Revision as of 18:45, 9 January 2006
A monstrous creature which inhabits the forests in Asia.The manticore, considered to be the most dangerous predator in these regions, has the body of a lion and a head with human. The mouth is filled with three rows of razor-sharp teeth and the scaled tail ends in a ball with poisonous darts. The monster stalks through the forest in search of humans. Upon an encounter with a human, the manticore fires darts at the victim, who dies immediately. This unfortunate person is eaten completely, even the bones and clothing, as well as the possessions this person carried, vanish. When a villager has completely disappeared, this is considered proof of the presence of a manticore.
Physically, the manticore was know as having the body of a red lion, the face and ears of a blue eyes human and a tail ending in a sting like that of a scorpion. The mouth contains three rows of teeth and poisoned spines along the tail could be shot, like arrows in any direction. The manticore was also attributed with having a voice that was the mixture of pipes and a trumpet. The beast is very swift and makes very powerful leaps. The manticore is reputed to roam in the jungles of India, and is known to have an appetite for humans. Like its cousin, the Sphinx, it would often challenge its prey with riddles before killing.
The earliest accounts seem to be from Persian legend. The name itself is from the Old Persian martikhoras meaning 'man-eater'. The earliest accounts of the existence of the manticore come from the Persian courts in the fifth century B.C., documented by Ctesias, a Greek physician at the Persian court. Greek and Roman authors (Aristotle, Pliny) described the beast the same way the Persians had.
In the middle ages, the manticore was the emblem for the prophet Jeremhia because the manticore lives in the depths of the earth and Jeremiah had been thrown into a dung pit. At the same time, the manticore became the symbol of tyranny, disparagement and envy, and ultimately the embodiment of evil. As late as the 1930s it was still considered by the peasants of Spain, to be a beast of ill omen.