Monday, June 06, 2005

The Devil's Dictionary



CERBERUS, n. The watch-dog of Hades, whose duty it was to guard the entrance-against whom or what does not clearly appear; everybody, sooner or later, had to go there, and nobody wanted to carry off the entrance. Cerberus is known to have had three heads, and some of the poets have credited him with as many as a hundred. Professor Graybill, whose clerky erudition and profound knowledge of Greek give his opinion great weight, has averaged all the estimates, and makes the number twenty-seven--a judgment that would be entirely conclusive if Professor Graybill had known (a) something about dogs, and (b) something about arithmetic.

AMBROSE BEIRCE, page 14.
:-)

9 Comments:

At 9:14 PM, Blogger Anonymous said...

Didn't want to be the first to comment on all recent posts, but until audience has courage to return - does each dog head have a specific task or talent to perform when confronted that is different from the others?

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger steve said...

Yes Anonymous, here is how it works.
(1) one head to hold the ladder
(2) one head to hold the lightbulb
(3) one head to spin the house

I'm such a bad person...
:-D

 
At 8:12 AM, Blogger chacha said...

thats hilarious. i think it was from the odyssey wasnt it?? or am i mistaken?? i guess if the odyssey was a cartoon that would be the perfect cerebus.

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger chacha said...

ooops cerberus. spelt it wrong. damn dislexia. stoooopid! :)

 
At 6:26 PM, Anonymous janey said...

Cerberus also had a dragon or serpent for a tail, and heads of snakes all over his back. It's parents were the monster Echinda (half-woman, half-serpent) and Typhon (a fire-breathing giant covered with dragons and serpents). So are mom and pop going to make an appearance.

 
At 3:03 PM, Blogger steve said...

Thanx Chacha ! Our big puppy was in several legends and myths. Mostly concerning true love and death (isn't that an ironic combo ?)

Actually 'CerEbus' is in my links area, go click on it Chacha. 'CerBerus' will keep watch...
:-)

 
At 3:12 PM, Blogger steve said...

Are you sure that's not 'The Chimera', Janey ? With the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent ?
I think 'Cerberus' is analogous to 'Garm' the watchdog to Hel/Niffleheim in Norse mythology...
Wasn't Typhon also known as Hecatoncheire ? A giant who had fifty heads and a hundred arms ? Or was he one of the Gigantes, giants with serpents for feet ?
I'm pretty sure Cerberus was a gigantic mastiff...

Mythology is awfully confusing at times!

 
At 11:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoying both your illustration and the enlightenment:-)

Pat
just pat

 
At 8:07 PM, Blogger steve said...

Just odd workings from my tiny brain, Pat. Enjoy !

 

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