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KaysonMire

Is there any origins to the lycanthrope myth?

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Posted (edited)

I'm Kayson, and I want to learn more about Lycanthropes. I want to know the legend, and I couldn't think of a better site to go on to find out about it all. I've been very intrigued and I think that possibly I know one myself, so I would like to hear more of what you all have to say

Edited by KmKizmet
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Posted (edited)

First off welcome to the site ^_^

We used to theorise about this kinda things in Geography. Yeah doesn't seem like the class to do so, but we covered diseases and diseases in lore, covering the topics of Vampirism, zombie causing viruses & lycanthropy. The teacher wanted us to come up with how or why these mythological myths came to pass and if it held any fact. My theory and I emphasis on 'theory', because it's just something I came with during the discussion. My theory is that Lycanthropy could have been born by actual events.

Werewolves are a very European creature, though not strictly, it could be hypothesised that the legends started in Europe and spread, considering how wide spread Europeans became. Wolves has a long history in Europe and during the time when the legend was created, it was a time of superstition.

Anyway to my birth of the lycan legend 'theory'

Say a man was out hunting, or simply farming and he gets bitten by a wolf. Maybe he was a part of a close knit community and many people knew about the bite. Now I figure people weren't as clean shaven as we are now. Perhaps men were quite hairy, especially if they were from poverty. Say this hairy man contracted rabies from this wolf bite and started going mad. Maybe in his delusion state he lashed out at people, as symptoms of rabies are violent movements and periods of mania. For a superstitious and uneducated people, a hairy man going mad after being bitten by a wolf could easily turn into a man turning into a half wolf/man creature after being bitten.

We know a lot of things were exaggerated back in the day, especially when it came to the matters of the supernatural/paranormal.

It's probably completely bogus, but it was just a thought that occurred to me.

Edited by krypter3

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I like how you learned it in geography.

That helps somewhat.

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Well it does go way back though, men changing into wolves are found in Ancient Greek literature and mythology. The one I remember is that Herodotus wrote that the Neuri, a tribe he places to the north-east of Scythia, were all transformed into wolves once every year for several days, and then changed back to their human shape.

But there are of course more examples of this to be found I'm sure.

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I think it had something to do with feral children in the ancient past.

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I think it had something to do with feral children in the ancient past.

Bang on.

Kids that were raised by wolves.Mowgli.

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Actually, that's only one explanation, which could be correct. There are others as well, which could be as correct. Take the legends of the Turkic people (see link), for example. Common Turkic folklore holds a different, light to the werewolf legends. Turkic Central Asian shamans would voluntarily be able to transform into the humanoid "Kurtadam" (literally meaning Wolfman). Since the wolf was the totemic ancestor animal of the Turkic peoples, they would be respectful of any shaman who was in such a form.

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Much of the belief in the existence may have come from seeing those that had Hypertrichosis (Ambras syndrome)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypertrichosis

hypertrichosis-5-256x300.jpg

jojo-713518.jpg

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Depends on the part of the world you are dealing with....

In Europe there are cases of hypertrichnosis, couple that with a combination of Norse, Germanic, Finnish and Baltic fear of wolves as being malevolent creatures and a Christian belief that wolves are greedy and bring destruction, then you have the classic lycanthropic mythos of werewolves terrorizing villages, snatching babies, raping virgins, etc, etc.

Once you get away from Europe, the view of the wolf changes drastically, North American aboriginal tribes by and large revered the wolf, it isn't unanimous reverence, but the great majority of the tribes revere the wolf. Just like in Japan, Mongolia, India, Turkey and Chenchen the wolf is revered for its strength and protection. So the stories of men changing into wolves, instead of being anthropomorphic they maintain more of the animalistic qualities.

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I'm Kayson, and I want to learn more about Lycanthropes. I want to know the legend, and I couldn't think of a better site to go on to find out about it all. I've been very intrigued and I think that possibly I know one myself, so I would like to hear more of what you all have to say

Welcome to UM :) Erm..I wouldn't mention the bolded bit in front of Jaylemurph and Harte. I'm intrugued to know how you could possibly know one though.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Guys,

In humour i have to say a werewolf saved my life ha ha!

Let me explain, when you first get disabled it takes time to adjust, life can get very dark for a while as you get used to it, i have no worries now due to humour, i have ankylosing spondylitus also called bamboo spine, some may say i look like Quasimodo of Notre-Dame fame ha ha!

During the time when i saw signs that i had bamboo spine i had a buddy in America that was suffering with Lupus, and we developed a strange sense of humour by email that made us both laugh and got us through the day, obviously i told him i looked like Quasimodo, so he used to send me emails wondering when i would start ringing the bells at Notre-Dame, and send me music like Anita Ward Ring my Bell ha ha!

I, not to be out done found an obscure meaning of Lupus that means werewolf or wolf:-

http://www.wrensworl...lupusfacts2.htm

So i used to send music to him like Creedence Clearwater Revival Bad Moon Rising Ha Ha!

[media=]

Some of the emails were funny as i wondered if his hands were getting hairy yet, or if he had eaten his dog yet as it was full moon, i miss my buddy who is no longer with us, but he gave me back my humour and my life.....So a werewolf did save my life ha ha!

Edited by monk 56
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I have to say a central point to werewolves may also be the Dog Star Sirius, that is present in myths of many cultures around the world, for native Americans i would look at the Canoe Race myth of Chinook Tribe or TWO DOGS MYTH of Cherokee, link below:-

http://www.wwu.edu/depts/skywise/legends.html

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For a superstitious and uneducated people, a hairy man going mad after being bitten by a wolf could easily turn into a man turning into a half wolf/man creature after being bitten.
Much of the belief in the existence may have come from seeing those that had Hypertrichosis (Ambras syndrome)

Rabies and Hypertrichosis both have much to recommend them, IMHO.

I've always thought it was simply a Primieval Fear of predatory animals. What could be more fightening then the animal that is a predator of your people, then a hybrid of that predator and a human? That is why generally other lycanthropic creatures, like were-jaguars and were-tigers popped in areas where those animals would kill humans.

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