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Chinese Dragon

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Michael and his angels fought against Dragon. Dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven.

Dragon the Great was thrown down, that ancient serpent who is called Devil and Satan, the one deceiving the whole inhabited World — he was thrown down to earth and his angels were thrown down with him.

The Loeb Classical Library translation by F. Conybeare mentions III,7 that "In most respects the tusks resemble the largest swine's, but they are slighter in build and twisted, and have a point as unabraded as sharks' teeth.

Towards the end of the Old English epic poem Beowulf , a slave steals a cup from the hoard of a sleeping dragon , [] causing the dragon to wake up and go on a rampage of destruction across the countryside.

In the Old Norse Völsunga saga , the hero Sigurd catches the dragon Fafnir by digging a pit between the cave where he lives and the spring where he drinks his water [] and kills him by stabbing him in the underside.

The modern, western image of a dragon developed in western Europe during the Middle Ages through the combination of the snakelike dragons of classical Graeco-Roman literature, references to Near Eastern European dragons preserved in the Bible, and western European folk traditions.

The oldest recognizable image of a fully modern, western dragon appears in a hand-painted illustration from the medieval manuscript MS Harley , which was produced in around AD.

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon may be referenced as early as the sixth century AD, [] [] but the earliest artistic representations of it come from the eleventh century [] and the first full account of it comes from an eleventh-century Georgian text.

Gargoyles are carved stone figures sometimes resembling dragons that originally served as waterspouts on buildings.

Dragons are prominent in medieval heraldry. In Albanian mythology and folklore , stihi , ljubi , bolla, bollar, errshaja and kulshedra are mythological figures described as serpentine dragons.

It is believed that bolla , a water and chthonic demonic serpent, undergoes metamorphosis passing through four distinct phases if it lives many years without being seen by a human.

The bollar and errshaja are the intermediate stages, while the kulshedra is the ultimate phase, described as a huge multi-headed fire-spitting female serpent which causes drought, storms, flooding, earthquakes and other natural disasters against mankind.

She is usually fought and defeated by a drangue , a semi-human winged divine hero and protector of humans. Heavy thunderstorms are thought to be the result of their battles.

In Slavic mythology , the words "zmey" , "zmiy" or "zmaj" are used to describe dragons. These words are masculine forms of the Slavic word for "snake", which are normally feminine like Russian zmeya.

In Romania , there is a similar figure, derived from the Slavic dragon and named zmeu. Although quite similar to other European dragons , Slavic dragons have their peculiarities.

In Russian and Ukrainian folklore , Zmey Gorynych is a dragon with three heads, each one bearing twin goatlike horns. Dragons and dragon motifs are featured in many works of modern literature, particularly within the fantasy genre.

One of the most iconic modern dragons is Smaug from J. Tolkien 's classic novel The Hobbit. Sandra Martina Schwab writes, "With a few exceptions, including McCaffrey's Pern novels and the film Reign of Fire , dragons seem to fit more into the medievalized setting of fantasy literature than into the more technological world of science fiction.

Indeed, they have been called the emblem of fantasy. The hero's fight against the dragon emphasizes and celebrates his masculinity, whereas revisionist fantasies of dragons and dragon-slaying often undermine traditional gender roles.

In children's literature the friendly dragon becomes a powerful ally in battling the child's fears. After recent discoveries in palaeontology , fictional dragons are sometimes represented with no front legs, but when on the ground walking on their back feet and the wrists of their wings, like pterosaurs did: for example see in Game of Thrones and Smaug, as in the movie.

John Tenniel 's illustration of the Jabberwock for Lewis Carroll 's Through the Looking-Glass , showing the dragon as a myopic professor [7].

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the legendary creature. For other uses, see Dragon disambiguation.

Not to be confused with Draconian disambiguation. Large, serpentine legendary creature that appears in the folklore of many cultures around the world.

It has been suggested that this section be split into a new article titled East Asian dragon. Discuss May See also: Vietnamese dragon.

Main article: Chinese dragon. Main article: Korean dragon. Main article: Japanese dragon. Main article: Dragons in Greek mythology.

Main articles: Sea serpent and Lindworm. Main articles: Slavic dragon and Kulshedra. See also: List of dragons in fiction.

Mythology portal Balaur Bat heraldry Behemoth Dinosaur Dragonology Feilong mythology Guivre Ichneumon medieval zoology Mokele-mbembe Partridge Creek monster Snallygaster The Last Dragon , fictional documentary List of dragons in literature List of dragons in mythology and folklore List of dragons in popular culture.

People's Daily. April 29, Arnold , , p. JSTOR , www. Accessed 6 June The Buddhism of Tibet Or Lamaism. Retrieved June 5, Scaled for Success: The Internationalisation of the Mermaid.

Indiana University Press. Sungshin Women's University Press. Min sokwon. Mythical Monsters". Towards the Summit of Reality.

Oxford, UK: George Ronald. Mystical dimensions of Islam. British Library. British Museum. Encyclopedia Iranica.

Retrieved 30 December Drager, mellom myte og virkelighet Dragons: between myth and reality in Norwegian 1st ed.

Retrieved 1 April In Gary Westfahl ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. Anthony, David W. Chinese Dragons. Oxford University Press, Berman, Ruth East Lansing, Michigan: Mythopoeic Society.

Children's Literature in Education. Animal Land: the Creatures of Children's Fiction. New York: William Morrow.

Charlesworth, James H. Chinese Dragon Robes. Giammanco Frongia, Rosanna M. Angels and Demons in Art. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum. Grasshoff, Gerd , Toomer, Gerald ed.

Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. Chiang Mai , Thailand : Cognoscenti Books. Johnsgard, Paul Austin ; Johnsgard, Karin New York: St.

Martin's Press. Jones, David E. Scott Thunder Bay Press CA. MacCulloch, J. A Book of Dragons. London: Methuen.

Shuker, Karl Instead, it is generally used as the symbol of culture. In Hong Kong , the dragon was a component of the coat of arms under British rule.

It was later to become a feature of the design of Brand Hong Kong , a government promotional symbol. The Chinese dragon has very different connotations from the European dragon — in European cultures, the dragon is a fire-breathing creature with aggressive connotations, whereas the Chinese dragon is a spiritual and cultural symbol that represents prosperity and good luck, as well as a rain deity that fosters harmony.

It was reported that the Chinese government decided against using the dragon as its official Summer Olympics mascot because of the aggressive connotations that dragons have outside of China, and chose more "friendly" symbols instead.

The dragon was the symbol of the Chinese emperor for many dynasties. During the Qing dynasty , the Azure Dragon was featured on the first Chinese national flag.

It featured shortly again on the Twelve Symbols national emblem , which was used during the Republic of China , from to Flag of the Qing dynasty , — Flag of the Chinese Eastern Railway , — Flag of the Commissioner of Weihaiwei with the Chinese dragon in the center, — State emblem of Republic of China , — Chinese dragon was one of the supporters of the colonial arms of Hong Kong until Chinese dragon was holding a shield from the arms of Portugal in the colonial arms of the Government of Macau until The ancient Chinese self-identified as "the gods of the dragon" because the Chinese dragon is an imagined reptile that represents evolution from the ancestors and qi energy.

The coiled dragon or snake form played an important role in early Chinese culture. The character for "dragon" in the earliest Chinese writing has a similar coiled form, as do later jade dragon amulets from the Shang period.

Ancient Chinese referred to unearthed dinosaur bones as dragon bones and documented them as such.

Fossilized remains of Mei long have been found in China in a sleeping and coiled form, with the dinosaur nestling its snout beneath one of its forelimbs while encircling its tail around its entire body.

The C-shaped jade totem of Hongshan culture c. Gilded-bronze handle in the shape of a dragon head and neck, made during the Eastern Han period 25— AD.

From its origins as totems or the stylized depiction of natural creatures, the Chinese dragon evolved to become a mythical animal.

The Han dynasty scholar Wang Fu recorded Chinese myths that long dragons had nine anatomical resemblances.

The people paint the dragon's shape with a horse's head and a snake's tail. Further, there are expressions as 'three joints' and 'nine resemblances' of the dragon , to wit: from head to shoulder, from shoulder to breast, from breast to tail.

If a dragon has no [ chimu ], he cannot ascend to the sky. Further sources give variant lists of the nine animal resemblances.

The head of a crocodile. A demon's eyes. The neck of a snake. A tortoise's viscera. A hawk's claws. The palms of a tiger. A cow's ears. And it hears through its horns, its ears being deprived of all power of hearing.

Chinese dragons were considered to be physically concise. Of the scales, 81 are of the yang essence positive while 36 are of the yin essence negative.

Initially, the dragon was benevolent, wise, and just, but the Buddhists introduced the concept of malevolent influence among some dragons.

Just as water destroys, they said, so can some dragons destroy via floods, tidal waves, and storms. They suggested that some of the worst floods were believed to have been the result of a mortal upsetting a dragon.

Many pictures of Chinese dragons show a flaming pearl under their chin or in their claws. The pearl is associated with spiritual energy, wisdom, prosperity, power, immortality, thunder, or the moon.

Chinese art often depicts a pair of dragons chasing or fighting over the flaming pearl. This description accords with the artistic depictions of the dragon down to the present day.

The dragon has also acquired an almost unlimited range of supernatural powers. It is said to be able to disguise itself as a silkworm , or become as large as our entire universe.

It can fly among the clouds or hide in water according to the Guanzi. It can form clouds, can turn into water, can change color as an ability to blend in with their surroundings, as an effective form of camouflage or glow in the dark according to the Shuowen Jiezi.

In many other countries, folktales speak of the dragon having all the attributes of the other 11 creatures of the zodiac, this includes the whiskers of the Rat , the face and horns of the Ox , the claws and teeth of the Tiger , the belly of the Rabbit , the body of the Snake , the legs of the Horse , the goatee of the Goat , the wit of the Monkey , the crest of the Rooster , the ears of the Dog , and the snout of the Pig.

In some circles, it is considered bad luck to depict a dragon facing downwards, as it is seen as disrespectful to place a dragon in such manner that it cannot ascend to the sky.

Also, depictions of dragons in tattoos are prevalent as they are symbols of strength and power, especially criminal organisations where dragons hold a meaning all on their own.

As such, it is believed that one must be fierce and strong enough, hence earning the right to wear the dragon on his skin, lest his luck be consumed by the dragons.

Chinese dragons are strongly associated with water and weather in popular religion. They are believed to be the rulers of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers, or seas.

The Dragon God is the dispenser of rain as well as the zoomorphic representation of the yang masculine power of generation.

Because of this association, they are seen as "in charge" of water-related weather phenomena. In premodern times, many Chinese villages especially those close to rivers and seas had temples dedicated to their local "dragon king".

In times of drought or flooding, it was customary for the local gentry and government officials to lead the community in offering sacrifices and conducting other religious rites to appease the dragon, either to ask for rain or a cessation thereof.

The King of Wuyue in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period was often known as the " Dragon King " or the "Sea Dragon King" because of his extensive hydro-engineering schemes which "tamed" the sea.

According to Chinese legend, both Chinese primogenitors, the earliest Door and the Yellow Emperor Huangdi , were closely related to 'Long' Chinese dragon.

At the end of his reign, the first legendary ruler, the Yellow Emperor, was said to have been immortalized into a dragon that resembled his emblem, and ascended to Heaven.

The other legendary ruler, the Yan Emperor, was born by his mother's telepathy with a mythical dragon. Since the Chinese consider the Yellow Emperor and the Yan Emperor as their ancestors, they sometimes refer to themselves as " the descendants of the dragon ".

This legend also contributed towards the use of the Chinese dragon as a symbol of imperial power. Dragons usually with five claws on each foot were a symbol for the emperor in many Chinese dynasties.

During the Qing dynasty, the imperial dragon was colored yellow or gold, and during the Ming dynasty it was red. During the late Qing dynasty, the dragon was even adopted as the national flag.

Dragons are featured in carvings on the stairs and walkways of imperial palaces and imperial tombs, such as at the Forbidden City in Beijing.

In some Chinese legends, an emperor might be born with a birthmark in the shape of a dragon. For example, one legend tells the tale of a peasant born with a dragon birthmark who eventually overthrows the existing dynasty and founds a new one; another legend might tell of the prince in hiding from his enemies who is identified by his dragon birthmark.

In contrast, the Empress of China was often identified with the Chinese phoenix. Worship of the Dragon God is celebrated throughout China with sacrifices and processions during the fifth and sixth moons, and especially on the date of his birthday the thirteenth day of the sixth moon.

Dragons or dragon-like depictions have been found extensively in neolithic-period archaeological sites throughout China.

The earliest depiction of dragons was found at Xinglongwa culture sites. Yangshao culture sites in Xi'an have produced clay pots with dragon motifs.

A burial site Xishuipo in Puyang which is associated with the Yangshao culture shows a large dragon mosaic made out of clam shells.

The Hongshan culture sites in present-day Inner Mongolia produced jade dragon objects in the form of pig dragons which are the first 3-dimensional representations of Chinese dragons.

One such early form was the pig dragon. It is a coiled, elongated creature with a head resembling a boar. Chinese literature and myths refer to many dragons besides the famous long.

The linguist Michael Carr analyzed over ancient dragon names attested in Chinese classic texts. Fewer Chinese dragon names derive from the prefix long Chinese scholars have classified dragons in diverse systems.

For instance, Emperor Huizong of the Song dynasty canonized five colored dragons as "kings".

Further, the same author enumerates nine other kinds of dragons, which are represented as ornaments of different objects or buildings according to their liking prisons, water, the rank smell of newly caught fish or newly killed meat, wind and rain, ornaments, smoke, shutting the mouth used for adorning key-holes , standing on steep places placed on roofs , and fire.

Each coin in the sets depicts one of the 9 sons, including an additional coin for the father dragon, which depicts the nine sons on the reverse.

Early Chinese dragons are depicted with two to five claws. Different countries that adopted the Chinese dragon have different preferences; in Mongolia and Korea, four-clawed dragons are used, while in Japan , three-clawed dragons are common.

The Hongwu Emperor of the Ming dynasty emulated the Yuan dynasty rules on the use of the dragon motif and decreed that the dragon would be his emblem and that it would have five claws.

The four-clawed dragon would be used typically for imperial nobility and certain high-ranking officials. The three-clawed dragon was used by lower ranks and the general public widely seen on various Chinese goods in the Ming dynasty.

The dragon, however, was only for select royalty closely associated with the imperial family, usually in various symbolic colors, while it was a capital offense for anyone—other than the emperor himself—to ever use the completely gold-colored, five-clawed Long dragon motif.

Improper use of claw number or colors was considered treason, punishable by execution of the offender's entire clan. During the Qing dynasty , the Manchus initially considered three-clawed dragons the most sacred and used that until when it was replaced by five-clawed dragons, and portraits of the Qing emperors were usually depicted with five-clawed dragons.

In works of art that left the imperial collection, either as gifts or through pilfering by court eunuchs a long-standing problem , where practicable, one claw was removed from each set, as in several pieces of carved lacquerware , [38] for example the well known Chinese lacquerware table in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The number nine is special in China as it is seen as number of the heaven, and Chinese dragons are frequently connected with it.

This is also why there are nine forms of the dragon and there are 9 sons of the dragon see Classical depictions above.

The Nine-Dragon Wall is a spirit wall with images of nine different dragons, and is found in imperial Chinese palaces and gardens.

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