segunda-feira, 5 de julho de 2010


Plínio, O Velho, Historia Naturalis, Livro V, cap. XVIII:

The Atlantes, if we believe what is said, have lost all characteristics of humanity; for there is no mode of distinguishing each other among them by names, and as they look upon the rising and the setting sun, they give utterance to direful imprecations against it, as being deadly to themselves and their lands; nor are they visited with dreams, like the rest of mortals. The Troglodytæ make excavations in the earth, which serve them for dwellings; the flesh of serpents is their food; they have no articulate voice, but only utter a kind of squeaking noise; and thus are they utterly destitute of all means of communication by language. The Garamantes have no institution of marriage among them, and live in promiscuous concubinage with their women. The Augylæ worship no deities but the gods of the infernal regions. The Gamphasantes, who go naked, and are unacquainted with war, hold no intercourse whatever with strangers. The Blemmyæ are said to have no heads, their mouths and eyes being seated in their breasts. The Satyri, beyond their figure, have nothing in common with the manners of the human race, and the form of the Ægipani is such as is commonly represented in paintings. The Himantopodes are a race of people with feet resembling thongs, upon which they move along by nature with a serpentine, crawling kind of gait. The Pharusii, descended from the ancient Persians, are said to have been the companions of Hercules when on his expedition to the Hesperides.

Não sei onde os vi pela primeira vez - se em alguma coisa do Umberto Eco ou algum quadro de Bosch, mas os Blemmyae são, de todos esses, os meus favoritos. Há algo de deliciosamente assustador (vamos, admita que você também gosta de um pouco de freak) em homens com a cabeça no tronco, que faz com que ciclopes, cabeças de cachorro ou pés gigantes me pareçam banalidades encontráveis em qualquer caminhada na Avenida Paulista.

(Hartmann Schedel, Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493)

(Sebastian Münster, Cosmographia, 1544)

E o fim da descrição de Plínio:

Beyond the above, I have met with nothing relative to Africa worthy of mention.

Um comentário:

Anônimo disse...

"O hsing-t'ien é um ser acéfalo que, tendo combatido contra os deuses, foi decapitado e ficou para sempre sem cabeça. Tem os olhos no peito e seu umbigo é sua boca. Brinca e salta nos descampados, brandindo seu escudo e sua acha."
Por J.L.Borges, Fauna Chinesa, do Livro dos Seres Imaginários.

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