- One of the many kinds of monster found in the margins of illuminated MSS or in cathedrals. Blemmyae were creatures somewhat like human beings, except they lacked heads: their eyes and mouths were on the chest. The name is taken from a people of Nubia, known to the Romans in the 3c and later. Fable and ignorance transformed them into acephalous creatures.
Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. Christopher Coredon with Ann Williams.
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Blemmyes — 1) (Blemmyä, a. Geogr.), Volk in Nieder–Äthiopien, nach dem Arabischen Meerbusen zu; nach der Sage waren sie kopflose Ungeheuer, die Augen, Mund u. Nase auf der Brust hätten Später machten sie häufige Einfälle in Süd–Ägypten, wurden unter Kaiser… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Babewyn — Any of the ugly or demonic creatures which populate medieval artwork; many are to be found cut in *cathedral stone, tucked away from first gaze. [< OldFr. babuin = grimace, baboon; MdEngl. babywynrie = something monstrous] Cf. Babery; Bagwyn;… … Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases
Bestiary — The illustrated bestiary, depicting real and imagined creatures, is a distinctive medieval construct. Bestiaries first appeared in England in the 12c and were derived ultimately from a Greek text, the Physiologus, from 4c Alexandria. They display … Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases
Gargoyle — A grotesque figure, e.g. on the gutter of a roof, through whose mouth rainwater spouts; a distinctive feature of *Gothic architecture. [< OldFr. gargouille = throat; thus the passage of water from the mouth] Cf. Babery; Blemmya … Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases
Gryllus — A fantastic monster of unusually awkward anatomy: its face was between its legs. [Lat. gryllus = grasshopper] Cf. Babewyn; Bestiary; Blemmya; Cynocephalus … Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases