References to singing wildcats and amphibious primeval homopuevas near Ahacus and Norogachic resemble Renaissance maps by Munster and Cabot, in which the interior of Africa and the Americas are populated by dog-headed cynocephali
, headless blymmeyes and cannibals.
Before science fiction, people tended to fantasize about the future -- not unlike the way they imagined distant places, peopled by dog-headed Cynocephali
, surly one-eyed Cyclopes and one-legged Unipeds.
29), and the hairy faunos giants and cynocephali
('dog-headed men,' pp.
What distinguishes The Mythic Bestiary is that equal time is given not only to well-known fantasy monsters like the dragon, minotaur, phoenix, and so forth, but also many more obscure creatures of worldwide legends, from the winged shedu & lammasu spirits of ancient mesopotamia and persia, to the tupilak devil-dolls of the arctic circle, to the cynocephali
dog-headed people of medieval legend, and much more.
The comparison between infidels (and also all dissenters from the official faith) and dogs might have indirectly derived from the idea of cynocephali
, one of the monstrous races customarily included in the Wonders of the East tradition.
A Nation of Monsters: The West, Cynocephali
and Paradoxes of Language
Interest in dog-headed people or cynocephali
in general, and in Saint Christopher in particular, seems to have been expressed in Celtic countries throughout the medieval period (Orchard, 1995:15).
Among the most frequent were the Panotii, with huge ears which reached to the ground; pygmies; the dog-headed Cynocephali
; the Blemmye, whose heads grew from the sternum; and Sciopods, distinguished by a single, giant foot.
, or Dogheads, communicated only by barking.