A cynocephalus. From the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493).
Saints Ahrakas and Augani (icon XVIII c.)
Cynocephali illustrated in the Kiev Psalter of 1397
A cynocephalus alongside a Blemmy, a cyclops and a sciapod, from The Voyage and Travels of Sir John Mandeville
Figure of the Eastern Zodiacal Dog as a dog headed and possibly tailed person. Rubbing from the tomb of Gim Yu-sin of Later Silla (now Korea).

Widely attested mythical phenomenon existing in many different forms and contexts.

- Cynocephaly

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The Egyptian god Anubis (a modern rendition inspired by New Kingdom tomb paintings)
Anubis attending the mummy of the deceased.
Statue of Anubis, circa 100-138 AD, marble, height: 1.5 m, width: 50 cm, from Tivoli (Rome, Italy), Vatican Museums (Vatican City)
Opening of the mouth ceremony
The "weighing of the heart," from the book of the dead of Hunefer. Anubis is portrayed as both guiding the deceased forward and manipulating the scales, under the scrutiny of the ibis-headed Thoth.
Lintel of Amenemhat I and deities; 1981–1952 BC; painted limestone; 36.8 × 172 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)
The Anubis Shrine; 1336–1327 BC; painted wood and gold; 1.1 × 2.7 × 0.52 m; from the Valley of the Kings; Egyptian Museum (Cairo)
alt= |Stela depicting Anubis receiving offerings from king Tutankhamun's fanbearer Ipy; 14th century BC; painted limestone; from Saqqara (Egypt); Hermitage (Sankt Petersburg, Russia)
The king with Anubis, from the tomb of Haremhab; 1323-1295 BC; tempera on paper; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Anubis amulet; 664–30 BC; faience; height: 4.7 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Recumbent Anubis; 664–30 BC; limestone, originally painted black; height: 38.1 cm, length: 64 cm, width: 16.5 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Statuette of Anubis; 332–30 BC; plastered and painted wood; 42.3 cm; Metropolitan Museum of Art
Anubis, Harpocrates, Isis and Serapis, antique fresco in Pompeii, Italy

Anubis, also known as Inpu, Inpw, Jnpw, or Anpu in Ancient Egyptian is the god of death, mummification, embalming, the afterlife, cemeteries, tombs, and the Underworld, in ancient Egyptian religion, usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head.

Saint Christopher

Venerated by several Christian denominations as a martyr killed in the reign of the 3rd-century Roman emperor Decius (reigned 249–251) or alternatively under the emperor Maximinus Daia (reigned 308–313).

St. Christopher Carrying the Christ Child, by Hieronymus Bosch (AD 1485)
Fresco Saint Christophorus carries the Jesus child,
Hoher Dom Mariä Heimsuchung, Augsburg Cathedral
A bronze St. Christopher medallion
In Eastern icons, Saint Christopher is sometimes represented with the head of a dog.
St. Christopher, from the Westminster Psalter, c. 1250
The earliest dated woodcut in Europe, 1423, Buxheim, with hand-colouring of Saint Christopher
Saint Christopher, c. 1460–70, after a lost painting by Jan van Eyck
Saint Christopher by Hans Memling, c. 1480
Saint Christopher Carrying the Christ Child by Hieronymus Bosch, c. 1490–1500
Saints Christopher, Jerome and Louis of Toulouse by Giovanni Bellini, 1513
St. Christopher, St. Sebastian, St. Roch by Bernardo Strozzi, early 17th century; Parish of Almenno San Salvatore, Bergamo

It’s more likely that the iconography roots lie in a narrative of a “Rebrebus/Rebrebus/ or Reprobus” captured out of “West Egypt” (a Cynocephali of Cyrenaica) and matching the current cultural belief that men (tall, strong, reprobates) from that area simply had dog heads.

King Arthur

Legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries.

Tapestry showing Arthur as one of the Nine Worthies, wearing a coat of arms often attributed to him
Arthur defeats the Saxons in a 19th-century picture by John Cassell
"Arturus rex" (King Arthur), a 1493 illustration from the Nuremberg Chronicle
A facsimile page of Y Gododdin, one of the most famous early Welsh texts featuring Arthur
Culhwch entering Arthur's court in the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen. An illustration by Alfred Fredericks for a 1881 edition of the Mabinogion
King Arthur in a crude illustration from a 15th-century Welsh version of Historia Regum Britanniae
The Death of Arthur by John Garrick (1862), depicting a boat arriving to take the dying Arthur to Avalon after the Battle of Camlann
During the 12th century, Arthur's character began to be marginalised by the accretion of "Arthurian" side-stories such as that of Tristan and Iseult, here pictured in a painting by John William Waterhouse (1916)
The story of Arthur drawing the sword from a stone appeared in Robert de Boron's 13th-century Merlin. By Howard Pyle (1903)
The Round Table experiences a vision of the Holy Grail, an illumination by Évrard d'Espinques
Arthur receiving the later tradition's sword Excalibur in N. C. Wyeth's illustration for The Boy's King Arthur (1922), a modern edition of Thomas Malory's 1485 Le Morte d'Arthur
Merlin and Viviane in Gustave Doré's 1868 illustration for Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Idylls of the King
King Arthur (holding Excalibur) and Patsy in Spamalot, a stage musical adaptation of the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Some of these are human threats, such as the Saxons he fights in the Historia Brittonum, but the majority are supernatural, including giant cat-monsters, destructive divine boars, dragons, dogheads, giants, and witches.

Headless men

Various species of mythical headless men were rumoured, in antiquity and later, to inhabit remote parts of the world.

Alexander encounters the headless people
Headless placed in India.
A Blemmyae from Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle (1493)
Headless Ewaipanomas (1599 engraving)
Bonobos, a species of Pan (related to the Chimpanzee) in the Great Apes
Blemyah, Ripon Cathedral
Blemee on the Hereford Mappa Mundi (detail, Nile system)
13th-century bestiary leaf
Wondrous people of Ethiopia, 1377 manuscript of Secrets de l'histoire naturelle
Wondrous people of Ethiopia, ca. 1460 Livres des Merveilles du Monde
alt=A blemmyae in the 1544 wodcutt in the Cosmographia of Sebastian Münster|Blemmyae, 1544 woodcut in the Cosmographia by Sebastian Münster
Headless from 1599 engraving in Sir Walter Raleigh's The Discovery of Guiana

The headless akephaloi, the dog-headed cynocephali, "and the wild men and women, besides many other creatures not fabulous" dwelled in the eastern edge of ancient Libya, according to Herodotus's Libyan sources.


Carolingian theologian known best for his writings on the Eucharist and predestination.

This was in response to a question from Rimbert, then working as a missionary in Scandinavia, who asked whether the cynocephali believed to live nearby were human, because if they were Rimbert would be expected to attempt to convert them.


2000 novel by Umberto Eco about the adventures of a man named Baudolino in the known and mythical Christian world of the 12th century.

First edition (Italian)


Pa gur

Known from its first line as Pa gur yv y porthaur? or Pa gur, or alternatively as Ymddiddan Arthur a Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr ("The dialogue of Arthur and Glewlwyd Gafaelfawr").

The opening lines of Pa gur in the original manuscript, the Black Book of Carmarthen

The subject now turns to Arthur himself, who is said to have fought against a witch in the hall of Afarnach, against a certain Pen Palach in the dwellings of Disethach, and against dog-heads at the mount of Edinburgh.

Gwrgi Garwlwyd

Warrior character in Welsh Arthurian legend.

Statuta Mutine Reformata, 1420–1485; parchment codex bound in wood and leather with brass plaques worked the corners and in the center, with clasps.

In Pa Gur, King Arthur and his men fight against an army of cinbin, or dogheads, at the mountains of Eidyn (modern Edinburgh).



Psoglav (, literally "doghead") is a demonic mythical creature in Balkan mythology; belief about it existed in parts of Bosnia and Montenegro.


Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, in the northern part of the Kingdom of East Frankia from 865 until his death in 888.

In a highly notable letter from the controversial 9th century theologian, Ratramnus of Corbie, Ratramnus responded to a lost letter from Rimbert regarding the nature of cynocephali.