The Human-Animal Debate in the Colonisation of Native Americans

Keywords: Colonisation, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Amerigo Vespucci, Native Americans, Spanish With the European ‘discovery’ of the New World, it became advantageous to see the less developed Native Americans as akin to animals to justify their colonisation and enslavement. Spiritual conquest was used to help facilitate physical colonisation, therefore, missionaries soon followed conquistadores. Spanish missionaries… Continue reading The Human-Animal Debate in the Colonisation of Native Americans

What is the meaning behind the dog-man conjoined twins in the Nuremberg Chronicle?

Keywords: Monstrous Births, Portents, Papacy, Muslim Turks, Crusades The Nuremberg Chronicle described a monstrous birth that was born with a face of a dog on their back. The artist interpreted this description based on conjoined twins as the birth was portrayed with two heads, one human and one canine, and a shared body. As the… Continue reading What is the meaning behind the dog-man conjoined twins in the Nuremberg Chronicle?

The Dog-Headed Cannibals of John Mandeville’s Travels

Keywords: Cynocephali, Monstrous Races, Cannibalism, John Mandeville, Age of Discovery Depictions of man-eating cynocephali appear in late-fifteenth-century German printed editions of John Mandeville’s Travels, embedded in the texts of a 1481 Basel edition and a copy in a 1499 Strasbourg edition. In the Basel edition, a cynocephalus is depicted on his hands and knees biting… Continue reading The Dog-Headed Cannibals of John Mandeville’s Travels

Did Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta marina (1516) portray Mongols as dog-headed Cynocephali?

Keywords: Cynocephali, Monstrous Races, Mongols, Primitiveness, Otherness The post-Columbus period marked a shift from representing the monstrous races as more abstract ‘wonders’ or ‘marvels’ from its medieval tradition to being representations of the knowable foreign ‘Other.’ On Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta marina (1516), the cynocephali are located between northern India and the territory labelled ‘Mongal’ and… Continue reading Did Martin Waldseemüller’s Carta marina (1516) portray Mongols as dog-headed Cynocephali?

Representations of Monsters in German Renaissance Prints

Keywords: Human-animal hybrids; Monstrous Races; Monstrous Births; Wild Man; Werewolves Representations of human-animal hybrids and the concept of shape-shifting in both literary sources and the visual arts captured the early modern European imagination. This is particularly evident in the prevalence of pictorial prints featuring these creatures dated in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries that… Continue reading Representations of Monsters in German Renaissance Prints