Web Theoi
ASTOMOI
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Αστομοι Astomoi Astomi Mouthless (a-,stoma)

THE ASTOMOI (or Astomi) were a tribe of hair-covered Indian men without mouths who obtained their only nourishment from the scent of aromatic plants.


Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7. 26 (trans. Rackham) (Roman encyclopedia C1st A.D.) :
"At the extreme boundary of India to the East, near the source of the Ganges, he [the Greek historian Megasthenes C4th B.C.] puts the Astomi tribe, that has no mouth and a body hairy all over; they dress in cottonwool and live only on the air they breath and the scent they inhale through their nostrils; they have no food or drink except the different odours of the roots and flowers and wild apples, which they carry with them on their longer journeys so as not to lack a supply of scent; he says they can easily be killed by a rather stronger odour than usual."


Sources:

  • Pliny the Elder, Natural History - Latin Encyclopedia C1st A.D.