the hides and tusks of their game to the markets of Upper Egypt,--the hides being employed in covering bucklers, and the ivory for inlaid work in architecture, and for many of the ornaments of luxury.


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  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.35
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 8.13
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 3.26
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