Teutobochus

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Teutobochus was a legendary giant and king of the Teutons. Large bones discovered in 1613 were claimed to be his skeleton.

In 1869 W.A. Seaver wrote: "In times more modern (1613), some masons digging near the ruins of a castle in Dauphiné, in a field which by tradition had long been called 'The Giant's Field,' at a depth of 18 feet discovered a brick tomb 30 feet long, 12 feet wide, and 8 feet high, on which was a gray stone with the words 'Theutobochus Rex' cut thereon. When the tomb was opened they found a human skeleton entire, 25-1/2 feet long, 10 feet wide across the shoulders, and 5 feet deep from the breast to the back. His teeth were about the size of an ox's foot, and his shin-bone measured 4 feet in length."[1]

After the finding of the bones, the legend of the king Teutobochus, which was thought to be the Teuton king defeated by Caius Marius, spread despite analysis by anatomist Jean Riolan the Younger, who ascribed the bones to one of Hannibal's elephants. Three centuries later, the zoologist Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville analyzed the bones and concluded they came from a mastodon. Finally in the 1980s, the paleontologist Léonard Ginsburg analyzed a plaster mold from Paris' Muséum national d'histoire naturelle, that came from the giant bones, and identified a deinotherium. The current location of the bones remains unknown.[2]

Since bones of dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals were unknown in 1613, it would seem that the bones of some such animal, found in historical times, was wrongly attributed as the remains of the legendary giant, and buried in a tomb bearing the giant's name.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ W.A. Seaver, "Giants and Dwarfs", Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 39:202-210, 1869.
  2. ^ Pierre Barthélémy, http://passeurdesciences.blog.lemonde.fr/2013/01/13/teutobochus-le-geant-qui-nen-etait-pas-un/