A class of persons in ancient Italy who had the power of
charming serpents. This name was also given by various writers
to the snake charmers of Africa, and it is claimed that the serpents
twisted round the bodies of these Psylli without doing
them any injury, although the reptiles did not have their fangs
extracted or broken.
In Kahira, when a viper entered a house, the charmer was
sent for, and he enticed it out by the use of certain words. At
other times, music was used, and it is believed that the serpents
understood what was said to them by the snake charmers, and
they acted with complete obedience.
Since vipers do not have ears, thus eliminating the effect of
words or music, they may instead respond to movements and