January 6, 2016

Mythical A

        I haven’t done anything alphabetic in a while, and this morning it suddenly seems like a good idea to do a series of some of the mythical creatures for every letter of the alphabet.  For a long time I’ve had a fantasy of doing a sort of bestiary of my own takes on mythical creatures A-Z.  I don’t know whether I’ll ever manage to complete the project, but this series of posts can at least include some of the research I’ve done towards it.  The caveats: I know I’ve already done posts on a lot of these creatures, so I’ll try to include lots of links but not too much repetition.  I know my lists won’t be comprehensive; I’m claiming only to include some of the creatures that seemed most interesting to me.  I know my information may be sketchy on some of these, particularly those from cultures with which I’m not personally familiar.  But despite these issues, on this sunny morning it seems like a good idea to proceed.  So without further ado, A IS FOR…

aspidochelone - sea turtle as big as an island.  You can read my previous post about it here. (Medieval Europe)

amphisbaena - snake or dragonoid with a head at each end (ancient Greek)

ahuizotl - dog-like water creature with a hand at the end of its tail to drown its victims (Aztec)

Ammit - demon with crocodile head, lion foreparts, and hippo hindquarters, who eats the impure hearts of people after death (ancient Egyptian)

amphiptere - winged serpent, often with greenish-yellow feathers, bat-like wings, and an arrow-pointed tail tip (European heraldry)

[Pictures: Aspidochelone, rubber block print by AEGN, 2012;
The Parallelogram, the Amphisbaena, the Crocodile, wood engraving by Paul Landacre, 1941 (Image from Bromer Booksellers);
Amphiptere, wood block print by anonymous artist, from The History of Serpents by Edward Topsell, 1658 (Image from Internet Archive).]

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