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Dragon Mythology

describing and telling facts about the impact dragons had on the Feudal Era and the Age of Kings

Elisabet Nordeng

on 21 May 2010

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Transcript of Dragon Mythology

Dragon Mythology of Ancient Civilizations Definition of Dragons

In European mythology, a dragon is a serpent-like creature. It is sometimes known by the Nordic word, wyrm.

Origin of Dragons

Origin- Europe (primarily)
Stereotype- large, fire-breathing, bat-like wings, scales with four legs, eat people, destroy countryside, not nice to be around
Accurate Description- serpent-like, wingless, feathered, small, kindly, can also be the fire-breathing people-eating kind, live in or come from water
Dragons' Role Among Kings

Many dragons played a large part among kings and the feudal civilizations. They were often hunted, so much to the point where they were almost extinct.They were used for sport or to depict one’s lineage to the mighty beast, very much like Arthur Pendragon.Some dragons were worshipped as gods or goddesses, while others were guardians of a kingdom.
A Dragon Myth: The Laidly Worm

There once was a king who had two children. Their names were Chyld Wynd and Margaret. One day, Chyld Wynd left to seek his fortune. Later, the queen died, and the king remarried. But the new queen had magical powers, and put an evil curse on Margaret. She turned into a giant laidly wyrm, until Chyld Wynd kissed her 3 times. The wyrm was banished. Long later, Chyld Wynd found her, and was about to slay her, when she asked him to kiss her 3 times. He recognized her voice, kissed her, and she turned normal again.
Arthur Pendragon

A legendary British leader, who according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defense of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. Details of Arthur are based on folklore and literary invention. Arthur’s father, Uther Pendragon, claimed to be descended from the mighty dragons. Arthur’s story is one that has inspired many kings and queens throughout the ages. The code of chivalry was never forgotten, but it seems lost now. Influence of Dragons Throughout the World

The story of the dragon can be found throughout the world. Asia used the dragon to symbolize their emperors. The Americas used the dragon to symbolize a god. The Scandinavians used the dragon to symbolize their leaders and to decorate their ships and homes. The dragon is a major impact on the world of men and will continue to be so. In literature, dragons are certainly a virtually universal ancient motif. Dragons are found in the early literature of the English, Irish, Danish, Norse, Scandinavians, Germans, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians. Among the American Indians, legends of dragons flourished among the Crees, Algonquins, Onondagas, Ojibways, Hurons, Chinooks, Shoshones, and Alaskan Eskimos. One of the most famous Danish dragon tales is from "Sigurd of the Volsungs" and concerns "The Slaying of Fafnir." Sigurd, the hero of the epic, is afraid of Fafnir the dragon because his tracks seem great.

The Most Common Dragons

Western Dragons: Mainly European Dragons, living in all areas including Great Britain, Scotland, the Wales, Scandinavia, Romania, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Germany.
Eastern Dragons: The Asian Dragons, living in all areas including China, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Tibet, and Mongolia. Some dragons have been found in Sumerian cultures as well as Egyptian and Mesopotamian.

How Long Have Dragons Been Around?

Dragons have been around since the dawning of the universe. They came to the earth when the Solar System was created and have since been part of myths and legends of Man. Supposedly, the dragons were created in the chaos of the universe, when the gods were at war. This is also considered in some cultures to have been another version of the Big Bang theory. Stories of these mighty beasts have been around for a better of 2,000-4,000 years or more. Many theories have been set forth proposing to explain the virtually universal belief in dragons among ancient peoples. Some have seen dragons as a product of the human imagination, resulting from fear of the unknown. It has been pointed out that as late as 1600 A.D., maps were decorated about the borders of unknown regions with drawings of dragon-like monsters. Yet it is hard to imagine how such widely separated people groups all imagined virtually the same thing, if that imagined entity had no basis in reality or in their experience.
Evidence of Existing Dragons

Where are all these accounts of dragon history? Actually, let's start with the Bible, the most widely published book in history. A search for the word "dragon" in the King James Version of the Bible produces 34 separate matches across 10 different books written between approximately 2000 BC and 90 AD. The word "dragon" (Hebrew: tannin) is used throughout the Old Testament, and most directly translates as "sea or land monsters." In the Book of Job, the author describes the great creatures, Behemoth (Job 40) and Leviathan (Job 41). Although the latest Bible translations use the words elephant, hippo or crocodile instead of Behemoth and Leviathan, the original Hebrew and the context of the descriptions do not allow for these interpretations. Of course, dragon history is by no means limited to the Bible. Dragon accounts from China, Europe, the Middle East, and ancient Latin America share similar accounts of "dragons" and other beasts. Some cultures revered these creatures. For instance, records of Marco Polo in China show that the royal house kept dragons for ceremonies and dragons were hunted for meat and medicine in the Province of Karazan. Records of the Greek historian Herodotus and the Jewish historian Josephus describe flying reptiles in ancient Egypt and Arabia. In other cultures, it was a great honor to kill these creatures. There are numerous records of warriors killing great beasts in order to establish credibility in a village. Gilgamesh, Fafnir, Beowulf and other famous legends, including the mythology of Egypt, Greece and Rome, include specific descriptions of dragons and other dinosaur-like creatures. Dragon history is revealed on numerous objects of ancient art throughout the world. Dinosaur-like creatures are featured on Babylonian landmarks, Roman mosaics, Asian pottery and royal robes, Egyptian burial shrouds and government seals, Peruvian burial stones and tapestries, Mayan sculptures, Aboriginal and Native American petroglyphs (carved rock drawings), and many other pieces of ceremonial art throughout ancient cultures.

The Modern World's Reaction to Dragons Today

If there were dragons in the world today, many people would be freaked out. They would hunt them down and bring them to the brink of extinction or they would simply eradicate them. They would hunt them down because they do not understand them. Whereas scientist would try to study them and find out their eating habits, their sleeping habits, their mating habits. They would also try to keep them alive and have them live on a protected land where no one could hurt them, very much like the Site B in Jurassic Park, where they sent the dinosaurs to live away from humans until Ingen was under new management and the balance of the life on the island was disruptted. Though many people would flee in terror of them, others would marvel in their natural grace and beauty.
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