Lovecraft circle Seal

They were of the reptile kind, with body lines suggesting sometimes the crocodile, sometimes the seal, but more often nothing of which either the naturalist or the palaeontologist ever heard. In size they approximated a small man, and their fore-legs bore delicate and evident feet curiously like human hands and fingers. But strangest of all were their heads, which presented a contour violating all know biological principles. To nothing can such things be well compared - in one flash I thought of comparisons as varied as the cat, the bullfrog, the mythic Satyr, and the human being. Not Jove himself had had so colossal and protuberant a forehead, yet the horns and the noselessness and the alligator-like jaw placed things outside all established categories.
~ H.P. Lovecraft , "The Nameless City"

Appearance in "The Nameless City"Edit

In H.P. Lovecraft's short story 'The Nameless City', a man finds and ventures into The Nameless City, which he believes he is the only man to ever enter. He enters several deteriorated temples before discovering that the largest temple, located far to the south from all the others, has a large corridor that leads extremely far underground. after climbing down for a length of time that he describes as nearly eternal, he encounters a tomb full of caskets containing reptilian creatures. These creatures documented their existence in murals which are shown on the wall of the tomb where the bodies are preserved underground.


The only available information about the Inhabitants of the Nameless City is taken from images in vast murals found throughout the immeasurably deep cavern beneath the temple where 'The Nameless City' takes place in the Nameless City.  These murals are displayed above the preserved bodies of the Inhabitants which are kept in casket-like structures lining the narrow passage underground.  The paintings can be found through the entire length of an incredibly long hall where the bodies of the creatures are stored.  The paintings show the Nameless City when it was prosperous and when it was beginning to decline.


The Inhabitants of the Nameless City are shown to be very cultured beings capable of forming a civilization with distinct societal ranks, the result of which was the prevalence of a city with wealth comparable to Egypt and Chaldaea.  The preservation of dead society members shows a sophistication of intelligence and the ability to uphold a race of emotionally perceptive beings with ideals and morals.

The murals show that the Inhabitants of the Nameless City were able to cultivate the land on which they lived. They were also able to use their natural resources to fashion products for general use. This is made clear by the caskets of the dead Inhabitants, which are described as being made of wood and glass. These beings also clothed themselves, and therefore contained the physical and mental capacity needed to design and create such apparel.

To crown their grotesqueness, most of them were gorgeously enrobed in the costliest of fabrics, and lavishly laden with ornaments of gold, jewels, and unknown shining metals.
~ H.P. Lovecraft , "The Nameless City"

The Inhabitants of the Nameless City also performed religious rituals that involved sacrifice of either living or nonliving offerings. In the above-ground section of the Nameless City, there are temples which contain small, low altars that are scaled down to sizes appropriate for use by the Inhabitants, which are "the size of small men". When in these temples, the main character exploring and excavating has to kneel in order to make safe passage through the structures.

Towards the very end of the enormous mural below ground, there is a depiction of a man being torn limb from limb from several Inhabitants of the Nameless City. It is unclear if this was supposed to be a ritual sacrifice or an act of war. It is never stated what god it was that the Inhabitants worshipped.

The Inhabitants of the Nameless City had a written language that is present in the tomb murals. However, the Inhabitants present in the story never speak, they only growl and roar in the wind at the very finale of 'The Nameless City'.


The mural beneath the temple in the Nameless City shows that the Inhabitants of the Nameless City would at times wage war, though this is apparent only through the depiction of the burial of dead soldiers. It is unclear whether these conflicts were civil wars, or if the Inhabitants of the Nameless City fought against other races. It is also never stated whether it was war, or the natural deterioration of the civilization that caused the Inhabitants to flee underground and build the mass tombs.

Current StatusEdit

Several Inhabitants of the Nameless City are still alive deep below ground. They exist in a section of the muralled tomb which lies behind a large brass door. This section of the tomb is not described in great detail, because it is filled with a blinding white light. At the very end of 'The Nameless City', several Inhabitants of the Nameless City can be seen charging towards the main character from the lighted section of the tomb.

The Inhabitants of the Nameless City fled far underground after the fall of their civilization. The fall of this civilization is never directly stated.

I saw its its wars and triumphs, its troubles and defeats, and afterward its terrible fight against the desert when thousands of its people - here represented in allegory by the grotesque reptiles - were driven to chisel their way down through the rocks in some marvelous manner to another world whereof their prophets had told them.

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