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Dragons: Fact or Fantasy

A Concise Look at Dragons in Mythology, Literature, and Folklore
by

Dylan Wilson

on 18 August 2014

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Transcript of Dragons: Fact or Fantasy

Dragons: Fact or Fantasy?
Dragon
: Dragons are Mythical reptilian, winged Creatures that, according to Mythology, Breathe Fire, Fly, Hoard Treasures; etc. They in are found in cultures all over the World.
They can be found in British, Norse, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African, Aborigine, and even Native American Folklore. Why then, are these Beasts found in nearly every Culture, Every Mythology on the Planet, Considering that these Cultures had little or no Contact with each other?
What then, makes a Dragon a Dragon? Dragons are Generally Described as Reptilian, with either 2 or 4 legs, and
USUALLY
have wings. They also generally breathe Fire ( Though, in some Mythologies they can Breathe: Frost, Acid, Poison, etc.
Dragons are also well-known to hoard and guard treasures like Gold, Jewels, etc. In European Mythology, To capture and devour maidens.
Throughout European Mythology, especially Northern, They can come in a Variety of Colors: Red, Green, Blue, White, Black, Gold, Silver, etc. They are also sometimes referred to as Wyrms, Wyverns, Serpents, etc.
They are often viewed as Malevolent, Dangerous, or Evil; However they are also viewed as Mystical, Powerful, Wise, and sometimes Benign.
Whether real Creatures or not, One thing is for Certain: They have captured the imaginations of People across the Globe.


European Dragons
Dragons are particularly Prominent in European Mythology, especially, Northern (British Scandinavian, Germanic; etc.) In Europe they are generally viewed as Dangerous and Powerful,often Magickal, and sometimes Greedy. Yet, they also seem Ancient and Wise.

In Norse Mythology, a Black Dragon, Nidhoggr: The Worlds Eater, Lays at the Roots of Yggdrasiil, and gnaws on them. At Ragnarok, the Norse Apocalypse, He'll Emerge and Swallow the 9 Realms, including Midgard (Earth).
Another Well-known Norse Dragon is Fafnir, a Greedy Dwarf, who was turned into a Green Dragon, Who was later slain by Sigurd, in the famous Volsunga Saga
Other Norse Dragons include: Ofnir, Gungnir, Jourmungandr (Though many Scholars argue the Midgard Serpent is not technically a Dragon.), and others.
British Dragons
Dragons are very common in British (English, Scottish, Irish; Welsh.) Mythology and Folklore. Here follow some famous examples:
Scandinavian Dragons
Dragons are quite commonplace in Scandinavian (Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic; Norse)Mythology. In Norse Mythology, they are usually: Red, Green;White,etc. Except for Nidhoggr (Black) and Ofnir (Gold).

According to British Legend, the Wizard: Myrddin (Merlin, in modern English.), Phrophesized that there were 2 Great Dragons dwelling under the Stronghold of Ambrosia, in Wales. He foresaw that the Dragons, one Red, one White, would fight and Decide the fate of War of The Bretons and Saxons. The Red one (Bretons) defeated the White (Saxon).
Another famous Dragon from "British"(though written by Anglo-Saxons, it takes place in Denmark.) literature/Legend is The Wyrm in the Epic Poem, Beowulf. It was awaken from its Slumber in a Mountain cave by a thief, who stole a golden horn from its Lair. The enraged Dragon laid waste upon Beowulf's Kingdom; He, with the help of his Thane, Wiglaf, slew it, though it cost him his life.
According to Medieval British (English) Folklore, a Knight named Ser George had slain a Dragon that had devastated a Town in Britain; and Brought peace to the Lands, also rescuing the King's Daughter from it. However, it is believed this was Mainly an Allegory for driving out the Pagans and Christianizing Britain.

Yet, another famous British (It's actually the Saint Patronage of England ) Dragon legend is that of St. George and the Dragon. Although, it is disputed that it actually originated in Britain; the Legend is generally told that an angry Dragon had attacked a local Village. A vengeful knight/thane named George/Godric, probably in Anglo-Saxon England, fought and Slayed it, Also rescuing a Maiden it had Captured.
Yet, Another well-known British (It's actually the Saint Patronage of Britain.) Dragon legend is that of St. George and the Dragon. Although widely disputed whether or not it actually originated in Britain; the Legend generally goes that an angry Dragon had attacked a local Village. A vengeful Knight/Thane named George/Godric fought and slew the Dragon, and also rescued a Maiden it had Captured earlier. However, many others beleive it may have just been an allegory for the de-Paganization and Christianization of England.
Other types of European Dragons include: Knuckers/Nicors, which are Serpentine Dragons with vestigial wings and usually found Underwater or in Wells or Ponds. They are usually found around the British Isles. And Lindworms/Lindwyrms, which are generally found in Northern Europe and are Wingless.
Native American Dragons
As well as in the Rest of the World, Legends of Dragons or Dragon-Like Creatures are spread throughout the Americas. They are usually described as Great Birds or Serpents in Native American Mythology.
One of the best Well-Known Examples of American Dragons is: Quetzalcoatl. Also known as the Great Feathered Serpent; it was known to Live beyond the Sky and watch over Man.
The Thunder-Bird of Native North America is yet another Mythical Creature that could qualify as a Dragon. In Native American Mythology it is Described as having: Scale-like Feathers, A long, Snake-like Body, large Teeth, A beak, and Casting Fiery
The Amphithere, a Dragon of Native American Mythology, is Feathered, Serpentine Dragon (often Colourful). It is Usually usually found in South American Mythology, Although it might account for the Thunder-Bird of North America, and Also might account for Quetzalcoatl.

Eastern and Middle-Eastern Dragons
Dragon are fairly Prominent in Both Oriental and Middle-Eastern Mythology. Eastern Dragons are Generally more Serpentine and often Brightly Coloured; They are often Revered and Glorified in Asia. Oriental Dragons are Commonly called Lungs. Middle Eastern Dragons
Yet Another American Dragon, is the Thunder-Bird of Western, North American Mythology. Although not Usually considered a true Dragon, It's generally described as Being Serpentine, with Scale-Like feathers, Curled Horns, other Reptilian features; etc. It is Known to Cast down Fiery Lightning; It's called the Thunder-Bird because: The beating of its Wings is Said to cause claps of Thunder in the Sky.
Middle-Eastern, African, Mediterranean, and Australian Dragons; Others.

Dragons are also a Significant part of these Mythologies. Mediterranean Dragons are nearly identical to to European Dragons, except they're generally more Serpentine and often Abnormal. Dragons of the Middle-East are more usually more Beastial. African Dragons are often completely Serpentine and even Snake-Like. Aboriginal Dragons are Mystical and Unique.
Wyverns or Wyrms are Yet another type of Dragon;Common to many Mythologies; it's Uncertain where they Originated. They have 2 legs (Instead of 4), and May not breathe Fire. According to Myth and Legend; They are usually Tainted or Fallen Dragons that Spread Darkness and Pestilence upon the Lands.
Dragons of Middle-Eastern Mythology are Strong, Bestial; Large and Powerful. Some Renowned examples Include: Bahamut/Bafamut, a Dragon-God of Ancient Babylon; Khumbaba: a Sumerian Dragon slain by Gilgamesh, Tiahmat; etc. Here they were both respected and Feared.
Dragons in Mediterranean Mythology (Greco-Roman;etc.) are nearly Synonymous with traditional, European Dragons except for their more Serpentine Structure and abnormalities (Like multiple body-parts.). A well-known example is The Hydra; A serpentine dragon with Multiple (Usually 7) Heads. Another is Ladon; also is Draco.
There are also Several examples of Dragons/Serpents in Egyptian Mythology, as well. Apep, also known as Apophis is the most Notable of them; Apep rules over Darkness and Chaos. At the the Endtimes, Apep will Devour the World and Destroy the Gods. Another is Denwen; A Fiery Serpentine Dragon. Denwen opposes Apep.
The Dragons of Tribal African Mythology are
Serpent-Like; and Usually aren't a Danger to Humans. Embedded in their Skulls is Magickal Gem called: Drakontias. One Example of these is Aido-Hwedo: A Dragon Creator-God from African Legend. Aido-Hwedo is Brightly-Coloured and Serpentine. Aido-Hwedo Created life on Earth and will One day Return and Destroy Us.
Native-Australian or Aborigine Mythology also involves Dragons. Notably, is Borlung; The Rainbow Serpent-Dragon God of the Aborigines. Borlung is a Creator and Messenger God; According to Australian Legend, It carried the Aborigines from their Home to this World. When this World Ends; Borlung will Return and Carry them off to a New World. Borlung is also Known as the Dragon of the Deep-Dreams.

Oriental/Asiatic Dragons are Serpentine. In Asia, They are often viewed as Wise, Charismatic,and somtimes Benign. They are known to be Protectors and Guardians of the Mysterious;Divine. They are also known as Lungs or Longs.
Eastern Dragons
Being found in So many Diverse Cultures and Mythologies, One has to wonder if Dragons could have ever really existed? There is some substantial Evidence to suggest This; Also they Could have been Surviving Prehistoric Reptiles, like Pterosaurs. They also could have been a NOW Extinct Reptilian species.
Credits
Web Sources: www.dragons.wikia.com, www.herebedragons.com, www.ancientdragongallery.com; www.circleofdragons.com
Image Credits: www.google.com/images; www.picsearch.com
Directed,Created, Advised, Produced; Researched By:

Dylan R. Wilson
Co-advised By
Dexter L
.

Wilson
and
Todd Carpenter
Full transcript