**Monstrous Race : The Cynocephali

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Aleister Lam

In my picture on The Lord of the Werewolves, I mentioned of a race of monsters known as the Cynocephali; these breed of creatures were widely reported in the Middle Ages by historians like Pliny,the Elder, Sir John Mandeville and Saint Isidore of Seville. They were a race of dog-headed creatures that are extremely smart and brutal and their anthropophagous tendency makes them a menace to man-kind. Even the Venetian traveller Marco Polo writes that these dog-headed tribes were found on the island of Andaman, about a thousand miles East of Ceylon which was then known as Taprobana in medieval maps. In the Liber Monstrorum, an eight-century text on monsters, describe the Cynocephali as living off the edges of the civilised world who actually communicated by barking at each other which obviously betrays them as uncivilised beasts even though they were able to walk up-right. Interestingly, sources revealed these dog-headed race retained an unusual position in Christian teachings and writings. Werewolves were commonly perceived as the descendants of Cain or a monstrocity that is a result of co-habiting with the devil. It is said that Christianity and their teachings had pacify these brutal beasts and allowed them to control their savagery and even though in very rare case allowed inter-marriage between humans and the Cynocephali. The offsprings that resulted in this union were very much human except for the fact that they were also beastial from within and when they are unable to oppressed this bestial nature or have forsaken their believes in Christianity and get tempted by the demon within; the animal hidden inside them burst forth tranforming them into a monster. It is said Saint Christopher the patron saint of the travellers and sea-farers was also Cynocephali-convert. Born a pagen dog-head known as Reprobus; he oppose savagery and hated the brutality committed by his race. He was overjoyed when a accidental acquaintance with a prient introduced him to Christianity. He then forsaken his beastial nature by focusing and concentrating on this teachings and eventually he was able to pacify his Cynocephali nature. In Christian literature; that portion of St. Christopher being a Cynbocephali was silently removed; and over time it was slowly forgotten and people even dissociate the legends of werewolves from the Cynocephali.

Published More than a year ago

Category Fantasy

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