ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Sociology & Anthropology»
  • Folklore & Mythology

Three Headed Creatures

Updated on November 9, 2017

A list of three-headed creatures in mythology and fiction.

Chimera

  • Chimera is a monster from Greek myth that has three heads, a lion, a goat and a snake.

Demons

  • Asmodeus, a demon of lust, was said to have the head of a man, bull, and ram.
  • Bael: The demon Bael is said to have three heads: a human, toad and cat.

Dogs

  • Cerberus: In ancient Greek myth Cerberus guarded the gates of Hades. Difference sources give different meanings to the three heads such as that they represent the three known continents, or three sins.

Dragons

  • Azi Dahaka is a three-headed dragon monster from Persian myth slain by the hero Oraetauoa.
  • Mercurius: Dragons are sometimes portrayed as three-headed. For example the 1600 German illustration shown right is Mercurius. In alchemy the Mercurius is literally mercury/quicksilver and symbolically a creative spirit often shown as a dragon. The heads here represent Mercury, the moon and the sun.

Eagle

  • A three-headed eagle is sometimes use to symbolize the three branches of the government of the United States.

Elephant

  • Airavata is a three-headed white elephant said to carry the Indian God Indra. Ganesh is also sometimes depicted with three heads.

Source

Gods

  • Gods, such as the ancient Greek deity Hecate, are sometimes depicted as having three heads, some of them animals heads (dog, lion,and horse).

Snakes

  • Naga: A Naga is a God or other powerful entity that takes the form of a snake. The Naga sometimes has multiple heads, including three-headed forms.
  • In the Iliad, King Agamemnon carried the image of the three headed-snake on his shield.

In Fiction:

  • Ghidorah, a dragon with three heads, is one of the monsters that fights Godzilla.

References

  1. Parpola, A. (1999). The formation of the Aryan branch of Indo-European. Archaeology and language, III: artefacts, languages and texts, 180-207.
  2. Savage, J. J. (1949). The Medieval Tradition of Cerberus. Traditio, 405-410.
  3. Schwartz-Salant, N. (1995). Jung on alchemy.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • EsmeSanBona profile image

      EsmeSanBona 4 years ago from Macon

      I liked this article and voted up despite my personal freakishness regarding animals with multiple heads. :-)

    • theliz profile image

      theliz 5 years ago from Maryland

      I wish there was more here! Fascinating topic, perhaps a rewrite to include sources and stories about the creatures/deities?