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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Saturday, January 12, 2008

some say he had fifty heads

They were speaking of Kerberos, or Cerberus as we usually spell it, the three-headed hound who guarded the gates of Hades to keep the ghosts of the dead from leaving.

I am thinking he would have been useful last night when somebody bashed in the hatchback window on my Bug. Glass everywhere, and I mean the kind with the heat striping too. (Speaking of Hades, I vote a certain somebody go there.)

So I was thinking I would post on guard dogs today, history of, and what should pop up but that famed guardian? And not just on any webpage mind you, but the fabulously lavish Theoi Greek Mythology, which is wonderful to look at and full of literary quotes.

So here's some lit about the mutha of all guard dogs:

Propertius, Elegies 4. 5 : "May your spirit find no peace with your ashes, but may avenging Cerberus terrify your vile bones with hungry howl."

Propertius, Elegies 3. 18 : "Hither [to Haides] all shall come, hither the highest and the lowest class: evil it is, but it is a path that all must tread; all must assuage the three heads of the barking guard-dog [Kerberos] and embark on the grisly greybeard’s [Kharon’s] boat that no one misses."

Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy (Greek epic C4th A.D.) :"And there [depicted on the shield of Eurypylos, son of Herakles], a dread sight even for Gods to see, was Kerberus, whom Ekhidna (the Loathly Worm) had borne to Typhon in a craggy cavern's gloom close on the borders of Eternal Night, a hideous monster, warder of the Gate of Haides, Home of Wailing, jailer-hound of dead folk in the shadowy Gulf of Doom."

This is cheering me up immensely for some reason. Have a look at him.

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