The Blemmyes (Latin Blemmyae) was a Nubian tribe which became fictionalized as a race of creatures believed to be acephalous (headless) monsters who had eyes and mouths on their chest. Pliny The Elder writes of them that Blemmyes traduntur capita abesse, ore et oculis pectore adfixis ("It is said that the Blemmyes have no heads, and that their mouth and eyes are put in their chests"). The Blemmyes were said to live in Africa, in Nubia, Kush, or Ethiopia, generally south of Egypt.
Some authors derive the story of the Blemmyes from this, that their heads were hid between their shoulders, by hoisting those up to an extravagant height. Samuel Blochart derives the word Blemmyes from two Hebrew terms, one a negation, the other meaning "brain", implying that the Blemmyes were people without brains.