In the 16th century, the Protestant reformers Luther and Melanchton substantially increased the presence of monsters in popular culture with the publication of a pamphlet depicting monstrous creatures as prophecies of the imminent ruin of the Roman Church.
The monk-calf which appeared in one of their pamphlet published in 1523 is interpreted by protestant preachers as a sign of the ruin of the Roman church. For Sorbin, on the other hand, it symbolized the sin of the Reformation.
The monster of Ravenna has been widly ocumented in many contemporary publications. Following the pattern of prodigious tales, it was inspired by real events. A child was born with severe birth defects in the Italian city of Ravenna. Shortly thereafter, Italian forces were defeated in the Battle of Ravenna. The monstrous birth then became a symbol of the Italians’ defeat.
Portrayed with the torso and feet of a bird, the monster symbolized the effects of the supposedly Italian sin of sodomy, tempered, however, by a certain degree of virtue. It was the first monstrous birth to attain international notoriety and one of the most symbolic.
There are other monsters like the pope-ass – see Fortunio Liceti's De Monstrorum causis natura (1665).
Classification of Freaks and Prodigies
SELECT p.filepath AS pFilepath, p.filename AS pFilename, p.aid AS pAid, p.filesize AS pFilesize, p.title AS pTitle, p.caption AS pCaption, p.owner_id as pOwnerId, p.ctime AS pCtime, p.hits AS pHits, p.pid AS pPid, p.pic_rating AS pPic_Rating, p.votes AS pVotes, p.pwidth AS pWidth, p.pheight AS pHeight, p.user1 as pUser1, p.user2 as pUser2, p.user3 as pUser3, p.user4 as pUser4, c.cid as cCid, c.name as cName, c.description as cDescription, c.pos as cPos, c.parent as cParent, c.thumb as cThumb, u.user_lastvisit AS uUser_lastvisit,u.user_regdate AS uUser_regdate,u.user_email AS uUser_email,u.user_profile1 AS uUser_profile1,u.user_profile2 AS uUser_profile2,u.user_profile3 AS uUser_profile3,u.user_profile4 AS uUser_profile4,u.user_profile5 AS uUser_profile5,u.user_profile6 AS uUser_profile6, a.aid AS aAid, a.title AS aTitle, a.description AS aDescription, a.visibility as aVisibility, a.pos as aPos, a.category as aCategory, a.thumb as aThumb, a.keyword as aKeyword FROM cpg14x_pictures AS p LEFT JOIN cpg14x_users AS u ON p.owner_id = u.user_id LEFT JOIN cpg14x_albums AS a ON p.aid = a.aid LEFT JOIN cpg14x_categories AS c ON a.category = c.cid WHERE 1 AND p.approved='YES' ORDER BY rand(299706) LIMIT 9