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Related: werewolf - folklore
- In folklore, the magical ability to assume the form and characteristics of a wolf.
- A delusion that one has become or assumed the characteristics of a wolf or other animal.
In folklore, lycanthropy is the ability or power of a human being to undergo transformation into an animal. The term comes from ancient Greek lykanthropos (Λυκανθρωποσ): lykos ("wolf") + anthropos ("man").
There is also a mental illness called lycanthropy in which a patient believes he is transformed into an animal and behaves accordingly, sometimes referred to as clinical lycanthropy to distinguish it from legend. See also therianthropy, the belief that some humans have the souls of animals. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycanthropy">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycanthropy [Nov 2004]
HistoryLycanthropy, a psychosis in which the patient has delusions of being a wild animal (usually a wolf), has been recorded since antiquity. The Book of Daniel describes King Nebuchadnezzar as suffering from depression that deteriorated over a seven-year period into a frank psychosis at which time he imagined himself a wolf. Among the first medical descriptions were those of Paulus Aegineta during the later days of the Roman Empire. In his description of the symptom complex, Aegineta made reference to Greek mythology in which Zeus turned King Lycaon of Arcadia into a raging wolf. Thereafter, references to lycanthropy appeared in the ancient literature. Many medieval theologians envisioned lycanthropy as a consequence of the evil eye. --A Case of Lycanthropy, Harvey Rostenstock, M.D. and Kenneth R. Vincent, Ed.D., http://www.primitivism.com/lycanthropy.htm [Nov 2004] The American Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 134, No. 10. October 1977
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