The Marsi
According to Pliny, these people of ancient Italy were from
the earliest times skilled in magical practices and sorceries.
They were able to charm poisonous serpents by means of
songs. St. Augustine also wrote ‘‘One would think that these
animals understood the language of the Marsi, so obedient are
they to their orders; we see them come out of their caverns as
soon as the Marsian has spoken.’’ (See also Psylli)