Creatures of Mythology and Folklore
One of Aurora's horses.
The sacred bull of the ancient Egyptians. It was known to them as Hapi and was regarded as the incarnation of Osiris or of Ptah. It was believed that when Apis died, a new Apis appeared and had to be searched out; he would be recognizable by certain sacred marks upon his body, such as his color(mainly black) and a knot under his tongue. Apis is sometimes represented as a man with the head of a bull.
A 100-eyed giant (also called Panoptes) who was assigned by the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, to guard Io, of whom she was jealous. Zeus, who favored his mistress Io, changed her into a heifer to protect her from Hera. The god Hermes, dispatched by Zeus to rescue Io,slew Argus by lulling his eyes to sleep with music and then severing his head. In one version of the story, Argus subsequently became a peacock; in another, Hera transplanted his eyes onto the peacock's tail.
Also known by the name Argus was the old dog of Odysseus, Greek leader during the Trojan War. When his master returned after 19 years, Argus recognized him and promptly died.
Demons who are sworn enemies of the Vedic gods.
Achilles' horse, and brother of Achilles' other horse, Xanthus (Xanthos).
Banshee (THE BAN SIDH) (Gaelic)
Literally means a fairy woman, but is usually used to mean the spirit of a dead ancestress. In the Highlands she was known as the Glaistig Uaine (Green Lady).
A female spirit whose wailing warns afamily that one of them will soon die.
In northern England this monstrous dog with huge teeth and claws appeared only at night. It was believed that anyone who saw such a dog clearly would die soon after.
In Wales, the dog was the red-eyed Gwyllgi, the Dog of Darkness.
On the Isle of Man it was called Mauthe Doog.
(This fearsome apparition may well have providedthe inspiration for the Sherlock Holmes detective story "The Hound of the Baskervilles," by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.)
A good-natured, invisible household goblin. During the night, the brownie performs household tasks; however, if offered payment for his services, he disappears and never returns.
A creature half-man, half-horse, descendedfrom Ixion, and living mostly in ancient Thessaly. These centaurs were invited to a marriage feast, where one of them tried to abduct the bride which resulted in a war that drove them out of Thessaly. Most were savage followers of Dionysus, but some, like Chiron, taught humans.
A three-headed, dragon-tailed dog guarding the entrance to Hades. He permitted all spirits toenter Hades, but none to leave. Only a few heroes ever escaped; the great musician Orpheus charmed it with his lyre, and the Greek hero Hercules captured it bare-handed and brought it for a short time to the regions above. In Roman mythology the beautiful maiden Psyche (or Sybil) and the Trojan prince Aeneas were able to pacify Cerberus with a drugged honey cake and thus to continue their journeythrough the underworld.
A monster that only fed on "good women" and was therefore mostly skin and bones because its food was extremely scarce!
A monster that had a lion's head, a goat's body, and a dragon's tail. It was killed by Bellerophon.
Cockatrice or Basilisk (Ancient)
A monster with the head of a cock, wings of a fowl,and tail of a dragon; a legendary serpent that is hatched by a reptile from a cock's egg and that has a deadly glance.
A term generally applied to those spirits capable of interaction with humans. They may be human or non-human, or friendly or hostile. They include the demons who cause nightmares; Slavic vampires, or witch-ghosts, who suck the blood of living victims;...
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