Cynocephali: The Dog-Headed Men

whitewave

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Cynocephaly: A Latinized version of the Greek work kynokephaloi (combining the words for dog+head).

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As bizarre and fantastical as it sounds to our modern ears, there is a long history of recorded accounts of a race of creatures known as the dog-headed men. Everyone is probably familiar with the Egyptian depiction of Anubis, the jackal or dog-headed deity. Anubis is a Greek translation of the ancient Egyptian word, Anpu, meaning "royal child". (Anubis, btw, was not the only Egyptian dog-headed deity). Being rational human beings, most people assume these depictions show a man wearing some sort of ceremonial mask and that may well be the case. When we get past our assumptions and public educational indoctrination and look at the evidence of multitudes of documentation describing these creatures in ancient texts and by a variety of different witnesses we begin to venture into the bizarre and fantastical realms of our reality. Did such creatures really exist. Is it even possible? Before you say this thread has gone to the dogs, let's look at the evidence.

Anubis
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The fifth century BC Greek physician Ctesias wrote a book entitled Indica, in which he reports the particulars of the dog-headed people living in India. [2] Megasthenes, a Greek explorer, also claimed there were a race of dog-headed people living in India's mountains, saying that they wore animal hides, hunted for their subsistence and communicated with barking sounds. Herodotus, writing a second-hand report from ancient Libyans, relates that the cynocephali lived in lands east of the Libyans.
There is a story of a battle between the Argonauts and the Cynocephali which was fought around the area of North Serbia, or South Hungary.[5] In his book, The City of God, Book XVI, Chapter 8, Augustine of Hippo muses on the origin of the cynocephali and if they even really existed and, if they did, would they be considered mortal, rational, ie: human animals. He concludes his ponderings by deciding that if they are indeed human, they must be descendants of Adam.

The RCC doesn't like to admit in this day and age but their Eastern Orthodox iconography depicts their most venerable St. Christopher as a dog-headed convert to Catholicism. The backstory to St. Christopher starts during Roman Emperor Diocletian's 3rd century reign, "when a man named Reprebus, Rebrebus or Reprobus (the "reprobate" or "scoundrel") was captured in combat against tribes dwelling to the west of Egypt in Cyrenaica. To the unit of soldiers, according to the hagiographic narrative, was assigned the name numerus Marmaritarum or "Unit of the Marmaritae", which suggests an otherwise-unidentified "Marmaritae" (perhaps the same as the Marmaricae Berber tribe of Cyrenaica). He was reported to be of enormous size, with the head of a dog instead of a man, apparently a characteristic of the Marmaritae". (wiki)

Cynocephalus St. Christophe
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Stone sculpture on cathedral in Veselay
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and another
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On an island somewhere between India and Sumatra, Ibn Battuta, a 14th century Muslim scholar and explorer, found a dog-mouthed people which he described as follows:
Fifteen days after leaving Sunaridwan we reached the country of the Barahnakar, whose mouths are like those of dogs. This tribe is a rabble, professing neither the religion of the Hindus nor any other. They live in reed huts roofed with grasses on the seashore, and have abundant banana, areca, and betel trees. Their men are shaped like ourselves, except that their mouths are shaped like those of dogs; this is not the case with their womenfolk, however, who are endowed with surpassing beauty. Their men too go unclothed, not even hiding their nakedness, except occasionally for an ornamental pouch of reeds suspended from their waist. The women wear aprons of leaves of trees. With them reside a number of Muslims from Bengal and Sumatra, who occupy a separate quarter. The natives do all their trafficking with the merchants on the shore, and bring them water on elephants, because the water is at some distance from the coast and they will not let the merchants go to draw it for themselves, fearing for their women because they make advances to well-formed men. Elephants are numerous in their land, but no one may dispose of them except the sultan, from whom they are bought in exchange for woven stuffs.
Ratramnus, A Frankish theologian of the 9th century, in his Epistola de Cynocephalis, wrote to his superior asking whether these creatures should be recognized as belonging to the human race or to a race of animals. (Ratramnus favored a human designation but wanted confirmation)[14] What I found compelling about the Ratramnus letter is not his description of the creatures but his more practically believable concern for his religious duty of converting them to Christianity. He was baffled as to whether he was even obligated to preach the gospel to them since, if they were animals, he would consider it pointless. Not wanting to be amiss in his duties, he needed affirmations that they were human creatures and therefore able to receive the gospel and conversion. Thomas of Cantimpre', appealing to authority, quoted St. Jerome when verifying that Cynocephali were actual beings. He wrote of them in Liber de Monstruosis Hominibus Orientis, xiv, ("Book of Monstrous men of the Orient"). Vincent of Beauvais, a 13th century encyclopedist, wrote back home to France to alert his patron, Saint Louis IX, of a creature that had the head of a dog but otherwise looked human in its form and behaved like a man, being peaceful when not provoked and vicious and retaliatory when provoked.

"The Nowell Codex, perhaps more commonly known as the manuscript containing the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, also contains references to Cynocephali. One such reference can be found in the part of the manuscript known as The Wonders of the East, in which they are called "healfhundingas" or "half-dogs." Also, in Anglo-Saxon England, the Old English word wulfes heafod ("wolf's head") was a technical term for an outlaw, who could be killed as if he were a wolf. The so-called Leges Edwardi Confessoris, written around 1140, however, offered a somewhat literal interpretation: “[6.2a] For from the day of his outlawry he bears a wolf's head, which is called wluesheued by the English. [6.2b] And this sentence is the same for all outlaws.” Cynocephali appear in the Old Welsh poem Pa Gur? as cinbin (dogheads). Here they are enemies of King Arthur's retinue; Arthur's men fight them in the mountains of Edinburgh, and hundreds of them fall at the hand of Arthur's warrior known as Bedivere. The next lines of the poem also mention a fight with a character named Garwlwyd (Rough-Gray); a Gwrgi Garwlwyd (Man-Dog Rough-Gray) appears in one of the Welsh Triads, where he is described in such a way that scholars have discussed him as a werewolf." (I find it amusing that "scholars" are willing to consider the possibility of a werewolf but not of a cynocephali).

Medieval travelers Giovanni da Pian del Carpine and Marco Polo both mention cynocephali. Giovanni writes of the armies of Ogedei Khan who encounter a race of dogheads who live north of Lake Baikal. Polo's Travels mentions the dog-headed barbarians on the island of Angamanain, or the Andaman Islands. For Polo, although these people grow spices, they are nonetheless cruel and "are all just like big mastiff dogs".Additionally, in the Chinese record History of the Liang Dynasty (Liang Shu), the Buddhist missionary Huisheng describes an island of dog-headed men to the east of Fusang, a nation he visited variously identified as Japan or the Americas. The History of Northern Dynasties of Li Yanshou, a Tang dynasty historian, also mentions the 'dog kingdom'.

Mihr & Mushtari fighting against the cynocephali
(Gives a whole new meaning to "Let loose the dogs of war")


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The already mentioned Ctesias gave a more detailed account of the Cynocephali living in the Indian mountains, called Indica at the time he wrote his book of the same name. He details a tribe or race of dog-headed people who, while able to understand human language, communicated amongst themselves with barks and snarls. He said they subsisted on raw meat and had longer teeth than dogs teeth, as well as "nails that were long, curved and rounded". Ctesias reported that they hunted and sun-dried the meat but also raised sheep and goats. Not strictly carnivorous, we're told they also ate siptakhora fruit and grew their own to use for trade to obtain other goods such as cotton, flour, and weapons. Ctesias continues his description of the cynocephali saying they live in caves (contrary to Ibn Battuta's account that they live in reed huts-there may have been more than one tribe). Ctesias says they hunt with bows and spears and, being quick runners, are able to chase down their prey on foot. Like Ibn Battuta's version, Ctesias differentiates customs of the female and male cynocephali saying that the women bathe (once a month) but the men neglect bathing altogether, washing only their hands and wiping themselves 3 times a month with skins soaked in milk fat. Unlike Battuta's description, Ctesias does not differentiate between the overall look of the males and females (Battuta found the females attractive). Ctesias claims both sexes wore tanned hides of good quality or, if they were rich, wore linen clothes, but not many were in that category. (Battuta describes them as going completely naked except the females who wear grass skirts). They slept on grass or leaf "beds" and raised cattle and measured the wealth of an individual by the number of cattle he possessed. Of all the accounts written of these strange creatures, Ctesias is the only one I could find that mentions them as having "tails above their hips, like dogs, but longer and more hairy". Apparently, they were known to be a generally peaceful (when not provoked) and moral, long-lived race with lifespans of over 150 years.

The explorer, Marco Polo, described the cynocephali as eaters of people and each other during his encounter with them.

The 3rd century Roman philosopher and writer, Claudius Aelianus, confirms other accounts of the cynocephali living in India as being peaceful. He too, confirms that they ate sun-dried meat and raised cattle (sheep and goats). In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great invaded India and he also wrote to his teacher, Aristotle, that he had seen dog-headed men and even captured several in battle with them. He describes them as "fierce and vicious, barking and snarling beasts". The 5th century Greek historian, Herodotus, gave a lengthy and detailed account of the cynocephali (may have been a second-hand report from Libyans) saying that ancient Libyans believed the creatures lived east of Libya. His account is as follows:
For the eastern side of Libya, where the wanderers dwell, is low and sandy, as far as the river Triton; but westward of that the land of the husbandmen is very hilly, and abounds with forests and wild beasts… Here too are the dog-faced creatures, and the creatures without heads, whom the Libyans declare to have their eyes in their breasts.
As recently as the 14th century, an Italian monk by the name of Odoric of Pordenone, a traveling missionary, claimed to have encountered the cynocephali on his visit to the Nicoveran island. He described them as "being somewhat brutish, but displaying a form of organized religion, worshiping oxen and wearing various gold and silver religious charms". French inquisitor Cardinal Pierre d’Ailley, a 15th century French inquisitor, admitted to the existence of a dog-headed race of humans living in India but added that there was a one-eyed version of the creatures as well, known as the Carismaspi. Christopher Columbus, writing to Queen Isabella, says he was told of but never personally witnessed dog-people called "Canina". Cortez, having heard the stories wasn't taking any chances when he showed up and just killed everybody.

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Porderone
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Not limited to letters and literature of their times,
cartographers also pictured the cynocephali on
maps indicating their habitat. (Ebstorph, et al).

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Mappa Mundi
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Descalier's 1550 map
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For much of our recorded history there have been numerous cynocephali witnesses. Explorers, missionaries, warriors, and nomads have encountered these creatures and written of them-most of their reports uncannily similar. Until fairly recent times (20th century) there were actual cases of feral children raised by wolves. These case studies always struck me as odd since wolves are not known for their humanitarian behavior and children are usually considered scooby snacks to actual wolves.

In modern times, Bernard Heuvelmans speculated in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals that such stories of Cynocephali, especially in Africa, might have sprung from sightings of a type of lemur known as the indri lemur, which stands at around 3 feet in height.

All other accounts describe them as big mastiff looking dog-faces.

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Mastiffs and lemurs look nothing alike and lemurs are not ones to corral and tend to animals, wear clothes, bark, or go to war. Nice try Bernard Heuvelman but no cigar. He also thought it might be one of these:

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But since macaques have no other characteristics/traits identified by everyone who encountered the cynocephelia, I think we can safely dismiss Heuvelman's excuses as his way of saying, "I don't know what they were but they couldn't have been actual dog-faced people". While these macaques are omnivorous, they do not use bow and arrows to hunt as described by several witnesses of the cynocephels. Nor do they sit and listen patiently to the gospel being preached to them, submit to baptism, or go to work for the Catholic Church.

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Lemurs or macaques skewing knights with their lances.

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Cannanite god Baal
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Cynocephali, the inventors of bikini briefs? :)

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Books written about or mentioning these mysterious creatures.
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Bestiary, MS M.500 fol. 55r - Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts - The Morgan Library & Museum

Ratramnus & the Dog-headed People (Cynocephali | Monsters | Natural Law

With so much historical references and documentation regarding these creatures, can we say for certain they did not exist? Are they descendants of Adam? Did they get on Noah's ark as beasts or men? Are they genetic experiments of alien overlords? Were they just regular men who wore carved dog masks at all times fooling those they encountered? Are they still around?

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whitewave

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It's hard for me to wrap my head around the concept of such creatures ever existing and if it were just one group of people writing about them, I could easily dismiss the entire story as being fiction. That we have THE SAME story from various parts of the world, all placing them in roughly the same area and describing them basically the same way does lend a little more credence to the reports.

Books being a somewhat rare and expensive luxury item in the days before the invention of the printing press, it is highly unlikely these disparate peoples from all over the globe ever read the same "fables" and even more unlikely they all decided to repeat them "knowing" they were fiction.

From the various accounts and locations mentioned, it seems to me that there may have been more than one tribe and that they were a dying race at the times these accounts were written. In the earliest reports of these creatures, they were seen in some places as "gods" (Baal, Anubis, et al) but by the time we get to what we consider the medieval period, they were a curiosity and rare breed of beings.

There are actually several different types of odd humanish creatures reported on but I chose the cynocephali as that subject had the most documentation. The most likely explanation, in my mind, would be genetic experimentation. Especially if you consider that they were capable of understanding human speech even if they couldn't reply in human language. Animals understand tones of voice but not your words. If you believe that human beings had advanced civilizations capable of weapons of mass destruction, megalithic architecture, and world travel, it's not much of a stretch to acknowledge that such a society was also capable of genetic manipulation. Who knows what human beings "made in God's image" looked like before we started tinkering and wound up with our current iteration.

Was the habitat or atmosphere changed to prevent such creatures from thriving or did we just kill them all off? Did we cause the change in habitat or atmosphere with our tinkering or are such events a cyclic inevitability? If dinosaurs were the dominant species on earth before the last global cataclysm allowing humans to rise to prominence then what was the earth like when cynocephali were prevalent?

Such an oddity as dog-headed humans brings a thousand questions to my mind.
 

Red Bird

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They could be spiritual/demons that manifest. Native Americans have the wolf stories. Skin walkers seem to manifest as dogs or wolves many times and there are many stories of sightings especially in the southwest.
These Navaho rangers have some great stories of weird things that happened over the years on the res. There’s at least one skin walker story in there.

 
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whitewave

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Skinwalker Ranch is full of such stories. I've never been so I can neither confirm nor deny. From the documentation we DO have, I can't imagine demons or interdimensional beings or aliens or shape-shifters raising cattle or fighting in religious wars or wearing grass skirts, for that matter or sun-drying meat. I suppose anything's possible but from the written accounts and pictorial depictions they seem like just another race/tribe of human-like beings.
 

Monkwee

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Can you link the source where you read Alexanders letter to Aristotle and Aelianus please
 
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whitewave

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Monkwee, I listed all the sources I quoted from. If, in those sources, someone is quoting someone else then you'd have to track down where their source came from.

To help you in your search, I offer The History of Alexander's battles. (p. 161) The correspondences are mentioned in there but, as with all writings of historians, we seldom get to see where they got their information. We can only go with what we have left and try to make sense of that. Hope it helps.
 

Born Curious

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I would like to add and expand on some interesting clues regarding Dog-people.

"The Dogon are an ancient tribe living in Mali, West Africa. They claim to be the living conduit between heaven and Earth and to possess not only knowledge of the cosmos, but of man’s true origins." ... "According to one of their oldest legends, a race called the “Nommos” visited the Earth from the star Sirius many millennia ago. The Dogon learned from the Nommos that there was a companion star (Sirius B) orbiting the Sirius star (the brightest star in the sky near the constellation Orion) where the Nommos came from." Dogon tribe

"Sirius is also known colloquially as the "Dog Star", reflecting its prominence in its constellation, Canis Major (Greater Dog).[18] The heliacal rising of Sirius marked the flooding of the Nile in Ancient Egypt and the "dog days" of summer for the ancient Greeks, while to the Polynesians in the Southern Hemisphere the star marked winter and was an important reference for their navigation around the Pacific Ocean" Sirius

Dawg - Slang for "my close acquaintance of an African-American ethnic background" Urban Dictionary - Dawg
Bitch - literally meaning a female dog, is a pejorative slang word for a person—usually a woman—who is belligerent, unreasonable, malicious, a control freak, rudely intrusive or aggressive. When applied to a man, bitch is a derogatory term for a subordinate. Its original use as a vulgarism, documented from the fifteenth century, suggested high sexual desire in a woman, comparable to a dog in heat.

Note to everyone: nothing racist intended, just an observation
 
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whitewave

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Stories of current dogman encounters. Fireside stories of supposed actual accounts. And part 2 which includes bigfoot stories. The stories do not end well when dogmen of today encounter human beings. Apparently they really hate the smell of colognes/perfumes and they eat their human prey. These stories apparently took place in the Land of the Lakes in the 80's and turn of the century. Interesting sidenote is the report that the dogmen in that area are killing off the sasquatch. There are more reports now in that area of dogmen than of sasquatch! Supposedly also in Oklahoma.

Those fireside stories do not coincide with the stories of feral children raised by "wolves" in the last century.

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Raised by wolves. *** Feral raised readjusting to society.
 
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Red Bird

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Apparently Anubis and Hermes had a child through the magic of medicine/DNA named Hermanubis

From the Vatican museums.

Anubis was sometimes associated with Sirius in the heavens and Cerberus and Hades in the underworld.

There are more scholarly type articles on Sirius (the Dog Star) but I happened to just watch this video the other day:


Also, we’re already undergoing the Hermès/Aphrodite medical/dna (no sex or both) connection is the Hermanubis connection next?!
 
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asatiger1966

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Skinwalker Ranch is full of such stories. I've never been so I can neither confirm nor deny. From the documentation we DO have, I can't imagine demons or interdimensional beings or aliens or shape-shifters raising cattle or fighting in religious wars or wearing grass skirts, for that matter or sun-drying meat. I suppose anything's possible but from the written accounts and pictorial depictions they seem like just another race/tribe of human-like beings.
I would love to spend time at Skinwalker Ranch". I heard they closed it about three years ago.
Your dog man is not alone, in India they were monkey people.

The man in the dog cage seems to indicate that large dog men were on the local citizens mind ?

Building Bridge to Lanka.jpgRama kills the demon warrior Makaraksha in this painting created around 1790 in Northern India.jpgRama confronts Sugriva's brother, Valin, the legitimate king of the monkeys, and kills him.jpg
proxy.duckduckgo.com man in dog cage.jpgDog boy.jpgKilling_of_Rawana_Painting_by_Balasaheb_Pant_Pratinidhi created 1916.jpg

Note: Just noted to see the larger images, open in a new tab. Do not know what happened but will check moving forward.
 
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Juzzer

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Dogs aren’t the only human animal combinations we find, just look at this “Monstrous” Tartarian Centaur Giraffe I saw on Facebook this morning.. complete with beard too 😂

58E87813-A398-48C1-9354-91CF3142ECB1.jpeg

This animal human combination is something we have been doing along time, look at these old cave paintings Graham Hankock talks about in one of his books..

64ECEE9C-B6CB-4AF8-B83E-45A76093DFE3.jpeg


43DE58BB-99E8-4167-A866-5FDA6A1CE722.jpeg


F4A64241-ABCA-42B9-A1CB-1C68AD4990B3.jpeg


Link to Grahams Book for those who would like to read it :)
I’m of the belief we met these human animals in our early experiments with plants, now given the fact plants can hide some shocking revelations concerning consciousness and what we see with our eyes.

54ECE130-1FE6-4127-8D7D-1CC5BA60F0B7.jpeg
 

BrokenAgate

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Loads of stories of humans turning into animals of all kinds...wolves, bears, owls, bats, cats, dogs, you name it. I wonder where such stories come from. Is it really just because of people smoking something funny, or were there people who really could shape-shift?
 

Red Bird

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Ok, I found this while looking for something totally different yesterday and had decided not to post but dog and cats..
Cat-human Hybrids - Mammalian hybrids - Online Biology Dictionary
Budapest, Austria-Hungary.
The following brief notice appeared in the Viennese newspaper Welt Blatt (Aug. 26, 1875, p. 9, col. 2):

Remarkable Monstrosity. A woman living in Pest, the wife of a servant, gave birth to a boy whose head was exactly like that of a cat. Both mother and child are doing fine. [Translated by E. M. McCarthy. Original German.
There’s more.
 

Juzzer

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@Red Bird,

Sorry.. I think this is from the same article, I was looking up goats giving birth to humans and I was directed to the cat head :ROFLMAO:


Leipzig, Germany. A cat-headed child in the anatomical collection of the University of Leipzig was described in detail by Friedrich Peter Ludwig Cerutti (1789-1858), extraordinary Professor of Pathological Anatomy (außerordentlichen Professor der Pathologischen Anatomie) at that university (Cerutti 1827). The postcranial skeleton was, in general, like that of an ordinary human. The cranium was open above and anencephalic* (see Cerutti’s illustrations). The face of this female specimen, which was birthed by a woman, bore fur that extended down as far as the neck. Elsewhere, says Cerutti, the skin was like that of a human. In German such births are, according to Cerutti, generally referred to as Katzenköpfe "cat heads".


cat-human hybrid

Were we able to genetically manipulate DNA in our lost high tech ages? I look at the human body and can see every single animal rolled into one..
 
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