Soldiers as the Metaphorical Beasts of War during the Thirty Years’ War

Keywords: werewolves, Thirty Years’ War, soldiers, greed, human-animal hybrids Times of war had been shown to increase the rate of wolf attacks as wolves became attracted to the corpses left on the battlefield. This would have led to wolves becoming habituated with humans, becoming less fearful and more likely to attack as episodes in recent… Continue reading Soldiers as the Metaphorical Beasts of War during the Thirty Years’ War

The Canine Motif in the Anti-Clerical Fables of Reynard the Fox

Keywords: Anti-clericalism, Reformation, Reynard the Fox, Fable, Monks. Medieval bestiaries and fables used animals as metaphors for the human condition. They were used to both mirror and to criticise society. Anti-clerical fables include the medieval folk characters Reynard the Fox (Reinecke Fuchs), and his companions Isengrim (or Ysengrin) the wolf. The medieval French fables were… Continue reading The Canine Motif in the Anti-Clerical Fables of Reynard the Fox

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