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

The Canine Motif and the Dehumanisation of Foreigners

Keywords: Monstrous Races, Cynocephali, Human-animal hybrids, Cannibalism, Dehumanisation That all races, ethnicities, man and woman all belong to the same species sounds like a truism. However, this was of some point of contention during the sixteenth century. The discussion surrounding non-European foreigners paralleled with the discussion involving the mythological monstrous races, including hybrid canine creatures.… Continue reading The Canine Motif and the Dehumanisation of Foreigners

Werewolves, Wolves, and the Intersections between Human and Animal

Keywords: Werewolves, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Cannibalism, Petter Stump, Wolves One of the earliest werewolf fables originated from the ancient festival of Zeus in Arcadia, Greece. Participants would choose a piece of meat from a mixture of both animal and human sacrifices. Those who unwittingly chose and ate the entrails of a human sacrifice would transform into… Continue reading Werewolves, Wolves, and the Intersections between Human and Animal