[tied] Re: Medieval Dragons, dog/snake, Greek Dragons, KHIMAIRA

From: mrcaws
Message: 17497
Date: 2003-01-10

--- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, João Simões Lopes Filho
<jodan99@...> wrote:
> khimaira in Greek means she-goat, litterally "one-winter-old goat".
Can goat
> traits in Khimaira be a result of folk-etymology. I have a suspect
> was an Anatolian name (sth like Himmari-). But Khimaira also plays
> traditional IE role of "triple monster".

Thanks. It is interesting that the archaic Roman priest of Jupiter
or "Flamen Dialis" was prohibited from even looking at a she-goat. A
she-goat, Amalthea, was Zeus' foster mother. Jane Ellen Harrison
describes initiation rituals where someone is "born of a goat" i.e.
passed through a goat skin in a mock birth. Could the chimera, in
part, be a representation of the "monstrous" aspect of a divine she-
goat?(recalling the theories that monsters were often dead gods in

Cort Williams

> Joao SL
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: <MrCaws@...>
> To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
> Sent: Friday, January 10, 2003 2:19 AM
> Subject: [tied] Re: Medieval Dragons, dog/snake, Greek Dragons
> --- In cybalist@yahoogroups.com, João Simões Lopes Filho
> <jodan99@...> wrote:
> > What is the origin of Medieval dragons? These dragons are like
> giant snakes or lizards, but with claws, ears, horns, like a
> composite animal. Greek Draco:n (<derk- "to see"), like Kadmos' foe
> or Python or Ladon, was a giant snake. Medieval dragons' head
> sometimes remind lion, horse or dog. This dog/snake trait is
> in some Greek monsters like Kerberos, Orthros and Hydra (described
> having a dog-body). Chinese dragons are thought to be phantastic
> depictions of South Asian crocodyles.
> > Why Dragons became so popular in Medieval Europe? Oriental origin?
> >
> > Joao SL
> I've been puzzling over this one and I haven't come up with an
> that I like much. The dragon is such a wide-spread concept that it
> doesn't surprise me that it is hard to pin down. I think one
> possibility could be Mesopotamian and Anatolian composite monsters.
> For instance, what about the chimera? Lion/Snake/Goat, fire-
> breathing, slain by hero. The myth may be Greek as we know it, but
> the Chimera lived in Anatolian Lycia. Of course, we don't see a lot
> of goat characteristics in dragons(possibly the horn), and the goat
> component seemed to be pretty important in the case of Chimera(I
> heard that an etymology of chimera is she-goat. Is this
> Bellerophon killed the chimera by shooting it with metal arrows that
> melted in its mouth, a familiar element in dragon stories.
> As far as Greek myth goes,Ladon and the dragon that Jason killed
> guarded treasure, another Medieval motif. Interesting to note that
> the treasure was in a tree-Recalling Midgard serpent and Genesis.
> Perhaps an eclectic blend of Greek and Near Eastern motifs?
> Cort Williams
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to