(Ancient Egypt and the Near East)



AL BORAK - The chief of a tribe of human-headed horses in Persia. He was reputed to be the fastest steed in the world; he could vanish out of the sight of mankind with a single leap.

THE CATOBLEPAS - This creature of the wilds of Africa had a scaly body, a snake's tail, and a huge shaggy head so heavy he could hardly raise it from the ground. This was fortune, as his gaze alone could kill!

THE YALE - This antelope-like creature, with boar's tusks and spiked tail, was a formidable fighter in ancient Ethiopia. With his moveable horns he could fence like a skilled swordsman.



THE SIRRUSH - A scaly mixture of bird, beast and reptile was supposed to flourish in Babylon.

THE LAMASSU -These winged, human-headed bulls were said to guard the gates of Assyrian palaces from evil spirits.

THE BASILISK - Part serpent, part bird, this creature was feared even in Medieval times. Supposed to hatch from a cock's egg; its breath, and even its glance, were fatal. It could be killed only by seeing its reflection in a mirror.



THE SENMURV - This dog-bird of Persia was a creature of two worlds; benefactor to mankind, and connecting link between heaven and earth.

THE LAMIA - A horrible scale-covered monster, half male and half female, said to abduct and devour children in ancient Lybia.

THE DAEVA - A particularly vicious breed of Persian demons, the Daevas, were part men and part scorpions.