Monsters from Myth, and Quests for a Scientific Rationale, Or, a Science Journalist’s Take on Mythological Animals. An Exploration of Matt Kaplan’s The Science of Monsters, with a Foray into Aetiologies and Cultural Uses of Medusa

Ephraim Nissan

Abstract


We consider some of the chapters in Matt Kaplan’s The Science of Monsters and his rationalising conjectures (some of them rooted in hypotheses by Adrienne Mayor), and discuss or provide supplementary data, including concerning occurrence in modern art or literature.


References


Baer, E. (1965). Sphinxes and Harpies in Medieval Islamic Art: An Iconographical Study. (Oriental Notes and Studies, 9.) Jerusalem: The Israel Oriental Society.

Berg, Adam (1996). “Perseus’ Hysteria”.27 Leonardo, 29(1): 72–3.

Berndt, Ronald M. (1958). “A Comment on Dr. Leach’s ‘Trobriand Medusa’”.28 Man, 58, item 65: 65–6.

Berthold, Dennis. (1997). “Melville, Garibaldi, and the Medusa of Revolution”.29 American Literary History, 9(3): 425–59.

Borge, J.L. and Guerrero, M. (1957). Manual de zoologia fantastica. México: Fundo de Cultura Económica.

Brener, Ann (1994). “Portrait of the Rabbi as Young Humanist: A Reading of Elijah Capsali’s Chronicle of Venice”, Italia: Studi e Ricerche sulla Storia, la Cultura e la Letteratura degli Ebrei d’Italia (Jerusalem), 11: 37–60.

Capsali, Elia (1975–1983 [1520s]). Seder Eliyahu Zuta: History of the Ottomans and of Venice and that of the Jews in Turkey, Spain and Venice. (In Hebrew, 3 vols.). A. Shmuelevitz, S. Simonsohn and M. Benayahu (eds.). Jerusalem: The Ben-Zvi Institute of Yad Ben-Zvi and the Hebrew University, and Tel-Aviv: The Diaspora Research Institute, Tel-Aviv University.

Carr, J.L. (1963). “Gorgons, Gormogons, Medusists and Masons”.30 The Modern Language Review, 58(1): 73–8.

Cheney, Liana De Girolami. (2004). “Edward Burne-Jones’ Andromeda: Transformation of Historical and Mythological Sources”.31 Artibus et Historiae, 25(49): 197–227.

Cherry, John, ed. (1995). Mythical Beasts. London: British Museum Press.

Coleman, Kathleen M. (ed., trans.) (2006). Liber Spectaculorum by Martial [on the jacket, vs. frontispiece: M. Valerii Martialis Liber spectaculorum]. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Cixous, Hélène. (1975). “Le Rire de la Méduse”. L’Arc, 61: 39–54.

Cixous, Hélène. (1976). “The Laugh of the Medusa”.32 Keith Cohen and Paula Cohen (trans.). Signs, 1(4): 875–93.

Clark, Raymond J. (2003). “The Cerberus-Like Function of the Gorgons in Virgil’s Underworld (Aen. 6.273–94)”.33 The Classical Quarterly, 53(1): 308–9.

Coffler, Gail H. (1985). Melville’s Classical Allusions: A Comprehensive Index and Glossary. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Croon, J.H. (1955). “The Mask of the Underworld Daemon: Some Remarks on the Perseus-Gorgon Story”.34 The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 75: 9–16.

Cropper, Elizabeth. (1991). “The Petrifying Art: Marino’s Poetry and Caravaggio”.35 Metropolitan Museum Journal, 26: 193–212.

Dawkins, Richard McGillivray. (1924). “Ancient Statues in Mediaeval Constantinople”, Folklore, 35(3): 209–48.

Day, Peggy L. (1992). “Anat: Ugarit’s ‘Mistress of Animals’”.36 Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51(3): 181–190.

Defendi, Adrienne S. (2000). “Arturo Graf’s Medusa: Toward a Demystification of Myth”.37 Italica, 77(1): 26–44.

de Gubernatis, Angelo, Count [1840–1913]. (1872). Zoological Mythology (2 vols.). London: Trübner. Also, edn. in German: Die Thiere in der indogermanischen Mythologie ... Aus dem Englischen übersetzt von M. Hartmann. Autorisirte, mit Verbesserungen und Zusätzen versehene deutsche Ausgabe. Walluf [Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany] & Nendeln [in the municipality of Eschen, in Liechtenstein]: Dr. Martin Sändig, 1978.

Dolmage, Jay. (2009). “Metis, Mêtis, Mestiza, Medusa: Rhetorical Bodies across Rhetorical Traditions”.38 Rhetoric Review, 28(1): 1–28.

Edmunds, Lowell. (1981). The Sphinx in the Oedipus Legend. (Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie, 127.) Königstein/Ts: Hain (ca. 70 pp.).

Eiichirô, Ishida. (1950). “‘Kappa’ Legend. A Comparative Ethnological Study on the Japanese Water-Spirit ‘Kappa’ and Its Habit of Trying to Lure Horses into the Water”, Folklore Studies [Nanzan University], 9: i–vi, 1–152, 1–11.

Elworthy, F.T. (1903). “A Solution of the Gorgon Myth”.39 Folklore, 14(3): 212–42.

Ettinghausen, R. (1955). “The ‘Snake-Eating Stag’ in the East”, in K. Weitzmann (ed.), Late Classical and Medieval Studies in Honor of Albert Mathias Friend. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press: 272–86.

Faietti, Marzia. (2010). “«Gorgóneion» mantovano”.40 [In Italian.] Artibus et Historiae, 31(61): 27–42.

Farkas, Ann E., Prudence O. Harper and Evelyn Harrison, eds. (1987), Monsters and Demons in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern.

Fear, A.T. (1992). “Bladud: The Flying King of Bath”.41 Folklore, 103(2): 222–24.

Fleming, James Dougal. (2002). “Meanwhile, Medusa in Paradise Lost”.42 ELH: A Journal of English Literary History, 69(4): 1009–28.

Freud, Sigmund (1959). “Medusa’s Head”. In his Collected Papers, Vol. 5. James Strachey (ed.). New York: Basic Books, 1959. Also in S. Freud, Sexuality and the Psychology of Love. Philip Rieff (ed.). New York: Macmillan, 1963: 212–3.

Fronthingham, A.L. (1911). “Medusa, Apollo, and the Great Mother”.43 American Journal of Archaeology, 15(3): 349–77.

Fronthingham, A.L. (1915). “Medusa II. The Vegetation Gorgoneion”.44 American Journal of Archaeology, 19(1): 13–23.

Garber, Marjorie and Vickers, Nancy J., eds. (2003). The Medusa Reader. New York & London: Routledge.

Gierlichs, J. (1993–1996 [1998]). “Drache, Sphinx und Doppeladler: Bemerkungen zur figürlichen Steindekoration der Seldschuken und Artuqiden“, Eothen: Jahreshefte der Gesellschaft der Freunde Islamischer Kunst und Kultur, 4–7: 33–7.

Gitter, Elisabeth G. (1984). “The Power of Women’s Hair in the Victorian Imagination”.45 PMLA, 99(5): 936–54.

González-Rivas Fernández, Ana and Lipscomb, Antonella (eds.). 2017. The Eternal Return of Myth: Myth Updating in Contemporary Literature. Special issue. Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (Cuttack, Odisha, India),46 40(2).

Graf, Arturo. (1890). Medusa [collected poems]. Reprinted, Anna Dolfi (ed.). Modena: Mucchi, 1990.

Harrison, Jane Ellen. (1924). Mythology. New York: Longmans, Green, & London: G. Harrap.

Hertz, Neil. 1983. “Medusa’s Head: Male Hysteria under Political Pressure”.47 Representations, 4: 27–54. Reprinted in The End of the Line: Essays on Psychoanalysis and the Sublime. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985: 161–92.

Hicks, Frederick C. (1920). “The Modern Medusa”.48 Bulletin of the American Library Association, 14(4): 145–51.

Hopkins, Clark. (1934). “Assyrian Elements in the Perseus-Gorgon Story”.49 American Journal of Archaeology, 38(3): 341–58.

Huot, Sylvia. (1987). “The Medusa Interpolation in the Romance of the Rose: Mythographic Program and Ovidian Intertext”.50 Speculum, 62(4): 865–77.

Jacobs, Carol. (1985). “On Looking at Shelley’s Medusa”.51 Yale French Studies, 69: 163–79.

Jacobs, Martin. (2005). “Exposed to All the Currents of the Mediterranean: A Sixteenth-Century Venetian Rabbi on Muslim History”, Association for Jewish Studies Review, 29: 33–60.

Judson, Barbara. (2001). “The Politics of Medusa: Shelley’s Physiognomy of Revolution”.52 ELH: A Journal of English Literary History, 68(1): 135–54.

Kaplan, Matt. 2012. The Science of Monsters: Why Monsters Came to Be and What Made Them So Terrifying. London: Constable, 2013 & New York: Scribner, 2012. Paperback, x+244 pages. ISBN 978-1-47210-115-0.

Kruk, Remke. (2001). “Of Rukhs and Rooks, Camels and Castles”, Oriens, 36: 288–99.

Leach, E.R. (1954). “A Trobriand Medusa?”53 Man, 54, item 158: 103–5.

Malamud, Martha. (2003). “Pompey’s Head and Cato’s Snakes”.54 Classical Philology, 98(1): 31–44.

Mansfield, Margaret Nossel. (1970). “Dante and the Gorgon Within”.55 Italica, 47(2): 143– 60.

Marin, Louis. (1977). Détruire la peinture. Paris: Galilée.

Marini, Maurizio (with an added note by Sir Denis Mahon). (2004). “Caravaggio, Murtola e ‘la chioma avvelenata di Medusa’”.56 Artibus et Historiae, 25(49): 175–84.

Masini, Ferruccio. (1997). Lo sguardo della Medusa. Bologna: Cappelli.

Mayor, Adrienne (1994). “Guardians of the Gold”, Archaeology (November–December): 52–9.

Mayor, Adrienne. (2000). The First Fossil Hunters. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Mayor, Adrienne. (2014). The Amazons: Lives & Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Mazzucco, Melania. (1995). II bacio della Medusa. [A novel.] Milano: Baldini e Castoldi.

McGann, Jerome J. (1972). “The Beauty of the Medusa: A Study in Romantic Literary Iconology”. Studies in Romanticism, 11: 3–25.

Meskill, Lynn Sermin. (2005). “Exorcising the Gorgon of Terror: Jonson’s Masque of Queenes”. 57 ELH: A Journal of English Literary History, 72(1): 181–207.

Mirsky, Aharon (1990). “Shirát Sfarád — tkhanéiha vesugéiha” (Hebrew: “The [Hebrew] Poetry from Spain: Its Subjects and Genre”), in A. Mirsky, HaPiut: The Development of Post Biblical Poetry in Eretz Israel and the Diaspora. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University: 573–652.

Murray, A.S. (1889). “The Aegis of Athene”.58 The Classical Review, 3(6): 283–4.

Nissan, Ephraim. (2009a). “Deadly Flowers and Lethal Plants: A Theme in Folklore, Fiction and Metaphoric Imagery”, Fabula, 50(3/4): 293–311.

Nissan, Ephraim. (2009b). “An Insidious Rose, Lethal Flowers or Plants: A Version of the Death of Moses, and a Sanfedist Trick from the Napoleonic Wars”. Fabula, 50(1/2): 111–17.

Nissan, Ephraim. (2012). “The Cyclical Snake: Occurrences in Jewish Sources Are Sporadic and Disconnected”, MHNH [μηνη, mene]: revista internacional de investigación sobre magia y astrología antíguas (Málaga), 12: 101–50.

Nissan, Ephraim (2013–2014). “The Cyclical Snake in Jewish Sources: An Examination of Occurrences of the Ouroboros”, Korot (Jerusalem), 22: 3–63.

Oakley, K.P. (1975). Decorative and symbolic uses of vertebrate fossils. (Pitt Rivers Museum, 12.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Oakley, K.P. (1985). Decorative and Symbolic Uses of Fossils: Selected Groups, Mainly Invertebrate. (Occasional Papers on Technology, 13.) Oxford: Pitts Rivers Museum, University of Oxford.

Obeyesekere, Gananath. (1981). Medusa’s Hair: An Essay on Personal Symbols and Religious Experience. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Otto-Dorn, Katharina. (1994). “The Griffin-Sphinx Ensemble”, in Robert Hillenbrand (ed.), The Art of the Saljūqs in Iran and Anatolia: Proceedings of a Symposium held in Edinburgh in 1982. Costa Mesa, California: Mazda Publishers: 303–11.

Paudice, Aleida (2006). “Elia Capsali (b. ca. 1485–90 – d. > 1550)”. Biography (in English) posted online59 inside the “Ottoman Historians / Osmanli Tarihçileri” website.

Phinney, Jr., Edward (1971). “Perseus’ Battle with the Gorgons”. Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, 102: 445–63. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2935950

Potts, D.T. (2010). “Cylinder Seals and Their Use in the Arabian Peninsula”, Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy, 21: 20–40.

Praz, Mario. 1956. The Romantic Agony. New York: Meridian.

Preston, George Nelson (1975). “Perseus and Medusa in Africa: Military Art in Fanteland 1834–1972”.60 African Arts, 8(3): 36–41, 68–71, 91–2.

Resina, Joan Ramon. (1989). “Medusa en el laberinto: Locura y textualidad en el Quijote”.61 Modern Language Notes, 104(2), Hispanic Issue: 286–303.

Romm, James (1996). Review62 of Palaephatus: On Unbelievable Tales, trans. Jacob Stern (Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, Wauconda, 1996). Bryn Mawr Classical Review,63 96.11.4.

Rose, H.J. [= Herbert Jennings]. (1928). Handbook of Greek Mythology, including its extensión to Rome. London: Methuen & Co.

Russo, Florence. (2012). “Cupiditas, the Medusean Heresy of Farinata”.64 Italica, 89(4): 442–63.

Salutati, Coluccio. (2003). “Medusa as Artful Eloquence”. In Marjorie Garber and Nancy J. Vickers (eds.), The Medusa Reader. New York: Routledge: 54–6.

Soria, Regina. (1964). “Mark Twain and Vedder’s Medusa”.65 American Quarterly, 16(4), “A Mark Twain Issue”: 602–6.

Sperber, Dan (1975). “Pourquoi les animaux parfaits, les hybrides et les monstres sont-ils bons à penser symboliquement?”, L’Homme, 15(2) : 5–24.

Sperber, Dan. (1986). Animali perfetti, ibridi e mostri (translated by Dario Sabbatucci). Roma: Edizioni Theoria.

Sperber, Dan (1996). “Why Are Perfect Animals, Hybrids, and Monsters Food for Symbolic Thought?”66 [revised version of Sperber 1975], Method & Theory in the Study of Religion, 8(2): 143–69.

Stafford, Barbara. (1972). “‘Medusa’ or the Physiognomy of the Earth: Humbert de Superville’s Cosmological Aesthetics”.67 Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 35: 308–38.

Stern, Jacob, ed., trans. (1996). Palaephatus: On Unbelievable Tales, Wauconda, Illinois: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers.

Sturm-Maddox, Sara. (1987). “The Rime Petrose and the Purgatorial Palinode”.68 Studies in Philology, 84(2): 119–33.

Suhr, E.G. (1969). “The Daughter of the Dragon”.69 Folklore, 80(1): 1–11.

Tindale, Norman B. (1959). “A Trobriand Medusa?”70 [Correspondence]. Man, 59, item 66: 49–50.

Tittemore, Margaret B. (1998). “Medusa, Myself”.71 Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, 19(1), issue on “Identity, the Body, and the Menopause”: 81–4.

Topper, Kathryn. (2007). “Perseus, the Maiden Medusa, and the Imagery of Abduction”.72 Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 76(1): 73–105.

van der Sluijs, Marinus A. and Anthony L. Peratt. (2009). “The Ourobóros as an Auroral Phenomenon”, Journal of Folklore Research, 46(1): 3–41.

Vickers, Nancy J. (2003). “The Face of Medusa”. In Marjorie Garber and Nancy J. Vickers (eds.), The Medusa Reader. New York: Routledge: 232–7.

Viti, Elizabeth R. (1994). “Marcel and the Medusa”. Dalhousie French Studies, 26: 61–8.

Vogel, Jean Philippe [1871–1951]. (1926). Indian Serpent-lore: Or, The Nāgas in Hindu Legend and Art. London: Arthur Probsthain, 1926; repr. Varanasi, India: Publ. by Gajendra Singh for Indological Book House, 1972; repr. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services, 1995.

Wheatley, Natasha. (2010). “‘It Is the Hunter and You Are the Harpooned Dolphin’: Memory, Writing, and Medusa — Amos Oz and His Women”.73 The Jewish Quarterly Review, 100(4): 631–48.

Wilson, Lillian M. (1920). “Contributions of Greek Art to the Medusa Myth”.74 American Journal of Archaeology, 24(3): 232–40.

Wittkower, Rudolf. (1938). “‘Roc’: An Eastern Prodigy in a Dutch Engraving”, Journal of the Warburg Institute (London), 1(3): 255–57 (being part 2 in Wittkower’s “Miraculous Birds”: 253–57).

Wittkower, Rudolf. (1939). “Eagle and Serpent: A Study in the Migration of Symbols”, Journal of the Warburg Institute, 2(4): 293–325.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Amaltea. Revista de mitocrítica
ISSN-e 1989-1709

© . Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Biblioteca Complutense | Ediciones Complutense