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Cynocephali and Signs of ‘Barbarous’ Language

Keywords: Hand Gesture, cynocephali, barking, John of Plano Carpini, Martin Waldseemüller The dog-headed cynocephali were frequently depicted with their hands raised or pointing. Hand gestures were recognised in ancient Greece and Rome as a part of universal human expression, used for persuasive and emotive discourse (Kendon, 2004, p. 17). As the Roman rhetorician, Marcus Fabius… Continue reading Cynocephali and Signs of ‘Barbarous’ Language

Halloween Compilation 2022

Witches in Sixteenth-Century Germany: The belief in witches, what they were accused of and why 'The witch trials demonstrated fear of the power of women’s sexuality. The female witch was understood to be a product of woman’s excessive carnal lust who were affiliated with fornication and orgies with the Devil. This made them more susceptible… Continue reading Halloween Compilation 2022

Dog-Pig Hybrids and the Heretical Teachings of the Jesuits during the Counter Reformation

Keywords: Jesuits, Peter (or Petrus) Canisius, Martin Eisengrein, Judensau (‘Jewish sow’), dog-pig hybrids, Reformation Updated: 05.10.2022 The act of revelation was explored in Protestant Reformation prints to demonstrate that the Catholic Church were something more sinister than what they externally portrayed. In this way, their outward, physical appearance from their tonsured haircut to their clerical… Continue reading Dog-Pig Hybrids and the Heretical Teachings of the Jesuits during the Counter Reformation

Was Lucas Cranach’s ‘Werewolf’ really a Depiction of a Werewolf?

Keywords: Werewolf, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), vagrants, criminals, wilderness The single-leaf woodcut by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), commonly entitled Werewolf (c.1510-1512), encapsulated the fears surrounding people who resided in the land of the wolf. The print portrays a disheveled man with torn clothes, shoeless, and unkempt hair on all limbs. He appears to… Continue reading Was Lucas Cranach’s ‘Werewolf’ really a Depiction of a Werewolf?

Monstrous Births and their Uses in Sixteenth Century Germany

Keywords: Monstrous Births, Portent, Omen, German Reformation, Martin Luther, Monster of Cracow Interest grew in monstrous births out of the printing press, where accounts of monstrous births were promptly reported and spread widely (Bates, 2005, p. 15). The prints also had a ready market that had already seen images of wonders such as monstrous races.… Continue reading Monstrous Births and their Uses in Sixteenth Century Germany