Akephalos

WlLDMAN of North Africa.

Etymology: Greek, "headless man." Variant names: Blemyes, Blemmyes. Physical description: No head. Eyes are located in the chest.

Distribution: Western Libya. Possible explanation: Confused account about members of a nomadic tribe who looked either headless due to their distinctive headdresses or directionless because they did not have a fixed homeland.

Sources: Herodotus, The Histories, trans. Aubrey de Sélincourt (London: Penguin, 1996), p. 276 (IV. 191); Pliny the Elder, Natural History: A Selection, ed. John F. Healy (New York: Penguin, 1991), p. 57 (v. 8, 46); Etienne Quatremère, Mémoires géographiques et historiques sur l'Egypte (Paris: F. Schoell, 1811), vol. 2, pp. 127-161; Bernard Heuvelmans, Les bêtes humaines d'Afrique (Paris: Plon, 1980), pp. 148, 161.

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