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Dragons, myth and not universal gods

172 posts in this topic

lil gremlin vs draconic chronicler

This is a formal 1 vs 1 debate, full details on how the debate system works can be found in our Debates FAQ. The debate will begin with an introductory opening post from each participant followed by 8 body posts and finally a conclusion.

The computer has randomly chosen lil gremlin to post first.

lil gremlin is arguing against the quoted statement, re: the beliefs of early man

draconic chronicler is arguing in favour of the same

Once the debate is complete the thread will be open to member comments.

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I apologise if people find the title and arguing points stated so far confusing, its my first debate here and i rushed it a bit.

the quoted statement mentioned above is one frequently used by DC, most recently in a dragon thread in the cryptozoology board...it was too long to use as a title statement.

so here it is....

DC

An entire world of early man considered giant flying reptiles that we call dragons today once were their gods. This i not my speculation, it is fact.

Introduction.

I will be debating against the assertion that humans have universally witnessed the same flying, quadrupedal reptile, and worshipped them as their gods.

DC would argue that not only did people witness the same creature, but those that worshiped them housed and fed them, took rides into the sky on them,were 'civilised'and protected by them, and followed them around on their nomadic travels.

For me to successfully achieve this i need to demonstrate that the creatures, sometimes now labelled dragons, come in a variety of forms; and do not universally share one root in a single real creature.

If cultures around the world were so familiar with six limbed, flying reptiles of gigantic size, superior intelligence, immortality etc, why is it that none of these cultures accurately represented them the way they often accurately represented other animals? And why would these representations vary so considerably?

Ill begin by defining 'dragon', as the ancient greeks originally conceived it, and amongst other things ill move on from there to discuss the evolution of the 'western' and 'eastern' dragons as they are now, and then to compare and contrast DC's 'universal dragon' model with those mythical creatures labelled dragon from a number of cultures.

For DC to successfully defend his statement he needs to demonstrate, as a fact and not speculation, that six limbed (thats 4 legs and 2 wings) dragons are universally evident, and that they were worshiped as gods by the people that witnessed them, as his statement claims.

edit: to clarify, whilst DC did not make clear in his statement that the 'flying reptiles' were six limbed, his 'theory' does make it clear that they were, like the mushushu (sumerian) composite creature. This debate takes this 'form' of dragon to be the type he refers to as the universal origin of the myth.

Edited by lil gremlin

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DC it's your turn to post an introduction in this debate.

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DC it's your turn to post an introduction in this debate.

(Sorry for the delay Saru, it wa just pointed out to me today where the debate section was. I though it might have been an offshoot of each forum.)

Now, my response:

The anthropologist David E. Jones in his book "An Instinct for Dragons" described here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Instinct_for_Dragons

Dr. Jones has already made an excellent case that cultures all over the world acknowledged the existence of reptilian 'dragons' characterised by long sinuous necks, sharp teeth, wings and clawed feet. To my knowledge, even his detractors, also anthropologists and experts on world mythology do not dispute the fact of this widespread belief in remarkably similar dragon.

L'l Gremlin's argument then, actually disputes the findings of a lettered anthropologist with better access to archaeological collections and obscure tales of dragon mythlogy probbly unknown access to eithr lil Gremlin or myself.

I will point out now however, that Dr. Jones never states that these long necked, winged, sharp toothed, claw footed reptiles actually existed. Instead he believes the are 'composites' of the creatures primates feared the most..... birds of prey, large serpents, crocodiles and felines.

I happen to disagree with Dr. Jones that these universal dragons are mere composites of mankindds fears becasue of the multitude of accounts of them by intellectuals in all of the most advanced human cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds.

But the fact remains that Dr. Jones is correct, winged, scaled covered, long necked, claw footed dragons were believed by humans all over the world, and still are acnowledged in most of the worlds great religions practiced by billions of people.

So what is Lil Gremlin actually trying to say? That these dragons cannot be real becasue they are not exactly alike in every artistic depiction?

This is nonsense. Something as mundance as a horse is often depicted differently even in the same time and place by different artists. Now consider a creature that the original accounts state is rare and a sometimes predator of man. How many artisans would actually see the creature in life, or rather base their art on the descriptions of others, or from sightings from long distances where details of the creature remains obsure. Also, both east and west, the forms of dragons or any other creature are often distorted to suit the object being decorated. Thus, in China, we see both dragons with short winged bodies like the dragons depicted in the West, as well as very elongated dragons so stylized that we see the wings disappear, and the limbs reduced to almost being vestigial.

Yet in virtually every culture we do see dragons which basically have the universal characteristic noted by Dr. Jones, wings, serpentine head and neck, and clawed limbs. And understand too, that today we have only a fraction of the orignal images, artifacts and literature from these ancient cultures.

The fact some artists depict dragons with only two feet instead of four is probably because the artist in question may have never seen a dragon up close, which according to most worldwide accounts, can be a very hazardous endeavor. I do not know what Lil Gremlin hopes to even 'debate'. Does he presume to ignore the artifactual and literary evidence compiled by a real athropologist for more knowledgable on this subject than him? Yes, winged, claw footed , serpentine necked, scaled dragons were acknoledged all over the world by ancient man.

As for being universal gods, I did not state this. I said the belief in dragons was virtually universal, as does Dr. Jones, but that they were only acknowledged as gods by the cultures the dragons 'adopted' and nurtured. On the contrary, they were merely regarded as fearsome predators in cultures where the dragons perhaps thought the humans in question were fit only to be prey. Thus, we see dragons regarded as gods or assistants to Gods in advanced cultures, yet simply as monsters in backward, barbarian cultures such as the Germanic peoples of northern Europe. However, it is probable that their anthropormorhic gods, were very likely dragon gods too, in their distant past.

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instinct for dragons by d.e.jones is interesting, but Paul Jordan-Smith's review has him bang to rights, and many of his criticisms can be applied to DC's 'theory'.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa37...204/ai_n9025632

just to point out the inconsistancy with DC's use of Jones.,,

He claims i disagree with Jones, while he is in agreement with him on the issue of the ubiquity of Dragons.

I have never disputed the idea that creatures, commonly called 'dragons'by us, can be found in most cultures.That would be silly.

DC goes on to disagree himself with this 'man of letters' over the real issue...the explaination of their origin. "

"I happen to disagree with Dr. Jones that these universal dragons are mere composites of mankindds fears becasue of the multitude of accounts of them by intellectuals in all of the most advanced human cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds."

why?....'because of the multitude of accounts of them by intellectuals in all of the most advanced human cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds'??????

None of the 'intellectuals' ever saw one....never saw a big quadrupedal and winged reptilian, immortal, talking,creature of superior intellect and supernatural powers.

ever.

"

But the fact remains that Dr. Jones is correct, winged, scaled covered, long necked, claw footed dragons were believed by humans all over the world, and still are acnowledged in most of the worlds great religions practiced by billions of people."

That's like saying that since pyramids can be found in many cultures that there had to be one source, one mythical proto-pyramid with its culture which spread....

I sympathise completely with jordan-smith's sentiments.

"So what is Lil Gremlin actually trying to say? That these dragons cannot be real becasue they are not exactly alike in every artistic depiction?""

well, pretty much.

"Now consider a creature that the original accounts state is rare and a sometimes predator of man. How many artisans would actually see the creature in life, or rather base their art on the descriptions of others, or from sightings from long distances where details of the creature remains obsure."

perhaps those artisans should have consulted the intellectuals that you mentioned....the ones that all describe the same creature?

The differences in the various creatures commonly called dragons by us go beyond stylistics.

The one interesting thing you appreciate in this passage is the evolution of the image of the dragon.

Its evolution as a concept and a cultural phenomenon can often demonstrated by its representation visually, in writing and other cultural expressions.

""I do not know what Lil Gremlin hopes to even 'debate'""

i thought i made that clear in the intro.

dont bother to go back and read it here's the nuts and bolts of it...

I cut and pasted a quote from you:-

""An entire world of early man considered giant flying reptiles that we call dragons today once were their gods. This i not my speculation, it is fact.""

I say you speculate. And present these speculations as fact....which is a no no unless your'e writing fiction.

but then you said...

""As for being universal gods, I did not state this.""

sounded exactly like you did to me(see above).....and that its not speculation, its fact!

anyway what you propose implies that everyone saw them in one capacity or another.I had already taken this into account...

""I will be debating against the assertion that humans have universally witnessed the same flying, quadrupedal reptile, and worshipped them as their gods.

DC would argue that not only did people witness the same creature, but those that worshiped them housed and fed them, took rides into the sky on them,were 'civilised'and protected by them, and followed them around on their nomadic travels.

""

I suggest that a closer look at specific cultures will highlight the differences between dragons rather than reinforce your speculations.

So

The Greeks

The greeks coined the name 'drakon'....

The first type of Greek dragon was the Dracon whose name was derived from the Greek words "drakein" and "derkomai" meaning "to see clearly" or "gaze sharply." It was essentially just a giant serpent which was sometimes equipped with rows of sharp teeth, deadly poison or multiple heads. In myth the beast usually guarded a sacred spring, grove or golden treasure. Our own word "dragon" derives from the creature's name.

If there is a single origin for the dragon, this is it.....a big mythical snake.

but the term became a loose one, relating to any exotic serpent or reptile the greeks heard stories about, some of these stories were noted by Pliny, copied from an earlier source.

The Archaic and early-Classical Greeks attached this word to mythical snakes.....no wings or limbs.....

The Hellenistic period facilitated the mixing of cultural ideas and concepts from egypt and the east, it is only in this period that dragons aquired limbs and wings in a way that was acceptable to mainland greeks.

The evolution of dragon forms continued, and by the time of the Roman period the dragon owed as much to the sumerian mushushu in terms of appearance as it did to the greek dragon.

linked-image

late classical

and thats not too early...

The winged snakes related by herodotus are not called drakones by the greeks, but rather ophies pteretos or ophies amphipterotoi.

"serpents with 2 pairs of wings".

Central to these Greek dragon myths are not the dragons themselves, but their slayers.....

It seems that Drakon was more of a job description, specifically refering to mythical snakes, but more loosely to a variety of fantastical creatures.

Campe vs Zeus

Chimaera vs Bellerophon

Colchian vs Jason

Cychreides vs Cychreus

Echidna vs Argus

Ethiopian vs Perseus

Hesperian vs Herakles

Hydra vs Herakles

Ismenian vs Cadmus

Maeonian Vs Herakles

Maeonian vs Damasen

Nemean vs The Seven

Poene vs Coroebus

Python vs Apollo

Rhodian vs Phorbas

Sybaris vs Eurybarus

Thespian vs Menestratus

Trojan vs Herakles

because i can only post a few images, here are a few select ones from Theoi.com to illustrate my point.......

.........

kadmus and the ismenian dragon

linked-image

ca 550-540 BC late archaic period

linked-image

ca560-550BC Archaic period.

linked-image

345-335 BC late classical

medea

linked-image

ca. 400BC late classical....

note the dragons fly and draw the chariot around the sky, but no wings nor limbs.

linked-image

late classical....still no wings

linked-image

330-310 BC

late classical to Early Hellenistic......still no wings....

Only in the Hellenistic and later Imperial Roman Period do they aquire wings to explain their flight.

................

so in brief conclusion, here we have the Greeks....they coined the term drakon, which referred to limbless giant mythical snakes,

And they didnt worship them as gods.

this alone disproves DC's 'factual' speculation right there.

Edited to add/remove images due to post restrictions on the number of images. There are plenty more to support my point.

Edited by lil gremlin

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So what has Lil Gremlin shown us in his last post? That another anthropologist disagrees with Jone's theory? I do too. The key point is that this anthropologist doesn't dispute the fact that large, reptilian, flying creatures were believed in by cultures all over the world with seemingly very little contact between them, such as beificient dragon/flying serpent dieties with perceived, weather controlling abilites prevalent in areas as geographiclly distant as China and Mesoamerica. And I do not disagree with this either, and nor does lil Gremlin as he admits.

The title of this debate in itself, created by Lil Gremlin is really undebatable in the first place, because the belief in gods themselves, can be considered 'a myth' until concrete proof of such entities comes to light.

The subject of this particular segment then, seems to really be, "did the ancient Greeks worship big snakes that are portrayed on their ceramics usually in the act of being killed by a hero.

And my reply would be "no". Nor do I believe these "big snakes" are the large, flying, intelligent reptiles that are popularly referred to as 'dragons' today. None of the snakes depicted in this art appear any larger than pythons I have kept as pets, and killing one would not be a very impressive feat. Perhaps some of these stories are based on real incidents of people killing a large example of the largest snake that occurs in Greece, a kind of rat snake (Elaphe) called the Aesculope (sic) snake that became household pets throughout the classical world and brought them far out of their natural range to area of Germany once uncer Roman control.

Does the fact the Greeks sometimes referred to some larger snakes as 'drakons' mean they are the intelligent, flying dragons that anthropologists admit were a universal human belief? No.

The reason we use the word dragon for these creatures in the western world is due to the dragons mentioned in the Bible and later Christian literature, and here, it is not a "big snake", but a proper, semetic winged reptilian quadreped. We know this from both literature and the rare cases when living animals are depicts in Jewish art, such as the quadrepedal, long necked dragons depicted on the holiest surviving object of temple furniture after the loss of the Ark of the Covenant, this being the menorah lampstand, seen depicted with probable photographic accuracy on the Arch of Titus. We also know that the Judao Christian 'dragon' is not a mere snake because they are described with both arms, legs, and wings such as a dragon who is described sawing the great stone blocks to build the temple, in the Testament of Solomon, a scripture that saw use among Jews and Christians that was not included in the Bible we know today.

But did the Greeks acknowledge a true long necked, winged, talon equipped proper dragon as Dr. Jones maintains is a universal human belief?

The answer is yes, though by a different name, though over the years, the word drakon became associated with them as well.

This is Ketos, daughter of a God and Goddess, and therefore a goddess in her own right. Ketos is usually depicted with a scaly reptilain body, a snouted with with sharp teeth, large clawed forearms, a long reptilan neck and sinuous tail, and often, wings as well. Although originally this was a single deity, later story had her being killed by other gods and heroes, over and over again. This does not change the fact however, that this creature which all the world looks like a dragon to any casual observer, IS in fact a Greek Goddess, being the offspring of a Greek God and Goddess. This documation is common knowledge and has been posted recently in the Crypto forum, flying serpents thread, and need not be repeated here. I will post below a fairly typical image of Ketos from the Greco Roman era which I believe most people would recognize as a 'dragon'.

But did the Greeks ever worship this dragon Goddess? I cannot prove that they did, nor can Grem prove they did not. But it is a fact they ACKNOWLEDGED this dragon goddess as the offspring of a higher God and Goddess. I would not be surprised if sailors did try to placate her with sacrifices, for there are accounts of this creature/goddess attacking ships, and even the repected Roman naturalist and Naval Admiral, described ways in which the Roman Navy (presumeably since he commanded a fleet), did employ to keep Ketos, and perhaps her draconic offspring from attacking ships.

While I have already made the point that Greeks therefore had at least one "dragon' Goddess, I believe the major gods as a whole probably originated from similar gods from Sumeria that actually were referred to as "great serpent dragons of heaven". Grem should know that some scholars have connected these early storm gods, like the 'dragon' Enlil to the storm controlling, lightning bolt throwing Zeus, who perhaps not by coincidence, could change his form into a hellentistic (therefore possibly winged) Drakon and impregnated Alexander the Great's mother Olympias according to ancient legends that attempted to explain why Alexander was so "great". The belief that Gods could assume both human and dragon forms is not a new one. An ancient Babylonian hymn describes one form of Ea, brother of the storm dragon Enlil in his terrifying reptilian form, which included a serpentine head with sharp teeth, and claw footed feet, thus dismissing the notion this was simply a 'big snake'.

Thus not only was there a Greek goddess (Ketos) that always looked like the popular conception of a dragon, but the head of all Greek Gods, Zeus himself, could change at will from a human form to a dragon. The Greeks probably imagine he was in the dragon form, when he swallowed up his children whole, an act we do not associate with the human form. And unless I am mistaken, and I do not think I am, the ancient Greeks DID worship Zeus. So I think I win this round Grem. Feel free to pick another ancient culture, and tell us there were no dragon gods (or goddesses).

post-22720-1227798954_thumb.jpg

Edited by draconic chronicler

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This is a formal debate. You are advised to take it with the seriousness it merits.

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Your argument is absurd dc, following no real logic.

The greeks invented the concept 'dragon' it was a big mythical snake'.

Zeus was not a dragon;he never visited Alexander the Great's mum as one....there was a political slur against him that Zeus visited Olympia by possessing one of her existing pet snakes....and then in the Dark Ages in the Romance of Alexander (a most imaginative collection of works) that Nectanebo (not Zeus) came to her in the form of a snake/dragon, which in later depictions of the scene, aquired wings and limbs to match the early medieval conceptions of dragons.

it never happened....and not until well into the christian era did anybody think any different.

Zeus was not Enlil,

Enlil was never a dragon. (either in the greek sense 'big mythical snake' or in the DC sense.....quadrupedal, winged etc.)

Ketos was not a goddess. period. She was a sea monster commanded by the gods. She was never worshiped, and offerings for safe passage over water (as well as often on land) were given to poseidon.....NOT ketos.

Despite her parentage Ketos was not a goddess, and was never considered as such........she was draconic in form (wing-like fins) only after the influence of the east in Hellenistic times.

The Greeks NEVER EVER worshiped dragons. Either when they were big snakes, or when....after Alexander they evolved in depictions along eastern lines.

Your speculation should not be dressed as fact...because it is as far removed from fact as you can get without a yellow bricked road.

So your previous post was a grand waste of time, and in consequence this reply is uneccesarily taking up space.

if you want me to provide an explaination of any of the above, please just ask.

if you would like to refute any of it, feel free to provide evidence to the contrary.

if you cannot refute it then the point should carry, and you should conceed that the Greeks never worshiped dragons, and further that your initial statement (contained in my intro) was wrong.

xxxxx

i was planning on moving to discuss another culture to show how they too never worshiped dragons, and that they inherited their dragons from conquered peoples....but i think that ive adequately disproved DC's statement already; instead, for the moment, id like to stick with Greek culture and await DC's response.

Edited by lil gremlin

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You have disproved nohing Grem. Since we cannot prove or disprove any Gods are real, all I have to do to win this debate is prove that humans believed in "dragon gods", and this would be acknowledged by every anthropologist before this discussion was even begun, so your position is really quite hopeless.

As for Ketos, authorative sources have stated that this classical Sea Dragon was the daughter of two recognized gods. This makes her a goddess, and people believed she was real and that she produced others of her kind. You cannot say whe was never worshipped because our information of those times is incomplete. We do know that even the greatest minds of those times acknowledged these creatures existed. Anyone who saw one probably acknowledged it as a 'god' as dragons had been regarded for centuries, and in every corner of the world.

And as for Zeus, the story that he impregnated Olympias in the form of a Drakon was a genuine attempt by early chroniclers as to why Alexancder seemed to be divine. What inspired the story? Her mother had a pet giant snake? Somebody saw a Drakon fly over her house. We do not know, but even Alexander ha his concerns, which is why he braved the dangers of the Sahara to consult the oracle at Siwa Oasis.

Modern people do not believe it, but ancient people came to Alexander's temples for genuine worship. Some authorities have stated that Alexander himself may have believed he was divine and that the story of his mother coupling with a drakon was true.

Now if Zeus could turn into a Drakon, as millions in the ancient world undoubtedly believed, then they worshipped a God that at times, WAS a Drakon. A very much flesh and blood drakon, I would add, with functional reproductiive organs.

Now do you really want to move on to Sumeria, China, or Mesopotamia where there unquestionably were beliefs in "dragon gods" as well?

Edited by draconic chronicler

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You have disproved nohing Grem. Since we cannot prove or disprove any Gods are real, all I have to do to win this debate is prove that humans believed in "dragon gods", and this would be acknowledged by every anthropologist before this discussion was even begun, so your position is really quite hopeless.

sorry DC you seem to have lost your bearings with this discussion, please refer to your statement quoted in my early post....to support your statement you have to demonstrate dragons in every culture as being worshiped.

Im focussing on just one at the moment, those that came up with the concept dragon....the Greeks.

They did not worship dragons.

Ketos was not a goddess despite your ill-informed misconception......Gaia had many other offspring, were they also gods and goddesses? or did they fight against the gods in the Titanomachy?

Ketos was not a goddess, and was never worshiped.

you cannot find a single shred of evidence to support the assertion that ketos was a goddess, and was worshiped.....its all your badly thought out speculation.

either present evidence to prove otherwise or drop the point.

And as for Zeus, the story that he impregnated Olympias in the form of a Drakon was a genuine attempt by early chroniclers as to why Alexancder seemed to be divine. What inspired the story? Her mother had a pet giant snake? Somebody saw a Drakon fly over her house. We do not know, but even Alexander ha his concerns, which is why he braved the dangers of the Sahara to consult the oracle at Siwa Oasis.

please provide sources for this, sources that prove that Zeus turned into a dragon to impregnate Olympias.

(remember that this is a formal debate, so dont worm out of it...failure to provide evidence to support your claim will result in you losing the point....and looking silly)

"we do not know"?????? ofcourse we do. We have enough information about this to form a 'most likely' conclusion....we can see how the initial slur on Olympias and Alexander was turned around, how it was expanded on, and how it evolved into a fantastical romantic tale...there are numerous sources.....but your evidence first sir.

Now if Zeus could turn into a Drakon, as millions in the ancient world undoubtedly believed, then they worshipped a God that at times, WAS a Drakon. A very much flesh and blood drakon, I would add, with functional reproductiive organs.

what a cop out!!!

you realise that im right, that Zeus was not a Drakon....and so now your trying to worm it around to ....'well he could turn into one sometimes if he liked....so by proxy they were worshipping a dragon'

not so fast DC......

he was not a dragon.

could he turn into one?......possibly if he wanted, he was the head honcho god, he could turn himself into anything.....

if he did ever turn into a dragon in the beliefs of the Greeks, it would look like all the other pre-hellenistic drakones.....A Big Mythical Snake.

You appear to be conceeding that Zeus was not really a dragon, that he could only assume the semblance of one......this does not support your earlier statement (quoted in my first post).

the thing is, i dont need to explore other cultures....i just need to show (as i have) that 1 culture did not worship them. The greeks had them, heck they made them up, but did not worship them. Dragons were a greek concept that evolved.....influenced by eastern cultures.

there was no greek dragon god/goddess....none were worshiped as such.

provide evidence dc.

Edited by lil gremlin

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Why of course you want to stick with the Greek Gods. Their connection to mankind's universal dragon gods is more tenuous because these beliefs are relatively mdern compared to hose of say Mesopotamia or China. The longer man distances himself from his origins, then these beliefs are les and less prevalent in his religions. But the link is still there as I have clearly shown.

Scholars stilll see similarities between them and the gods from Sumeria, the cradle of Civilization. Among them are storm gods, which share close likenessess with Zeus and among these similarities are the features of other dragon gods like controlling the weather, and the ability to assume a human form, traits of dragons gods in such far flung regions as Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia and China.

So what we see in Zeus, and the Greek gods in general is that by this the human worshipper envisioned not a 'dragon' that can turn into a man-god, but a man-god that can turn into a dragon. But the myths themselves give hints that suggest than centuries before these stories were written down, these gods, like those of the more ancient cultures, were originally 'dragons'.

For example, Zeus's mother can also turn into a Drakon, and one story speaks of them copulating together in this form.

Zeus ao impregnates other gods in the form, such as Pershphone, in addition to the beliefs he used this form to impregnate human women such as Olympias.

Zeus and other gods, though envisioned in humanoid forms in these latest beliefs, still do things that are imposible for thi form hough possibvle in a reptilian form. For example, Zeus and other gods swallow WHOLE both consorts and offsrping, and while this seem illogical for human-form gods, if these stories began with gods that were "serpent-dragons" such feats would seem more plausible.

After centuries of oral tradition, the universal serpent-dragon gods of Greec gradually became more and more human, with only these small clues betraying their reptilian origins.

We can see this same process repeated in the even more recent Christian theology. Originally, the highest heavenly creatures next to what some scholars also denote was a "serpent-dragon" god, are winged serpent seraphim, yet as the idea of reptilian deities who gradually have refashioned their gods more and more humanlike, we now see the Seraphim as humanoids with swan wings.

The "quais-serpent-dragon" deities of Greece, and early Christianity show us the evoution of have our gods have evolved from serpent dragons best remembered in China and Mesoamerica to "wizened humans" "created in image."

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so what you are saying then is that you cannot find any proof. No quadrupedal winged reptile Greek gods....

you cannot back-up your earlier statement.....

An entire world of early man considered giant flying reptiles that we call dragons today once were their gods. This i not my speculation, it is fact.

and all you are left with (contrary to your statement) is speculation.

end of.

I have demonstrated that the Greeks, the very folk who invented the concept 'drakon' did not envisage them as quadrupedal, winged, gigantic beasties; but as big mythical snakes. And they did not worship any of them.

That was enough to show your statement for the fallacy it is.

I know that at later stages the Greeks adopted more eastern stylistics, and the drakon evolved conceptually (either backwards or forwards im not sure) to have 4 legs, wings etc. This shows them for the constructs of the imagination that they are.

As far as im concerned- job done.

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so what you are saying then is that you cannot find any proof. No quadrupedal winged reptile Greek gods....

you cannot back-up your earlier statement.....

and all you are left with (contrary to your statement) is speculation.

end of.

I have demonstrated that the Greeks, the very folk who invented the concept 'drakon' did not envisage them as quadrupedal, winged, gigantic beasties; but as big mythical snakes. And they did not worship any of them.

That was enough to show your statement for the fallacy it is.

I know that at later stages the Greeks adopted more eastern stylistics, and the drakon evolved conceptually (either backwards or forwards im not sure) to have 4 legs, wings etc. This shows them for the constructs of the imagination that they are.

As far as im concerned- job done.

The greeks myths evolved considerably over the centuries. We know from early pottery that the Jason story was completely different. The Drakon actually devours Jason and he dies. Athena asks the drakon to regurgitate his body and she restores him to life. This was later changed into an adventure story where the Drakon is put to sleep by a witch, or in Anglo Saxon tradition, he slays the Drakon.

But we do know the Greek myths have the highest gods turning into drakons for such important things as fighting each other (Zeus vs. his mother Rhea), and lovemaking (Persephone, Rhea, Olympios, etc). This suggests that they were Drakons "first", but human worshippers were more comfortable depicting them in their human form. Archosaur has made some good observations in this light.

The fact that the Greek gods changed into drakons for the most important things (fighting each other and love making), and the fact they swallowed their offspring and mates alive as reptiles are capable of doing, and the fact serpents appeared on almost every houshold shrine, and were given offerings, all suggest that originally, the gods were drakons that could assume a human form, exactly like what was believed of the Mesopotamian, and Chinese dragon gods, that could assume a human form.

Just as a Mushushu dragon stands next to Marduk as a human god (to show his father was the Great Ushumgal/dragon god Enki, a giant Drakon was portrayed next to Athena, probably to also show she was the offstpring of the great Drakon Zeus.

There is a household Greek Shrine, which I believe is in the National Museum at Athens. I have a cast of it. It portrays a bearded Drakon and the original description describes it as Zeus. This image of zeus as a Drakon would be venerated. It is an idol.

I am afraid this is another "chicken or the egg" matter as to what came first: A dragon god who could take on a human appearance, or a humanoid form god that could take on a Drakon appearance. No one will really know for sure, but the evidence of other ancient cultures for which we do have written records show that the dragons came first.

As everyone can see, I have very good evidence to base my theory on. You cannot disprove it. The authentic artifacts prove I am probably right. And it doesn't matter if the Greeks at this time imagined the worldwide dragons as bearded snakes because the winged dragons were no longer seen, or mistaken for gryphons. Just as the Chinese dragons would lose their wings over time and look much like serpents.

The point, is that early man all over the world had reptilian deities, that can be considered "dragons" and when there is an idol plaque of a bearded drakon and the original inscription says "This is Zeus", then YES, the Greeks worshipped Drakons. And in a second, uninscribed plaque that I have linked below, we see Greeks worshipping a Drakon, which archaeologists state is ZEUS. So you see, Grem, the truth is caved in stone (quite literally, in fact).

post-22720-1234792610_thumb.jpg

Edited by draconic chronicler

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The greeks myths evolved considerably over the centuries. We know from early pottery that the Jason story was completely different. The Drakon actually devours Jason and he dies. Athena asks the drakon to regurgitate his body and she restores him to life. This was later changed into an adventure story where the Drakon is put to sleep by a witch, or in Anglo Saxon tradition, he slays the Drakon.

But we do know the Greek myths have the highest gods turning into drakons for such important things as fighting each other (Zeus vs. his mother Rhea), and lovemaking (Persephone, Rhea, Olympios, etc). This suggests that they were Drakons "first", but human worshippers were more comfortable depicting them in their human form. Archosaur has made some good observations in this light.

The fact that the Greek gods changed into drakons for the most important things (fighting each other and love making), and the fact they swallowed their offspring and mates alive as reptiles are capable of doing, and the fact serpents appeared on almost every houshold shrine, and were given offerings, all suggest that originally, the gods were drakons that could assume a human form, exactly like what was believed of the Mesopotamian, and Chinese dragon gods, that could assume a human form.

Just as a Mushushu dragon stands next to Marduk as a human god (to show his father was the Great Ushumgal/dragon god Enki, a giant Drakon was portrayed next to Athena, probably to also show she was the offstpring of the great Drakon Zeus.

There is a household Greek Shrine, which I believe is in the National Museum at Athens. I have a cast of it. It portrays a bearded Drakon and the original description describes it as Zeus. This image of zeus as a Drakon would be venerated. It is an idol.

I am afraid this is another "chicken or the egg" matter as to what came first: A dragon god who could take on a human appearance, or a humanoid form god that could take on a Drakon appearance. No one will really know for sure, but the evidence of other ancient cultures for which we do have written records show that the dragons came first.

As everyone can see, I have very good evidence to base my theory on. You cannot disprove it. The authentic artifacts prove I am probably right. And it doesn't matter if the Greeks at this time imagined the worldwide dragons as bearded snakes because the winged dragons were no longer seen, or mistaken for gryphons. Just as the Chinese dragons would lose their wings over time and look much like serpents.

The point, is that early man all over the world had reptilian deities, and when there is an idol plaque of a bearded drakon and the original inscription says "This is Zeus", then YES, the Greeks worshipped Drakons. The answer is caved in stone (quite literally, in fact).

please provide the sources for this information for examination....

but these early artifacts come from the bronze age??? when dragons were in close contact with the greeks?

why then are they wingless snakes??

There are no examples of quadrupedal winged drakones from before late classical/hellenistic times in mainstream greek culture. if there are please provide them or conceed that they were big mythical snakes.

Gryphons are composite mythical creatures, they are evidenced in the bronze age, in Maecenean and Minoan culture .... exactly when you say the dragons were seen daily.....if so how did they get depictions so wrong when their other natural representations are so accurate?

why? because they are not real creatures....

Im sure you will not provide the relevent source material, so im happy to conclude this and have the thread opened to others.....unless you actually deliver

p.s. please include in that a pic of Athena and her drakon, a quadrupedal winged one pls.

Edited by lil gremlin

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please provide the sources for this information for examination....

but these early artifacts come from the bronze age??? when dragons were in close contact with the greeks?

why then are they wingless snakes??

There are no examples of quadrupedal winged drakones from before late classical/hellenistic times in mainstream greek culture. if there are please provide them or conceed that they were big mythical snakes.

Gryphons are composite mythical creatures, they are evidenced in the bronze age, in Maecenean and Minoan culture .... exactly when you say the dragons were seen daily.....if so how did they get depictions so wrong when their other natural representations are so accurate?

why? because they are not real creatures....

Im sure you will not provide the relevent source material, so im happy to conclude this and have the thread opened to others.....unless you actually deliver

p.s. please include in that a pic of Athena and her drakon, a quadrupedal winged one pls.

Actually, Grem, you responded before I could post the link to the original artifact that actually depicts GREEKS WORSHIPPING ZEUS AS A DRAKON.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...l%3Den%26sa%3DN

And the captions state: "This votive tablet from Piraeus shows the serpent as the Ollympian Zeus Meilichios"

Some belief Meilichios is an earlier God 'absorbed' by Zeus, just as Marduk absorbed eerlier gods, but the fact remains that ancient Greeks worshipped a God in the form of a Drakon.

Why are the earlier depictions of Drakons only Serpents? This is probably a confusion with the depictions of Gryphons. From any distance, a gryphon looks like a Mushrushu/Bixie/Western Quadrepedal dragon. In fact, when depiected in color, the ancient greeks depicted them green, and some have belly scutes like a serpent and spines on their backs.

But the reason people thought these were different animals is the discovery of protoceratopes skulls with their beaks. They saw these skull, and also the flying 'green' dragons, and assumed these must be a clawed, eagle beaked monster.

But the bottom line is that the Greeks did worship Gods that were Drakons. In fact, Dionysus was yet another God supposedly BORN as a Drakon, that would later transform into a human.

So this substantiates the fact that this god, and perhaps others were believed to be DRAKONS first, and humanoid gods later on.

So when it comes to the Greeks, I am correct. But if you wish to go on to another culture, please feel free to do so.

Edited by draconic chronicler

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Actually, Grem, you responded before I could post the link to the original artifact that actually depicts GREEKS WORSHIPPING ZEUS AS DRAKON.

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt...l%3Den%26sa%3DN

And the captions state:

linked-image

this is zeus meilichios, an aspect of zeus.....a cthonic aspect....and he is here a big wingless, limbless snake.

Using wiki saved some time here, essentially Zeus aquired the epithet after supplanting an earlier orphic daemon.

A Snake, not a drakon.

a daemon not a god

propitiated rather than worshiped.

i have never disputed orphism and the importance of snakes in Greek religious ritual.....but this is certainly not a quadrupedal dragon.

if you have no idea what is meant by Zeus Meilichios

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meilichios

As Zeus Meilichios, the Olympian of Greek mythology subsumed as an attributive epithet an earlier chthonic daimon, Meilichios, who was propitiated in Athens by archaic rituals, as Jane Ellen Harrison demonstrated in detail in Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion (1903). In the course of examining the archaic aspects of the Diasia festival, the greatest Athenian festival accorded Zeus, she demonstrated that it had been superimposed upon an earlier propitiatory ceremony.

"Meilichios", the "Easy-to-be-entreated", the gracious, accessible one, was the euphemistic aspect of Maimaktes the "raging" one, thirsty for blood (Harrison, p. 17).[1]

Explicitly inscribed votive reliefs show that Meilichios was figured in the form of a serpent, who might be invoked as a kind of Ploutos, bringer of wealth. He had some of the avenging and fearful character of an Erynis, for Pausanias saw near the River Cephissus "an ancient altar of Zeus Meilichios; on it Theseus received purification from the descendants of Phytalos after he after he had slain among other robbers Sinis, who was related to himself". Meilichios' sacrifice was a holocaust, which was wholly consumed in fire and not shared by the votaries, "a dread renunciation to a dreadful power" (Harrison, p. 16), in nocturnal rites performed in an atmosphere of "chilly gloom" (Harrison), that was rendered in Greek as stygiotes.

Zeus tended to obscure the earlier figure he had supplanted. An Athenian of the fifth century would likely have conceived Zeus Meilichios as Zeus-Hades, Zeus "in his chthonic aspect".

post-50607-1234829897_thumb.png

http://www.greekreligion.org/ZeusMPres/sld004.htm

post-50607-1234829972_thumb.png

http://www.greekreligion.org/ZeusMPres/sld005.htm

its a bit like a corporate takeover....

its also something i pointed out to both you and archie earlier, and while he saw the reason of it, you thought it was nonsense!

Griffins always painted Green????

linked-image

This is from the throne room at knossos. it is a gryphon.....without wings....and its not green......

It dates from a time where you say these quadrupedal winged reptiles lived side by side with humans. Are you sure later greeks 'forgot' how their earlier 'gods' looked, thus representing them as both big mythical snakes and composite beasties???

How do you 'explain' this?

p.s. please see these.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabazios

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphism_(religion)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chthonic

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_religion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycenaean_Greece#Religion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epithet

i sure am getting my money's worth at wiki today.

Edited by lil gremlin

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linked-image

this is zeus meilichios, an aspect of zeus.....a cthonic aspect....and he is here a big wingless, limbless snake.

Using wiki saved some time here, essentially Zeus aquired the epithet after supplanting an earlier orphic daemon.

A Snake, not a drakon.

a daemon not a god

propitiated rather than worshiped.

i have never disputed orphism and the importance of snakes in Greek religious ritual.....but this is certainly not a quadrupedal dragon.

if you have no idea what is meant by Zeus Meilichios

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meilichios

its a bit like a corporate takeover....

its also something i pointed out to both you and archie earlier, and while he saw the reason of it, you thought it was nonsense!

Griffins always painted Green????

linked-image

This is from the throne room at knossos. it is a gryphon.....without wings....and its not green......

It dates from a time where you say these quadrupedal winged reptiles lived side by side with humans. Are you sure later greeks 'forgot' how their earlier 'gods' looked, thus representing them as both big mythical snakes and composite beasties???

How do you 'explain' this?

p.s. please see these.....

.

Thank you Grem for posting the "exception" that proves the rule. These gryphons are some of the earliest depictions I am familiar with, and are depicted in natural mammalian colors and without wings, EXACTLY as we should predict, if early man found the bones of a protoceratopsian, which Dr. Adrienne Mayor makes an excellent argument is the fossil that inspired the belief in these creatures.

But why do other ancient gryphons have wings, belly scutes, spikey backs and are green in color, all traits suggesting a reptile?

Probably because they knew there were large eagle headed quadrepeds based on the bones, but assumed some of these beasts were green, and reptilian features, and wings because they saw LIVING DRAGONS as distances, because by this time they had already long-departed the ancient city states where they once were fed and feted as gods, and by now lived like any wild beasts.

But the old gods retained the serpent identification because the people saw smaller versions of the serpents every day. Their ability to shed their skins, and their unblinking eye caused people to associate them with the gods, that they knew had reptilian attributes as well. And many traits of the serpent were like the old dragon gods, reptilian heads with sharp teeth, scaly bodies, long necks, etc.

Those links largely substantiate what I said. And the illustrated tablet depicts Zeus in the form of a huge Drakon (zeus meilichios) being worshipped by three people. And even if this is an absorbed earlier god, we can presume that the earlier serpent god was worshipped by the Greeks as well. And a "large snake" can be a Drakon. Often, to differentiate a "God" Drakon like Zeus from a normal "snake" it is given a beard. So far you are "batting zero", Grem, so far we have only disucussed Greece, and we have undeniable proof of people worshipping Drakons/reptilian deities, and the highest deities of ancient Greece are depicted as Drakons, born as Drakons, copulate as Drakons, fight as Drakons, etc.

Since you like Wiki so much, don't forget that Wiki lumps Serpent and dragon worship together. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism)

Quote "Sometimes serpents and dragons are used interchangeably, having similar symbolic functions. The venom of the serpent is thought to have a fiery quality similar to a fire spitting dragon. The Greek Ladon and the Norse Níðhöggr are sometimes described as serpents and sometimes as dragons. In Germanic mythology, serpent (Old English: wyrm, Old High German: wurm, Old Norse: ormr) is used interchangeable with the Greek borrowing dragon (OE: draca, OHG: trahho, ON: dreki). In China, the Indian serpent nāga was equated with the lóng or Chinese dragon. The Aztec and Toltec serpent god Quetzalcoatl also has dragon like wings, like its equivalent in Mayan mythology Gukumatz ("feathered serpent")."

Edited by draconic chronicler

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a god cannot be a drakon.

a god may command drakones, but not be one.

drakon is what they do.

They watch, and guard.

drakones are 'exotic', 'other',

tales of reptiles at the fringes of the greek world are often described as drakones...but they often relate to real creatures....none of which are quadrupedal flying reptiles.

drakon can also be used as an adjective, you may call a particularly stubborn/fierce snake a drakon....and in the next sentence call it a snake.

....say you fell over a basket whilst running through the market, and come face to face with a big snake.....while you may get away unharmed, you might describe it later to friends as a drakon....it doesnt mean that the snake actually is one.

you can speculate all you like, but you cannot provide any evidence of quadrupedal, winged reptiles actually existing... ever, not only in greek culture, you cannot prove that they (as mythical creatures or real ones) were worshiped by cultures around the world.

You cannot prove that the Greeks witnessed any, let alone worshiped them.

Also you provided no evidence for green reptilian griffins.....

linked-image

linked-image

c.1300BC from Mycenae....how far back do i have to go.....they were always composite constructs....

linked-image

C.15thcentury BC

linked-image

C. 13Century BC

linked-image

c.1420BC

linked-image

c. 14thCentury BC.

none of these look reptilian, all are early.....all are composite creatures.

undoubtedly there are some depicted that may have reptilian features, depictions of them vary....because they were never seen on a daily basis, and never worshiped.

i find it strange that amid all of the composite creatures and other fantastic mythical animals and monsters that the greeks depicted and told stories about there are no flying quadrupedal reptiles. You'd expect to find some at least if they were so important to the greeks, and seen on a daily basis....even monthly.

You are trying to convince us that the sorts of folk who can represent what creatures they see with the sophistication shown here....

linked-image

could not draw a flying lizard! You must be kidding!

Ill let others judge.

ps. you havent mentioned any of the

multitude of accounts of them by intellectuals in all of the most advanced human cultures of the ancient and medieval worlds

now might be a good time.

Edited by lil gremlin

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a god cannot be a drakon.

a god may command drakones, but not be one.

drakon is what they do.

They watch, and guard.

drakones are 'exotic', 'other',

tales of reptiles at the fringes of the greek world are often described as drakones...but they often relate to real creatures....none of which are quadrupedal flying reptiles.

drakon can also be used as an adjective, you may call a particularly stubborn/fierce snake a drakon....and in the next sentence call it a snake.

....say you fell over a basket whilst running through the market, and come face to face with a big snake.....while you may get away unharmed, you might describe it later to friends as a drakon....it doesnt mean that the snake actually is one.

you can speculate all you like, but you cannot provide any evidence of quadrupedal, winged reptiles actually existing... ever, not only in greek culture, you cannot prove that they (as mythical creatures or real ones) were worshiped by cultures around the world.

You cannot prove that the Greeks witnessed any, let alone worshiped them.

Also you provided no evidence for green reptilian griffins.....

none of these look reptilian, all are early.....all are composite creatures.

undoubtedly there are some depicted that may have reptilian features, depictions of them vary....because they were never seen on a daily basis, and never worshiped.

i find it strange that amid all of the composite creatures and other fantastic mythical animals and monsters that the greeks depicted and told stories about there are no flying quadrupedal reptiles. You'd expect to find some at least if they were so important to the greeks, and seen on a daily basis....even monthly.

You are trying to convince us that the sorts of folk who can represent what creatures they see with the sophistication shown here....

could not draw a flying lizard! You must be kidding!

Ill let others judge.

ps. you havent mentioned any of the

now might be a good time.

I cannot believe you could make such ridiculous and outrageously false statements. You really must be getting desperate now that your whole defense has fallen apart.

We can all see now that the Greek Myths state/show that:

Some Greek Gods were originally born as serpents/drakons (accoridng to the legends).

The highest Greek Gods transformed into serpents/drakons to fight and make love (to even include Zeus and his mother Rhea).

Zeus is reported to transform into a serpent/drakon to impregnate both goddesses and mortal women.

Zeus swallows children and spouses alike, (undoubtedly while in serpent/drakon form.

Zeus assumes the attributes of earlier serpent/drakon gods, and is depicted as a serpent/drakon god being WORSHIPPED by humans.

No images of winged, limbed, reptilian dragons in ancient times? Are you kidding? You lose again. What do you think MOST Ketea are? They are depicted as clearly reptilian creatures often with wings and clawed forearms. We have both posted these images before. And these Ketea are sometimes described traveling on land, and are probably the "flying drakons" ins some ancient accounts. There is even a greek word "Pterodrakon".

Somewhere in my large library is an image of greek gryphon that are green and have reptilian traits, such as the dragon like head spines as depicted on this gryphon earring. (couldn't get the link to work but go to British Museum and type griffin and cyprus in search engine). This is the first one handy, but surely you have seen other ancient art of these Griffins with reptilian back spines.

The Greeks said both drakons and Ketea existed, and no one of those times disputed this. The true Ketea look incredibly similar to both earlier and later dragons, with long necks, snake like reptilian heads, scaly bodies, long sinuous tails, clawed feet, and wings. There is NO WAY these creatures could be confused with fish.

Edited by draconic chronicler

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interesting that you have not provided any evidence in the form of sources.

its a shame you cant find the one you wanted, but wait....the impression you gave was that all/most other griffons were reptilian with belly scutes, spines etc.

you have provided no evidence that any god's true form was that of a quadrupedal flying dragon,

or that any god turned into one.

you have provided no evidence to prove that ketos was a quadrupedal flying dragon.

no evidence dc

no case.

Edited by lil gremlin

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interesting that you have not provided any evidence in the form of sources.

its a shame you cant find the one you wanted, but wait....the impression you gave was that all/most other griffons were reptilian with belly scutes, spines etc.

you have provided no evidence that any god's true form was that of a quadrupedal flying dragon,

or that any god turned into one.

you have provided no evidence to prove that ketos was a quadrupedal flying dragon.

no evidence dc

no case.

I have provided a good deal of evidence that the Greek gods may have had their origins as reptilian deities, just as we see in many other cultures.

I have also shown that the Greeks worshipped Zeus in the form of a giant Drakon, and the worship of drakon deities persisted into the Roman period with Glykon.

And you said yourself that the evidence shows the Drakons gradually assuming the form of classical dragons due to eastern influences.

All through the classical period there were also Ketea, often depicted with wings, long necks, clawed feet, scales and serpent-like heads. And no, they were not confused with whales despite modern scientists giving them this same name. The Greeks also identified various species of whales, calling the sperm whale phytos as I recall.

These reptilian ketos are readily identified as "dragons" and are called such in the popular literature.

Moreover, in the myths, these "dragons" are the offspring of Gods, implying they are at least 'partial'/demi gods themselves. Ketos were even honored on Greek coins, their head in profile like any other deity represented at this time.

They were also given offerings of human sacrifices (at least in the myths) to placate them, exactly as other Gods were given offerings. We see this in the Perseus story, that may have much earlier origins.

I have shown that the ancient Greeks readily identified the same creatures we call dragons today, with creatures of a different name (Ketea), though by the Roman era, they seem to have been interchangable. Because these creatures were believed to be real, and born of the gods, honored on coinage and presented offering, they were logically considered gods. You cannot prove they were never worshipped. And since serpent-form Drakon gods WERE worshipped in the classical world, it is more likely that some winged and footed 'drakons' were worshipped as well, than were not.

post-22720-1234965406_thumb.jpg

post-22720-1234965454_thumb.jpg

Edited by draconic chronicler

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I have also shown that the Greeks worshipped Zeus in the form of a giant Drakon.

nope you showed zeus meilichios

meilichios was a chthonic snake daemon....not a drakon god......and certainly not quadrupedal.

And you said yourself that the evidence shows the Drakons gradually assuming the form of classical dragons due to eastern influences.

and this helps you how? It demonstrates that the snakey drakon evolved as a concept, and was therefore unlikely to have been a real living quadruped.

All through the classical period there were also Ketea, often depicted with wings, long necks, clawed feet, scales and serpent-like heads.

evidence?

These reptilian ketos are readily identified as "dragons" and are called such in the popular literature.

ill get to this in a minute....

Moreover, in the myths, these "dragons" are the offspring of Gods, implying they are at least 'partial'/demi gods themselves.

i think i can see what you are getting at, they certainly werent normal snakes....they were mythical snakes....(until the late-classical/hellenistic age)

They were not demi-gods at all. But they did not age, and they could be killed as accounts of them show....just like all of the gods' monstrous offspring.

I have shown that the ancient Greeks readily identified the same creatures we call dragons today, with creatures of a different name (Ketea), that we would call dragons today. Because these creatures were believed to be real, and born of the gods, you cannot prove they were never worshipped.

no you havent. so weve gone from drakones, to griffins, and now to ketos/ketea.

Im sure they werent worshiped, there is no evidence that they were, the onus is on you to prove they were.....

linked-image

archaic greek

linked-image

ca 530 - 520 BC archaic

linked-image

Date: ca 425 - 401 BC

Period: Classical

linked-image

Date: ca 325 BC

Period: Late Classical / Early Hellenic

linked-image

Classical

linked-image

Date: C3rd AD

Period: Imperial Roman

http://www.theoi.com/image/Z47.11Perseus.jpg

Imperial Roman

none of these are quadrupedal flying reptiles.....despite evidence of orientalising during the late classical/hellenistic age.

often when they appear in myth they are confounded/killed by a hero.

ps. the coin you present is Carian (from sw Turkey) and does not reflect mainland/mainstream greek culture, it does however, intrestingly anticipate the orientalizing of the concept seen on a wider scale much later...it is highly localised, someone from Athens would probably never have seen the coin. Show me one from Greek culture, rather than Carian-Greek.....besides which you cannot suggest that that monster was quadrupedal, its more likely it was envisaged as the later classical and hellenistic images of ketos, with 2 fins and a long serpentine tail.

out of interest please identify the other pic, not that it helps your argument any.

All im seeing is speculation, and nothing to support your statement that it is not speculation it is fact.

to conclude then,

DC cannot support his statement that dragons (his quadrupedal, winged reptile version) were worshiped by all advanced ancient cultures, even the culture which coined the name drakon did not have them until their own great mythical serpents merged stylistically with composite creatures from the east.

He has offered nothing to suggest that dragons are anything but mythological creatures.

Edited by lil gremlin

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nope you showed zeus meilichios

meilichios was a chthonic snake daemon....not a drakon god......and certainly not quadrupedal.

and this helps you how? It demonstrates that the snakey drakon evolved as a concept, and was therefore unlikely to have been a real living quadruped.

evidence?

ill get to this in a minute....

i think i can see what you are getting at, they certainly werent normal snakes....they were mythical snakes....(until the late-classical/hellenistic age)

They were not demi-gods at all. But they did not age, and they could be killed as accounts of them show....just like all of the gods' monstrous offspring.

no you havent. so weve gone from drakones, to griffins, and now to ketos/ketea.

Im sure they werent worshiped, there is no evidence that they were, the onus is on you to prove they were.....

Period: Imperial Roman

http://www.theoi.com/image/Z47.11Perseus.jpg

Imperial Roman

none of these are quadrupedal flying reptiles.....despite evidence of orientalising during the late classical/hellenistic age.

often when they appear in myth they are confounded/killed by a hero.

ps. the coin you present is Carian (from sw Turkey) and does not reflect mainland/mainstream greek culture, it does however, intrestingly anticipate the orientalizing of the concept seen on a wider scale much later...it is highly localised, someone from Athens would probably never have seen the coin. Show me one from Greek culture, rather than Carian-Greek.....besides which you cannot suggest that that monster was quadrupedal, its more likely it was envisaged as the later classical and hellenistic images of ketos, with 2 fins and a long serpentine tail.

out of interest please identify the other pic, not that it helps your argument any.

All im seeing is speculation, and nothing to support your statement that it is not speculation it is fact.

to conclude then,

DC cannot support his statement that dragons (his quadrupedal, winged reptile version) were worshiped by all advanced ancient cultures, even the culture which coined the name drakon did not have them until their own great mythical serpents merged stylistically with composite creatures from the east.

He has offered nothing to suggest that dragons are anything but mythological creatures.

When you discovered your situation was hopeless, you decide to change the playing field.

I have proven without a doubt that the Greeks worhshipped reptilian deities gererally known as Drakons, the word which our word 'dragon' comes from. This even includes the highest God of the Greeks, Zeus. Now you quibble that it "isn't really zeus" even though this was n aspect of zeus, in other words, he could change into this Drakon. And why do you try to deny this, when there are plenty of other myths of Zeus turning into a Drakon to fight his Drakon mother, or to impregnate Goddesses and mortal women alike.

And if you delude yourself that Zeus Isn't a drakon god despie the overwhelming evidence that is here for everyone to see, we see the Greeks worshipping a new Drakon god in the 2ndand 3rd centuries AD, a god of fertility and potector against pestilence that was a LIVING reptile in a temple, thoughsome detractors claimed he was a puppet. But if a puppet, it is curious that he had the patronage of provincial governors. Read this:

http://www.livius.org/gi-gr/glykon/glykon.html

So all you can do now is claim these are not "true" dragons they were worshipping, but serpents that hey called Drakons.. No one said these had to be dragons right out of a Harry Potter book, but the fact that Greeks had Reptilian deities called drakons. And this you cannot refute any longer.

And yes there are many winged and footed drakons/ketos in classical art, dating from very early, until the Roman imperial period. I have posted a few below. You can clearly see the clawed forelimbs and wings, scaley bodies, and reptilian heads, showing a link between the Mushrushu of 2000 BC Mesopotamia, 500 BC Chinese Bixie dragons, and classc western dragons of 1500 AD. Yes, sometimes the sentient dragon gods appear as serpents, but this is little different than the Serpentine dragons of China. These depiction were hundreds of years later than the times the dragon actually interrelated with humans as the eearliest legends attest to. I have also included a very reptilian ketos you had posted, that seems to be walking on its wings, exactly as we now know pterosaurs walked!

So I believe I have provide evidence to prove my points, and you were clearly wrong when you stated the ancient Greeks had not reptilian deities.

Have you 'had enough' or do you care to claim the Chinese, or Mesopotamians, or Mesoamericans didn't have reptilian/dragon deities either?

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Edited by draconic chronicler

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When you discovered your situation was hopeless, you decide to change the playing field.

here DC, from my very first post.....

Introduction.

I will be debating against the assertion that humans have universally witnessed the same flying, quadrupedal reptile, and worshipped them as their gods.

DC would argue that not only did people witness the same creature, but those that worshiped them housed and fed them, took rides into the sky on them,were 'civilised'and protected by them, and followed them around on their nomadic travels.......If cultures around the world were so familiar with six limbed, flying reptiles of gigantic size, superior intelligence, immortality etc, why is it that none of these cultures accurately represented them the way they often accurately represented other animals? And why would these representations vary so considerably?.........to clarify, whilst DC did not make clear in his statement that the 'flying reptiles' were six limbed, his 'theory' does make it clear that they were, like the mushushu (sumerian) composite creature. This debate takes this 'form' of dragon to be the type he refers to as the universal origin of the myth.

Ive made it clear from the start what my argument is, you seem to be satisfied now to take any 'reptilian' you can from greek culture, since you cannot find any dragons (by your definition) to support you...

No one said these had to be dragons right out of a Harry Potter book, but the fact that Greeks had Reptilian deities called drakons. And this you cannot refute any longer.

You make a lot of vague generalisations without anything specific ever to back it up.

Ive explained about Zeus-Meilichios, and why he isnt a drakon.....although he could possibly be described as one (since at the time a drakon was a big mythical snake).

Serpents in Religion are popular in Greek culture, just as it is in many...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serpent_(symbolism)

but it is your argument, is it not that Zeus was really a quadrupedal flying lizard.

so why do you use accounts of him changing into the form of a snake to support your arguments.....besides being a grave error, it draws attention to the fact that you have absolutely nothing to support your speculation.

Perhaps a coup-de-grace is required.

A popular claim of this nature that you make (without providing any source material) is that Zeus regularly takes the form of a dragon (your using the term to support you therefore you must mean quadrupedal and winged), to impregnate other goddesses and mortal women; you most often backhandedly offer the story of Alexander the Great's conception, and hope that nobody is actually familiar with the material.

Alex was the undisputed son of philip.

at one time, for political reasons it was advantageous for a party in macedonia to proliferate a spurious story about the foreigner queen and her half macedonian son; suggesing that his real father was not philip, but one of his mother's familiars:a serpent.

However this was taken by Alexander to support his own propoganda about being the son of Zeus/Amon.....(in both these early versions a large snake is the object of attraction, or manifestation of zeus.)

the story changes by the time of the ptolemies, eager to justify their rule by their continuity with nectanebo and Alexander, mention that it is nectanebo who visits alex's mum, and since he IS the son of Ammon (as tradition holds) then so becomes alex via a legitimate pharoah lineage.

This is egyptian hellenistic propoganda, manipulating an old story.

Plutarch 46AD-127AD.....already comparitively late, as ive said b4 he mentions the scandal, which had already been turned into propoganda by Callisthenes (Alexander's court historian) his account is wonderfully anecdotal.

plutarch II.1...II.

QUOTE

As for the lineage of Alexander, on his father's side he was a descendant of Heracles through Caranus, and on his mother's side a descendant of Aeacus through Neoptolemus; this is accepted without any question.

but plutarch loves a good story, so he offers the notable myths surrounding Alexander's birth....later picked up on by justin and the alexander romance.

QUOTE

[2] Well, then, the night before that on which the marriage was consummated, the bride dreamed that there was a peal of thunder and that a thunder-bolt fell upon her womb, and that thereby much fire was kindled, which broke into flames that travelled all about, and then was extinguished. At a later time, too, after the marriage, Philip dreamed that he was putting a seal upon his wife's womb; and the device of the seal, as he thought, was the figure of a lion.

QUOTE

[3] The other seers, now, were led by the vision to suspect that Philip needed to put a closer watch upon his marriage relations; but Aristander of Telmessus said that the woman was pregnant, since no seal was put upon what was empty, and pregnant of a son whose nature would be bold and lion-like.

QUOTE

[4] Moreover, a serpent was once seen lying stretched out by the side of Olympias as she slept, and we are told that this, more than anything else, dulled the ardour of Philip's attentions to his wife, so that he no longer came often to sleep by her side, either because he feared that some spells and enchantments might be practised upon him by her, or because he shrank from her embraces in the conviction that she was the partner of a superior being.

QUOTE

[5] But concerning these matters there is another story to this effect: all the women of these parts were addicted to the Orphic rites and the orgies of Dionysus from very ancient times (being called Klodones and Mimallones1 ), and imitated in many ways the practices of the Edonian women and the Thracian women about Mount Haemus, from whom, as it would seem, the word “threskeueinâ€2 came to be applied to the celebration of extravagant and superstitious ceremonies. [6] Now Olympias, who affected these divine possessions more zealously than other women, and carried out these divine inspirations in wilder fashion, used to provide the revelling companies with great tame serpents, which would often lift their heads from out the ivy and the mystic winnowing-baskets,3 or coil themselves about the wands and garlands of the women, thus terrifying the men.

QUOTE

III. However, after his vision, as we are told, Philip sent Chaeron of Megalopolis to Delphi, by whom an oracle was brought him from Apollo, who bade him sacrifice to Ammon and hold that god in greatest reverence, but told him he was to lose that one of his eyes which he had applied to the chink in the door when he espied the god, in the form of a serpent, sharing the couch of his wife. [2] Moreover, Olympias, as Eratosthenes says, when she sent Alexander forth upon his great expedition, told him, and him alone, the secret of his begetting, and bade him have purposes worthy of his birth. Others, on the contrary, say that she repudiated the idea, and said: “Alexander must cease slandering me to Hera.â€1

Perhaps Olympias here is reacting to Alexander's witty and sharp tongue, and reaction to the tales against his legitimacy (after his position was relatively secure as king he could afford to have a sense of humour about things.)

[3] Be that as it may, Alexander was born early in the month Hecatombaeon,2 the Macedonian name for which is Loüs, on the sixth day of the month, and on this day the temple of Ephesian Artemis was burnt.

he doesnt dwell on these differing mythical traditions....they are just stories, he gives his opinion in his first statement....that Alex is the son of philip and olympias.

here's what justin (a third century AD roman historian) has to say on the matter...

QUOTE

11.11.1 Alexander next got possession of Rhodes and Cilicia22 without an effort. He then went to the temple of Jupiter Ammon, to consult the oracle about the event of his future proceedings, and his own parentage. For his mother Olympias had confessed to her husband Philip, that “she had conceived Alexander, not by him, but by a serpent of extraordinary size.†Philip, too, towards the end of his life, had publicly declared that “Alexander was not his son;†and he accordingly divorced Olympias, as having been guilty of adultery.

and in the original latin...

QUOTE

3 Namque mater eius Olympias confessa uiro suo Philippo fuerat Alexandrum non ex eo se, sed ex serpente ingentis magnitudinis, concep***e. 4 Denique Philippus ultimo prope uitae suae tempore filium suum non esse palam praedicauerat. 5 Qua ex causa Olympiada uelut stupri conpertam repudio dimiserat.

note neither use the word drakon or dragon, and justin knew the word...why did he not use it? neither is the serpent described as winged or Zeus in disguise.

it is only in the romance that she is 'visited' by a drakon....and even here it is Nectanebo (pharoah of egypt) who has visited the court of Philip who transforms himself by magic into an aspect of one to 'visit' her. so Zeus/ammon only gets to her because nectanebo transforms himself into an aspect of the god in this form. This is what the romance and medieval romance pictures depict.

The story/myth of Alexander' s conception follows a clear progression or evolution, which results in medieval popular fantastical tales of winged serpents.

.....

What Alexander believed on the matter...

Alexander was the issue of two great ancestral lines and he believed it to be true and never missed an oppurtunity to honour his ancestors, emulate them or outdo them in deeds.

On his father's side he was decended from Herakles, and on his mother's side from Achilles.

Alexander was an intellegent fellow who recieved an excellent education from Aristotle. He was party to Aristotle's secret musings and metaphysical beliefs. Whilst in the levant (and in constant written contact with his mentor) he admonishes Aristotle for writing down his theories so they can be taught to all and sundry. Alexander believed he understood something about the gods that the rank and file didnt know and wanted to keep it that way. Aristotle reassures alexander saying that although he has written these things down, he had done so in such a way as to be missed by those of limited comprehension skills.

This is a tale which does not recieve much scholarly attention, most work on alexander in antiquity and modernity has regarded his military exploits; those that focus on building his psychological profile do mention it; few actually delve into Aristotle's Metaphysics to glean what Alexander might have understood.

Most paint Alexander as a pragmatist, expoiting the superstitions of followers and enemies alike...some believe that at least towards the end he came to believe in his own divinity. A meglomaniac? Others see him as led by his superstitions from the start, believing in his mother's dream, believing in the insinuations of the priests of Amon that he was the son of the god-rather than philip.

The truth lies somewhere between, when we see how Aristotle percieved the olympian gods-and how this was transmitted to Alexander, we can see how this is possible. It would be true to say that Alexander believed in Zeus/Amon and the other gods, and he honoured his heroic ancestry...but his perception of the gods and heros was on another level to that of those 'uneducated' by secret knowledge.

key to understanding Alexander's mindset is to study Aristotle.

enough of that.

As i have said before there were real political reasons why Alexander visited Siwah whilst in Egypt. and more than just one. Personal curiosity was something that was focused on by some ancient historians. Callisthenes particularly, because he was in the business of cultivating Alexander's heroic image- Alexander was keen to have a propogandist at hand. First consider the state of affairs back home in Greece and Macedonia. Next consider the politics of Egypt...particularly its recent history as a satrapy of the persian empire. Next consider Alexander's campaign strategy. (i realise this may mean some extra reading, but i dont want to make this post too long, or to fill it with web references ...but will gladly discuss later, or in a more relevent thread.)

So Alexander went to siwah for important reasons, A personal curiosity about finding out if philip really was his father or not was probably not one of them.

xx xx xx

and so it is with everything you present.

And Glycon? pleaze!

I wasnt sure you knew what you were posting, so i had to check....

Glycon was a newcommer, his cult was exposed by Lucian....oh, and btw, he was not a quadrupedal, flying lizard god.........he was a trained snake with a puppet head god.

dont take my word for it.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycon

His inclusion as supporting evidence for quadrupedal, winged reptilian superbeings is comedic to say the least.

Ive made my conclusion earlier, nothing's changed; i believe the thread is now open :unsure2:

comments/votes would be welcome.

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You really don't seem to "get it". I don't have to prove the gods like zeus or glykon are real to win this debate. I only have to prove that the classical Greeks believed in and worshipped "dragon gods" and this I have done, because a "Drakon" is any large superatural reptile, that may or may not have feet or wings. You can quibble all you want about Zeus only assuming the form of a Drakon, but Glycon was worshipped as a beneficent god by probably millions in the Eastern Roman Empire when the classical world was at its most sophisticated level. Even the brilliant Marcus Aurelius apparently acknowledged this deity.

Understand that I am not proposing Zeus and the rest of the olympian gods are intelligent winged 'dragons' lounging about on mount olympus until they get horny enough to come down and rape women. (Though millions undboubtedly believed the stories, including Alexander's).

I am saying that the beliefs of weather controlling "dragons" were believed in by the most ancient cultures like China and Mesopotamia, and here in Greece a thousand years later, we have another weather controlling god, zeus, who still seems to retain the reptilian characteristics of the earlier, reptilian, weather controlling gods.

And I am not saying Glycon is real either. I am saying that virtually every ancient culture for which we have any decent records acknowledge "dragon gods", which are essntially an enormous, sentient, supernatural reptile, which do vary in form somewhat from one place to another.

As for the limbed, winged traditional dragons of popular cultural, I have also provided proof that they were still considered real animals in the classical world, though believed tobe connected to/ born of the Gods as well, and were depicted on various artifacts. One of the worlds first 'scientists' and also an admiral in the Roman Navy advised sefaring men how to avoid their depredations.

Today's sea and lake monsters, some seen by hundreds of witnesses bear a striking resemblance to these long necked reptilian creatures depicted by early many in cultures all over the world. But to win this debate, I don't even have to prove they were ever real. I just have to prove that ancient cultures all over the world worshipped large reptilian deities that we collectively call 'dragons' , and this I have done.

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