First Traces of Wolves and Men

The earliest Wolves depicted.

The fact that there are several words for ‘wolf’ of Common Indo-European date shows that the wolf was widespread throughout the Indo-European territory. It also indicates its cultic and ritual significance, which is clearly attested in the oldest Indo-European traditions.

– Indo European and the Indo-Europeans, Gamkrelidze & Ivanov.

The early Indo European (IE) words for wolf and their strong presence 10,000 years later is one of the first key indicators of the cultural resonance of Wolves and the Wolf.

Early domesticated dogs can be seen in murals from the Çatalhöyük site in modern day Turkey which has been dated at approximately 7000 years old.

The mural known as the ‘Shrine of the Hunters’ also possibly shows the beginnings of a ritualised form of hunt that becomes a recurring theme in subsequent Indo European daughter cultures. 

(Wolf/dog in mural detail from, “Shrine of the hunters”, Çatalhöyük, as reconstructed by James Wellaart)

The hunters/warriors are nude save for a clearly depicted (ritual?) belt. The hunters’ prey, a gargantuan auroch, is surrounded on all sides by the hunters as well as smaller animals that look remarkably like domesticated wolves. The animals are hunting side-by side with warriors.

Even further back in time, Mesolithic images of men hunting with wolves, have been found in the prehistoric rock paintings of Tassili N’Ajjer. The images have been dated to c.11,000 BCE.

Further cave paintings of hunters and domesticated canines have been found at Tadrart Acacus.


(Rock art depicting man hunting with dogs. Tadrart Acacus, Libya. © Peter Boekamp)


(Hunter and dog, detail of image from Tadrart Acacus, Libya)

However the earliest image of a wolf can be found in the font De gaume cave in the Dordogne area of France. The images date from the Magdalenian period approximately 15,000 BCE


It is also from this approximate culture that the first symbolic image of a half-animal/half-man figure is found. 

Often described as “The Sorcerer”, the image is in the cavern known as ‘The Sanctuary’ at the Cave of the Trois-Frères, Ariège, France.


The subtlety in the image is hard to discern in the photograph above, however artist Henri Breuil sketched a more vivid image in the 1920s:-


While accuracy of the image has been questioned, its authenticity was confirmed by Jean Clottes as recently as 2011.

If it is a human in a horned head-dress, it’s parallels with the antler headdresses found at StarCarr are unmistakable. 

𝐃𝐨𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐌𝐞𝐧 – 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟔𝐜 – 𝐂𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚

“They do not live in houses, but in caves. They set out for the chase with bows and spears, and as they are very swift of foot, they pursue and soon overtake their quarry. The women have a bath once a month, the men do not have a bath at all, but only wash their hands. They anoint themselves three times a month with oil made from milk and wipe themselves with skins.

“The clothes of men and women alike are not skins with the hair on, but skins tanned and very fine. The richest wear linen clothes, but they are few in number. They have no beds, but sleep on leaves or grass. He who possesses the greatest number of sheep is considered the richest, and so in regard to their other possessions. All, both men and women, have tails above their hips, like dogs, but longer and more hairy. They are just, and live longer than any other men, 170, sometimes 200 years.”

#India #ctesias #Siptachora #Photius #Myriobiblon #Kynocephaloi #Cynocephali #dogmen #dogheadedmen

𝐃𝐨𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐌𝐞𝐧 – 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟔𝐛 – 𝐂𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚

“The Kynokephaloi living on the mountains do not practise any trade but live by hunting. When they have killed an animal they roast it in the sun. They also rear numbers of sheep, goats, and asses, drinking the milk of the sheep and whey made from it. They eat the fruit of the Siptakhora (Siptachora), whence amber is procured, since it is sweet. They also dry it and keep it in baskets, as the Greeks keep their dried grapes.

“They make rafts which they load with this fruit together with well-cleaned purple flowers and 260 talents of amber, with the same quantity of the purple dye, and 1000 additional talents of amber, which they send annually to the king of India. They exchange the rest for bread, flour, and cotton stuffs with the Indians, from whom they also buy swords for hunting wild beasts, bows, and arrows, being very skilful in drawing the bow and hurling the spear.

“They cannot be defeated in war, since they inhabit lofty and inaccessible mountains. Every five years the king sends them a present of 300,000 bows, as many spears, 120,000 shields, and 50,000 swords.”

#India #ctesias #Siptachora #Photius #Myriobiblon #Kynocephaloi #Cynocephali #dogmen #dogheadedmen

𝐃𝐨𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐌𝐞𝐧 – 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟔𝐚 – 𝐂𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐈𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚

500 BC – Dog headed men in India described by Ctesias, a Greek Physician, in his text Indica. Ctesias, Indica Fragment (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 72)

“On these [the Indian] mountains there live men with the head of a dog, whose clothing is the skin of wild beasts. They speak no language, but bark like dogs, and in this manner make themselves understood by each other. Their teeth are larger than those of dogs, their nails like those of these animals, but longer and rounder. They inhabit the mountains as far as the river Indos. Their complexion is swarthy. They are extremely just, like the rest of the Indians with whom they associate. They understand the Indian language but are unable to converse, only barking or making signs with their hands and fingers by way of reply, like the deaf and dumb. They are called by the Indians Kalystrii, in Greek Kynocephaloi (Cynocephali) (Dog-Headed). They live on raw meat and number about 120,000 . . .

#India #ctesias #Siptachora #Photius #Myriobiblon #Kynocephaloi #Cynocephali #dogmen #dogheadedmen

𝐃𝐨𝐠 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐞𝐧 – 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟓 – 𝐇𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐨𝐭𝐮𝐬

500 BC – Herodotus, Histories 4. 191. 3 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) : “For the eastern region of Libya, which the Nomads inhabit, is low-lying and sandy as far as the Triton river; but the land west of this, where the farmers live, is exceedingly mountainous and wooded and full of wild beasts. In that country are the huge snakes and the lions, and the elephants and bears and asps, the horned asses, the Kunokephaloi (Cynocephali) (Dog-Headed) and the Headless Men that have their eyes in their chests, as the Libyans say, and the wild men and women, besides many other creatures not fabulous.”

#herodotus #Cynocephali #dogmen #headlessmen #Libya #dogheadedmen

Dog Headed Men – Pt 4 – Hesiod

800-700 BC – Hesiod, Catalogues of Women (from the Oxyrhynchus Papyri):

Fragment 40A :

“[The Boreades pursued the Harpyiai (Harpies)] to the lands of the Massagetai and of the proud Hemikunes (Hemicynes) (Half-Dog Men), of the Katoudaioi (Catoudaei) (Underground-Folk) . . .”

Fragment 44 :

“No one would accuse Hesiod of ignorance though he speaks of the Hemikunes (Hemicynes) (Half-Dog People) and the Makrokephaloi (Macrocephali) (Great-Headed People) and the Pygmaioi (Pygmies).”

#dogheadedmen #dogmen #hesiod #Oxyrhynchus #cynocephaly #cynocephaloi #halfdogmen #Hemikunes #Hemicynes #Makrokephaloi #Macrocephali #Boreades

Dog Headed Men – Pt 3 – The Neuri Further sources

Herodotus: Para 105.

[1] Νευροὶ δὲ νόμοισι μὲν χρέωνται Σκυθικοῖσι, γενεῇ δὲ μιῇ πρότερον σφέας τῆς Δαρείου στρατηλασίης κατέλαβε ἐκλιπεῖν τὴν χώρην πᾶσαν ὑπὸ ὀφίων· ὄφιας γάρ σφι πολλοὺς μὲν ἡ χώρη ἀνέφαινε, οἱ δὲ πλεῦνες ἄνωθέν σφι ἐκ τῶν ἐρήμων ἐπέπεσον, ἐς ὃ πιεζόμενοι οἴκησαν μετὰ Βουδίνων τὴν ἑωυτῶν ἐκλιπόντες. κινδυνεύουσι δὲ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οὗτοι γόητες εἶναι.

[1] The Neuroi practise the Scythian customs: and one generation before the expedition of Dareios it so befell them that they were forced to quit their land altogether by reason of serpents: for their land produced serpents in vast numbers, and they fell upon them in still larger numbers from the desert country above their borders; until at last being hard pressed they left their own land and settled among the Budinoi.

[2] λέγονται γὰρ ὑπὸ Σκυθέων καὶ Ἑλλήνων τῶν ἐν τῇ Σκυθικῇ κατοικημένων ὡς ἔτεος ἑκάστου ἅπαξ τῶν Νευρῶν ἕκαστος λύκος γίνεται ἡμέρας ὀλίγας καὶ αὖτις ὀπίσω ἐς τὠυτὸ κατίσταται. ἐμὲ μέν νυν ταῦτα λέγοντες οὐ πείθουσι, λέγουσι δὲ οὐδὲν ἧσσον, καὶ ὀμνῦσι δὲ λέγοντες.

[2] These men it would seem are wizards; for it is said of them by the Scythians and by the Hellenes who are settled in the Scythian land that once in every year each of the Neuroi becomes a wolf for a few days and then returns again to his original form. For my part I do not believe them when they say this, but they say it nevertheless, and swear it moreover.

Pomponius Mela (De Chrorographia Book II.14) 44 CE (repeats this story from Herodotus). “There is a preordained time for each of the Neuri at which, if they so desire, they metamorphose into wolves and back into who they were.”

Ptolemy (Ναύαροι, 3.5.25) “The Sarmatian Navari are the same as the Neuri.”

Schafarik (Slav. Alt. vol. i. pp. 194–199) suggests the Neuri are of Wendish or Servian stock.

#neuri #neuroi #herodotus #ptolemy #dogmen #cynocephaly #pomponiusmela #wend #servian #wendish

Dog Headed Men pt 2 – Argonauts in Serbia

There are no accounts of Slavic mythology predating the fragmentation of the Proto-Slavic people into Western, Eastern, and Southern Slavs, with the possible exception of a reference in Jason and the Argonauts to a battle against Dog men in what is speculated to be North Serbia/Southern Hungary.

The next reference is 500 years later, a short note in Herodotus’ Histories written c 800 BCE , mentions a tribe called Neuri/Neuroi in the far north, whose men, Herodotus claims, transform themselves into wolves for several days each year.

Some researchers have interpreted this through the Slavic folk belief in werewolves, whilst others believe that Herodotus actually referred to ancient Slavic carnival festivals, when groups of young men roamed the villages in masks, sometimes referred to as vucari (wolf-humans)a. The identification of “Neuri” with Proto-Slavs remains controversial, however.

Neuri/Neuroi

Eth. NEURI (Νευροί), a nomad people of the N. of Europe, whom Herodotus (4.17, 51, 100, 125) places in the centre of the region which now comprises Poland and Lithuania, about the river-basin of the Bug.

They occupied the district (τὴν Νευρίδα γῆν) which lay to the NW. of the lake out of which the Tyras rises, and which still bears the name in Slavonic of Nurskazemja, with its chief town Nur, and a river Nuretz. Some time before the expedition of Dareius, they had been obliged to quit their original seats, on account of a quantity of serpents with which it was infested, and had taken refuge with the Budini in the district about the Bug, which had till then belonged to that people.

Though not of the same origin, in customs they resembled the Scythians, and bore the reputation of being enchanters (γόητες), like the “Schamas” among the Siberian nomads of the present day. Once a year–so the Scythians and the Greeks of Olbia told Herodotus–each of them became for a few days a wolf; a legend which still lingers among the people of Volhynia and White Russia.

#neuri #neuroi #dogmen #dogheadedmen #cynocephaly

Dog Headed Men – pt 1 – Ancient Egypt

The word cynocephaly is derived from the Greek κῠνοκέφᾰλοι / kynokephaloi, from kyno– (combining form of κύων kyōn) meaning “dog” and κεφαλή kephalē meaning “head”. Other greek variations of this concept: Ἡμικυων, Ἡμικυνες, (hemi-, kyôn), Half-Dogs – Κυνοπροσοπος, Κυνοπροσωποι, (kyôn, prosôpos) – Dog-Faced – Κυναμολγος, Κυναμολγοι, (kyôn, molgos), Dog-Milkers.

Cynocephaly was also familiar to the ancient Greeks from representations of Egyptian deities notably

𝐀𝐧𝐮𝐛𝐢𝐬 (Ancient Greek: Ἄνουβις, Egyptian: jnpw, Coptic: ⲁⲛⲟⲩⲡ Anoup the Egyptian god of the dead).

𝐃𝐮𝐚𝐦𝐮𝐭𝐞𝐟 (Son of Horus, and from the New Kingdom onwards is depicted with the head of a jackal).

𝐖𝐞𝐩𝐰𝐚𝐰𝐞𝐭 (The opener of the ways, a wolf deity, thus the Greek name of Lycopolis, meaning city of wolves, he also accompanied the Pharaoh on hunts).

To be clear there is very little evidence of correlation between the religious beliefs and practises of ancient Egypt and the Indo European daughter cultures. Any connections would be at such an extreme place in deep time as to be negligible.

However, from an esoteric point of view it is deeply significant that wolf mythology has emerged in various distinct and unrelated cultures, Indo European, Native American, Ancient Egypt African shapeshifters, Indian Vratyas etc. Not just in terms of martial primacy, but also the wolf’s connection with the literal and/or metaphorical hunt. An anthropologist would argue that it is indicative of a recurrent human animistic belief, but a modern esoteric interpretation could be that the spirit of the Wolf Cult is indomitable.

#anubis #duamutef #wepwawet #cynocephali #cynocephali #wolf #wolves #wolfgod #wolfcult #ancientegypt #kemetic #animism

Cunomaglos -Celtic Wolf Lord

Cunomaglos is usually translated as Hound (or Dog) Lord, however a deeper linguistic dive into his name and his Apollonian parallels suggest something quite different.

In ancient times Dogs and wolves were linguistically almost synonymous. Tracing backwards we can see how the Irish word for hound

𝘤𝘶́ (see Cú Chulainn – Culann’s Hound) derives from the Primitive Irish 𝘤𝘶𝘯𝘢, itself from Proto-Celtic *𝘬𝘶̄ and ultimately from the theoretical Proto-Indo-European word for dog *𝘬́𝘸𝘰̄́.

The continental form of lupus, lykos, is rarely found in Celtic, save for the Ulkos coinage in the extinct Lepontic language from Cisalpine Gaul, where it is likely borrowed from the Graeco-Roman.

And then the Nettleton Shrub inscription dating from Roman era Wiltshire in the U.K.:

𝗱𝗲𝗼 𝗔𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗶 𝗖𝘂𝗻𝗼𝗺𝗮𝗴𝗹𝗼 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗮 𝗜𝘂𝘁𝗶 𝗳𝗶𝗹(…)𝗶𝗮 𝘃(…)𝗼𝘁𝘂𝗺 𝘀(…)𝗼𝗹𝘃𝗶𝘁 𝗹(…)𝗶𝗯𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗺(…)𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗼

𝘛𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘥 𝘈𝘱𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰 𝘊𝘶𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘨𝘭𝘰𝘴, 𝘊𝘰𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘢, 𝘥𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘐𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘴, 𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘷𝘰𝘸, 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺, 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺

It seems from this that, Cunomaglus was used as a synonym for a local Britanno-Celtic god that was called Apollo on Latin inscriptions. The dedication above is for or by a woman with a Celtic name.

Apollo’s Wolf connections are well attested and it is highly plausible that the two were perceived as similar deities, making Cunomaglus far more likely to be Lord of Wolves/Wolf Lord.

#Cunomaglus #cunomaglos #nettleton #apollo #lykaios #wolf #Wolflord #cu #Cuna #CúChulainn #protoindoEuropean #wiltshire

“Wolfing”, Díberg and Fianna

“Brigandage that is the activity of organised bands of killers, was particularly abhorrent to the Church, and in the Old Arraí is associated with Druidism and satirising among the sins for which there could be no remission of penance. It was regarded as a Pagan practice and evidently had its own ritualistic code of conduct.” Díberg as defined by R. Sharpe.

O’Mulcronys Glossary describes the etymology of díberg as “dí-bi-arg – ‘non-be-hero’ for he is not reckoned with heroism like the hero of the fianna, for denial of God and and clientship with the Devil is not proper to heroism.”

This may very well be a later interpretative gloss by Christian scribes, as older sources make no distinction between those described as fiannas or díberg.

In the Togail Bruidne Da Derga, Connaire son of Eterscél, King of Tara, and the sons of Dond Désa, the féindid or fían-champion are fostered together. But when Connaire fulfils his destiny and succeeds his father as King of Tara – where taking of díberg is now taboo. Ultimately the three brothers continuing violent behaviour (díberg) in verses 19 and 20 is explicitly linked with Wolves:-

They took up díberg with the sons of nobles of Ireland around them. A hundred and fifty of them under instruction when they were wolfing in the territory of Connachta.

𝐓𝐨𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐢𝐝𝐧𝐞 𝐃𝐚 𝐃𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐚

https://tinyurl.com/y4r9lwn5

#Fianna #diberg #díberg #oldIrish #fiannas #Connacht #Connachta #donddesa #TogailBruidneDaDerga #Connaire #Tara