> >What is the origin of Medieval dragons? These dragons are like
> >giant snakes or lizards, but with claws, ears, horns, like a
> >composite animal. [...]
> >Why Dragons became so popular in Medieval Europe? Oriental origin?
> >I think one possibility could be Mesopotamian and Anatolian
> >monsters.True, but the composite animals may have been put together in order
> Dragons are merely a subclass of these "composite monsters".
> However, that doesn't answer where or how it first started.
> The reason for blending different animals together is not
> merely artistic, nor is it because these creatures once
> In fact, these creatures are really themselves the productOK. I do agree that the dragon and the water are probably connected.
> of the larger habit since neolithic times to overlay multiple
> symbols on top of each other to form what appear to us now
> as senseless hodge-podge icons, creatures, gods and goddesses.
> We could lump other questions to the one above like: Why is
> Hathor a cow? Why does Athena burst out of Zeus' head? Why
> does the world hatch out of an egg? Were neolithic people on
> hallucinogenics? Probably, but the real reason is because these
> are visual symbols that sprang out of common sense conclusions
> about the world in which neolithic people found themselves in.
> Bull horns, for example, relate to the crescent moon in shape.
> Thus, bull horns are a symbol of lunar phases and the moon was
> important to the first farmers to know when to plant crops.
> Getting back to the question of dragons, again these are merely
> symbols that appear mysterious to us only because we have very
> different world views than those who created these symbols in
> the first place. We have to readjust our thinking to understand
> their origin. Dragons, lizards and especially snakes can be
> taken as a water symbol. Waves look like slithering serpents
> and this is certainly one valid interpretation of the snake
> imagery in the Middle-East and Europe. In fact, it then starts
> to make sense why the snake often is countered with a bird --
> the snake, the waters below; the bird, the skies above.
> So, we may now explain away the mystery of dragons. The reptilianInteresting. The rain thing I could see, especially in Asia where
> component of dragons symbolize the waters, while bird claws
> symbolize the sky. Stopping there we see now what dragons
> represent. They represent water from the sky -- the rain. Other
> additions added further meaning to the icon. Bull horns or ears
> emphasize a connection with the moon and with agriculture.
> (Afterall, you need rain to grow crops!)
> I believe that the dragon icon first started in Anatolia in the
> Neolithic and spread to Europe as agriculture began to be adopted
> there. It also spread into India and then to the rest of Asia.
> From there, the thunderbird spread into North America.
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