Antonietta Gonzalez (as well as her father, two sisters and other family members) had hypertrichosis (also commonly called “werewolf syndrome”), which is a rare genetic disorder which causes an abnormal amount of hair on the body. Antonietta’s father, Pedro (sometimes written as Pedrus) Gonzalez, was the first known person to be affected with this disorder. Given the rarity of the disease, it seems a little surprising that so many people within the Gonzalez family were affected by hypertrichosis. One writer noted that in terms of pathology, “the Gonzales sisters were one in a billion – all three of them.” Antonietta and her sisters were welcomed into the courts of Europe, having received considerable attention from physicians and nobles alike and also being subject to medical investigations and portrait sittings. Antonietta explains a little of her personal history in the handwritten note which she holds in the portrait: “Don Pietro, a wild man discovered in the Canary Islands, was conveyed to his most serene highness Henry the king of France, and from there came to his Excellency the Duke of Parma. From whom [came] I, Antonietta, and now I can be found nearby at the court of the Lady Isabella Pallavicina, the honorable Marchesa of Soragna.” Historian Merry Weisner-Hanks has speculated that Lavinia Fontana met Antonietta in Parma. The painting can be seen in the Musée du Château, Blois.
The first metamorphosis, indeed, is mentioned and fully explained in the Liber Paenitentialis of S. Theodore, 7th Archbishop of Canterbury (668-690), capitulum xxvii, which code includes under the rubric De Idolatria et Sacrilegio , and prescribes: “If anyone at the Kalends of January goes about as a star or a bull; that is, making himself into a wild animal and dressing in the skin of herd animal, and putting on the heads of beasts; those who in such wise transform themselves into the appearance of a wild animal, penance for 3 years because this is devilish.’ These ritual masks, furs, and hides, were wont to don for their Sabbats.
Thus passing over the innumerable instances of the burning of witches, who were, after all, only laboring under a delusion, the Teutonic knights in Prussia not unfrequently condemned those maniacs to the stake who imagined themselves to be metamorphosed into wolves-an extraordinary species of insanity which, having existed in Greece, before our era, spread, in process of time, over Europe, so that it was communicated not only to the Romaic, but also to the german and Sarmatian nations, and descended from the ancients, as a legacy of affliction to posterity. In modern times Lycanthropy, such was the name given to this infatuation, has vanished from the earth, but it is nevertheless well worthy the consideration of the observer of human aberrations, and a history of it by some writer who is equally well acquainted with the middle ages as with antiquity, is still a desideratum.
Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, has the following observations, which with the ample references by which they are accompanied, will furnish materials for such a history.
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. II
Now Available $54.00
The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
666 pages 197 pages
- ISBN-10: 1943820058
- ISBN-13: 978-1943820054
ONLY 2 COPIES LEFT!
Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. II: The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that will be released one by one. This book details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: Alcoholism & The Blue Devils, Insanity & Lead Poisoning, Ergot (LSD) Hallucinations, The Sweating Sickness & Leprosy, The Tobacco Enema & Leeches, The Defloration Mania, The Dancing Mania, The Black Death, The Gravediggers & Body Snatchers, Jews Poisoning the Wells, Millions of Deaths, Folklore & Superstition, Magic Mirrors & Crystal Balls, Witches Dancing in Baby Blood, Pants Made of Human Skin, Necromancy & Ghost Armies, Attacks from The Undead, Lycanthropy & Were-Wolves, Multiple Cases of Vampires, Who is Satan, Lucifer & The Devil!
Washington Post: Man who thought he killed werewolf in Alexandria pleads not guilty by reason of insanity.