Lycaon – First Werewolf?

In Greek mythology, one of the first werewolves that is said to have existed is Lycaon. The tale of Lycaon hints at origins of why being a werewolf is considered a “curse”.

As the myths go, Lycaon was a king of Arcadia that angered the great god Zeus with his cruelty.  It is said that Lycaon was so cruel, that stories of his cruelties actually reached the god Zeus.  Zeus decided to pay Lycaon a visit to see if the stories were true, and to Zeus’ dismay, discovered that they were.

Meanwhile, Lycaon, when he discovered that others believed that his visitor was in fact the god Zeus, developed tests to prove it, as he did not believe it was Zeus.  What happened thereafter varies from version to version of the story, but most stories say that one of the tests the King concocted was to serve a human being to Zeus at a banquet; and the other stories say that Lycaon actually attempted to kill Zeus to prove that he was not immortal as Zeus would be.  In all versions of the story, Lycaon ended up angering Zeus to the point that Zeus punished the king by turning him completely into a wolf.  Lycaon was said to have had 50 sons – some versions of the story also say that Zeus transformed Lycaon’s 50 sons into wolves (other versions of the story say that the 50 sons were killed by thunderbolts thrown by Zeus).

The story of Lycaon is believed to be the basis of the Greek Arcadian festival called Lycaea which celebrates Zeus.   The festival involves the offering of cakes to the god, however it is believed that ancient versions of the festival may have involved the sacrifice of humans (as Lycaon is said to have sacrificed a human for Zeus…although if this made Zeus angry…why would they do this?)

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20 Responses

  1. Aconissa says:

    I’ve always loved the Lycaon myth. Its great. And ‘Lycaon’ is similar to ‘Lycan’ from the word Lycanthropy. Another reason why he probably is where it all started.

  2. Kevkas says:

    i heard it a bit differently

  3. Aconissa says:

    @Kevkas: The myth itself or the beginning of werewolves?

  4. Kevkas says:

    @Aconissa: the myth itself

  5. Aconissa says:

    @Kevkas: Oh right. Well, when it comes to classical myths, they always differ slightly according to region, culture, and time. What I heard was also slightly different to the one posted above.

  6. Virendra says:

    warewolves are truth or the myths i don’t know but I can say that these are Horrible….

  7. John Michal Disilva says:

    may it can be happen

  8. werewolfdude123 says 'any1 on?' says:

    werewolfs are real…trust me, im one.i wish people would say stuff like that (i said people becues even werewolfs are people)

  9. Diabetus says:

    @werewolfdude123 says ‘any1 on?’:

    And I am the great king of the Gummy Bear Kingdom. Seriously, they have therapists for that sort of thing.

  10. Lyceoan was the best myth I have heard so far

  11. she wolf says:

    Cool myth. It really fits on my taste and is this myth is the beginning of a werewolf?

  12. night wolf says:

    i was wondering how it all started

  13. alpha wolf says:

    can this myth be true

  14. Jayden says:

    (SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!)

  15. George says:

    (SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!)

  16. George says:

    (SCREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

  17. Evaluna says:

    @George hello are you new?

  18. Tia says:

    Well, it seems like I’m going to be single soon. 🙁 Why is his culture so annoying. 🙁 His Mum and Dad is looking for someone else for him to marry, that is also Indian like him. :'( Why do I have bad luck with relationships? :'( I know life can be unfair but way can’t it just goes good for my family and I just for once in our lives? :'(

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