Page 552. " looked a little like a wolf and a little more like a man "

This description seems to fit that of the werewolf.

Werewolves are usually considered the preserve of European folklore, but they do appear elsewhere. Shapeshifters, similar to werewolves, appear in many cultures, especially Native American traditions.

Page 552. " Isten of the Hungarians "

In Hungarian mythology, Isten is the most important of the gods. He controls the world and is responsible for the fate of humans.

Page 553. " tall Chinese man, with a rope of tiny skulls around his neck. "

This is Sha Wujing who appears in the Chinese story Journey to the West also known as Monkey.

Also known as Sand or Sandy, Sha Wujing was banished by the Jade Emperor to earth, where he became an awful sand-eating demon. He carries a double-bladed staff with a crescent moon at one end, and wears a necklace of skulls.

Page 556. " worship Coyote? "

In many Native American traditions, Coyote is a deity often portrayed as a trickster figure and/or culture hero.


Page 561. " There was a bull-headed minotaur walking beside an iron-fingered dactyl. "
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMinotaur - Credit: Marsyas

In Greek mythology, the Minotaur has the body of a man and the head of a bull, as he is the product of his mother Pasiphae's obsession with the Cretan bull. Their offspring was a punishment sent by Poseidon against Pasiphae's husband, Minos, King of Crete, who was supposed to sacrifice the bull but chose to keep it for himself.

Dactyl are short phallic male creatures in Greek myth. They are associated with the Great Mother Rhea, and are said to have invented the art of shaping metals with fire.

Page 561. " A pig, a monkey, and a sharp-toothed ghoul "

More characters from Journey to the West.

The monkey is 'Monkey King' or 'Sun Wukong' and the pig is 'Monk Pig' or 'Zhu Bajie'

Page 561. " Beautiful Antinous "
Public DomainAntinous - Credit: Jastrow (2006)

Antinous was part of the entourage of the Roman emperor Hadrian. There were rumours of a relationship between the two, and the emperor showed great grief after Antinous' death, going so far as to deify him.


Page 569. " I'll sharpen a stick of mistletoe "

In Norse mythology, Odin's son Baldr is impervious to harm, his mother Frigg having made everything on the earth promise not to hurt him. But Frigg forgot to ask the mistletoe plant. When the troublesome god Loki learned of this he fashioned a spear from the plant and used it to bring about the death of Baldr.


GNU Free Documentation LicenseMistletoe - Credit: Eli+