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But someone had a knife and the werewolfs disguise dropped off: Take care not to betray me, otherwise its your life, the werewolf threatened. Those were people, just like us. But they were tormented, the man repeated, and they had to go out to torment other people, for instance when someone had to fetch the midwife or the doctor at night He wrapped it around himself? Yes, he had a hide hanging around him, I have never seen it.

Someone managed to burn a werewolfs hide and then he was saved. And then they knew who tormented the people A woman had often heard from her father that he had to carry the werewolf; when he passed a certain vegetable garden the werewolf flew out of a big bush and he couldnt do anything to stop it According to another informant, however, a man who did not want to carry the werewolf hit him with his fist on his head.

Then the werewolf stood naked before him and he knew who it was, because it were ordinary people. I also know who it was, but cant tell you A further informant, also a man, of 72, confirmed this: The werewolf was a normal human being who draped himself in a sheet, like a ghost, and then jumped on your back and then you had to carry him. He had not seen it himself, but his grandparents talked a lot about it This informant also knew a story about a farm maid who was not afraid of anyone. The farmer wanted to disprove this and put a hide over his head to frighten her, but he was hit with a wooden hammer and died Knabbens informants did not relate their own experiences and their stories took place one or two generations in the past.

They had not seen the werewolf, only heard others talking about it. Some had been afraid, others not; some passively underwent the assault, while others fought it. Other interviews convey the same message. An year-old man, for instance, said: when you went somewhere then he used to jump on your neck, stayed there for a while and jumped off A second tale was a little better known. In it a farm hand goes out regularly as a werewolf but is relieved of his urge by burning his wolf skin in an oven.

Here there was variation, too; one labourer was said to have exclaimed after his belt was burned: what have you done now? Now I am cursed forever In the two next versions, he was saved 51 , and his identity discovered 71 : afterwards, he thanked them and went to visit the friars and he confessed it all and then he was saved In the last version, the werewolf had simply gone away: Yes, a werewolf, that was more a human being, but they had a skin, they wore it.

Where did they get that from? I dont know where they got that from. One inherited it from another The back-riding werewolf must also have surfaced in mid-nineteenth-century France, since it was drawn by the artist Maurice Sand Figure 1. Back-riders are much more widespread and are named after all kinds of men; only in the German-Dutch regions which experienced werewolf trials are they called werewolves. In this I differ from Roeck, who interpreted the back-riding werewolf as a sign that the werewolf was disappearing;92 I suggest that it shows the strength of the concept instead.

But it also means that conclusions about the Limburg werewolf cannot be projected on werewolves elsewhere, or vice versa. Geographical and temporal clusters Some medieval and sixteenth-century reports mention multitudes of werewolves; but it is debatable whether or not they can be considered one and the same cluster. A possible wolf cult in antique Arcadia should be first and foremost understood within the ancient Greek context.

The Lycaon myth is nevertheless important for its effect on the later imagery of manwolf hybrids the Arcadian king did not change back , even on early-nineteenth-century French folklore. Metamorphosing Neuroi, as reported by Herodotus, comply more to the notion of a temporary change, as well as to packs; but they cannot be placed in the same category as later Nordic warriors or Estonian brigands.

The diversity of werewolf concepts is therefore also apparent in the, not necessarily mutually exclusive, approaches of the contributors to this volume. Whereas, for instance, Aleksander Pluskowski looks for sometimes. Johannes Dillinger discusses the curious logic of a number of demonologists, who left the soul out of consideration and concentrated on the power of the devil to deceive people, while Rolf Schulte establishes different degrees of the werewolfs presence on a popular level, using the difficult but unfairly neglected source of slander trials.

Rita Voltmers contribution, with its focus on the Jesuits role in the CounterReformation, bridges these two approaches and is more context-oriented; by contrast, Dillingers is an exercise in text comparison. Other trials and treatises are still waiting to be analysed. As far as the trial distribution is concerned, the rare Italian case discussed by Matteo Duni can be understood as another off-shoot of the Alpine epicentre. But the main Italian werewolf under observation can hardly be seen as the result of over-zealous werewolf hunters, as later transpired in Germany.

This raises the question whether the werewolf trials in the eastern Baltic lands, which featured many female werewolves, had their own dynamics or whether they were primarily influenced by German examples. Matters of translation, communication and adaptation, as well as local contexts, must be taken into consideration. Werewolves in sixteenth-century demonological thinking, for instance, seem to have changed from those in medieval romances; but, if the latter are of little relevance to demonologists, this change is probably only a function of a present-day perspective.

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century werewolf legends have a different centre of gravity in different areas of Europe. In some places such as, the British Isles, Ireland, the Iberian peninsula, Bavaria, the Swiss and Austrian Alps, and Greece werewolf references are practically absent, or only have a cursory presence in the odd saying in coastal areas: such as, Frisia and Portugal, where a seventh son was considered a werewolf without much further elaboration. In Southern Sweden, however, werewolves are rampant.

Switzerland presents an intriguing case in this respect, as the sporadic trials from the fifteenth to. Separating the various werewolf clusters is vital to see at what points they may be combined again and to arrive at a reliable history. Only then may it become possible to answer questions about meanings which will not be the same for every cluster.

The variety of werewolf clusters is certainly apparent in the last chapters of this book, which concern nineteenth- and twentiethcentury legends from Estonia, Denmark and Croatia, written by respectively Merili Metsvahi, Michle Simonsen and Maja Pasari. In general, legends are characterised by their multitude. How, then, to assess matters of quantity? The late nineteenth-century Danish ethnographer Evald Tang Kristensen is said to have collected twenty-five thousand legends, but in his major collection Danske sagn, published in the last decade of the nineteenth century, he only presented the relatively small amount of 42 werewolf legends.

One of the answers could be that Danish werewolf concepts were in decline, another that Tang Kristensen and his correspondents only touched the surface of this sexually loaded concept. Whatever the answer, it should evoke more caution when dealing with earlier texts. In the chapter on Danish legends several stories are discussed to arrive at an integrated semantic cluster, ranging from the cause of a werewolfs curse to his redemption.

Yet contributing parts of this cluster are also found elsewhere and the question thus remains whether or not it is only possible to attribute a special meaning on the basis of a full cluster.

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This becomes the more urgent as it appears that the Danish werewolf is more the subject of artistic expression than of everyday concern, an issue that also emerges in the discussion of the Estonian werewolf legends. Although the latter are substantially different, the distinction between the werewolf as an everyday experience and as the subject of a good story can be discerned in both areas. Apart from difference in substance, the following contributions also champion difference in approach.

Werewolves cannot be comprehended on their own, but need to be seen as part of the ever-changing relations between humans and animals, and indeed gods or devils. Werewolves are to be compared with other human-animal disguises and transformations. They can be seen from the position of the learned and the mighty or at least those who strove to be as well as within the tensions of everyday life. Werewolves provide unique perspectives on the soul. They can enliven the history of the body, just as this is enhanced by considering shape-shifters.

There is no werewolf history; there are only histories of werewolves. Willem de Blcourt, Mounstrous Theories. In as far as psychiatric patients enact werewolf movies, I categorise them within the cinematic cluster. Linda S. To prevent misunderstanding: I consider these books as source material rather than academic studies. I have incorporated parts of the English version of my entry Wolfsmenschen, Enzyklopdie des Mrchens 14 , col. Charlotte F. Michael Jacoby, Wargus, vargr. Verbrecher Wolf. Eine sprach- und rechtsgeschichtliche Untersuchung Uppsala, , ; Klaus von See, Europa und der Norden im Mittelalter Heidelberg, , ; cf.

Mary R. This line of reasoning may be confusing since varg the is the current Swedish term for wolf. It is, however, of relatively young date as since the 10th century, the Germanic word vargr designated the outlawed criminal, has been transferred to the wolf, Martin Rheinheimer, The Belief in Werewolves and the Extermination of Real Wolves in Schleswig-Holstein, Scandinavian Journal of History 20 , , cit.

Wilhelm Hertz, Der Werwolf. Asa Simon and Peter J. Asma, On Monsters. Brian Levack ed. Adam Douglas, The Beast Within, Reidar Th. Leslie A. Sconduto, Metamorphoses of the Werewolf. See also the review of Karin E. Olsen in The Medieval Review 2 and Scondutos reply in the following issue of the same journal. Nadine Metzger, Wolfsmenschen und nchtliche Heimsuchungen. Summers, The Werewolf, Feher ed. Porter and W. Russell eds , Animals in Folklore Cambridge, , , , Pennethorn Hughes, Witchcraft Harmondsworth, , The figure is repeated in H. Paul E. Keck, Harrison G. Pope, James I. Hudson, Susan L.

McElroy and Aaron R. Carol Rose ed. Wolfgang Behringer, Neun Millionen Hexen. The more accurate estimate is ca. A Global History Cambridge, , Pierre de Lancre, Tableau de linconstance des mauvais anges et dmons, o il es amplement trait des sorciers et de la sorcellerie, Jacques-Chaquin ed. Tempe, Oates, Metamorphosis and Lycanthropy, ; E. Henningsen, The Witches Advocate, , , , , n. See also: Jonathan L. Kramer, Hohnsprake, Wrakworte, Nachschnack und Ungebhr. See also the chapter by Rolf Schulte in this volume. Joseph Hansen, Zauberwahn, Inquisition und Hexenprozess im Mittelalter und die Entstehung der grossen Hexenverfolgung Munich, , instead of , referring to Jules Baissac, Les grands jours de la sorcellerie Paris, , Joseph Hansen, Quellen und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte des Hexenwahns und der Hexenverfolgung im Mittelalter Bonn, , ; he called the later case an Inquisitionsprozess, thus it should have been mentioned on p.

Nicolas Rmy, La dmonoltrie, Jean Bos ed. Nancy, , ; the errenous year in: Summers, The Werewolf, , cf. Otten, Lycanthropy Reader, Henry Boguet, Discours des sorciers, second edition Lyon, , Edwards ed. Male Witches in Central Europe Basingstoke, , Johanna Koppenhfer, Die mitleidlose Gesellschaft. Lorey, Das. Robin Briggs, Dangerous Spirits. Elisabeth Biesel, Die oberste sey ein kostlichs weyb wie ein edell frauw gewessen. Elmar Lorey, Vom Wolfssegner zum Werwolf. Marcel van den Berg, De volkssage in de provincie Antwerpen in de 19de en 20ste eeuw Gent, , Inge Sommer, Krechintza zwischen den Zhnen.

It can already be found in the late 15th-century vangelie des quenouilles, see: Claude Lecouteux, Elle courait le garou. Lycanthropes, hommes-ours, hommes-tigres: une anthologie Paris, , Jan L. See for the Russian koldun: W. Ryan, The Bathhouse at Midnight. Rainer Alsheimer, Katalog protestantischer Teufelserzhlungen des Jahrhunderts, in: Wolfgang Brckner ed. Grimm, Deutsche Sagen, M, , Hessissches Heimatblad 31 , Gustav Grner, Waldeckische Volkserzhlungen Marburg, , 42, Zender, Westeifel, no.

Dinnissen, Volksverhalen uit Gendt Amsterdam, , no. Engelbert Heupers, Volksverhalen Amsterdam, , no. Alfons Roeck, De Nederlandse weerwolfsage in de negentiende en twintigste eeuw Leuven, , , unpublished. Archive Meertens Institute, Amsterdam. Collection Eggen, VVB: www. The last two are not published; the third only partially: Henk Krosenbrink, De oele rp.

Achterhookse volksverhalen Aalten, Piet Knabben, Resultaten van het sagenonderzoek in het zuidelijk deel van de BelgischLimburgse Maasvallei Leuven , unpublished. Dutch: smeerlap. The numbers behind the quotes refer to the story numbers in the thesis. VVB Sands loup-garou etching does not appear in: George Sand, Lgendes rustiques Paris but the previous year in Le Magasin Pittoresque, p.

Madeleine Jost, Deux mythes de mtamorphose en animal et leurs interprtations: Lykaon et Kallisto, Kernos 18 , Codierungen und Diskurse Tbingen, , ; cf. Merili Metsvahi, Werwolfprozesse in Estland und Livland im Jan R. Bremmer and Jan R. Jurjen van der Kooi, De nachtmerje fan Rawier: fryske sgen oer it boppenatuerlike Ljouwert, , Lise Andries, Contes du loup, in: Jean de Nynauld, De la lycanthropie, transformation et extase des sorciers Ursula Brunold-Bigler, Wolfsmensch und Brenhexe.

Tiere in Sagen und Mrchen aus den Alpen Chur, , Timothy R. It is a commonplace that metaphors tend to cluster around core themes a tendency rather grandly termed the systematicity of metaphor. In Graeco-Roman antiquity, where, depending on period, between 85 percent and 95 percent of the entire population lived on the land, such tendencies are particularly observable in relation to animals, both wild and domestic. A standard modern Graeco-Roman Bestiary, careful but by no means complete, contains entries for mammalian species, Mediterranean and exotic, from the common-or-garden to the virtually mythical.

Ancient stories about transformation and metamorphosis derive their cultural legitimacy from this conception of a densely-populated continuum of animate beings. Since the publication more than half a century ago of La pense sauvage by Claude Lvi-Strauss, it has become trite to note the intense interest of the so-called Naturvlker in their natural environment, the complexity and otherness of their classification systems the science of the concrete , and the intimate relation between these classifications and the local social order.

It was Lvi-Strauss complementary text, devoted to dismantling the traditional concept of totemism, that introduced the idea that animal species not animals as such are not so much good to eat as bonnes penser, good to think. Here and there: some basic classificatory schemes At this distance, and given the biases of our ancient source material for such matters, it is impossible to undertake the kind of close analysis that Stanley Tambiah provided of rural Thai classifications and rules regarding animals. We can nevertheless make some preliminary points.

Although the Greek scheme of animate beings was so broad which helped Aristotle to set up his biological paradigm, in which humans are animals albeit the highest animal ,10 they drew relatively sharp distinctions between man anthrpos and beast thr. Beasts in turn were classified as belonging to land, water and air, thus creating nodes for producing anomalies such as amphibians, bats, and moles which were exploited in certain dispositifs, such as magic.

But they certainly continued to exist in the mountainous areas of western and northern Greece. The symbolic value of the wolf, however, had little or nothing to do with actual presence, real danger or quantifiable economic loss it was the thought that counted. The Greeks likewise distinguished between domesticated and wild animals in effect, mammals only. Both categories were complex, in the sense that they contained sub-divisions based on proximity, familiarity and cultural value.

Within the domesticated category, the dog occupied a privileged position, since dogs were the only animals regarded as very lowly members of the household. At the same time, their habits of fawning, incessant barking and yapping, thieving food, mangling corpses, eating excrement and indiscriminate also incestuous copulation meant that they excited hostility and sympathy in almost equal measure. No less privileged, because of its association with military elites, and likewise prescriptively inedible, was the horse. Chatting about wolves In his excellent account of Greek ideas about wolves, Richard Buxton pointed out that the tradition is highly diverse: not only are different aspects of wolf behaviour stressed in different contexts but different literary genres convey their own divergent perspectives in fable, for example, wolves are stupid.

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Here the wolf is by no means of prime concern the Hellenistic and Roman leisured reading-class lived in cities and on landed estates, where such animals scarcely figured: the elephant, the dog, the lion, the horse, the goat, the eagle, the asp and the dolphin, all of them nice literary animals, get more space.

Taking Aelian as a guide, we can discern roughly five strategies in ancient wolf-lore, all of them applied to other animals as well. All demonstrate the principle of turning animals into counters in an essentially human game. Productive etymology The assimilation by Classical philology of Brugschian historical linguistics in the mid-nineteenth century turned ancient etymologies into a welcome proof of intellectual progress, since all could be shown to be non-scientific in Brugschian terms, and thus nave or ridiculous.

Since the rise of cultural studies, however, it is the philologists themselves who have become the animals in the zoo, for ancient etymologies are now understood as providing key insights into mentalities and cognitive procedures. Wolves, Aelian tells us, were loved by the god Apollo because he was born, like his sister Artemis, after his mother Leto had changed herself into a she-wolf for fear of Hera, the jealous wife of Zeus, father of gods and men, who had made Leto pregnant.

This mythic connection between Apollo and the wolf is commemorated by the existence of a bronze statue of a wolf at Delphi, Apollos main oracular site in Greece Nat. Modern etymologists may claim that the two words lykios and lykeios are unconnected; the Greeks thought it obvious that they were and. Parnassus a motif that refers to another strategy we shall glance at later, the intelligent, quasi-human wolf.

Thus, Pausanias the periegete, arrived at Sikyon, in the northern Argolid, where in his day there was a ruined temple of Apollo Lykios, was told a story about how an oracle from Apollo had once put an end to the constant attacks of wolves on the local flocks of sheep. The Sikyonians were told to collect the bark of some dry wood to be found in the sacred enclosure of the shrine, and mix it with the flesh of the dead sheep.

And as soon as they tasted the bark, the wolves expired a wonder indeed. Sadly, though, the local tourist guides did not know which sort of tree it was and so a sovereign remedy against wolves was lost to science. Lykaion in Arcadia. Empirical observation Like etymology, natural history offered plenty of scope for appropriating the wolf. The point, though, is that in antiquity outside Aristotles biological works there are no simple empirical reports of animal behaviour: every observation has been passed, often repeatedly, through the cognitive mincer.

With Alexanders conquest of the Achaemenid Empire, the geographical area from which such observations could be drawn expanded massively Aelian can report authoritatively on wolf behaviour in Armenia, and even as far east as the Sea of Azov. It may be true, for example, that wolves lie down to suckle their young, but the fact is worth recording only because it serves, like their dentition and their claws, to categorise wolves with other big, dangerous animals, such as lions, leopards and bears. As a fierce wild animal, dangerous to flocks and therefore human economic interests, the wolf was proverbially ever hungry.

In Egypt there was a plant, named like Apollo , Wolf-slayer, which would kill a wolf by convulsions if it so much as stepped on it. A similar story circulated about the squill, which would stop a wolf in its tracks; foxes had thus learned to gather the plant and throw them into wolves dens. The entire island of Crete was inimical to wolves, and there were places on Mt. Olympus, home of the gods, where they would not venture. Thus, when faced with a wide river, they would hang onto the tail of the wolf in front of them, and so cross in safety.

Using a similar method, they could attack and kill a bull that had taken refuge in a pond. Familiar with weather-signs, they would head for human habitations when a storm approached. Single wolves, however, might also show intelligence, even kindly intelligence: it was a wolf that saved Gelon of Syracuse from being killed when the roof of his schoolroom collapsed. But, if their reward is denied them, they punish them instead. Wolves might also demonstrate a natural piety and respect for the human institution of temple-asylum: thus, at Aul in Arcadia, they would not pursue prey if the animal took refuge in the shrine of Pan, god of the wild.

Such prescriptions were not unaffected by developments in school medicine: after Marcellus of Side in the early second century AD, no doubt relying on earlier authors, described a melancholic condition named lycanthropy Wolf-man syndrome , whose symptoms included behaving like wolves and dogs whatever that might mean and skulking at dawn in cemeteries,44 we find claims that dried wolfs liver helps the moonstruck lunatics and the mad, as does a wolfs tooth; the roasted heart consumed on an empty stomach helps lycanthropes.

We have already touched on the interest that attached to wolves gaze and so to their eyes. The detached eye might itself consequently be attributed a transferred innate power: it was red another sign of the ability to cast the evil eye ; it could be used to ensure victory in a court case; as a medical amulet, it would ward off all kinds of fever, and indeed hallucinations and spirit visitations. The right eye, presumably dried, would protect the wearer from blindness caused by ophthalmia perhaps the left one too; and together with the first vertebra of the tail could be used for important magical practices Unless the intended meaning were contextualised, wolf might mean almost anything.

Metamorphosis Stories about shape changing were a standard narrative device in Greek mythography. As we have seen, Greek cosmology presumed the existence of a hierarchy of partly knowable animate beings, which had once been very differently organised. It proceeded from Zeus, father of gods and men, through gods named and unnamed, continued through spirits and more or less impersonal forces such as Necessity, Fate and Fortune, to mankind, and so to animals and plants.

Stories about metamorphosis through any of these shapes or. Because such narratives had no essence, no fixed content or meaning, they could constantly be invested with new senses, acquire new twists through elaboration. One feature remains constant, however: all such stories attempted to evoke a sense of surprise, of wonder.

The type of the exotic marvellous is the tale of Odysseus encounters with folk whose non-Hellenism is defined by way of various infringements of Greek cultural and moral rules. The world out there pullulates with objects, peoples and practices, which one can barely imagine. In that context, metamorphosis itself is almost to be expected. The natural marvellous is akin to the exotic, for many accounts of strange animals and animal behaviour, marvellous rivers and mountains, redoubtable plants and stones purport to derive from far-off lands.

The immediate value of these stories varies with their genre and context: Aelian, for example, finds in them an extension of social rules and ethics, such that the animals often represent moral values; whereas Plutarchs De sollertia animalium, which makes use of much the same sort of material, tests them to discover the location of the boundary between human and animal. In local histories, they instantiated an identity based on nature as well as on the past. But as a whole, the natural marvellous, like the exotic, represents a massive effort of noticing, of reflection upon norms, rules and regularities, of sorting and selecting on the basis of widely-different criteria, which over time threw up a fine variety of illassorted debris that in turn provoked interpretation, one form of which is the metamorphic narrative.

These forms of the non-supernatural marvellous have a reciprocal relationship to the constituted transcendent, the amalgam of powers whose. On the one hand, the constituted transcendent provides the pattern for the earthly marvellous: the Homeric heaven, for example, with its metamorphic inhabitants, constructed a horizon of expectation that sustained all other forms of shape-shifting.

As such, it is a major resource in maintaining the vitality of religious systems, like the Greek and Roman, perpetually tending to be subordinated to, and rationalised by, political interests. Aspects of the vision of divine alterity repeatedly invaded and renewed the modes of civic religiosity, the religion of everyday, through dream, prophecy, portents, disasters.

In a recipe in one of the Demotic magical papyri, for example, the head and blood of a hoopoe are to be cooked and dried, then painted onto the eyes to enable one to see shadows of gods. Insofar as one can generalise, Nikanders stories tend to offer aetiologies for existing practices, while Boios seems to have created a new genre, stories about transformations into birds.

If the Hellenistic period did not invent transformative stories, it certainly domesticated them, in the sense that it recognised them as a genre, collected numerous non-canonical examples, and ran them through a predictable series of interpretative grids. Once that had been done, it was no longer possible, at least in the literate class, to take such stories at face value, however much authority they may have retained in their original local contexts, about which we know precisely nothing.

They had become a literary device, where what counted was the wit, originality and conviction with which the poet could induce the reader to take the motif, here, now, seriously. Wolves, however, are conspicuously absent from this poetic genre, with the sole one is tempted to call it very minor exception of the story of Lykaon, king of Arcadia. Lykaon64 The most famous version of the story of Lykaon is that of Ovids Metamorphoses, written in the last decade before the turn of the eras. Without further explanation, he finds himself traversing wild and dangerous mountain ranges in Arcadia to reach the cold pine-woods of Mt.

Although Jupiter has made clear to the other inhabitants in this antediluvian period there could be no cities that he is a god, and they worship him as they ought pia vota, , Lycaon decides to test whether he really is one. To this end, he cuts the throat of a Molossian hostage staying in his house, chops him up, and boils some of his parts, while roasting others All these rapidly sketched details imply what Ovid does not explicitly say, that this is an impious mockery of the normal sacrifice of cattle, which involved cutting the animals throat, collecting the blood, and then roasting the noble innards and boiling the red meat.

At this point Ovid resorts to his usual technique of emphasising the moment of hybridity: His clothes become hair, his limbs legs: he becomes a wolf yet preserves traces of his former appearance veteris servat vestigia formae the same grey hairs, the same violent face; the same eyes glitter, its the same mask of ferocity Figure 2. This is a reduced copy in reverse of a print from the workshop of Hendrick Goltzius after his invention and part of a series of engravings made in H There is, however, no attempt to enter into the subjectivity of the transformation, as Ovid often does elsewhere with more sympathetic characters, and the brief narrative stops abruptly at this point, as Jupiter continues to rage against human wickedness in justification of his decision to punish mankind with extermination.

There is no follow-up; in this version, Lycaon is an impious monster whose punishment fits both his name and his crime. At the same time, there is an unmistakable hint of how to read this transformation: less a wonder, more an allegory of vice. What is a myth? How many variants can a myth support? How many details need survive in the re-tellings? In the Classical field, these questions are often dealt with in handbooks of Greek myth or on Wikipedia by re-telling one version, usually from a prominent Archaic or Classical source, say a fifth-century tragedy, from Ovids Metamorphoses, or from Apollodorus Bibliotheca, presented as normative.

This is convenient but misleading. In fact, the more often a myth appears in our sources, the more difficult it is to say what it is. In the Graeco-Roman case, we have no access to the living, oral versions, with their own innumerable immediate constraints and invitations, only to literary ones, subject to their own. The point can easily be illustrated by taking two other significant ancient versions of the Lykaon story, those of the epitome of Apollodorus Bibliotheca, and Pausanias.

At the instigation of the eldest, Mainalos, they killed a boy belonging to a local Arcadian family and served up his viscera mixed with ordinary sacrificial meat. Zeus spotted the ruse and upturned the table at a place still named Trapezus, and killed them all, including Lykaon, with his thunderbolt. Only the youngest, Nyktimos, survived to become king of Arcadia. Pierre Borgeaud has read this version as just one phase of a culture-crisis that extends over three generations Lykaon, Kallisto, Arkas and is ultimately resolved by the establishment of civilisation in the form of agriculture and regular sacrifice.

Or does it just fit with some versions that chose to elaborate on the narrative possibilities so plainly offered by Zeus Lykaios, Mt. Lykaion and King Lykaon, but not with others? We cannot know how much detail has been lost in composing the epitome, though it clearly draws upon Hellenistic local histories of Arcadia, interested in creating a thick local topography and fictitious genealogies to support political claims and hoped-for alliances between cities, by no means only in Arcadia, legitimised as citations from Archaic Greek sources.

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Pelasgos taught his people to make huts for shelter against the weather and primitive clothes from the hides of wild pigs. He also weaned them away from their previous diet of raw leaves and roots and induced them to eat beech-mast 8. Lykaion and inaugurating the Lykaia, the festival in honour of Zeus Lykaios for the Greeks, cities and festivals. At this point, however, the civilising process is abruptly halted by a comparison between the sacrificial practices of the first king of Athens, Kekrops, and of Lykaon, whom Pausanias presents as contemporaries.

Although Lykaon was sufficiently aware of the later normative rules for Olympian sacrifice to smear some of the blood on the sides of the altar, Zeus did not take kindly to his offering: they say he was at once, during the sacrifice, turned from a man into a wolf 8. All too aware of the incredulity with which this tale was met by the sophisticates who preferred Zeus to use his usual instrument, the thunderbolt, Pausanias then devotes much more space to telling his readers why he chooses to find the tale plausible than on the narrative itself.

And if we grant that those mythical figures could become gods, why should we not believe that Lykaon could become a wolf, or Niobe a rock 8. This, he admits, is an argument simply from , plausibility generally considered in rhetorical theory a weak type of argument ;80 but the story is assuredly very old. This argument looks as though it had been dusted off from somewhere else: we may remember that the Deluge is supposed to have occurred around the same period Zeus punishment for human wickedness; which does not suggest much moral difference between Lykaons time and the Roman Empires.

As I have said, Pausanias gives the antiquity of the story as one of his main reasons for accepting it. And this has been a very general assumption, especially since the standard edition of Hesiods fragments, by Merkelbach and West, confidently attributed the version in the Katasterismoi of pseudoEratosthenes which claims indeed to be Hesiodic to the Ehoai Catalogue of Women.

The Hesiodic version also combines the motif of the transformation Lykaon with that of the thunderbolt his house , which otherwise occurs only in Ovid and Hyginus, Fab. All this looks like a conscious splicing of well-known variants. Nevertheless, it has been supposed that some version of the myth was presented as a tragedy at Athens in the mid-fifth century, though it is frankly a mere guess. Greek wolf-men If Pausanias is prepared to believe that Lykaon, in remotest antiquity, became a wolf, just as Niobe became a rock, there are other Arcadian stories he dismisses as falsehoods.

These include the tale that Niobe, in rock form, sheds tears every summer on Mt. Sipylos 8. And in relation to Zeus Lykaios, they say that at the sacrifices offered to him others too over the years have turned into wolves, but, if they abstain from human flesh, they turn into humans again after nine years ; if they do consume such flesh, however, they remain wolves for the rest of their lives 8.

These stories are quite incredible: Pausanias compares them to the belief that griffons are spotted like leopards or that Tritons sea-monsters can talk like human beings, or make noises by blowing into seashells 8. It is however precisely these tales, which are evidently variants upon diverse stories about Lykaon, in that the idea of transformation is linked to sacrifices on Mt. Lykaion, that are our proper concern here. Unfortunately, Pausanias view of these narratives was evidently shared by many other members of the literate elite. Unlike the story of Lykaon, which could be retold in various genres including tragedy precisely because it was classed as a myth a status legitimated by its parallelism to other stories of impious sacrifice no extant source considered these stories of wolf-men.

In his account of the formation of the lawless tyrant, Plato makes Socrates refer to a story circulating about what happens at the temple of Zeus Lykaios: people men are inescapably turned into wolves if they consume human viscera there, mixed with those of animals. Lykaion, becomes explicit in a contextless remark by Aristotles most famous pupil Theophrastus, linking Carthage, in antiquity the place par excellence where infant human sacrifice to Melkart was practised, with the festival of Zeus Lykaios, the Lykaia.

The first is a story ascribed by Pliny to a book on Olympic victors by a Greek historian whose name is uncertain. Arcadia tasted of the viscera of a sacrificed boy puer , as was then customary etiamtum He took part in the boxing competition at Olympia and won. A propos of a victor-statue in Olympia, Pausanias tells the same story of an athlete named Demarchos, son of Dinytas, of Parrhasia. In this case, there can be no doubt that it was the fact that he came from Parrhasia, a town close to Mt. Lykaion, that prompted the connection to the wolf-story.

The second report is ascribed to the Arcadians by an otherwise unknown author, Euanthes. There he hung his clothes on an oak tree, swam across the pool, and went into the wild abire in deserta , where he turned into a wolf, living with these animals for nine years. If in this time he had eaten no human flesh,92 he returned to the pool, swam back across it, and re-acquired human shape, albeit nine years older; and re-assumed his old clothes, still evidently hanging out on the oak tree.

This version is interesting, since the motif of the impious sacrifice has been. For the educated elite, the point of recounting such stories was to illustrate the credulousness of others for Pausanias, as a Greek, that of the Arcadians; for Pliny, as a Roman eques, that of the Greeks. These foolish stories are therefore genuine were-wolf stories, which advertise themselves as such by introducing a typical motif of the marvellous the period of nine years. The Anthidai story repeats the signal by specifying that the mans clothes will still be hanging on the oak tree, but slyly introduces a counter-note of realism by specifying that the man will nevertheless have aged nine years.

At one level, they lay claim to a relationship of continuity with Lykaon, son of Pelasgos, founder of the Lykaia, celebrated on Mt Lykaion, which can only be achieved by stepping into the world of the marvellous. At another, they acknowledge but also repudiate his crime, inasmuch as, in their lupine form, the mutants have to respect the human rule that interdicts cannibalism even though, from a wolfs point of view, eating human flesh would merely be permissible allophagy.

That is why the Anthidai story introduces the idea that the mutant is no solitary wolf, but runs with the pack: this is a real wolf, but he has a choice he can accept wolf-rules or he can retain a human conscience. In other words, these stories which I take to be Hellenistic have the same significance as single stones in a large mosaic, such as the Nile mosaic at Palestrina: individually they enjoy low investment, but, conjoined with thousands of others, they form an immanent design the design of a living, divinely-ordained kosmos, composed of innumerable elements, some of which are understood and have a firm place, many others of which are quite inscrutable.

From that point of view, the Hellenistic stories are no different from Herodotus account, in the fifth century BC, of the Neuroi, a trans-Scythian people, every man jack of whom was said to turn into a wolf for a few days every year and then back again. Herodotus himself collected a sufficient number of bizarre facts about the Scythians, a people or peoples in the remote parts of Asia, as about the civilised Egyptians, Persians and others, to relativise his personal scepticism. In my view, many such foolish stories circulated in Arcadia, negotiating in their various ways the inheritance of Lykaon; and, insofar as they were appropriated beyond Arcadia, acquiring new emphases and instrumentalisations at each telling.

This paper is not intended as a research report, but it is worth looking briefly at what scholars have made of these narratives and their supposed context, the cult of Zeus on Mt. It is not agreeable to me to go into the details let it be as it is, and as it was in the beginning 8. Until the rise of folklore studies in the mid-nineteenth century, the story of Lykaon was understood to be centred upon the killing of a boy and taken as just one example of the widespread practice of human sacrifice, generally to avert evil, in primitive times.

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Thus, Carl August Bttiger, writing in , starts from the premise that human sacrifice here might be a response to cases of lycanthropy in the medical sense: Man gab also den einheimischen Nationalgottheiten, Zeus und Pan, eine besondere dahin abzielende Bennenung von den Wlfen, man nannte sie , die Wlfsgtter, und opferte ihnen das wirksamste Shnopfer, das das rohe Alterthum in solchen Fllen nur darbringen konnte, einen unschuldigen Knaben. Den Stifter und Opferpriester dieser grausamen, aber in Alterthum wenig befremdenden Shnungsfeier nennen die alten Volksagen Lykaon.

What did metamorphosis mean? The leopard-men of Banana suddenly became topical. As far as he could establish, none of the bones were human. He also discovered numerous votive offerings, including statuettes of Zeus and miniature tripods, of the type found, for example, at Olympia which is not far away. Mt Lykaion began to look disagreeably normal.

What might replace the idea of totemic practice among adults involving human sacrifice? Oddly enough it was one of Plinys narratives, about the Anthidai, that seemed to many the most promising option. Some of these accounts, though they drew on currently fahionable models, failed to attract supporters. One example is A. Cook, an early professor of archaeology at Cambridge, perhaps over-familiar with the vegetation-god scenarios of his Cambridge colleagues, James Frazer and Jane Harrison.

Lykaons human sacrifice was intended to ensure this fertility; the metamorphosis represents his exile from Arcadia. Appeal to van Genneps idea of regularly structured rites de passage proved more successful. As this model became familiar to historians of religions, particularly in Italy and France both before and after the Second World War, the idea of the initiation of young men into the class of full warriors seemed to many an attractive way of accounting for numerous odd features of Greek myth, including Lykaon.

The example always cited is that of the kryptoi the hidden ones at Sparta, who had to live for a year out in the mountains and fend for themselves, becoming tough and useful by murdering uppity helots; and their analogues on Crete. Arcadia was suitably backward for. The value of the category myth here was that it could enshrine a folk memory of a very ancient institution. The proof lay in the story of the Anthidai taking off ones clothes, swimming across the pool, the transformation into a wolf The only slight problem was the nine years too long surely for a rite of passage, though this has not proved an insurmountable problem to some.

The initiatory hypothesis is probably even now the most generally accepted explanation for what we may call the Lykaon complex.


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Karl Meuli, who anyway believed that all animal sacrifice evoked guilt even among hunters and gatherers, argued that the idea of human cannibalistic sacrifice was a myth invented to justify the exclusion of the guilty sacrificant, i. Lykaon was simply a type. The Deluge is crucial to the myth, in that it brought this phase of pre-civilisation to an end by establishing a hydrological regime suited to rain-fed agriculture. The fear, represented by the transformation, is of falling back into the bestial, pre-civilised world. The great advantage of such accounts is that they remain at the thematic level of the narrative instead of trying to find a real-world correlate that it somehow describes or disguises.

More recently, however, as the fascination with structuralism has waned, the presumed cult practices on Mt. Lykaion have again come to play a part in a debate over the status of human sacrifice in Greece. One of the few recent scholars to argue in favour of the literal truth of the stories about the cult of Zeus, at least as regards the reality of human sacrifice, is Madeleine Jost, a specialist in the cults of Arcadia, whose main target is in fact the initiation thesis.

She argues that such rites, performed by small groups of initiates, did indeed take place on Mt. Lykaion, which in turn gave rise to the myths. In this context it is relevant to note that, just over a century after Kourouniots excavations, an American-Greek team, under the direction of Anna Karapagioutou, David G.

Romano and Mary E. Voyatzis, has been re-exploring the archaeological remains on Mt. Lykaion every year since Although the stratigraphy is in many cases confused, it seems clear that the summit was an important Mycenaean site, in direct continuity from earlier sacral use. Against Kourouniots, it now seems clear that the summit continued to be a cult site well into the Hellenistic period, the time when, in my view, narratives about were-wolves were being created. But on one central question, Kourouniots view has been fully confirmed: taphonomic analysis of the considerable amount of animal bone discovered in all the levels of the trench has shown that virtually all c.

There are no identifiably human bones, and almost no other animal species. Moreover, the bones are recognisably patellas, femurs, and tailbones: exactly the type of remains we find in normal Greek sacrifice. Again like Olympia, the fill of the altar is almost entirely composed of decayed bone. From marvel to magic I have already mentioned Herodotus tentative classification of the transScythian Neuroi as , persons endowed with, or who claim to be endowed with, strange, disputed powers.

I have elsewhere tried to show that we need to distinguish, not merely between magical practice and the discourse about illicit religious practices in Antiquity, but also between an earlier phase,. We do not know how widely the Arcadian were-wolf stories circulated; at any rate, hardly any have survived in the tradition available to us Hellenistic literature has anyway disappeared virtually without trace. The evidence, such as it is, hardly allows one to decide. The earliest item is a passage in Vergils Eclogue 8 say 37 BC , put into the mouth of an anonymous young woman trying to regain the love of a faithless man, Daphnis.

In the course of a long, quite imaginary, ritual, she takes some herbs and sings her incantation as she burns them on a small altar. These herbs, she says, have been collected in Pontus i. Furimus Cresimus had successfully defended himself against precisely such an accusation. Vergil clearly implies that, whatever his origin, Moeris could change himself back and forth at will he is a true were-wolf. Propertius evidently made the same assumption about his procuress. This is one major development between the Arcadian stories, which assume a single lifetime experience, and these poetic ones.

The other is that transformation into a wolf is now, as Herodotus had suggested years earlier, more appropriately contextualised as magic than as marvel. Greek-speaking, Italy. The narrator sets off at twilight, under a bright-shining moon, with a muscular soldier; when they reach a cemetery, the latter takes off all his clothes, urinates on them and at once changes into a wolf dont you dare disbelieve me!

The cemetery at once recalls Marcellus of Side and lycanthropy: his melancholics hung about such places; but this is mere background. The story continues: When the narrator touches the clothes, he finds they have turned to stone. The narrators eyes widen in horror. And on returning to the cemetery, he finds nothing but blood in place of the petrified clothes. Meanwhile, back home, a doctor is attending to a wound in the soldiers neck. Intellexi illum versipellem esse: And then I realised he was a versipellis, a shape-shifter. The blood and the wound are the intradiegetic confirmations that the narrators inference is true.

One possible explanation is that eating sheep- rather than human flesh supplies a legitimation for the reversion to human shape: in the Arcadian tales, only the wolves who have eaten. Conclusion So far as I know, there are no other were-wolf stories that are to be dated later than Petronius granted that Pausanias is evidently citing accounts that Pliny had already picked up Hellenistic Greek sources. That is not necessarily to say that no tales of wolf-men circulated at the folk-level in the Graeco-Roman world; I think it likely that they did. But we can only speak of the world of stories that individual writers chose to circulate within the literate class, granted that the great majority of that body of written narrative is lost forever.

There are two further considerations to bear in mind. First, the Hellenistic creation of a genre of metamorphic stories, against the background of the great continuum of living things, meant that there was far too much accessible competition within the corpus of myth. Lykaon, though a truly local story, could hardly get his head above the parapet. Second, the major resource for the construction of a negative stereotype of the witch was the figure of the , the root-collector, male and female, who was a master of herb-lore and could work both for good and ill.

The stereotypes of this figure that were created in Latin poetry at the very end of the Republic and the early Principate do incorporate night-witch elements, but these focus on necromancy, precisely because illicit divination was the major concern of the prominent cases that came to trial, and necromancy could easily be turned into the most lurid form of divination. Were-wolves were of no interest in this connection. There was therefore no motive within the literate class to elaborate that particular fantasy, though we can see from Lucans Erictho, the nightmarish cannibalistic witch in the Bellum.

If so, this would make Petronius reliance on Greek stories still more likely. It may well be high time for the wolf in the fable appearing to me too, and, what was once the inevitable consequence of its unexpected appearance, to order me to become quiet. Notes 1.

Paul Verlaine

They distinguish between structural and orientational metaphors. Otto Keller, Die antike Tierwelt. Leipzig, , repr. Hildesheim, ; This was a much expanded version of an earlier work confined, except for the dolphin and four species of birds, to mammals: Tiere des klassischen Altertums Innsbruck, , repr. Hildesheim Later research has added precision and many additional details to Kellers information, esp. This is a central affirmation of the so-called Paris School now subsumed into the Centre Gustave Glotz; see e. Marcel Detienne, Entre btes et dieux, Nouvelle Revue de Psychanalyse 6 , , republished under the title Ronger la tte de ses parents in his Dionysos mis mort Paris, , ; tr.

Gordon ed. Detienne, L. Gernet, J. Vidal-Naquet Cambridge, , see also n. Much less is known about Italic or Roman attitudes towards animals, since there has been no research comparable to that on Classical Greece, and I largely ignore Italo-Roman attitudes here. But, as we shall see, some of the few true ancient werewolf stories exist only in Latin. On the acrimonious debate surrounding the English tr. Le totmisme aujourdhui Paris, ; the citation is on p. Classic exemplifications of the point, combined with criticism of Lvi-Strauss on certain key issues, are S.

Let me finish by citing the little joke with which Carl August Bttiger ended his own long contribution to this discussion two centuries ago:. Entretiens sur le racisme Paris, , ; Nicole Loraux, Sur la race des femmes et quelques-unes de ses tribus, Arethusa 11 , , repr. This is true not only of Otto Keller see n. The very first lemma of vol. Among other snippets, we learn of the eels in the shrine of Zeus at Labraunda in Caria, who wore golden necklaces and earrings Aelian, Nat. Schneidewin [eds], Corpus Parmiographorum Graecorum 1 [Gttingen, ], See n.

On Aristotles classifications, see e. Lloyd, The development of Aristotles theory of the classification of animals, Phronesis 6 , ; Arnaud Zucker, Aristote et les classifications zoologiques Louvain-la-Neuve, Numen Suppl. For the conceptual scheme, see e. Pan: Philippe Borgeaud, Recherches sur le dieu Pan. A form of madness was termed in Greek , nympholpsis, lit. Men and dogs are the only animals that belch when they have eaten well Aelian, Nat. Liliane Bodson, Place et fonction du chien dans le monde antique, Ethnozootechnie 25 , ; on ancient dogs as pets, see her Motivations for Pet-keeping in Ancient Greece and Rome: A Preliminary Survey, in: Anthony Podberscek et al.

Orth, s. Hund, RE 8 , f. The clearest evidence of the ambivalence of the dogs status, however, is provided by the Greek physiognomic tradition, cf. Plinys discussion of native domestic animals, for example, starts with the dog and continues with the horse, only then continuing with donkeys and then cattle Hist. He justifies this prioritisation with reference to the extreme fidelity to man of these species.

Some of his stories are illuminating: one tells of a stallion that committed suicide after discovering that a mare it had covered was its own mother ibid. Maecenas, the counsellor of Augustus, is said to have started a fashion for eating domestic donkey foals at at high-society banquets Pliny, Hist. Angela Morales. Straw Man. Brent Carpenter. Race with Danger. Pamela Beason. Amy Christine Parker. The Darwin Expedition. Diane Tullson. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Looking for Group. Rory Harrison. Moonshiner The Wolf. Nancy Reil Riojas. Graham McNamee. Scott R.

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Claire de Lune (Werewolves of Seaside Book 1)

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