The legend of the Lupu mannaro (Wolf Man) and panaru Ursu (Bear Man) in the Central Apennines (Leonessa, Italy)

The berzerkir were roaring,
was riding the battle,
were shouting the úlfheðnar,
and were waving strongly the iron…
dialog of a raven with a Valkyrie, 9th century)

The persistence in our times of a myth as archaic as the one of the were wolf or the bear-man who had acquired their present shape through many overlapping cultural shows, demonstrates in spite the inevitable process of cultural impoverishment, the vitality of certain elements of the mythical folklore.1 These elements, by means of an appropriate and sensitive work of interpretation and comparison allow the anthropologist to relate them to ancient cultural roots.

Thus, the Lupo and the bear mannaro/panaru have their origins in the warriors devoted to Óðinn the Germanic god-shaman. The first ones were called úlfheðnar (singular: úlfheðinn) and the second ones, berserker (singular: berserkr). Later the names got lost and in both cases, the term of mannaro2 became popular.

First, we explain the etymology of the term: mannaro or panaru. Mannaro, in case of the werewolf derives from the Vulgar Latin lupus hominarus crossed with the Germanic root mann (man).

The term panaru seems to be a local adjustment of mannaro, word that does not belong to the dialect leonessano. Panaru comes from the root pan – of pane, “bread” and means “panero”: A wolf or bear panaru that does not feed only of the flesh meat of the victims but of the bread – as the men-, since he is a man and at the same time wolf or bear. To the symbolism of the wolf or bear, then, the term panaru adds that of the bread, eminent product of the work and achievement of the agricultural sedentary civilization.

Among the Leonessanos peasants, the wolf is a threat to livestock, it also symbolizes hostile, so quiet, and the mystery of the forest, the mountains, the chaos, as opposed to domestic space and, finally, the wolf is emblematic representative of the onset of winter. In the case of the bear, in addition to the aforementioned characteristics, emphasizes its extraordinary strength.

The wolf threat came to develop a trade, the “luparo”, ie the one that hunts wolves, and there were several generations’ families in this profession.3


The Nordic origin

Scandinavian saga

The origins of this legend can be traced back to the dawn of European culture. Medieval Scandinavian literature is the richest in Europe, written in Old Icelandic or norreno, we can find in it a variety of sages whose main character can be a hero or a lineage, and there are even sagas with religious subjects. Present only a selection of which I consider the most significant. There are two types of warriors: the warrior part of a bear or wolf linked to the fury of the god Óðinn with possible initiation rites; On the other hand, appear in stories in which protagonists are described as overbearing acts that defy dueling the husbands to possess their wives. In the latter case rather falls under the purely folk.

Among the ancient Germans,4 the úlfheðnar (úlfheðinn: wolf garment; úlfhe = wolf, heðinn = the leather jacket without sleeves and with hood) were men possessed of the power of the beast who acted covered with the skin of the wolf, and they were screaming with superhuman strength and courage becoming invincible in battle. These warriors were dedicated to the god Óðinn like the Berserker. The word berserkr, consists of: bera=bear, serkr= shirt, sleeveless tunic, military garment.

The wolf, in Scandinavian mythology, was regarded as the symbol of evil and chaos,5 living in the forest -place sacred to the Germans-, where supernatural powers manifested. The bear went in the same area of the sacred powers of the wilderness.

Shaman-warriors devoted to Óðinn

The name of the god Óðinn / Woðan comes from an Indo-European root, wat, from which descends a series of words that indicate the “furor” and divine inspiration. Among the continental Germans was called Woðan.

Óðinn, is the ascetic god-shaman and magician who puts himself on terrible tests to acquire the knowledge of runes,6 and of the magical songs and the art of poetry. Is also the king of the banquets, seducer of women and dedicated to the magic arts, and is involved in the combats in a distant way, tying magical bonds (herrfjöturr = bow of armies) to his enemies. He is the chief of transforming. He changes aspect and physical form assuming the form of an animal or of a man. His followers, the úlfheðnar and the berserkir, “… are the shaman – warriors and it is not possible to exclude that their rage, óðr of which Óðinn is the source, was given not only by the psychophysical practices, but also for the ingestion of psychotropic substances as the mushroom Amanita muscaria7 , known in the Siberian shamanism “. 8

In the saga of Ynglingar is told about the ancient Swedish and Norwegian kings starting with Óðinn, was written by Snorri Sturluson.9 Berserker were the first army of Óðinn when the God was reigning in Uplands, “…his men forward without armor, invaded the fury of the wolves (…) bit their shields, were strong as bears or bulls, or exterminated whole crowds the fire or the iron could not [stop] and it is called the fury of Berserkir. 10

About berserksgangr (furor), writes George Dumézil:

Berserker of the Óðinn not only resembled wolves, bears, etc.. but by the strength and ferocity were somehow these animals. Expressed his anger at a second external essence living in them, and the artifices of the aspect (…) the transvestites (…) served only to help affirm this metamorphosis, to impose on friends and frightened enemies.11

The rune ûruz, which by its form recalls the savage bull’s horns toward the earth in position to attack, can be interpreted as the rune warrior of power, ie óðr (fury). Óðr as a noun means the mental sphere, the mind, and while as an adjective is mad, furious, vehement.12 They demonstrate their fury by striking their shields constantly or by shouting; these warriors were insensitive to fire, iron, and used to bite the rim of steel of their shields (saga of Vatnsdæl). The only iconography on the subject is the existence of a chess piece of Scandinavian origin (about the eleventh century), found on the island of Lewis (United Kingdom), which represents an armed warrior biting the top of an almond-shaped shield. The power that Óðinn communicates to the warriors belongs to the realm of the sacred. He blesses the chosen ones by imposing his hands on their heads and thus securing the victory, because he himself is the source of victory and he will welcome them in Valhöll after death. As a shaman, Óðinn had the ability to make his Hugr travel to distant places and times and presented himself in a dream in human or animal form. In the epic of Ynglingar says: “Óðinn changed in appearance, while the body lay dead or asleep, he was transformed into a bird or animal, fish or snake, taking on a tab to go to distant lands for their own affairs or other “.13

Úlfheðnar and Berserker warriors were heirs of the magical powers of Óðinn; hugr of them, the dual-mind, could leave their bodies on the day and during sleep and could be presented under the aspect of a human or animal.

The hugr changes in hamr – habit, exterior form – when they exercise the magic; and the adjective hamrammr is used when they refer to the berserker or úlfheðnar in the saga of Egill Skallagrimsson. In the sagas have been numerous cases cited on the ability to change the external appearance of the bear warriors. The saga of Vatnsdæl writes about Torkell Silfri, who had the capacity of transmuting appearance and had knowledge of magic.14 The most significant “transformation” happens in Hrólfr Kraki’s saga, that of the hero Böðvar Bjarki, who was fighting as an invincible bear while his body was lying asleep in the rearguard.15 Chapter XXIX of the saga of archer Oddr (mid-thirteenth century) tells of his adventures is that he could meet and fight with twelve Berserkir.16

These fighters formed a partnership with military-style hierarchies. According to the scholars of the argument, was very probable that to form part of these groups they should pass for tests as to eat the meat of an animal (be wolf or bear) or to drink their blood, since in this manner the capacities of the beast —their cunning, their ferocity— were transferred to the people.17 Among the sagas that refer the wolf meat consumption and the transformation of the character of the person we have that of the Ynglingar.

The saga dedicated to the descendants of Óðinn, Volsunga (1260), accounts the transformation of two youths in wolves: two youths went in the forest and arrived at a house where two princes were laying down asleep, imprisoned of an act of magic. On the walls two wolf skins were hung, the young people for curiosity put them on and that is how they remained prisoners of an enchantment, in which for nine days they were transformed into wolves and on the tenth day they recaptured the human form. Finally, the young people managed to get rid of the enchantment,18 and the time through that they lived like wolves has been interpreted as an initiation period.

In his History of gentibus septentrionalibus (Books XV-XVII) Swedish clergyman and historian Olaus Magnus, relates that on Christmas night many men transformed into wolves met together from different places and they all entered in the deposits where the beer was kept in order to drink it all.

The furor that takes the Berserker to do acts of violence such as kidnapping women, is another version narrated in the Scandinavian sagas: “Two brothers were famous because of their lousy character, one called Þórir Þömb and the other Ögmúndr (…) they were possessed by the spirit of the Berserker (…) and were taking the wives of the men and their daughters to possess them for two weeks or a half month, period after which they returned them to their families.”19

The figure of the berserkr lasted until the twelfth century with the spread of Christianity in Scandinavia and the birth of the figure of the courtly knight of the XII-XIII; the figure of the warrior possessed of “fury” disappeared, and then was seen more as a man victim of a “demonic possession” or sickness. Toriro protagonist in the saga Vatnsdæl says: “… the berserksgangar comes to me continuously, while I like to relax: I wish that your brother did something against this disease.20

The Italian peninsula

In the center and south of the Italian peninsula the issue is widespread in Tuscany, Lazio, Marche, Molise, Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Calabria and Sicily. In Lazio, at the end of the nineteenth century, Lister documents:

[…] MENARES wolf of the peasants is a very terrible one, he leaves his room, taking all his clothes off and his body is covered with thick and long hair that grows at a time (…) his strength is superior to that of ten men (…) is believed to be a simple illness that can be cured (…) a brave person slightly hurts the sick men and from the wound three drops of blood must fall…21

In Abruzzi was believed that the lupemenare was born on Christmas night: if it was male he would become a wolf mannaro and if it was female, a witch. In order to avoid this, for three consecutive nights at the birth, the priest must make a small cross with a sharp tip on the foot of the child.22 In the late nineteenth century in the region of Abruzzo, Antonio de Nino picked up a legend that St. Rainero de Baño induces a lupemenare to return an abducted child, playing a bell and reciting: “With the sound of my bell, can not be here, lupemenare, poisonous snake nor angry water.”23

In his Bucolic, Virgil tells about a woman gifted with the ability to transform herself into wolf through the use of filters and magic and in the Aeneid relates the existence of men turned into wolves, bears and lions by the sorceress Circe. In the Satyricon, Petronius tells the transformation of a soldier into a wolf on a night of full moon, his clothes turned into stone as he got into the woods. In other parts of Europe are also versions of werewolves.

The lykos of ancient Greece

In Greece,24 the myth of the king Licáon narrated by Pausanias (2nd century A.D.) is the founder of the lycanthropy within the Hellenic culture: in the temple dedicated to Zeus Lykaios in the region of Arcadia, a ritual was performed where men had to eat human flesh and animal flesh in order to become a wolf: “After Licáon, other men have been transformed into wolves at the sacrifice to Zeus Lykaios; but they did not remain for life as wolves. If they avoid eating human flesh during a period of nine years, they could become men again. But if they ate human flesh as wolves, they would remain wolves forever”.25

The physical transformation of Licáon into wolf happened because of a punishment of Zeus. This is described by Publius Ovidius in his Metamorphoses: “… arms become legs, the clothes become hair, and he becomes a wolf (…) with a fierce look in his fire-eyes.”

Plinio the old, in his Naturalis Historia, says

And so Scopas, who wrote The Olympian, narrates that Demeneto de Parrasia, during a sacrifice that the arcadias were doing to Giove Liceo, still in that time with human victims, ate the entrails of a boy who had been immolated and transformed into a wolf; after nine years he re-assumed the human form and exercised in the boxing and so returned victorious from Olimpia.

Lycanthropy is a word that comes from two Greek words: lykos (wolf) and Anthropos (man). From the medical perspective, it is a condition of hysterical nature, which pushes the individual predisposition, usually coinciding with the phases of the moon, to simulate the behavior and the howling of a wolf. Experimenting in his person a voracious heat arises in the werewolf an impulse to jump in the fountains even in the more rigid winters.

From the anthropologic perspective, we might speak about the lycanthropy as a ” cultural syndrome ” where the mythical element of the metamorphosis is predominant and where the beast object of the metamorphosis is the wolf, animal related to the predatory activity, the winter, the snow, the night, the forest, the rough loneliness’s, the nomadic life and the wild space. In this regard, cultural and mythical, the lycanthropy could be compared with the myth of man’s transformation into a jaguar in the Amazon and Mesoamerican cultures. Scandinavian myths and of the ancient Greece were broadcast throughout the Middle Ages and up today.

The field work

The context: Leonessa and its history

The residents from this area of the central Apennines were the Sabines. The tribe was called naaharci, who took the name from the River Nar and the territory was called Narnate.

Its history is marked by a series of occupations beginning with the Romans (II BC) until the arrival of the Lombards, people of Germanic origin (VI-VIII AD) according to the greatest historian Paolo Warnefrido-called Paul Deacon – of Scandinavian origin.26 Normans followed with the creation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, with the Lombards had a domain of ducats in central Italy: the Duchy of Spoleto and Benevento, which belonged to the leonessano territory. Leonessa as a city was founded by the French, with Charles I of Anjou (1278) to the head. The city remained under the Aragonese dynasty (1442-1516) until Emperor Charles V, of the Hapsburg house, gave the fief to his natural daughter Margaret of Austria (1539) as part of the dowry for her wedding with Octavio Farnese. In 1860, the Italian unification led by Garibaldi, ceased the bourbon dynasty and disappeared the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, forming part of the nascent kingdom of Italy.

Leonessa is approximately 1000 meters above sea level, has a fixed population of 3000 inhabitants. Politically it is divided into 37 fractions or ville. The main activity is agriculture and livestock farming, especially the potato crop. In central Italy the potato from Leonessa is the one with the best reputation.

The research Criteria

The method of our interviews is the same used in the anthropological and ethnographic work in the Peruvian Andes. Based on a series of arguments that we want to investigate further, we have created a series of questions, which was continually enriched by new information provided by informants. We have tried to create an environment of trust where the interviewed feels free to talk about certain issues that perhaps could make him feel like a superstitious.

Informants were selected taking into account their age, sex, place of origin and culture. Most of our informants are between 60 and 85 years of age. We tried the selection of respondents is representative of the 37 fractions Leonessa. The interviews were conducted between 2001 and 2003.

Ethnographic evidence

Some elements of Scandinavian mythology are present in the narratives collected from farmers of Leonessa. It is likely that the topic has been reintroduced, as it existed among the ancient Sabines the werewolf: the hirpi (hirpus: wolf) in the High Sabina during the Lombard occupation, which before they were Christianized, they were warriors initiated in secret practices. Paolo Warnefrido (eighth century) in his Historia langobardorum narrates that cinocefalos(“dog-head”) were so fierce that drank the blood of their enemies, and if they couldn’t get it, they drank their own blood.27

The panaru = panero is a subject of periodic crises; some informants relate the crises of the were-wolf to the crescent moon, not explicit situation in case of the bear-men. When the crisis comes, the paneros behave as wolves or bears: holders of a terrible force, besides a physical transformation – according to some – by virtue of which their hair and nails grow.

Realizing the beginning of the crisis, werewolves and bear-men go away from their homes and ask their wives and families not to open the door, even if they knock strongly and insistently. Because if they open the door and they enter in this condition, relatives might be injured or even killed.

After the crisis, they revert to normal persons in the community to develop their daily activities. During the day no one is afraid of them. Most of them are known in the community and they all know their other identity.

We have collected some versions at a fraction of the lower part of the territory, Villa Massi. The following story was told by Toto Felice (farmer, 70 years old):

They said that in the moment the crisis was catching them, their nails and hair were growing (…) Now if it is true, I do not know (…) they were turning very aggressive, that if they found you in the night in full crisis, it was very dangerous (…)so, when I was young (…) they returned at two or three o’clock in the morning Then so in order to frighten me they were saying to me: “Be aware that the night is dangerous, be aware that if you happen to pass by the fountain at one o’clock, at two o’clock in the morning, you know is a wrong time, the paneros wolves can be there, and if they realize that are there they will catch you, and strangle you eh! “.Then there was talk of panero wolves that had some, maybe even here in this fraction (…) in almost all fractions had any.

Sometimes the person is lucky, and when walking at night is not attacked by a panero wolf. This is the case of a woman over 80 years, originally from the fraction of Valunga. She recalls that when she was young, one night she was returning to her home on horseback with her brother and a friend. When they crossed a river she saw a hairy man bathing. Immediately recognized that this was a panero wolf, but he did not see her. She, frightened, fled the area.

The grandfather of one of our informants of the fraction of Villa Climinti narrated that one night, when he went to irrigate the fields, near a river saw a man hiding behind the bushes and interpreted him as a panero wolf. It was said during that time that there were many of them.

The “Ursu Panaru”

The following versions are Runcie Mary (housewife, 71 years old) Terzone fraction (upper).

Then there in the Runcie house where I lived, there was a man named Lorenzo -is not long dead, I remember- then, within walking distance of the fraction in the first mountain you see he took a piece of bread on a scarf. (…) Stayed until the evening and found that (…) the panero bear. So it stopped this Christian, threw him on the ground, it goes away, dug a hole, with feet digging this hole. This poor Lorenzo had to do what? says: “… It is making the hole to get me in there!” Poor thing, so when he saw that the panero bear was digging with faith (…) And takes off his hat, then slowly, slowly removes the jacket, then slowly, slowly takes off his shoes and left everything lying there. So when he saw that the bear was not looking (…) left everything there. Lorenzo escaped without shoes, poor man. He ran, ran, but the feet were hurting him badly, because the mountain was full of stones. The bear was looking and seeing there the hat, saw there the shoes, and saw the jacket it seemed to that it was Lorenzo, but rather he had come to the fraction. (…) When the bear was going to catch him, it did not find Lorenzo, it found the clothes. Then the bear shouted uuuh! Lorenzo then entered inside the house, but he had felt so much fear that died.

Question: What was the bear?, Was actually a bear or was it a person?
Answer: “Hey, was not a person was a real bear, digging with the legs. Said [not] the name of the panero bear was due to the fact that almost these people get hair all over the body.”

[…] I can tell you actually they become thicker, they become truly panero bears, because my mom has seen S. Giusta really there in Cittareale. And to this gentleman it was catching this evil was saying to his wife like that ‘Mari’ should say oh God, it catches me this evil and he was going to rush there down inside the fountain. And passed under the window of my mom and my mom saw him. Everybody in the fraction knew it. Then he was saying to his wife: ‘look, he says – that when I call you in order that you open me you should not open me, when I do not call you is that this evil has left me. (…) as if it was a panero bear he was throwing itself inside the fountain, was roaring. Later he was going to the door of his wife (…) he was knocking. (…) he was entering the house when he was back to normal.’

Question: when panero Bear had hair on the body?

Answer: “Yes, yes, yes, as if it was really a panero bear, said mom, roared like a panero bear, my mother saw it from the window right? Then it threw into the fountain, my mom always told: passed under her window.”

In this fraction there is a recall of the following case: a farmer of 83 years of age account for a schoolteacher who was a panero bear had seen bathing in the fountain at night in winter. It is an unusual case because usually the characters are male, as affirmed by the ethnographic literature.

Interestingly, on the other hand, stress that only the upper Leonessa (eg Terzone) retains the memory of panero Bears cases, while cases of panero wolves are distributed in the low and the upper fractions. I must emphasize that not only in this legend I found this difference in the information. The elements in common between bear-men and werewolf are:

1. Has completely lost the military shamanic origin –the remaining versions are only closer to folk tales where they are furious, and the rage that invades them, leads them to perform acts considered as distant heroic. This can be explained, since the changes that occur in the sagas of the Christian period in attempts to underestimate the pagan warrior-shamans seeing them as “illnesses” or “Demonic possession”.
Some sages say that Christian missionaries led to the killing of Berserkir, and sometimes the same missionaries were killing or organizing the murders. Iceland was Christianized between X and XII centuries.

2. The panaru/mannaru is not a supernatural being, but a well-known from everyday life.
The werewolves are on either side of the leonessano high plateau, and in earlier times were more common. The bear-men topic was less common. We should note that the bear as part of the ecology of the area disappeared in the eighteenth century.

3. In the case of werewolves and bear-men some physical transformation took place: the growth of nails and hair on the body.
The panaru/mannaru acquires the qualities and characteristics of the wolf like the ability to howl, aggressiveness and its extraordinary physical strength.

4. – Throughout the duration of the crisis, the panaru becomes a dangerous being that may attack anyone unprepared that walks alone at night, this risk extends to its own family. The crisis ends on its own after a few hours, but it can be stopped, if it gets a serious wound that bleeds.

Among the main differences between werewolves and bear-men:

In werewolves the quality of panaru/mannaru is, according to the medical criteria, a disease caused by an alteration of blood and an internal fever that forces them to jump into fresh water, even in midwinter. The disease manifests itself only at night, and according to some informants relates to the full moon. This is why in other parts of Europe is known as “moon-disease.” The latter details evidence, once again, the intimate existing relation in the popular medicine between pathological condition and blood.

Since there are no studies on cases of men-bears, we asked some elders if the paneros still exist today, and according to our informant of the Piedelpoggio fraction, which also was the one who toglie l’occhio (ie, cure the evil eye), and wanted to remain in anonymity for fear of reprisal from witches and creatures of the night, he said: “Yes, yes they still exist, but now we do not see them anymore due to the reason that they do not have to go and bathe in the fountains at night because we now have water inside the house.”

This statement is self-explanatory: the paneros wolves have not stopped existing, but on having had today the water service inside their houses they do not go out in the night and, therefore, they do not constitute a danger for their village.


Koch, Ludovica (ed.), La saga dei Völsunghi, Parma, Nuove Pratiche Editrice, 1994.

Chávez Hualpa, Fabiola y Mario Polia, Mio padre mi disse. Tradizione, religione e magia sui monti dell’Alta Sabina, Rimini, Il Cerchio, 2002.

Chiari, Gabriele, “Il lupo mannaro”, en Mal di luna, Roma, Newton Compton, 1981, pp. 57-81.

Chiesa Isnardi, Gianna, “Il lupo mannaro come superuomo”, en Elemire Zolla (ed.), Il superuomo, vol. III. El superuomo e suoi simboli nelle letterature moderne, Firenze, La Nuova Italia, 1975.

____________, Edda di Snorri, Milano, Rusconi, 1975.

Chiesa Isnardi, Gianna (ed.), Leggende e mitivichinghi, Milano, Rusconi, 1977.

De Nino, Antonio, Usi e costumi abruzzesi, volume quarto. Sacre leggende. Firenze, Olschki, 1964.

Diacono, Paolo, Storia dei Longobardi, Milano, Rusconi, 1972.

Dumezil, George, Ventura e sventura del guerriero. Aspetti mitici della funzione guerriera tragli indo-europei, Torino, Rosenberg d Seller, 1974.

Ferrari, Fulvio, Saga di Oddr l’arciere, Milano, Rusconi, 1994.

Finamore, Gennaro, Tradizioni popolari abruzzesi streghe –stregherie, en Archivio per lo studio delle tradizioni popolari, vol. III, pp. 219-232, Palermo, Luigi Pedone Lauriel, 1884.

Frazer, James, Il ramo d’or. Studio sulla magia e la religione, Torino, Boringhieri, 1965.

Lister, Peter, “Leggende clasiche e superstizioni dei castelli romani “, en Rivista delle Tradizioni Popolari Italiane, 1,1:29-37, Roma, 1893-1894.

Pausania, Guida della Grecia, libro VIII, l’ Arcadia, Milano, Mondadori, 2003.

Polia, Mario, “Furor”. Guerra, poesia e profezia, Padova, Il Cerchio/El Corallo, 1983.

Plinio, Storia naturale, vol. II (libri VII-IX), Torino, Eunidi, 1983.

____________, Le Rune e gli Dei del Nord, Rimini, Il Cerchio, 1999.

Scovazzi, Marco, Antiche saghe islandesi, Torino, Einaudi, 1973.

Sighinolfi, Christian, I guerrieri-lupi nell’ Europa arcaica. Aspetti della funzione guerriera e metamorfosi rituale presso gli indoeuropei, Rimini, Il Cerchio, 2004.

  1. This article is part of a research made in 2001 and 2003 Thanks to two scholarships awarded to me by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. Part of the data presented here, was published in the book Mio padre mi disse (2002), written with Mario Polia. Museo demoantropologico di Leonessa, Italia. Translation by Carmen Martí Cotarelo. []
  2. In some cases like Ynglingar the berserker are called wolves “mannari”. See Gianna Chiesa Isnardi, 1975, 142. []
  3. Meat from an animal killed by a wolf had a negative connotation: it was taken as poisoned and was not to be eaten, specially for pregnant women because the child would acquire the characteristics of the wolf and be called “alupado”. In case you’ve eaten meat by mistake, after birth the child was cured as follows: placed in the “Madia” where the bread was made in order for the home fire, with the development of bread, to magically neutralized it. []
  4. I refer to the linguistic Germanic group with its ethnic groups: Norwegians, Danishes, Swedish’s and the today Germans. []
  5. In the Scandinavian literature the figure of the wolf and of the dog intermingle in diverse sagas, but they always represent the evil. In addition the wolf represents the figure of the man “out of law “, that is to say, the one that was excluded from his community (saga of the Volsung), besides warrior. []
  6. Alphabet used for the magic and for the writing. The Germanic mythology tells that god Óðinn was the discoverer – by means of his own sacrifice – of the runes, which later he taught. []
  7. Since the eighteenth century there views on it, like the theologian Samuel Ödman Lorenzo, who stated that this fungus was the cause of the “fury” of the Berserker. In the mid-twentieth century some doctors reaffirmed the hypothesis, including Howard D. Fabing to study the effects of hallucinogenic Amanita Muscari. []
  8. Mario Polia, Le rune e gli Dei del Nord, 1999, 7. []
  9. Snorri Sturluson (1178-1241) was Icelandic and an author of the Younger Edda or Lodger written in prose, approximately in 1220. To distinguish it from the Elder Edda or Edda written in verse is known as Edda of Snorri. []
  10. Gianna Chiesa Isnardi, Storie e leggende del Nord, 1977, 89. []
  11. George Dumezil, Ventura e sventura del guerriero, 1974, 141-144. []
  12. From the same indo-European root comes the Latin word Vates: Who sings, speaks and prophesying by divine inspiration. []
  13. Gianna Chiesa Isnardi, op. cit., 1977, 89. []
  14. Marco Scovazzi, Antiche saghe islandesi, 1973, 215. []
  15. Mario Polia, “Furor”, in Guerra, poesia e profezia, 1983, 20. []
  16. Fulvio Ferrari, Saga di Oddr l’arciere, 1994, 97. []
  17. Might be interpreted as a case of simple magic. See James Frazer, Il ramo. d’or. Studio sulla magia e la religione, 1965, 25. []
  18. Ludovica Koch, La saga dei Volsunghi, 1994, 88-89. []
  19. Marco Scovazzi, op. cit., 1973, 215-216. []
  20. Ibidem, 206. []
  21. Peter Lister, “Legende clasiche e superstizioni dei castelli romani”, 1893-94, 36. []
  22. Gennaro Finamore, “Tradizioni popolari abruzzesi streghe-stregherie”, 1884, 219. []
  23. Antonio de Nino, Usi e costumi abruzzesi, 1964, 162-163. []
  24. Mentioning some of the names used for lycanthropy in Europe: werewolf in English, Werwolf/ Wehrwolf; in German, loup garou in French, volkulak in Bulgarian and volkulakui in Russian. Known among the Galician in Spain as lobishome. []
  25. Pausania, Guida della Grecia, 2003, book VIII, 2, 6. []
  26. “The same way, also the lineage of the Winili ( Winnili), this is, from the lombards, of Germanic origin, that later reigned happily in Italy, came for the island called Scandinavia, though there are other hypotheses on this migration …” See Paolo Diacono, Storia dei longobardi, 1972, 26. []
  27. Sometimes the symbolism of the dog and wolf appear as synonymous: “move forward without armor like wolves or dogs” (the saga Ynglingar). []

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