A list of three-headed creatures in mythology and fiction.
- Asmodeus, a demon of lust, was said to have the head of a man, bull, and ram.
- Bael: The demon Bael is said to have three heads: a human, toad and cat.
- Cerberus: In ancient Greek myth Cerberus guarded the gates of Hades. Difference sources give different meanings to the three heads such as that they represent the three known continents, or three sins.
- Azi Dahaka is a three-headed dragon monster from Persian myth slain by the hero Oraetauoa.
- Mercurius: Dragons are sometimes portrayed as three-headed. For example the 1600 German illustration shown right is Mercurius. In alchemy the Mercurius is literally mercury/quicksilver and symbolically a creative spirit often shown as a dragon. The heads here represent Mercury, the moon and the sun.
- A three-headed eagle is sometimes use to symbolize the three branches of the government of the United States (or other three-way divisions of the nation).
- Airavata is a three-headed white elephant said to carry the Indian God Indra. Ganesh is also sometimes depicted with three heads.
- Geryon (Greek Mythology)
- Sir Olifaunt (Canterbury Tales)
- Un-named (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
- Cacus, son of Hephaestus and Medusa, is sometimes described as three-headed.
- Chimera is a monster from Greek myth that has three heads, a lion, a goat and a snake.
- Geryon was a fearsome three-headed giant. One of the ten labors of Hercules was to steal his cattle.
- Gods, such as the ancient Greek deity Hecate, are sometimes depicted as having three heads, some of them animals heads (dog, lion,and horse).
- Naga: A Naga is a God or other powerful entity that takes the form of a snake. The Naga sometimes has multiple heads, including three-headed forms.
- In the Iliad, King Agamemnon carried the image of the three headed-snake on his shield.
- Ghidorah, a dragon with three heads, is one of the monsters that fights Godzilla.
- Holsti, O. R. (1979). The three-headed eagle: The United States and system change. International Studies Quarterly, 23(3), 339-359.
- Parpola, A. (1999). The formation of the Aryan branch of Indo-European. Archaeology and language, III: artefacts, languages and texts, 180-207.
- Savage, J. J. (1949). The Medieval Tradition of Cerberus. Traditio, 405-410.
- Schwartz-Salant, N. (1995). Jung on alchemy.
Róisín Aisling Ireland from Seattle, WA on December 21, 2012:
I liked this article and voted up despite my personal freakishness regarding animals with multiple heads. :-)
theliz from Maryland on September 29, 2012:
I wish there was more here! Fascinating topic, perhaps a rewrite to include sources and stories about the creatures/deities?