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PostSubject: Dragons Galore   Thu 05 Feb 2009, 5:31 pm

Carl Sagan hypothesized in his 1977 book The Dragons of Eden that the myth of dragons arose from the innate fear of reptiles that we share with other mammals, a remnant of the time when mammals lived with dinosaurs. Othersbelieve that the dragon may have had a real counterpart from which the various legends arose — typically dinosaurs or other archosaurs are mentioned as a possibility — but there is no physical evidence to support this claim, only alleged sightings collected by cryptozoologists.

Fossil remains generated a variety of geomyths speculating on the creatures’ identity and cause of their destruction. Many ancient cultures, from China and India to Greece, America, and Australia, told tales of dragons, monsters, and giant heroes to account for fossils of animals they had never seen alive

The Western Dragon

The Western type of dragon has been variously described. He appears to be created from parts of various creatures, having eagle's feet, two bat-like wings, lion's forelimbs, reptile’s head, fish's scales, antelope's horns and a serpentine form of spade tail. He can be of any color and some species can even change the color of their skin just like a chameleon. They usually breath fire but this is not a general trait.
These dragons usually have huge hoards of gold and jewels hidden in their lairs. They are known to live more than 300 years, some western dragons are even immortal. They do not eat too often and can live on a sheep or ox once a month. They are usually portrayed as evil, mean, and bloodthirsty which is a consequence of the demonization exerted by the Church. The end of this dragon came with Christianity. The Church declared them as enemies and sent hords of knights to extinguish thier existence. As a result, most of these dragons have been destroyed.

Chinese Dragons

Some of the worst floods in Asia's History were caused when a mortal has upset a dragon. Dragons were essentialy linked to the water element, influencing the weather and the water courses.
According to Chinese mythology, a dragon has to spend 1000 years under the sea, 1000 years in the mountains and 1000 years among men before turning into a real dragon. Before that he is a small serpent prisoner of a stone, called a “serpent’s egg”. After 3000 years, the dragon escapes and take his adult form, the stone was known to spill a magic liquid called “inky blood”.
In the Eastern world the dragon has a rather different significance than in the West. He is essentially benevolent, son of heaven, and controls the watery elements of the universe.In many cases the dragon is combined with the phoenix to symbolize long life and prosperity. It is also combined with the tiger to represent heaven and earth or inyo (Yin and Yang).
Having sinuous serpentine bodies and four legs, eastern dragons do not usually breath fire, nor do they fly. According to Wang Fu (Han 206 BC-220 AC) dragons are made up of many different types of animals of the Earth: the body of a snake, scales of a carp, head of a camel, horns of a deer, the eyes of a hare, ears like a bull, a neck like an iguana, belly of a frog, paws like a tigers, and claws like an eagle. A lion-type mane decorates its neck, its chin, and each elbow. They also carry two antler-like horns on their wide-mouthed head, and two long whiskers spread out from their snout. They are depicted in many colors like blue, black, white, red, or yellow. Oriental dragons are usually shown with a pearl in their mouth, under their chin, or in their claws. This is apparently where the dragon gets its power, and how it ascends to heaven. The male dragon holds a war club in its tail while the female dragon holds a sensu or fan in its tail.
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PostSubject: Re: Dragons Galore   Thu 05 Feb 2009, 7:01 pm

Here is a site I found with Dragon lore .. its not spectacular but it is interesting. I cant copy it all so Ill just give you the link...

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PostSubject: Re: Dragons Galore   Thu 05 Feb 2009, 7:18 pm


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In Babylonian mythology, Tiamat is the sea, personified as a goddess, and a monstrous embodiment of primordial chaos. In the Enűma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, she gives birth to the first generation of gods; she later makes war upon them and is split in two by the storm-god Marduk, who uses her body to form the heavens and the earth. She was known as Thalattē (as variant of thalassa, the Greek word for "sea") in the Hellenistic Babylonian Berossus' first volume of universal history, and some Akkadian copyists of Enűma Elish slipped and substituted the ordinary word for "sea" for Tiamat, so close was the association.

Etymology of the name

Thorkild Jacobsenand Walter Burkert both argue for a connection with the Akkadian word for sea tâmtu, following an early form ti'amtum. Tiamat can also be derived from the Sumerian ti, "life", and ama, "mother".Burkert continues by making a linguistic connection to Tethys. The later form thalatth he finds to be clearly related to Greek thalassa, "sea". The Babylonian epic Enuma Elish is named for its incipit: "When above" the heavens did not yet exist nor the earth below, Apsu the freshwater ocean was there, "the first, the begetter", and Tiamat, the saltwater sea, "she who bore them all"; they were "mixing their waters". It is thought that female deities are older than male ones in Mesopotamia, and Tiamat may have begun as part of the cult of Nammu, a female principle of a watery creative force, with equally strong connections to the underworld, predating the appearance of Ea-Enki.
This "mixing of the waters" Harriet Crawford finds to be a natural feature of the middle Persian Gulf, where fresh waters from the Arabian aquifer mix and mingle with the salt waters of the sea.This characteristic is especially true of the region of Bahrain, whose name means in Arabic, "two seas" and which is thought to be the site of Dilmun, the original site of the Sumerian creation.
Tiamat has also been claimed to be also cognate with West Semitic tehom (תהום) ("the deeps, abyss"), in the Book of Genesis 1.

Tiamat's appearance

In the Enűma Elish her physical description includes a tail, a thigh, "lower parts" (which shake together), a belly, an udder, ribs, a neck, a head, a skull, eyes, nostrils, a mouth, and lips. She has insides (possibly "entrails"), a heart, arteries, and blood.
Though Tiamat is often described by modern authors as a sea serpent or dragon, no ancient texts exist in which there is a clear association with those kinds of creatures. Though the Enűma Elish specifically states that Tiamat did give birth to dragons and serpents, they are included among a larger and more general list of monsters including scorpion men and merpeople, none of which imply that any of the children resemble the mother or are even limited to aquatic creatures.
The depiction of Tiamat as a multi-headed dragon was popularized in the 1970s as a fixture of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game. This image selects one rendition of Tiamat's form from among many, including ancient artistic depictions of her as a single-headed dragon and a serpent.
In 1987, Japanese game company Square released Final Fantasy, an RPG whose numerous serial offspring would become the focus of the later Square Enix empire. Tiamat was featured in the game as a multi-headed dragon. It appeared in 6 other titles in the franchise, including Final Fantasy Tactics where it was likened to a depiction of the Greco-mythic Hydra. The creatures' avatars were recycled from one another using only different color and playable abilities. Though the similarities between the verbal descriptions of the Tiamat popularized by Dungeons & Dragons and the more famous image of the Hydra from Greek mythology are striking, the game also employed a third version of the avatar with a black paint job and named it a Hyudra, something that was probably more of a practicality in fantasy game programming than innovation or creativity. Tiamat also appears as one of the hero's forms in Breath of Fire 3. When in the form of Tiamat the hero appears as a large coiled serpent that hovers slightly off the ground.


Apsu (or Abzu, from Sumerian ab = water, zu = far) fathered upon Tiamat the Elder Gods Lahmu and Lahamu (the "muddy"), a title given to the gatekeepers at the Enki Abzu temple in Eridu. Lahmu and Lahamu, in turn, were the parents of the axis or pivot of the heavens (Anshar, from an = heaven, shar = axle or pivot) and the earth (Kishar); Anshar and Kishar were considered to meet on the horizon, becoming thereby the parents of Anu and Ki. Tiamat was the "shining" personification of salt water who roared and smote in the chaos of original creation. She and Apsu filled the cosmic abyss with the primeval waters. She is "Ummu-Hubur who formed all things".
In the myth recorded on cuneiform tablets, the god Enki (later Ea) believed correctly that Apsu, upset with the chaos they created, was planning to murder the younger gods; and so slew him. This angered Kingu, their son, who reported the event to Tiamat, whereupon she fashioned monsters to battle the gods in order to avenge Apsu's death. These were her own offspring: giant sea serpents, storm demons, fish-men, scorpion-men and many others. Tiamat possessed the Tablets of Destiny, and in the primordial battle she gave them to Kingu, the god she had chosen as her lover and the leader of her host. The Gods gathered in terror, but Anu, (replaced later, first by Enlil and, in the late version that has survived after the First Dynasty of Babylon, by Marduk, the son of Ea), first extracting a promise that he would be revered as "king of the gods", overcame her, armed with the arrows of the winds, a net, a club, and an invincible spear.

And the lord stood upon Tiamat's hinder parts,
And with his merciless club he smashed her skull.
He cut through the channels of her blood,
And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.
Slicing Tiamat in half, he made from her ribs the vault of heaven and earth. Her weeping eyes became the source of the Tigris and the Euphrates. With the approval of the elder gods, he took from Kingu the Tablets of Destiny, installing himself as the head of the Babylonian pantheon. Kingu was captured and was later slain: his red blood mixed with the red clay of the Earth would make the body of humankind, created to act as the servant of the younger Igigi Gods.
The principal theme of the epic is the justified elevation of Marduk to command over all the gods. "It has long been realized that the Marduk epic, for all its local coloring and probable elaboration by the Babylonian theologians, reflects in substance older Sumerian material," E. A. Speiser remarked in 1942 adding "The exact Sumerian prototype, however, has not turned up so far." Without corroboration in surviving texts, this surmise that the Babylonian version of the story is based upon a modified version of an older epic, in which Enlil, not Marduk, was the god who slew Tiamat, is more recently dismissed as "distinctly improbable", Marduk in fact has no precise Sumerian prototype
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Dragons Galore

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