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lycanthropy in arcadia (and elsewhere)
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1993
From: John Glasscock
Subject: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

I ran across an interesting passage in AR Burn, _The Pelican History of Greece__, 1973, p. 224. Time: ca. 446 BC "The young king (of Sparta) in titular command, Pleistoanax, a son of the ill-fated Pausanias, was impeached and fined a sum which he could not pay; he fled to the grim sanctuary of Apollo the Wolf-god in Arcadia, where it was said that human flesh was mixed with the sacrifices, that he who ate it became a wolf, and that no beast cast a shadow." Questions:
1. Who knows of "werewolf" tales of an earlier time?
2. Who is the authoritative source for this story? Burn omits references for this general tome.
3. What is the relationship of Lykourgos to this story? I seem to recall being told once of a wolf relation to the family of Lykourgos (I think I see the root, but I am no linguist).
4. Are there any similar stories in the ancient Mediterranean? Has anyone written recently about this?
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1993
From: Mr John Hilton
Subject: Re: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

The major locus is Pausanias 8.2 ff. and concerns Lykaon the son of Pelasgos who founded Lykosoura and the Lykaian games. Lykaon was said to have sacrificed a child at the altar of Lykaian Zeus and was then turned into a wolf. This unfortunate experience happened to others subsequently but, provided they abstained from meat while wolves, they changed back to human form after nine years (the term of the priesthood suggests Levi). See also Pliny HN 8.81 ff. Also Paus 6.8.2
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1993
From: Bob Develin
Subject: Re: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

A bit of searching will show that lycanthropy is pretty common wherever the wolf was known; the mystery only increased as the animal became scarce, as in Classical Greece. On Lykourgos see Sallares, *The Ecology of the Ancient Greek World*, p. 165. There's an interesting British song called "Reynardine", where we have a fox-man instead.

Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1993
From: "C.G. BROWN"
Subject: Re: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

There is some very interesting discussion of `werewolves' in Burkert's *Homo Necans*.
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1993
From: Mark Williams
Subject: Re: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

Further on lycanthropy, you may wish to look at the following: Otten, Charlotte F. A lycanthropy reader: werewolves in western culture. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1986 xvi, 337 p., ill. Bibliography p. 321-324.
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1993
From: Neel Smith
Subject: Re: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

I second Chrisotpher Brown's recommendation of *Homo Necans*. Ifmemory serves me correctly, there is also useful material in Dennis Hughes' dissertation:
AUTHOR Hughes, Dennis D., 1951-
TITLE Human sacrifice in ancient Greece / Dennis D. Hughes.
IMPRINT London ; New York : Routledge, 1991. NOTE Revision of the author's thesis (Ph. D.)--Ohio State University, 1986.
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1993
From: Donald Lateiner
Subject: Re: Lycanthropy in Arcadia

Dennis Hughes' dissertation has been published by Routledge, so will be more readily accessible in its revised form.

Date: Mon, 30 Aug 1993
From: "Croxen, Kevin"
Subject: Lycanthropy

Though there are much newer treatments of the lycanthropy tradition, in my opinion by far the best remains Montague Summers "The Werewolf" (1933; rpt. 1966). The great value of Summers' material is in no way reduced by the author's evident belief in the historical truth of most of what he relates. .
Culled from classics.log9308e and classics.log9308d
Copyright © 2001 David Meadows
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