The Best Exposition Of The Subject Of The
Cynocephali According To The Traditions Of The Ancients Is Now Presented By
J. MARQUART (Benin-Sammlung Des Reichsmuseums In Leiden, Pp.
It is essential to recognize that the mediaeval European, Arabic, and
Chinese fables about the country of the dog-heads are all derived from one
common source, which is traceable to the Greek Romance of Alexander; that
is an Oriental-Hellenistic cycle.
In a wider sense, the dog-heads belong to
the cycle of wondrous peoples, which assumed shape among the Greek mariners
under the influence of Indian and West-Asiatic ideas. The tradition of the
Nan shi (Ch. 79, p. 4), in which the motive of the dog-heads, the women,
however, being of human shape, meets its striking parallel in Adam of
Bremen (Gesta Hamburg, ecclesiae pontificum, 4, 19), who thus reports on
the Terra Feminarum beyond the Baltic Sea: 'Cumque pervenerint ad partum,
si quid masculini generis est, fiunt cynocephali, si quid femini,
speciosissimae mulieres.' See further KLAPROTH, J. As., XII., 1833, p.
287; DULAURIER, J. As., 1858, p. 472; ROCKHILL, Rubruck, p. 36."
In an interesting paper on Walrus and Narwhal Ivory, Dr. Laufer (T'oung
Pao, July, 1916, p. 357) refers to dog-headed men with women of human
shape, from a report from the Mongols received by King Hethum of Armenia.
XIV., p. 313. "The people [of Ceylon] are Idolaters, and go quite naked
except that they cover the middle.... The King of this Island possesses a
ruby which is the finest and biggest in the world; I will tell you what it
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