- Ian African people south-west of the Syrtis Major, celebrated as serpent-charmers: qui Psylli nominantur, Cels. 5, 27, 3; Plin. 7, 2, 2, § 14; 8, 25, 38, § 93; Suet. Aug. 17; Luc. 9, 893.—Sing.: exemplum Psylli secutus, Cels. 5, 27, 3.
Psyllī, (16) ōrum, m. (Ψύλλοι), Psylles [peuple de Libye qui charmait les serpents et guérissait de leur morsure] : Plin. 21, 78 ; Suet. Aug. 17.
Psyllī, ōrum m Libische volksstam aan de kust bij de
PSYLLI (Ψύλλοι, Hecat. Fr.303, ed. Klausen; Hdt. 4.173; Strab. 2. p. 131, 13. p. 588, xvii. pp. 814, 838; Plin. Nat. 5.4, 7.2, 8.38, 11.30, 25.76, 28.6; Aelian, Nat. An. 6.33), a people on the shores of the Greater Syrtis, who bordered on the Nasamones, occupying that part of the shores of Sórtwhich lies between Aulad Slimanand Aulad Naim.According to Herodotus (l. c.) they sallied forth against Notos, or the S. wind, and were buried in the sands which were raised by the offended wind. Their country was afterwards occupied by the Nasamones.
The story gives a vivid picture of those seas of sand, unbathed by dew or rain, when the fine dust-like particles, rising through the rarefied air, roll up in dark oppressive clouds. They were supposed by the ancients to have a secret art enabling them to secure themselves from the poison of serpents, like the Háwee,or snake jugglers of Cairo. (Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians,vol. 5. p. 241 ; Lane, Modern Egyptians,vol. 2. p. 214; Quatremère, Mém. sur l'Egypte,vol. i. pp. 203--211.) Cato brought some of these people in his train when he led the way into the depths of the desert which skirts the Lesser Syrtis (Plut. Cat. Mi. 56; Lucan (Luc. 9.891); and Octavius made use of the services of these poison-suckers, it was said, in order to restore his victim, Cleopatra, to life. (Dio Cass.; comp. Lucan (Luc. 9.925.)
(Ψύλλοι). A Libyan people, the earliest known inhabitants of the district of North Africa called Cyrenaïca. Pliny ( Pliny H. N.vii. 2Pliny H. N., 13) speaks of them as able to heal wounds caused by serpents. Persons of this race are said to have been brought to the bedside of Cleopatra after she had been bitten by the asp ( Suet. Aug.17, with Peck's notes).