Those who tell this tale do not convince me; but they tell it nonetheless, and swear to its truth ". But perhaps we need to understand Herodotos' story quite differently: "becoming a wolf for a few days" could be part of an annual ritual, a 'rite de passage', perhaps comparable with NW American Indians see page 2 of website. Scythian wolf head, approx. A Greek silver obol from Lycaonia probably c. The wolf here symbolised the country. For some, the name has merely similarities with the Greek word for wolf, lykos. On the other hand, already in Hittite times 2nd millenium BC we learn of the "wolf land", Lukkawana "lukka" is Hittite for "wolf", similar to Greek lykos and Latin lupos.
The association with wolves might therefore be more ancient than some people think A rare statue dedicated to Apollo Lykaios as "wolf god" from c. Also from Egypt, this limestone figure, h. The "dog" is more likely to be a wolf, and it is possible that the Greek 'colonisers' were equating the Egyptian god Anubis with Apollo Lykaios. It has been speculated that Apollo's original, pre-anthropomorphic form, was that of a wolf, though this is highly speculative: many Greco-Roman anthropomorphic deities might have had non-human predecessors, but we generally lack sufficient evidence to make such assumptions.
However, our ancient sources clearly associate Apollo with wolves. Already in Homer 's epos on the Trojan war c.
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Who is this god Apollo, the son of Zeus and Leto? According to Aelian, in his De Nature Animalium Apollo, and his twin sister, the goddess Artemis, are therefore indeed " wolf-born ", as described by Homer. In the 4th-century BC, Aristotle also cites this mythical story: " In another variation, Leto was accompanied by wolves cf. NA Antonius Liberalis 35 , reporting a tale from Nicander 2nd century BC and from Menecrates of Xanthus 4th century BC in his Lyciaca , also tells us about Leto , but a slightly different account.
Having giving birth to Apollo and Artemis , she went to Lycia with her twins where she wanted " to bathe her children " in a spring when some " herdsmen drove her away "; then, " wolves came out to meet her, and wagging their tails, led the way guiding her to the River Xanthus. She drank the water and bathed the babes and consecrated the Xanthus to Apollo while the land which had been called Termillis she renamed Lycia [Wolf Land] from the wolves that had guided her " Translation: Francis Celoria see below for the name Lycia and the Greek word lykos , 'wolf'.
Representation of Leto surrounded by wolves? Sorry, I haven't found the source, yet. If anybody knows, let me know please. Apollo Lykaios in Italy? According to Pausanias 2. Weir Smyth, Aeschylus , vol. Harvard U. In the words of Pausanias 2. The reason why Danaus founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius was this. On coming to Argos he claimed the kingdom against Gelanor Many plausible arguments were brought forward by both parties At dawn a wolf fell upon a herd of oxen that was pasturing before the wall, and attacked and fought with the bull that was the leader of the herd.
It occurred to the Argives that Gelanor was like the bull and Danaus like the wolf, for as the wolf will not live with men, so Danaus up to that time had not lived with them. It was because the wolf overcame the bull that Danaus won the kingdom. Accordingly, believing that Apollo had brought the wolf on the herd, he founded a sanctuary of Apollo Lycius. Around AD, Porphyry de abstinentia 4. Silver Trihemiobol from Argos approx. Electron stater with a wolf-like mythological creature from Cyzicus Mysia , dating to c.
Some scholars suggested a lion, as in the Persian lion-headed griffins, or even the Mithraic Areimanios, but it looks more like a wolf-headed creature. We are dealing with a local god whose identity remains unknown. Another Apollo Lykaios? This seems to be a representation of the Apollo statue from Tarsus Cilicia. Here, Apollo seems to be holding two wolves at their forelegs, one in each hand c. Also cf. Hittite myth, see left column.
Small silver obol from Tarsus depicting seated god Baal on front and forepart of wolf on the reverse approx. Did the native 'wolf' Baal become 'Apollo Lykaios'? According to one ancient story, reported by Pausanias Suda s. Daverio Rocchi " Lycorea. The wolves were the divine messengers of the god s. The stories of Apollo as "wolf god" and Lykoreia also lead us to this story from the Apollo Sanctuary of Delphi recorded by Pausanias Paus. They say that a fellow robbed the god of some treasure, and kept himself and the gold hidden at the place on Mount Parnassus where the forest is thickest.
As he slept a wolf attacked and killed him, and every day went to the city and howled. When the people began to realize that the matter was not without the direction of heaven , they followed the beast and found the sacred gold. So to the god they dedicated a bronze wolf " translation W. Jones, Litt. Ormerod, Cambridge, Mass. NA 12, Here again, people saw the wolf as Apollo's divine messenger. Bruxelles Bremmer ed.
There is a certain problem with our Greek evidence, which we need to bear in mind, as I already alluded to earlier. First, much of the evidence comes from an urban context, with most of our ancient authors living in cities, sometimes retreating to their 'country estate'; these people have largely lost their relationship to nature. Let's take the example of Aristotle who wrote a certain ' zoological ' account. Some modern scholars suggested that this might implies that people had limited knowledge of wolves and wolf behaviour prior to Aristotle's account. But this idea is of course not tenable since, firstly, Aristotle's knowledge of wolves would have primarily come from 2nd-hand accounts and literature, and, more importantly, people living in rural areas, like Arcadia, would have had a much more intimate knowledge of wolves for generations, acquired through experience and observations, and based on knowledge passed on from father to son, perhaps not dissimilar to North American Indians see page 2 of website.
Indeed, many people in the Greek and Roman world would have lost this more direct knowledge of animals, and nature in general, due to the increasing urbanisation across the Mediterranean World in the 1st millennium BC. As a result, the image of the wolf portrayed in Greek and Roman sources was changing through time; it is still rather positive in some of our earlier reports, like Homer, but certain negative views of wolves gradually become part of the general image. As a result, the story of king Lykaon might already have gone through various re-interpretations: it is clearly seen as a negative event, with wolves being 'cunning' and eating humans.
Perhaps a little excursion to the Gilgamesh epos from the 3rd millenium BC in useful here.
It mentions the perhaps earliest known 'transformation' from man to wolf. This time, the hero Gilgamesh talks to the goddess Ishtar : " You have loved the shepherd [or 'goat herder'] of the flock; he made meal-cakes for you every day, he daily slaughtered a child for your sake. Yet, you struck and turned him into a wolf ; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own dogs snap his flanks " Gilgamesh VI. The Gilgamesh epos did clearly inspire lots of Greek myths, and the goddess Ishtar influenced Astarte and Aphrodite in later times across the Mediterranean.
As in the case of the Greek King Lycaeon, we see the allusion to human sacrifice here, but this seems rather unrelated to him being turned into a wolf; rather, it seem ironic that a shepherd is turned into a wolf , and it was no punishment, as in Lykaion's case, but merely Ishtar's sense of humour The wolf was not only sacred in Rome see above. We also find evidence for wolf cults in other parts of ancient Italy.
For example, among the Falsicans in the archaic period, the wolf seem to have been considered sacred. There is a ancient mythical story, narrated by Servius in his comentary on Vergil's Aeneid writing around AD ; Serv. It seems that harassing the sacred wolves was a taboo ; they were told that they could calm it down by imitating wolves lupos imitarentur.
Are the wolf priests purifying the people? Also, this may be another possible relation to Apollo [Lykaios]? Wolves at an altar. Are they merely plundering the sacrificial meat from the altar? This reminds us of Servius' story where wolves suddenly appeared and plundered the entrails from the altar. Etruscan black-figure amphora from c. In Etruria, we find a number of representations from 3rd-2nd century BC, depicting a wolf on a chain, like this one.
A chthonic scene? Or representations of the the wolf-shaped Etruscan god Calu? Dancing or running wolf? Therianthropic wolf figure or human wearing a wolf skin? Etruscan plate, Vulci Osteria from c. Aita, for example, is shown with a wolf cap in Eturscan tomb paintings. Simon eds , The Religion of the Etruscans , Austin ; also cf. An Etruscan version of the Roman myth? Nigel Spivey, Etruscan Art, Bronze figurine of wolf with Etruscan inscription Archaeological Museum, Florence. A 7th century BC stele discovered in an Etruscan cemetery at Marano di Castenaso Bologna , depicting a wolf, perhaps a dog hardly a feline - or "quasi certamente" a lion - as suggested by the Soprintendenza!
One linguistic note: one can notice over and over again that wolves are not always called wolves and that terminology changes in many languages In Latvian, too, we find for example meya suns , " forest dog " cf. Gamkrelidze et al. Also see above for the ancient Celtic word cuno which describes both wolves and dogs during the Roman period. In Asia Minor m. For Celtic names of "wolf people", see the entry "cuno" in Xavier Delamarre , Dictionaire de la langue gauloise Also see section on North America, e.
We are still in the sphere of Indo-European religion, but moving back in time to the 2nd millenium BC and the Hittite Empire the language is Indo-European and closely related to Germanic languages; we can therefore expect certain 'parallels'. There, wolves seem to have symbolised inter alia unity and omniscience , features that we also find in many other cultures.
In our ancient sources, we find for example king Hattusilis I, in the 17th century BC, urging his warriors to unite " like a wolf pack ". RA, " wolf people " or "wolf men" pesnes ulipnes referring to certain dignitiaries or funcionaries in Hittite texts. There is also an allusion to a mythical capture of the wolf by myhical beings : " seize the wolf by his paws and the lion by his jaws " Gamkrelidze et al.
This may remind us of a much later coin from Tarsus , once part of the Hittite sphere of influence, depicting the god ' Apollo '? The Hittite story of seizing the wolf and lion relates to the house of the storm god. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the wolf in Hittite myth is extremely limited, and in iconography, the lion seems to have been more popular. But Lamb op. This might once again reflect a relation between wolves and creation that might have survived in an Indo-European language, even though the actual myths are lost Lamb, p.
For discussion and further bibliography, cf. Thomas V. Gamkrelidze, Vjaceslav V. Ivanov, Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans, a reconstruction Hittite libation cup, rhyton, probably in form of a lion or perhaps a wolf? According to British Museum: "It may represent a Celtic wolf-god". It seems to be devouring a human; the animal's long tail curls around on itself see coins.
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Oxford; Hmm; B. Gold coin stater with stylised Apollo front and Wolf obverse , from the Snettisham hoard Iceni, "Norfolk Wolf" type, c. Continental Gaulish coin with head rv. The wolf is always depicted with an open mouth and a very long tongue symbolising perhaps howling? On the reverse, a depiction of the Greek Pegasus. Again, the Roman lupa with Romulus und Remus.
Here on a polychrome mosaic from Apamea Syria. Roman coin: wolf walking. She-wolf with Romulus and Remus. Mosaic from Aldborough, Yorkshire c. Greco-Roman representation of the goddess Isis on the back of a wolf, who looks to Isis with two erotes? EA; cf.
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Arslan, Iside: il mito, il mistero, la magia, The Egyptian goddess Isis and a wolf or dog on this Aelxandrian coin? Forepart of wolf left, head reverted and to the right a fish swimming upwards? We might also think here of Meter Theon , the Mother of the Gods , a title given to a number of important mother goddesses in the ancient world, notably Cybele.
In the Homeric Hymn 14 to the Mother of the Gods c. And in the Greek Ly ric Anonymous Fragments we can read among others " of the Mater Theon, how she went wandering through the mountains and glens trailing her flowing hair and distraught in her mind. And Kypris [Aphrodite] urged her Campbell, Greek Lyric V.
Wolf rater than lion? The head of a wolf on a small obol diam: 8mm of the Macedonian king Archelaos BC ; under the wolf, Herakles' club Herakles is shown on the other side.
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Lycaonia is the 'Land of Lukka', Lukkawanna, in Hittie, i. Greek word lykos. The obverse might change, but what we traditionally perceive as the reverse still shows the wolf. Again an obol from Laranda in Lycaonia, c. The goddess Aphrodite on the obverse and a wolf with double axe, labrys, on the coin's reverse.
Dating to the reign of emperor Tiberius AD Wolves chasing deer and hare. Greek pottery, British Museum.
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Wolf preparing to spring to the other side, on a he-goat, on this red-figured askos British Museum. This representation from an Etruscan urn is similar to the depiction above, only the wolf is now a "wolf man", human body with wolf head. And the humans' actions are also clearly different.
Is this really a representation of the same myth as some have suggested? Is it really a "wolf" emerging from the "underworld"? Photo Ausschnitt von derselben Darstellung. About B. Photo: R. CIE , Rix, Etr. Texte, , 1. On these urns depicting a 'monster' Olta? The "heavenly dog", Tiangou, chasing the sun, and Zhang Xian, the Immortal, shooting a at the heavenly dog, generally interpreted as a metaphor for fertility "The New Year Painting of Zhang Xian", date: end 19th c.
Ornament in form a coiled wolf from NW China, c. Egyptian "wolf god" Upuaut Louvre. Ceramic figurine of wolf or dog from Mesopotamia c. Sarmatian zoomorphic art depicting a lion and a wolf. A wolf- or dog- headed deity on this Roman limestone relief from the 3rd century AD, depicting some form of offering scene.
A syncretic, hybridised deity, taking up characteristics from different deities: a wolf head, crowned with sheaves of wheat, and holding a key, the snake-like legs perhaps more an indicator of the cosmic warrior god Abraxas but he is usually represented with the head of a lion or cock, together with sword and shield; also, other depictions from the Roman empire of snake-like monsters, e. A bearded man kneeling at the right, presenting a loaf of bread on an offering table, its support with a lion head and a feline paw.
There are some Greek representations of a ketos, "sea monster", with a head resembling perhaps a wolf, notably the unique represenation of Perseus, Andromeda and Ketos on a Corinthian black-figure vase of the 6th century [coincidence? Corinth is not fa away from Arcadia Woodward, Perseus, and S. But at the end of the day, we do not know what kind of deity we are dealing with here: wheat, key, caduceus, poppies, Sorry, though thoroughly checked when auctioned at Christies, and deemed genuine, we do not seem to know where the stele was found.
On first sight, a wolf-like monster, here clearly indicated as Ketos, but see image below for the full picture of a ketos, sea-monster. On this more or less contemporary vase painting, depicting Herakles and ketos, we can clearly see that no allusion to a wolf was intended by the painter. Disclaimer: please surf at your own risk The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. I endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, but I cannot guarantee its completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability.
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Powered by Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Get Started. Wolf Children - Wolfskinder - Enfants loups Romulus and Remus might just be a fantastic story to demonstrate the divine intervention of Rome's founder s. The she-wolf and the twins in the Lupercal. Marble base, Forum Boarium, Rome Museo della Civilta Romana, Rome In Rome, we also find a religious 'wolf' festival, the Lupercalia , and a prieshood, the Luperci , that are seemingly named after the wolf, ' lupus '. Scythia: wolf shape-shifters A Scythian gold handle, apparently in form of a wolf, its fur depicted as incised spirals, with turquoise inlays approximately 4th century BC; 7.
Apollo Lykaios, Lord of the Wolves? Roman Britain She-wolf with Romulus and Remus. Arslan, Iside: il mito, il mistero, la magia, The Egyptian goddess Isis and a wolf or dog on this Aelxandrian coin? Here we can see that we are dealing with a winged wolf, crouching to the left, looking to the right.
The fish, tunny, is now 'swimming' under the wolf. The wolf as mythical, celestial deity? Eagle Scout constructed and installed cork bulletin boards for use in th each of the historic cains located at Camp Greentop. The bulletin boards, assembled and stained to model the CCC-era cabin appearance, have successfully protected the historic cabin walls from repeated visitor use. The new shelter, built with high quality, historically accurate materials, will serve as an integral interpretive piece of the Whiskey Still Exhibit for years to come.
Eagle Scout installed newly fabricated wooden directional trail signs at numerous locations on the east side trail system. Eagle Scout constructed over feet of wooden railing along boardwalk previously lacking safety rails. The railing will not only substantially improve general boardwalk safety, but will make the boardwalk fully accessible to visually-impaired visitors.
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