Since antiquity, the legendary figure of the dragon has been present in different cultures and interpretations; from Greek, Norse to ancient Chinese and Eastern civilization . In the fascinating Eastern mythology, the most ancient and ancestral notions and myths of the symbolism of the figure of the dragon are recorded. The dragon, now a mythological and surreal figure, has populated the legends of the oldest civilizations for millennia; so much so that he was considered an archetypal figure and a fantastic creature of the human species.
Man has gone from imaginative theory to a perceptible reality in which he has learned a lot about mythological animals, in this case the dragon.
Tales and legends tell that dragons are not real creatures. However, there are legends that do not exclude a past existence of these species. Possibly existing in more realistic zoomorphic forms than those present in Eastern and Western iconography. In Asia, these mythical animals are considered as deities especially in Japanese civilization . In this article you will discover all the information about the dragon and the mythology
1. Legendary Symbols
- The white dragon: symbol of purity
Beyond the mystery behind the origin of the myth of the dragon, man feels the need to allow himself to be fascinated by the world of mythology and symbolism, trying to understand the unknown of knowledge inaccessible to our mind. Since the creation of the world, there have been two main families of dragons, the eastern “strain” and the western “strain” . The division has a greater impact on the appearance and cultural contribution that the legendary figure has imported: the two families have common and similar traits.
In ancient times, the man of the past associated with dragons the possession of the primordial forces of the “Great Mother Earth” or “Goddess” ; having the power of creation, destruction and control over human destiny. We thought of powerful beings, who provoked wonder, admiration and fear at the same time. They are creatures with uncontrollable and titanic forces and energies.
From the East, through Africa to Europe, legends about mythological creatures spread. Flying and powerful dragons inhabited parallel worlds inaccessible to most, such as:
- the bottom of the seven seas,
- dark caves,
- caves hidden in mountain cavities, and
- the infinite regions of the sky.
In these mysterious places, ancestral fears of the dark and the unknown have come true. Just in the idea of the mystery arises a difference of “affinity” on the figure of the dragon between the two families. In fact, in the Far East, precisely in Chinese culture; the man sought a confrontation and an approach to the wild figure. He therefore endeavored to create rites and customs in his honor. Instead, in the West, he was seen as a powerful ruler; hence the negative consideration of its multiple manifestations and aspects.
- Draconis: Roar of Fury
In ancient Western cultures, it was said that man; a fearsome creature by nature, had to face its ancestral and deeper nightmares, preparing to slay a young dragon. The sacrifice was necessary and was interpreted as an initiation rite: the young man overcame his fears and became a strong and valiant adult man. The achievement has been the main value and acceptance in the community. This feat was seen as admiration and recognition of the courage of the individual in his path of existential formation. Defeating a powerful and, for the most part, aggressive dragon was a test of extraordinary moral temperance.
Among the brave heroes who slew fierce dragons, we remember the legend of Saint George , a Catholic martyr and a model of Western dragon myth . It is said that the saint who lived in the 3rd century died in Lydda, after saving the daughter of a Libyan king from a dragon. From here we find interesting analogies with the Greek myth of Perseus, who saved Andromeda from a sea monster near Lydda.
- The Legendary Destroyer
And so history repeats itself: they continue across northern plains and sunny deserts, to the ends of the earth. Many stories of heroes and knights protectors of young girls in danger, kidnapped by monstrous dragons have been known.
Thus, killing a dragon, a symbol of evil, became a challenge between knights for honor, glory and mythical fame. As well as to take possession of immense treasures, including the gold of the soul, the heart of the primordial energies and the heart of the loved one to be saved.
2. The dragon in Europe: Ancient scientific theories
In the culture of the most superstitious peoples, legends identify the dragon and mythology as values such as truth, wisdom and courage for centuries. In the culture of the most evolved peoples, a new hypothesis made its way at the end of the Middle Ages. A myth filtered from ancient stories and demonstrated with scientific methods. In Europe, scientists and scholars of ancient runes, divination and superstition began to challenge the legends, denying the existence of dragons as real creatures. They only existed as mythological beings in the world of imagination.
In the 17th century, Eberhard Werner Happel wrote and published between 1683 and 1691 a book called Relationes Curiosoe. A “collection of curiosities” in which very interesting news and testimonies have been told about dragons, the origins and mysteries of these legendary creatures. There were many theories also researched by science, in order to generate an interesting discipline of study concerning these fascinated creatures, “Dragology”.
- The dragon snake
The wonderful, icy land of Scandinavia brings together the myths of the Viking peoples and the ancient inhabitants of northern Germany; bringing fascinating Norse mythology to life. The legends, tales and myths of the peoples of the north speak of legendary creatures such as the dragon; considered evil, often a symbol of evil. Among the best-known associations is remembered Ragnarǫk, the twilight of the gods, or the final battle fought between chaos and order, between good and evil, destruction and creation.
According to the story of the dragon in Norse mythology; dragons are fantastic creatures that have special properties , such as being able to speak several languages, even the human language. They use properties to fight enemies. The legends also speak of healing powers and the gift of invulnerability. What inspired the use of the dragon symbol on several precious objects through time, including:
- art paintings,
Scandinavian mythology identifies four different species of dragons namely:
- The blue dragon
The puk is a domestic dragon, small in size and with wings. Stories tell that this type of dragon brings luck and well-being to the foster family; by adopting benevolent attitudes towards those who appreciate its qualities. The dragon is well known in Estonian, Latvian and Germanic mythology .
- The fire dragon
The Fire Shot is a winged, fire-breathing dragon that lives in dark, secret caves. The best-known example of Norse dragons is the eastern fire dragon; the legendary creature against the hero Beowulf. The lindworm is imagined as a serpent-monster with fiery eyes, claws, fangs, and sometimes wings. The dragon also stands out as the creature of the underworld, bearer of harmful events and avarice.
3. The most famous dragons of Norse myths
Norse mythology is the culture that fertilizes dragons, nourishes them in their stories and qualifies them as exceptional creatures.
The charm of dragons feeds the imagination of children and adults, making possible this parallel world that does not exist in our reality. Thus creating the other dimension where the terrible and wonderful winged creatures exist and live. The Dragon is everywhere. The Dragon is in everything. Its scales shine in the bark of trees. Its roar is often heard in the wind. And his forked tongue strikes like lightning.