Beings with elements of animal physique

One such motif is the combination of a basically anthropomorphic physique with animal features. The notion seems to be that in the half-way zone between the human and the animal worlds there exist creatures endowed with elements of both. Such are the Kimpurusas or Kimnaras of the Ramayana

45 M. Praetorius in Mannhardt (1936), 532; Usener (1896), 94; Gimbutas (1963), 197; Bie-zais-Balys (1973), 421 f.

46 LD 30686, 34028, 30733, 30865 = Jonval nos. 513-16.

(7. 79. 22 ff.). They are half human, half animal beings who live in the mountains and attend Kubera, the ruler of the north; their name might be rendered as 'Query-humans'.

In a Greek setting we immediately think of the goat-shanked god Pan, whom we have already discussed, of the Satyrs and Sileni, and of the Centaurs. Satyrs and Sileni, who are hard to distinguish from each other, live in the wild and have the ears and tails (and sometimes legs) of horses. Sileni make love to the Nymphs in caves, as does Hermes (Hymn. Aphr. 262 f.). In the Catalogue of Women the birth of the mountain Nymphs occurs together with that of the 'good-for-nothing, prankster Satyrs' and the 'divine Kouretes, dancers who love to sport':

] ovpeiai Nv[i$ai deal i^eyevovro Kal yevos ovrtSavMv Earvpow Kal a^nxavoepyMv

Kovpyres re deol ^iXonaiy^oves opx^ar^pes. ('Hes.' fr. 10a. 17-19)

The Satyrs evidently had a reputation for playing tricks on people and interfering with their property; this is in accord with their character as portrayed in the satyric drama of fifth-century Athens. The Centaurs of myth, four-legged mountain-dwellers compounded from man and horse, are also liable to be unruly, and in the poem Kaminos (Hom. Epigr. 14 = 'Hes.' fr. 302) they appear as potential wreckers of human constructions.47

On the other hand some such creatures possess wisdom and knowledge that is useful to mankind if they can be induced to impart it. Midas was said to have captured a Silenus who gave him a philosophical insight (Aristotle fr. 44, cf. Hdt. 8. 138). Virgil in his sixth Eclogue describes how two boys tied Silenus up as he lay in a drunken slumber and made him sing a cosmogony. The Centaur Chiron educated Achilles and several other heroes, and one of the Hesiodic wisdom poems purported to convey his teachings. There is a parallel story from the Tirol that can hardly be explained as an echo of Classical learning. There people told of a Wild Man who lived in a cave and who, once made drunk and so captured, taught woodcutters how to make cheese.48

A corrupt entry in Hesychius (a 259) gives Sauadai (?) as the Macedonian name for Sileni. Whatever the true reading, the inference is that silenus-like figures existed also in Macedonian lore. Another entry (S 713), unintelligible

47 They gave their names to the Kallikantzari of modern Greek folklore, who have a similar destructive character, though in other respects they are more like the Satyrs or Sileni. See Lawson (as n. 19), 190-235.

as transmitted, has been emended to yield an Illyrian name for Satyrs, Deuadai.49 It looks like a diminutive of the inherited word for 'god'.

Augustine and others refer to hairy Gallic demons called Dusii, who would take human form and seduce women. The name survives in Breton duz, duzik.50 Several figures of later Celtic folklore have goaty features: the Irish bocanach, a demon of the battlefield; the Manx goayr heddagh, a ghostly goat; the Scottish uruisg, half man and half goat, and glaistig, half woman and half goat, a malevolent seducer who haunted lonely pools.51

The lesiy of Russian folklore is a forest goblin who can change his size at will. His head and body are covered with rough green hair; he has goat's horns, ears, and feet, and long, clawlike fingernails. Often he has only one eye. He makes his presence known by whirlwind and storm, or by his loud laughter and other strange noises. He tricks travellers in the forest into losing their way or blundering into a bog. He is also a stealer of children.52

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