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 On the banks of these rivers live the Rhizophagi (or root-eaters) and Heleii (or marsh-men). They have their name from digging roots in the adjacent marsh, bruising them with stones, and forming them into cakes, which they dry in the sun for food. These countries are the haunts of lions. The wild beasts are driven out of these places, at the time of the rising of the dog-star, by large gnats. Near these people live the Spermophagi (or seed-eaters), who, when seeds of plants fail, subsist upon seeds of trees,1 which they prepare in the same manner as the Rhizophagi prepare their roots. Next to Elæa are the watch-towers of Demetrius, and the altars of Conon. In the interior Indian reeds grow in abundance. The country there is called the country of Coracius. Far in the interior was a place called Endera, inhabited by a naked tribe,2 who use bows and reed arrows, the points of which are hardened in the fire. They generally shoot the animals from trees, sometimes from the ground. They have numerous herds of wild cattle among them, on the flesh of which they subsist, and on that of other wild animals. When they have taken nothing in the chase, they dress dried skins upon hot coals, and are satisfied with food of this kind. It is their custom to propose trials of skill in archery for those who have not attained manhood. Next to the altars of Conon is the port of Melinus, and above it is a fortress called that of Coraus and the chase of Coraus, also another fortress and more hunting-grounds. Then follows the harbour of Antiphilus, and above this a tribe, the Creophagi, deprived of the prepuce, and the women are excised after the Jewish custom.3
1 ἀκροδρύων is expressed in the Periplus of Agatharchides by the words τὸν καρπὸν πίπτοντα ἀπὸ τῶν δένδρων, ‘the fruit falling from the trees.’ The Periplus adds another tribe, the Hylophagi, ‘wood-eaters,’ who subsisted on the tender branches of certain trees. Strabo refers to them, b. xvii. c. ii. § 2, but without giving their name. The pods of the Lotus Zizyphus are eatable, and may here be meant.
2 Gymnetæ. Between the Spermophagi and the Creophagi, Agatharchides places another people called Cynegetæ. Strabo and Pliny do not mention them; but the sort of life the Gymnetæ, of which they both speak, lead resembles that of the Cynegetæ or Cynegi of Agatharchides and Diodorus Siculus (iii. 25). It seems therefore that these two authors, as well as Strabo and Pliny, meant here to speak of one and the same tribe of Ethiopian Gymnetæ, which might have been distinguished by the particular name of Cynegetæ, or Cynegi. Du Theil.
3 Above, c. ii. § 37.
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