The werewolf
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The Werewolf. Myths, Legends, and a little Science. Gilgamesh. First ever mention of a werewolf (that we know of). The Early Romans. Petronius’ The Satyricon. 1 st Century AD. Trimalchio’s Banquet.

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The werewolf

The Werewolf

Myths, Legends, and a little Science


  • First ever mention of a werewolf (that we know of)

The early romans
The Early Romans

  • Petronius’ The Satyricon

1st Century AD

Trimalchio s banquet
Trimalchio’s Banquet

  • Two guys walking along, they go into a graveyard, one needs to pee, and then he turns into a wolf and starts to howl.

  • (really, I didn’t make this up)

Ovid s metamorphoses
Ovid’s Metamorphoses

2nd century AD

King lycaon of arcadia book i of ovid s epic first metamorphosis
King Lycaon of ArcadiaBook I of Ovid’s epic (first metamorphosis)

  • Jupiter changes King Lycaon into a Werewolf

In english
In English . . .

  • The first mention (in English) of werewolves comes in 1000 (about the same time as the Beowulf text was written down). This is also in Old English.

  • c1000   Laws Cnut xxvi. (Lieberm.) ,   Þæt se wodfrecawerewulf to swyðe ne slite, ne to fela ne abite of godcundreheorde.

Kings . . .

  • King Arthur (as told by Malory)

    1470–85   MaloryMorted'Arthurxix. xi. 793   His wyf..made hymseuenyere a werwolf.

  • King James (King of England)

    1597   King James VI & IDaemonologieiii.i. 61   And are not war-woolfes one sorte of these spirites also..?

Werewolves the church
Werewolves & The Church

  • In the 5th century, St. Augustine argues (against popular belief) that the werewolf is an illusion because “only God can change matter; the Devil merely deceives men’s senses.”

  • But many others in and outside the Church believed that werewolves existed.


  • Peter Stubbe was executed for being a werewolf in Germany in 1589. It is reported that he killed his victims and then drank their blood, and ate their flesh.

    • Follow this link for a fascinating and artistic YouTube rendition of the story of Peter Stubbe.

The execution of Peter Stubbe, 1589

Disease science ish
Disease / Science (ish)

  • Lycanthopia, lycanthopes (1584)

  • Lupina Melancholia

  • Melancholy

  • Porphyia

  • Hypertrichosis

  • Lycanthrope

  • Schizophrenia