Ichthyophagi

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Ichthyophagi (Ancient Greek: Ἰχθυοφάγοι and Latin Ichthyophagi, for "Fish-Eaters"), the name given by ancient geographers to several coast-dwelling peoples in different parts of the world and ethnically unrelated.[1]

Mention by Historians

  • Herodotus (book i. c. 200) mentions three tribes of the Babylonians who were solely fish-eaters, and in book iii. c. 19 refers to Ichthyophagi in Aethiopia.[2]
  • Ptolemy speaks of fish-eaters in the Persian Gulf coasts, coast of the Red Sea, on the west coast of Africa[3] and on the coast of the Far East near the harbour of Cattigara.

History

They are a people group identified on the 4th century Peutinger Map, as a people of the Baluchistan coast. The existence of such tribes was confirmed by Sir Richard F Burton (El-Medinah, p. 144).[8]

Chapter xxviii. Alexander in Carmania.

Arrian[9] writes....CERTAIN authors have said (though to me the statement seems incredible) that Alexander led his forces through Carmania lying extended with his Companions upon two covered waggons joined together, the flute being played to him; and that the soldiers followed him wearing garlands and sporting. Food was provided for them, as well as all kinds of dainties which had been brought together along the roads by the Carmanians. They say that he did this in imitation of the Bacchic revelry of Dionysus, because a story was told about that deity, that after subduing the Indians he traversed the greater part of Asia in this manner and received the appellation of Thriambus,’ and that for the same reason the processions in honour of victories after war were called thriambi. This has been recorded neither by Ptolemy, son of Lagos, nor by Aristobulus, son of Aristobolos, nor by any other writer whose testimony on such points any one would feel to be worthy of credit. It is sufficient therefore for me to record it as unworthy of belief.2 But as to what I am now going to describe I follow the account of Aristobulus. In Carmania Alexander offered sacrifices to the gods as thank-offerings for his victory over the Indians, and because his army had been brought in safety out of Gadrosia. He also celebrated a musical and gymnastic contest. He then appointed Peucestas one of his confidential body-guards, having already resolved to make him viceroy of Persis. He wished him, before being appointed to the viceroyalty, to experience this honour and evidence of confidence, as a reward for his exploit among the Mallians. Up to this time the number of his confidential body-guards had been seven :—Leonnatus, son of Anteas, Hephaestion, son of Amyntor, Lysimachus, son of Agatho. des, Aristonous,’ son of Pisaeus, these four being Pellaeans; Pèrdiccas, son of Orontes, from Orestis, Ptolemy, son of Lagus, and Peithon, son of Crateas, the Heordaeans. Peucestas, who had held the shield over Alexander, was now added to them as an eighth. At this time Nearchus, having sailed round the coast of Ora and Gadrosia and that of the Ichthyophagi, put into port in the inhabited part of the coast land of Carmanias, and going up thence into the interior with a few men he reported to Alexander the particulars of the voyage which he had made along the coasts of the external sea. Nearchus was then sent down to the sea again to sail round as far as the country of Susiana, and the outlets of the river Tigres.2 How he sailed from the river Indus to the Persian Sea and the mouth of the Tigres, I shall describe in a separate book, following the account of Nearchus himself.3 For he also wrote a history of Alexander in Greek. Perhaps I shall be able to compose this narrative in the future, if inclination and the divine influence urge me to it. Alexander now ordered Hephaestion to march into Persis from Carmania along the sea-shore with the larger division of the army and the beasts of burden, taking with him also the elephants; because, as he was making the expedition in the season of winter,2 the part of Persis near the sea was warm and possessed abundant supplies of provisions.

References

  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  2. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  3. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  4. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  5. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  6. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  7. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  8. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Ichthyophagi". Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 270.
  9. Arrian Anabasis Book/6b