, MOSYNI, MOSSYNI (Μοσύνοικοι, Μοσσύνοικοι, μοσσυνοί, Μοσσυνοί
), a tribe on the coast of Pontus, occupying the district between the Tibareni and Macrones, and containing the towns of CERASUS
The Mosynoeci were a brave and warlike people, but are at the same time said to have been the rudest and most uncivilised among all the tribes of Asia Minor. Many of their peculiar customs are noticed by the Greeks, who planted colonies in their districts. They are said to have lived on trees and in towers. (Strab. xii. p.549
.) Their kings, it is said, were elected by the people, and dwelt in an isolated tower rising somewhat above the houses of his subjects, who watched his proceedings closely, and provided him with all that was necessary; but when he did anything that displeased them, they stopped their supplies, and left him to die of starvation. (Xen. Anab. 5.4. 26
; Apollon. 2.1027
; Diod. 14.30
; Scymnus, Fragm.
166.) They used to cut off the heads of the enemies they had slain, and carry them about amid dances and songs. (Xen. Anab. 4.4. 17
It is also related that they knew nothing of marriage (Xen. Anab. 5.4. 33
; Diod. l.c.
), and that they generally tattooed their bodies. Eating and drinking was their greatest happiness, whence the children of the wealthy among them were regularly fattened with salt dolphins and chestnuts, until they were as thick as they were tall (Xen. Anab. 5.4. 32
). Their arms consisted of heavy spears, six cubits in length, with round or globular handles; large shields of wicker-work covered with ox-hides ; and leather or wooden helmets, the top of which was adorned with a crest of hair. (Xen. l.c.,
5.4.12 ; Hdt. 7.78
The fourth chapter of the fifth book of Xenophon's Anabasis is full of curious information about this singular people. (Comp. also Strab. xi. p.528
; Hecat. Fragm.
193; Steph. B. sub voce Hdt. 3.94
; Scylax, p. 33
.; Amm. Marc. 22.8
; Orph. Argon.
740; Mela, 1.19; Tib. 4.1. 146
; Curtius, 6.4
; Plin. Nat. 6.4
; V. Fl. 5.152
; Dionys. Per. 766.)