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Dragons, myth and not universal gods

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Undeadskeptic
So why is it that these seemingly intelligent people in the fields of science, religion, and history, (and a trollish juvenile who I won't even count who just tagged along for the 'ride'), all want to believe Gremlin 'won' , when in fact he failed miserably even when choosing his own "turf"?

That's me, along for the ride! :D

I feel that we think Grem won because you offered few sources that mattered at all or any physical evidence and instead supposed conjecture at every turn. When your dragons don't get seen, you give them camoflauge powers, rather than give evidence as to why they would not be seen.

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Dr. Peter Venkman

Fossil record? Anything? Draconic, You haven't bested me, or any other sane person that reads this thread at anything. Furthermore, your attitude sucks. that's a professional term. :P There's been a whole lot of arrogance on this thread, and you are no exception. I don't care what ancient civilizations worshipped. That doesn't make dragons any more real than Paul Bunyan. I look forward to your book and I like your research. It's certainly interesting. However, still doesn't prove jack about the existence of dragons.

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draconic chronicler
Fossil record? Anything? Draconic, You haven't bested me, or any other sane person that reads this thread at anything. Furthermore, your attitude sucks. that's a professional term. :P There's been a whole lot of arrogance on this thread, and you are no exception. I don't care what ancient civilizations worshipped. That doesn't make dragons any more real than Paul Bunyan. I look forward to your book and I like your research. It's certainly interesting. However, still doesn't prove jack about the existence of dragons.

And since when where 'gods' ever expected to leave a fossil record? You are so clueless that you haven't even figured out what the subject of this debate was. It was NOT if dragons were real creatures, it was if dragons were worshipped as gods in human cultures. It had nothing to do with whether or not dragons were real entities. Grem decided to use ancient Greece to "prove' dragons were NEVER Gods in this culture. And any adult here should be able to see he 'got it wrong'.

An ancient source (Pliny the Elder), stated Ketos (a sea dragon) which according to Greek legend was the daugher of two other gods was worshipped in a region of thoroughly 'greek' culture in western asia. And not only that, but a limbless Drakon was a very popular god in the 2-3d centuries AD Eastern, Greek, mediterranean world. Grem was not even aware of the 'existence' of this God before this debate began.

So for the parameters of the debate, I was right and Gremlin was wrong. That means I win. Deal with it. No amount of Gremlin supporters crawling out of the woodwork now can change that. It just makes you ALL look petty and dumb but trying to 'support' the unsuppportable.

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The Gremlin
And since when where 'gods' ever expected to leave a fossil record? You are so clueless that you haven't even figured out what the subject of this debate was. It was NOT if dragons were real creatures, it was if dragons were worshipped as gods in human cultures. It had nothing to do with whether or not dragons were real entities. Grem decided to use ancient Greece to "prove' dragons were NEVER Gods in this culture. And any adult here should be able to see he 'got it wrong'.

An ancient source (Pliny the Elder), stated Ketos (a sea dragon) which according to Greek legend was the daugher of two other gods was worshipped in a region of thoroughly 'greek' culture in western asia. And not only that, but a limbless Drakon was a very popular god in the 2-3d centuries AD Eastern, Greek, mediterranean world. Grem was not even aware of the 'existence' of this God before this debate began.

So for the parameters of the debate, I was right and Gremlin was wrong. That means I win. Deal with it. No amount of Gremlin supporters crawling out of the woodwork now can change that. It just makes you ALL look petty and dumb but trying to 'support' the unsuppportable.

re the bold...

twice you have said this, and it is untrue. as i explained, you posted a pic of a snake with a humanized head, but did not label it at all.

i asked you to identify it.

I also mentioned that i had come across Glykon, reading Lucian a long while ago, and did not remember him enough to relate him to the unidentified image.

Glykon was not a drakon.

He was not an ever-watchful, never sleeping, guard of a sacred object, nor servent of the Gods. because that's what technically seperates drakones from other mythical/religious snakes.

Glykon was a spurious snake deity that has its roots in Macedonian orphism/fertility cults, and not in drakonic tradition......not a drakon

and certainly not giant winged and quadrupedal....ever.

Glykon was the object of a popular cult, he was not part of the state religion.

Pliny wasnt greek, but Roman....he comes way later than the timescale you ideally want to provide evidence for. By his time Hellenism had hundreds of years to absorb eastern stylistics.

Pliny mentions ketos in 2 frames of reference, once as whales, and another time as a 'fabulous' mythical creature which he doesnt believe in....in this he was likely to be echoing the sentiments of his time.

There are no quadrupedal ketoi either before or after Hellenistic orientalism.

so by the parameters of the debate....as i mentioned in a previous post on this page....you are as mistaken about the result of the debate as you are about its content.

edit to add: I dont think that folk who have commented here are my supporters at all. They have just decided that my argument is more acceptable than yours.

If i made wild statements, like you, and then failed to back them up with relevent evidence, then i would expect them to be just as critical with me as they are of your theory and conduct.

Paranoid Android particularly wouldnt appreciate your above comment DC, as far as i know he doesnt get involved in petty squabbles, and offered his impartial opinion.

Perhaps the only way to settle this is to submit to the impartial judgement of a single individual we both agree on.

I propose either Saruman or Aquatus1.

Are either of these persons acceptable to you dc?

Edited by lil gremlin

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chaoszerg
I was right and Gremlin was wrong. That means I win. Deal with it. No amount of Gremlin supporters crawling out of the woodwork now can change that. It just makes you ALL look petty and dumb but trying to 'support' the unsuppportable.

Oh dear, I had the image of you stamping up and down on the ground like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum just then with that outburst.

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The Gremlin
Oh dear, I had the image of you stamping up and down on the ground like a 5 year old throwing a tantrum just then with that outburst.

made me think of Rumplstiltskin. :lol:

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Dr. Peter Venkman
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

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.

and your brilliant introduction...

"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."

I don't know the terms of the debate? Weren't they set right up there man..... in bold.....

As for your reply...

Let me explain something to you. Just because you are well versed in a certain school of thought, or are able to do something well, does not allow you the right to belittle others. You're good at what you do. That's great, so am I. Am I baggin' on you because you can't use a Waveform Monitor or a Vectorscope? Wow you can't do that? Can't calculate depth of field with a 55mm prime lens? You must be uneducated, because you don't know what I know.

Rest assured there are plenty of things I am well versed in that you are not, and vice versa. Get over yourself.

Peace man.

Edit- Because it came out a little more harsh than intended.

Edited by Dr. Peter Venkman

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draconic chronicler
re the bold...

twice you have said this, and it is untrue. as i explained, you posted a pic of a snake with a humanized head, but did not label it at all.

i asked you to identify it.

I also mentioned that i had come across Glykon, reading Lucian a long while ago, and did not remember him enough to relate him to the unidentified image.

Glykon was not a drakon.

He was not an ever-watchful, never sleeping, guard of a sacred object, nor servent of the Gods. because that's what technically seperates drakones from other mythical/religious snakes.

Glykon was a spurious snake deity that has its roots in Macedonian orphism/fertility cults, and not in drakonic tradition......not a drakon

and certainly not giant winged and quadrupedal....ever.

Glykon was the object of a popular cult, he was not part of the state religion.

Pliny wasnt greek, but Roman....he comes way later than the timescale you ideally want to provide evidence for. By his time Hellenism had hundreds of years to absorb eastern stylistics.

Pliny mentions ketos in 2 frames of reference, once as whales, and another time as a 'fabulous' mythical creature which he doesnt believe in....in this he was likely to be echoing the sentiments of his time.

There are no quadrupedal ketoi either before or after Hellenistic orientalism.

so by the parameters of the debate....as i mentioned in a previous post on this page....you are as mistaken about the result of the debate as you are about its content.

edit to add: I dont think that folk who have commented here are my supporters at all. They have just decided that my argument is more acceptable than yours.

If i made wild statements, like you, and then failed to back them up with relevent evidence, then i would expect them to be just as critical with me as they are of your theory and conduct.

Paranoid Android particularly wouldnt appreciate your above comment DC, as far as i know he doesnt get involved in petty squabbles, and offered his impartial opinion.

Perhaps the only way to settle this is to submit to the impartial judgement of a single individual we both agree on.

I propose either Saruman or Aquatus1.

Are either of these persons acceptable to you dc?

A Drakon by classical definition could be any serpent/reptile connected with the religious beliefs of the era. Even ancient Christianity and Judaism acknowledged heavenly Drakons that served their god just as drakons served Greek gods, and Gods likewise tranformed into them. Jewish texts, written in Greek, like the Testament of Solomon even describe some Drakons with arms and wings, and this text even uses the term Pterodrakon.

Glykon then, to his believers (and there were evidentally millions despite Lucian's unflattering account) would have considered him at least a Drakon, and even this may not be a suitable enough title for a drakon who is also a 'God'.

And while this is a relatively 'late' God of the Greek world, the Carian Greeks worshiped the Sea Dragon Ketos AT LEAST as early at the 6th century BC (with her image honored on coinage), and we still see this worship in the middle of the 1st century AD as recorded by Pliny. And these coins show a reptilian/draconic head, and date earlier than all of the vase illustrations we BOTH has used to support our respective arguments. I also believed you will find that the carians are not levantine/semetic peoples, but in fact, Greek colonists.

And although proof has been lost in antqiuity, as I pointed out, and as Archosaur agreed was likely), the stories of the major greek gods swallowing their children alive, turning into serpents/drakons to make love among themselves, and likewise transforming into these creatures when fighting against each other, all suggest that in an earlier age before written records, these gods were probably believed to be shape shifting serpent-dragons, exactly as the great gods of Sumer were acclaimed to be in their hymns of worship (not to mention the dragon gods of China and feathered serpents of the mesoamericans.

Nothing you said in this debate refuted any of these things. And it is the supporting evidence of all of these additional cultures that acknowledged serpent-dragon gods and lend great credence to serpent-dragon gods being proto Greek as well, and indeed, one Greek city state continued its dragon worship through archaic greek, classical Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman periods.

Even if this is all above the heads of your adoring fans, YOU at least do know I am right even if you do not have the good grace to admit it.

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zandore
So for the parameters of the debate, I was right and Gremlin was wrong.

Perhaps the only way to settle this is to submit to the impartial judgement of a single individual we both agree on.

Third option could be a poll and let the masses decide.

I propose either Saruman or Aquatus1.

Are either of these persons acceptable to you dc?

DC...you would be better off taking Grems offer.

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Cimber
Third option could be a poll and let the masses decide.

I would agree with this. I haven't read the suggestion thread yet, so I'm not sure if it was discussed, but it would help if there was some system in place to determine, who won a given debate.

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The Gremlin

It doesnt surprise me that you would prefer things to be blurred, vague and generalized. Your writing, and defenitions have little real clarity.

Dragon is a general term that could be used for a number of greek mythical creatures that have some 'serpentine' attributes....but the term comes from, or originates with 'drakon' which is specific. Big mythical Snakes.....specifically.

The greeks loved composite creatures, Something as complex as a quadruped, with wings....primarily reptilian would never 'simplify' to being just a big snake.....quite the reverse happened.

Your speculated chain of events goes against what we know about mythology and storytelling in general.....(interesting though how, quite in line with storytelling, your theory becomes more fantastical as it develops.)

So Glycon could conceivably be called a dragon, in a loose way... but he is not a drakon.

And he was not giant, winged, or quadrupedal.

Besides being a glove puppet of a charlatan, there is no way he was ever really a dragon as you percieve them.

http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/lucian/l...n_alexander.htm

But none of this matters to the context of the debate which was about you backing up your statement with the sort of evidence needed to prove that something is not speculation but fact. If its not a giant flying quadrupedal reptile it doesnt count.....you have not produced any.

the rest of your post is speculation and hot air.

So if we have to ask ourselves, 'Is it fact that the Greeks worshiped or even witnessed giant quadrupedal flying reptiles?'.....the answer has to be NO. It is just speculation...and pretty badly concieved speculation at that.

P.S.

The Carians are not greek... The first settlers to the area came from anatolia, they considered themselves aboriginal to the area, they spoke luwian...a Hittite variant, even after some mycenaeans settled there. The Mycenaean greek settlers went injun, intermarried and became Carian, more so than the other way around.

They traded mainly by sea, with phoenicians, levantines, and greeks. They were mercinaries in Egypt and in the east. They are often called things like "incomprehensible Carians' because of their barbarian speech....ie not greek. Their main contact was through the old traditional hittite channels.

The coin that you posted dates from 510-490/80 BC, when Caria had been under Persian rule for about 15-20 years.

In Carian culture (what we know of it) we have a mix of greek and eastern, leaning more towards the eastern....this is why i said earlier that it anticipates the processes that we see later on a wider scale during the Hellenistic period.

To say that they were greek without consideration of the above is a gross misjudgement and misleading generalization.

Have a nice day. ;) see i can be nice.

Edited by lil gremlin

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Undeadskeptic
Third option could be a poll and let the masses decide.

That would be the best option. Although, it is perhaps not needed, as I have not seen a single person except DC argue for his theories in this thread. Why, even the Dragon believers in the Crypto board back away from the chroniclers ideas.

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Archosaur

The two primary arguments against DC's hypothesis by Grem are: A: the deities were not depicted as dragons, and B: the creatures depicted as dragons are not dragons.

A: Many of the arguments by Grem have indicated that the later Greeks did not consider their gods to be any sort of dragon. In fact the later Greeks almost always did depict their gods as perfectly formed human beings. Nonetheless, earlier depictions of the same deities have them frequently in a monstrous form. Rather than assuming that the views that prevailed in the last periods of the active practice of their religion to have been unchanged, it seems more reasonable to suppose that their religious practices and belief system may well have changed over time, as have others. The the later Greeks believed their deities to be entirely human-form is not a sufficiently strong argument to demolish the idea that the earlier Greek deities were always perceived as so.

B: Grem has insisted that any other depiction of dragons as other than a large, quadrupedal, winged reptile clearly does not indicate a dragon. On this very thread we have seen depictions of real animals (we think?) that have been so stylized and distorted that they are hard to recognize. We have also seen images (in other threads) where the same mythic individual creature is depicted in different ways. It is also not uncommon to see the terms "dragon" and "serpent" used interchangeably regarding the same creature within modern fantasy as well. I think it also worth noting that when European explorers first encountered crocodile and alligators (such as Marco Polo in China) they were often described as "enormous serpents". Likewise when we have legends in northern Europe of flying fire-breathing "Wurms" they are not likely referring to segmented annelids. While the varied depictions and descriptions given to dragons are sufficient to discredit the artist or poet from actually witnessing such a creature, that is not the purpose of the debate. As we see similar levels of variation in today's myths and tales of dragons, this argument is insufficient alone to counter that the subject of a myth was believed to be a dragon.

The primary arguments DC uses are: 1: the ancients said their gods were dragons, and 2: we have images of people worshiping dragons from that time.

1: DC has pointed out, and sourced, many accounts describing these deities as dragons and serpents. Grem has raised the point that these descriptions could be metaphorical, not physical characteristics. As the legends and myths are not more exacting (hardly surprising considering that the information comes from religious poems, prayers, and chants) a completely certain conclusion remains unlikely.

2: The images DC has provided, here and previously, of human figures bowing and offering sacrifice to dragon and serpentine creatures are unambiguous and well sourced. Clearly someone, sometime, did worship dragon and serpentine gods. Often these are the older images, and tend to indicate a decline in what was a widespread, though not necessarily universal, belief system. While we do not have proof that such practice was universal, nor that all of the pagan deities were formally believed to be dragons, it is reasonable to conclude that the practice was extensive, at one time.

In conclusion, I think that DC has the lead in this debate. However, while he has shown that there was an earlier dragon worship, he has not been able to prove that it was universal, nor that all belief systems originated from such. Grem, has been unable to prove that dragon/serpent beings were never worshiped (only "propriated to") and unable to prove that there no concept then of what we call a "dragon".

Both parties argued well (and passionately) bringing a wealth of information into the subject. Thank you both! :tu:

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legionromanes
And since when where 'gods' ever expected to leave a fossil record?

well when they were huge quadropedded winged monsters I would have thought, clearly you know even less about palaentology than you do about dragons

:w00t:

you lost the debate DC, everyone here so far has told you so, deal with real life eh

Edited by legionromanes

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The Gremlin
The two primary arguments against DC's hypothesis by Grem are: A: the deities were not depicted as dragons, and B: the creatures depicted as dragons are not dragons.

you seem to be taking this debate out of context and confusing the issue, to clarify: i believe that no deity was depicted as DC's dragon until the Hellenistic age where greek culture mixed with others. Therefore the Greeks never witnessed/worshiped DC's quadrupedal winged giant reptile. I also made the point that drakones were not gods, but big mythical snakes that guarded things-or otherwize did a god's bidding...ie.hunt people down.

refer again to my early posts...indeed my first post....

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...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.....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.

So dragons vary in description. But DC says that all dragons have their source in a very real winged, quadrupedal giant lizard. I made the point that the Greeks had a drakon or two, but they were not winged or limbed....they are most likely to be the earliest 'formats' of dragon, being the most simple.

A: Many of the arguments by Grem have indicated that the later Greeks did not consider their gods to be any sort of dragon. In fact the later Greeks almost always did depict their gods as perfectly formed human beings. Nonetheless, earlier depictions of the same deities have them frequently in a monstrous form. Rather than assuming that the views that prevailed in the last periods of the active practice of their religion to have been unchanged, it seems more reasonable to suppose that their religious practices and belief system may well have changed over time, as have others. The the later Greeks believed their deities to be entirely human-form is not a sufficiently strong argument to demolish the idea that the earlier Greek deities were always perceived as so.

The zeus meilichios depiction comes from the classical period, so is not early....but the cult of meilichios is, he was a snake (not drakon or dragon) daemon linked to chthonic and fertility religious cults.

I mentioned to you a while back the influence serpent/fertility cults had great influence in most cultures, some of these entities made the transition....but it doesnt mean that they were dragons, and certainly not DC's dragons.

B: Grem has insisted that any other depiction of dragons as other than a large, quadrupedal, winged reptile clearly does not indicate a dragon. On this very thread we have seen depictions of real animals (we think?) that have been so stylized and distorted that they are hard to recognize. We have also seen images (in other threads) where the same mythic individual creature is depicted in different ways. It is also not uncommon to see the terms "dragon" and "serpent" used interchangeably regarding the same creature within modern fantasy as well. I think it also worth noting that when European explorers first encountered crocodile and alligators (such as Marco Polo in China) they were often described as "enormous serpents". Likewise when we have legends in northern Europe of flying fire-breathing "Wurms" they are not likely referring to segmented annelids. While the varied depictions and descriptions given to dragons are sufficient to discredit the artist or poet from actually witnessing such a creature, that is not the purpose of the debate. As we see similar levels of variation in today's myths and tales of dragons, this argument is insufficient alone to counter that the subject of a myth was believed to be a dragon.

no, i insist that they don not indicate DC's dragon model.

The primary arguments DC uses are: 1: the ancients said their gods were dragons, and 2: we have images of people worshiping dragons from that time.

please provide evidence if you know of it, dc has provided none.

1: DC has pointed out, and sourced, many accounts describing these deities as dragons and serpents. Grem has raised the point that these descriptions could be metaphorical, not physical characteristics. As the legends and myths are not more exacting (hardly surprising considering that the information comes from religious poems, prayers, and chants) a completely certain conclusion remains unlikely.

not sure what you mean here specifically. Metaphoric epithets have not been mentioned here....You seem to be refering to Mesopotamian literature. The subject of this debate is quite specific....we can get to mesopotamian cultures on another thread.

2: The images DC has provided, here and previously, of human figures bowing and offering sacrifice to dragon and serpentine creatures are unambiguous and well sourced. Clearly someone, sometime, did worship dragon and serpentine gods. Often these are the older images, and tend to indicate a decline in what was a widespread, though not necessarily universal, belief system. While we do not have proof that such practice was universal, nor that all of the pagan deities were formally believed to be dragons, it is reasonable to conclude that the practice was extensive, at one time.

Dc has provided evidence that the greeks proptiated a chthonic/fertility snake daemon that had been absorbed by an anthropomorphic deity.

not a dragon or drakon technically, but i can see how retrospectivelly it can be loosely called a dragon.

In conclusion, I think that DC has the lead in this debate. However, while he has shown that there was an earlier dragon worship, he has not been able to prove that it was universal, nor that all belief systems originated from such. Grem, has been unable to prove that dragon/serpent beings were never worshiped (only "propriated to") and unable to prove that there no concept then of what we call a "dragon".

DC has not shown any earlier dragon worship, he has tapped into a very real and well documented orphism (snake cults).

I hope i havent misunderstood any of your points.

Both parties argued well (and passionately) bringing a wealth of information into the subject. Thank you both! :tu:

I hope my position is a little clearer. Ofcourse you are entitled to your opinon, and your input is always welcome. :tu:

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The Gremlin

I dont seem to be able to edit my previous post,

id liked to have amended a few sentences for clarity's sake.

i believe that no deity was depicted as DC's dragon until the Hellenistic age where greek culture mixed with others. Therefore the Greeks never witnessed/worshiped DC's quadrupedal winged giant reptile. I also made the point that drakones were not gods, but big mythical snakes that guarded things-or otherwize did a god's bidding...ie.hunt people down.

what i should have said was, i believe that no deity was depicted as DC's dragon. Indeed Greek culture didnt have DC's dragon until the Hellenistic period.....

Therefore the Greeks never witnessed/worshiped DC's quadrupedal winged giant reptile....and so on.

also i would have liked to expanded on...

DC has not shown any earlier dragon worship, he has tapped into a very real and well documented orphism (snake cults).

DC has not shown any earlier dragon worship, he has tapped into a very real and well documented tradition of orphism (snake cults); something that simply does not have its origin with the witnessing/worshiping of DC's dragons. Quite the reverse...

As i mentioned above i find it entirely improbable that a complex form (whether actually witnessed or not) would simplify to being just a snake, before re-evolving into the same or very similar creature. It just doesnt happen. People remember things like claws, wings etc....then they add bits or make the descriptions of existing bits more detailed. We can see Medea's drakones (the ones that pull her chariot around the sky) first in the Archaic and Classical periods without limbs and wings, as i pictured earlier....then in the late-classical/Hellenistic period suddenly depicted in some cases with wings as their only limbs.....

In the literature, the earliest surviving being later than these depictions, we find more complex descriptions which in some cases involve more limbs......the drakon evolves into the dragon. At this same time the term becomes more vague and becomes used to describe a host of physical types from mythology, and tales of exotic reptiles from the edge of the world.

This process happens at different times around the world, most often with the influence of a certain mythical mesopotamian composite creature (made possible by trade and the exchange of ideas), which itself might well have gone the process earliest.

Only by looking at the evidence with a preconcieved agenda, and by its manipulation can we arrive at DC's theory.

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draconic chronicler
well when they were huge quadropedded winged monsters I would have thought, clearly you know even less about palaentology than you do about dragons

:w00t:

you lost the debate DC, everyone here so far has told you so, deal with real life eh

You haven't even grasped what this debate is about yet. I don't have to prove they are organic beasts, simply that humans all over the world worshipped them, and in this case Gremlin decided to concentrate on the Greeks.

And as for paleontology, there is little doubt I am far more familiar with this subject than you are. You obviously are not aware that some dinosaurs are based on a SINGLE tooth or piece of bone, even though billions of that kind would have originally lived and died. . New dinosaurs are being discovered every year, and we will probably NEVER find fossil evidence of every type of dinosaur.

Therefore it is perfectly understandable that we may never find a fossil of the dragons are ancestors acknowledged. This is partiularly so if they are the intelligent creatures acknowledged by many ancient cultures. Reptiles are the longest lived of all land vertebrates as it is, and intelligent ones that humans worshipped may not wish to reveal to humans that they are mortal. The bodied of any that may have died could have been completely burnt, or even eaten, bones and all. (Reptiles can dissolve bones in their stomachs).

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Archosaur
I dont seem to be able to edit my previous post,

id liked to have amended a few sentences for clarity's sake.

what i should have said was, i believe that no deity was depicted as DC's dragon. Indeed Greek culture didnt have DC's dragon until the Hellenistic period.....

Therefore the Greeks never witnessed/worshiped DC's quadrupedal winged giant reptile....and so on.

also i would have liked to expanded on...

DC has not shown any earlier dragon worship, he has tapped into a very real and well documented tradition of orphism (snake cults); something that simply does not have its origin with the witnessing/worshiping of DC's dragons. Quite the reverse...

As i mentioned above i find it entirely improbable that a complex form (whether actually witnessed or not) would simplify to being just a snake, before re-evolving into the same or very similar creature. It just doesnt happen. People remember things like claws, wings etc....then they add bits or make the descriptions of existing bits more detailed. We can see Medea's drakones (the ones that pull her chariot around the sky) first in the Archaic and Classical periods without limbs and wings, as i pictured earlier....then in the late-classical/Hellenistic period suddenly depicted in some cases with wings as their only limbs.....

In the literature, the earliest surviving being later than these depictions, we find more complex descriptions which in some cases involve more limbs......the drakon evolves into the dragon. At this same time the term becomes more vague and becomes used to describe a host of physical types from mythology, and tales of exotic reptiles from the edge of the world.

This process happens at different times around the world, most often with the influence of a certain mythical mesopotamian composite creature (made possible by trade and the exchange of ideas), which itself might well have gone the process earliest.

Only by looking at the evidence with a preconcieved agenda, and by its manipulation can we arrive at DC's theory.

Grem, distinction between magical serpents with fantastic augmentation (such as wings claws, intellegence, and magic) and dragons is a thin one, in today's mythic literature as well as the past. You are entirely correct in pointing out the association between them in ancient myth. While your thesis that the dragon came from an earlier, entirely serpentine for is plausible, and the two examples (Medias drakons, and the old serpent-dragon image from China) are intriguing, insufficient evidence exists to conclusively support either your theory that the dragon is a dressed up snake totem, or that DC's dragon gods were universal. This is hardley suprising as we are talking about ancient Mythology, for Heaven's sake. Definitive hard proof is going to be rather scarce, I'm afraid.

As for people worshiping dragon gods, we have unambiguous examples such as Quetziquoatal and Ryojin. There don't seem to be iron-clad examples in Greece (though there are intriguing indications that that may not have been so earlier) instead we typically see dragons in a support role, such as Ladon and Argus, as guardian and assistants to the Gods. The serpentine features of some of the depictions of the Titans and Drachanie, as well as the biological relationship of the Greek gods with some of the drakons and ketia, suggest an older religion focused on these creatures, later displaced by the deities we know today. Indeed I suspect that is what the mythn of Apollo and Python describes: the displacement of an earlier, orphic tradition at Delphi by the Hellenic tradition.

Prehaps you could elaborate upon the difference between worship and propriate? Many of the creatures below the gods, such as local nature spirits received worship and sacrifice in accord to their more limited perceived supernatural duties and powers. I don't see how worship of a wood nymph or fertility serpent is less worship than of Posidon. Common to pantheistic systems is a belief in minor powers (also receiving worship) that take care of smaller problems. Certainly many of the Greek dragons served as intermediaries, guardians and assistance to the Greek deities, yet there are also cases of Zeus taking on the form of a drakon. I suspect what we have here is Zeus (as the head diety of Greece) had to also be the head deity of any area whereupon Greek culture and rule spread to. Thus Zeus also had to look like: a snake, a swan, a bull, an eagle, and sire whatever heroes and local deities were prevailing at the moment. Many of the creatures below the gods, such as local nature spirits received worship and sacrifice in accord to their more limited perceived supernatural duties and powers. I don't see how worship of a wood nymph or fertility serpent is less worship than of Posidon. Common to pantheistic systems is a belief in minor powers (also receiving worship) that take care of smaller problems. While I find DC's idea that the Greek gods were originally believed to be dragons compelling, his arguments for that case are not yet conclusive.

Personally, I suspect that there was an earlier widespread belief (broken into local cults) of serpentine/draconic creatures. As these beings feature as the mighty creatures that the conqueror gods of the nomadic conquering peoples that overran these areas, I see evedence of a systematic replacement and demonization of a previous native religious structure.

On the manipulation note: I have not seen anything to indicate that DC has manipulated or deliberately distorted or misrepresented anything. It seems clear to me that he has a strong belief, and is attempting to prove his case.

PS: Grem, DC I'm very glad we all got to watch this debate, and enjoy it with a minimum of flaming. We need to do something like this again, because it is a fascinating subject. Let's not let other people bait us out of discussing it rationally.

:)

Edited by Archosaur

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Archosaur
You haven't even grasped what this debate is about yet. I don't have to prove they are organic beasts, simply that humans all over the world worshipped them, and in this case Gremlin decided to concentrate on the Greeks.

And as for paleontology, there is little doubt I am far more familiar with this subject than you are. You obviously are not aware that some dinosaurs are based on a SINGLE tooth or piece of bone, even though billions of that kind would have originally lived and died. . New dinosaurs are being discovered every year, and we will probably NEVER find fossil evidence of every type of dinosaur.

Therefore it is perfectly understandable that we may never find a fossil of the dragons are ancestors acknowledged. This is partiularly so if they are the intelligent creatures acknowledged by many ancient cultures. Reptiles are the longest lived of all land vertebrates as it is, and intelligent ones that humans worshipped may not wish to reveal to humans that they are mortal. The bodied of any that may have died could have been completely burnt, or even eaten, bones and all. (Reptiles can dissolve bones in their stomachs).

DC's dead right on this one. Fossilization is a rare process dependent upon many conditions being just right. The body has to be buried undisturbed. The body has to be in an environment whereupon the bones may slowly be replaced by minerals. The body has noit to be unearthed by erosion in the millions of years. And, finally, we have to stumble across the body. Bones get mixed and jumbled, it is very, very rare to get a complete or undamaged specimen of a large animal. Then we have cases thereupon Diplodicus and Apotosarous skulls got switched, or entire animals have been postulated upon the discovery of a skull, or pair of claws.

A fossil is firm scientific evidence a creature existed. A lack of a fossil is not firm evidence that a creature did not exist. We can conclude, that a wide-ranging species, with a dense population, persisting over an extensive period of time (like most of our fossilized species) would have left a discovered fossil.

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draconic chronicler
I dont seem to be able to edit my previous post,

id liked to have amended a few sentences for clarity's sake.

what i should have said was, i believe that no deity was depicted as DC's dragon. Indeed Greek culture didnt have DC's dragon until the Hellenistic period.....

Therefore the Greeks never witnessed/worshiped DC's quadrupedal winged giant reptile....and so on.

also i would have liked to expanded on...

DC has not shown any earlier dragon worship, he has tapped into a very real and well documented tradition of orphism (snake cults); something that simply does not have its origin with the witnessing/worshiping of DC's dragons. Quite the reverse...

As i mentioned above i find it entirely improbable that a complex form (whether actually witnessed or not) would simplify to being just a snake, before re-evolving into the same or very similar creature. It just doesnt happen. People remember things like claws, wings etc....then they add bits or make the descriptions of existing bits more detailed. We can see Medea's drakones (the ones that pull her chariot around the sky) first in the Archaic and Classical periods without limbs and wings, as i pictured earlier....then in the late-classical/Hellenistic period suddenly depicted in some cases with wings as their only limbs.....

In the literature, the earliest surviving being later than these depictions, we find more complex descriptions which in some cases involve more limbs......the drakon evolves into the dragon. At this same time the term becomes more vague and becomes used to describe a host of physical types from mythology, and tales of exotic reptiles from the edge of the world.

This process happens at different times around the world, most often with the influence of a certain mythical mesopotamian composite creature (made possible by trade and the exchange of ideas), which itself might well have gone the process earliest.

Only by looking at the evidence with a preconcieved agenda, and by its manipulation can we arrive at DC's theory.

Nonsense, Grem.

The Ketos Goddess worshipped by the Carian Greeks is depicted on coins at least from 500 B.C., which is well BEFORE the "hellenistic" period. They clearly show the dragon-like spined back that we see in other depictions of ketos dragons. This is earlier than any of the pottery you base your speculations on. Of the eight or so ketos images we have both found on pottery, the MAJORITY look like "dragons". One looks like a bony fish, one like a shark and one like a fossil skull. Thse are the EXCEPTIONS to the rule and are probably attributed to artists who were unfamiliar with the true Ketos. It is only your opinion that these evolved from contact from asia. Further proof that these are actual depictions of sea dragons are those depicted on Etruscan armor, far from asia. Even British Celts used stylized dragons in their art.

This all suggests people actually seeing and describing these creatures, just as witnesses described, and drew similar sea and lake monsters/drazgons all thorugh the Middle ages and up to today.

I did find one of the classic "dragon griffins" in my library. This is a marble sculpture of two from circa 500 BC devouring a deer in the J. Paul Getty Museum. They have pale green bodies and bright red, dragon like spines on a long neck. These are the same spines depicted on many ketos sea dragons. I will try to scan it for you at work next week as I could not find this on the internet. I believe people of the classical world have melded dragons and griffins together because the saw flying dragons, found the skulls of hook beaked ceratopsian dinosaurs. This is why they believed griffins could fly even though ceratopsians cannot. They connected the flying dragons with the large beaked dinosaur skulls.

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The Gremlin
Grem, distinction between magical serpents with fantastic augmentation (such as wings claws, intellegence, and magic) and dragons is a thin one, in today's mythic literature as well as the past. You are entirely correct in pointing out the association between them in ancient myth. While your thesis that the dragon came from an earlier, entirely serpentine for is plausible, and the two examples (Medias drakons, and the old serpent-dragon image from China) are intriguing, insufficient evidence exists to conclusively support either your theory that the dragon is a dressed up snake totem, or that DC's dragon gods were universal. This is hardley suprising as we are talking about ancient Mythology, for Heaven's sake. Definitive hard proof is going to be rather scarce, I'm afraid.

Im not quite sure how to interpret your first sentence.....distinction between what exactly?

magical serpents with fantastic augmentation? these are the make-believe ones yes?

dragons - ?

;)

I claim absolutely no ownership over the things im saying. It is not my thesis, and i have no theory on the subject...rather i look at the evidence and how it is recieved by those best qualified to know how to interpret it. All i am doing is demonstrating that current appreciation of the subejct is well informed enough, with adequate evidence, to refute DC's theory.

'dressed up snake totem' ? a slightly dismissive spin on it, again its not my theory that the chinese 'long' (dragon) evolved from one which aquired the attributes of others as their clans were defeated/absorbed. Its just one i find more likely than real living quadrupedal dragons that look nothing like the chinese long....ie DC's dragon model. but that's irrelevent here.

As for people worshiping dragon gods, we have unambiguous examples such as Quetziquoatal and Ryojin. There don't seem to be iron-clad examples in Greece (though there are intriguing indications that that may not have been so earlier) instead we typically see dragons in a support role, such as Ladon and Argus, as guardian and assistants to the Gods. The serpentine features of some of the depictions of the Titans and Drachanie, as well as the biological relationship of the Greek gods with some of the drakons and ketia, suggest an older religion focused on these creatures, later displaced by the deities we know today. Indeed I suspect that is what the mythn of Apollo and Python describes: the displacement of an earlier, orphic tradition at Delphi by the Hellenic tradition.

And the big Q looked like DC's dragon did he?

did Ryojin?

did they really / do they really exist?

apollo and python....yes at delphi....geography is very important to Greek religion.

an older religion focused on what exactly? snake cults yes, but a whole religion?

You and DC appear only ever to see reptiles, there are plenty of other animals and their bodyparts to these myths/traditions.

Prehaps you could elaborate upon the difference between worship and propriate? Many of the creatures below the gods, such as local nature spirits received worship and sacrifice in accord to their more limited perceived supernatural duties and powers. I don't see how worship of a wood nymph or fertility serpent is less worship than of Posidon. Common to pantheistic systems is a belief in minor powers (also receiving worship) that take care of smaller problems. Certainly many of the Greek dragons served as intermediaries, guardians and assistance to the Greek deities, yet there are also cases of Zeus taking on the form of a drakon. I suspect what we have here is Zeus (as the head diety of Greece) had to also be the head deity of any area whereupon Greek culture and rule spread to. Thus Zeus also had to look like: a snake, a swan, a bull, an eagle, and sire whatever heroes and local deities were prevailing at the moment. Many of the creatures below the gods, such as local nature spirits received worship and sacrifice in accord to their more limited perceived supernatural duties and powers. I don't see how worship of a wood nymph or fertility serpent is less worship than of Posidon. Common to pantheistic systems is a belief in minor powers (also receiving worship) that take care of smaller problems. While I find DC's idea that the Greek gods were originally believed to be dragons compelling, his arguments for that case are not yet conclusive.

one is adoration the other is an exchange.

Personally, I suspect that there was an earlier widespread belief (broken into local cults) of serpentine/draconic creatures. As these beings feature as the mighty creatures that the conqueror gods of the nomadic conquering peoples that overran these areas, I see evedence of a systematic replacement and demonization of a previous native religious structure.

i dont get it ... perhaps you should put it all together to explain.

On the manipulation note: I have not seen anything to indicate that DC has manipulated or deliberately distorted or misrepresented anything. It seems clear to me that he has a strong belief, and is attempting to prove his case.

There is no other way i can see for him to arrive at his conclusions.

How about repeatedly contending that Carians were Greeks?

They didnt speak greek, they spoke luwain. To the greeks they were incomprehensible...apparently.

They worshiped Hittite gods.

Yes there is evidence of Mycenaeans being absorbed...and they were eventually Hellenized.

At the time of DC's coin they were under Persian control.

There is no evidence that they worshiped keto, or witnessed quadrupedal flying ketos at all....or considered the mythical ketos to be quadrupedal and winged.

infact, ive got good reason to believe that the coin does not depict ketos at all. ;)

PS: Grem, DC I'm very glad we all got to watch this debate, and enjoy it with a minimum of flaming. We need to do something like this again, because it is a fascinating subject. Let's not let other people bait us out of discussing it rationally.

:)

Rational discussion is why im here.

Edited by lil gremlin

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Undeadskeptic
You obviously are not aware that some dinosaurs are based on a SINGLE tooth or piece of bone, even though billions of that kind would have originally lived and died. . New dinosaurs are being discovered every year, and we will probably NEVER find fossil evidence of every type of dinosaur.

We can identify dinosaur species off a single tooth, but we cannot find one scrap of bone from a dragon?

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legionromanes
You haven't even grasped what this debate is about yet. I don't have to prove they are organic beasts, simply that humans all over the world worshipped them, and in this case Gremlin decided to concentrate on the Greeks.

And as for paleontology, there is little doubt I am far more familiar with this subject than you are. You obviously are not aware that some dinosaurs are based on a SINGLE tooth or piece of bone, even though billions of that kind would have originally lived and died. . New dinosaurs are being discovered every year, and we will probably NEVER find fossil evidence of every type of dinosaur.

Therefore it is perfectly understandable that we may never find a fossil of the dragons are ancestors acknowledged. This is partiularly so if they are the intelligent creatures acknowledged by many ancient cultures. Reptiles are the longest lived of all land vertebrates as it is, and intelligent ones that humans worshipped may not wish to reveal to humans that they are mortal. The bodied of any that may have died could have been completely burnt, or even eaten, bones and all. (Reptiles can dissolve bones in their stomachs).

BALONEY

dragons are not dinosaurs, youre claiming that they actually lived until fairly recently and not so much as a single scale has survived anywhere, not even as an object of veneration

*snip*

:tu:

Edited by Lady_Anvilabeel
Unesseccary remark removed

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bLu3 de 3n3rgy

Making remarks like the ones I just had to remove ( you know who you are) make it very difficult for a thread to continue in a decent manner. Please don't attempt to use ad hom remarks to drive your stance on the subject, it's not going to fly here. Again, as mentioned earlier in this thread, that goes for everyone :tu:

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Archosaur
Im not quite sure how to interpret your first sentence.....distinction between what exactly?

magical serpents with fantastic augmentation? these are the make-believe ones yes?

dragons - ?

;)

I claim absolutely no ownership over the things im saying. It is not my thesis, and i have no theory on the subject...rather i look at the evidence and how it is recieved by those best qualified to know how to interpret it. All i am doing is demonstrating that current appreciation of the subejct is well informed enough, with adequate evidence, to refute DC's theory.

'dressed up snake totem' ? a slightly dismissive spin on it, again its not my theory that the chinese 'long' (dragon) evolved from one which aquired the attributes of others as their clans were defeated/absorbed. Its just one i find more likely than real living quadrupedal dragons that look nothing like the chinese long....ie DC's dragon model. but that's irrelevent here.

And the big Q looked like DC's dragon did he?

did Ryojin?

did they really / do they really exist?

apollo and python....yes at delphi....geography is very important to Greek religion.

an older religion focused on what exactly? snake cults yes, but a whole religion?

You and DC appear only ever to see reptiles, there are plenty of other animals and their bodyparts to these myths/traditions.

one is adoration the other is an exchange.

i dont get it ... perhaps you should put it all together to explain.

There is no other way i can see for him to arrive at his conclusions.

How about repeatedly contending that Carians were Greeks?

They didnt speak greek, they spoke luwain. To the greeks they were incomprehensible...apparently.

They worshiped Hittite gods.

Yes there is evidence of Mycenaeans being absorbed...and they were eventually Hellenized.

At the time of DC's coin they were under Persian control.

There is no evidence that they worshiped keto, or witnessed quadrupedal flying ketos at all....or considered the mythical ketos to be quadrupedal and winged.

infact, ive got good reason to believe that the coin does not depict ketos at all. ;)

Rational discussion is why im here.

The idea that dragons are a composite of earlier mythic totems, including the serpent, is, actually a well reasoned idea. As is DC's idea (again, like yours, not only his theory) that there was a widespread belief system in dragons earlier. I am stating the the evidence in not conclusive to either theory. Though I do happen to support the later, there is not solid enough proof to present it as a fact.

Ryu and Q are frequently referred to as "dragons" a creature whose depictions vary widely. If today, modern descriptions of these creatures vary widely, how is it surprising that such a creature wold vary widely in cultures without basic knowledge of biology, whereupon artists would often present well-known animals in such a stylized format as to be almost unrecognizable.

As to weather the big Q and Ryujin actually exist/existed? Beats me, I've never met them. ^_^

As for adoration, some of the local spirits in Greece, and yes dragons in China (and yes the big Q in Mexico) were well loved and adored. And of course, some of the humanoid gods were feared and respected, but never adored (Aries comes to mind). I don't see a sharp delineation here.

Trying to explain my theory (although it's not my, or DC's for that matter, idea):

It seems apparent that there were serpentine/dragon religions in much of the Mid East, Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as other locations. I cannot say weather these were serpent guardians representative of snakes (guarding crops from vermin, phallic symbols, shedding signifying eternity, etc) or a cult regarding a "serpentine" reptile with supernatural qualities (speech, intelligence, gifting knowledge, controlling weather, shape-shifting, guarding knowledge/eternal youth/treasure, etc). It could well be both and that they bended together over time. These cthoinic dieties seem to reflect the values of these sendentady agricultural civilizations: fertility, knowledge, and a connection with primal elemental forces important to agriculture (water, weather, fire). Their fearsome, and unpredictable aspect may also reflect the chaotic nature of the difficulties of agriculture.

The ancestors of the Mycanaen Greeks, as well as many of the cultures that later formed the polytheistic religions of which we are familiar with today, were often violent, conquering nomads. Their gods reflected their values: swaggering, arrogant, violent and capricious people, led by a king who was vain, arrogant, and often very vengeful (Zeus, Marduk, Odin, etc).

I believe that in many cases the old gods became the monsters of the new pantheon. Gods became monsters slain by gods or heroes. Marriage/fertility rights became human sacrifices to a monster. The offering of wisdom became corrupting forbidden knowledge, etc. Nonetheless, many of these were too popular to be entirely removed. The mythical founder of Athens ramined half-dragon, dragons assisted the gods as messengers, guardians, and avengers.

A similar event happened in Europe when Christian priests literally demonized deities such as Posidon, Pan, and Hades into the Devil and lesser demons. Yet today, elements of Europe's pagan past persist in many rituals (Christmas, Easter, etc.). Such are not recognized as such by most however, they are simply carrying on a tradition, so it not actually Pagan worship of course. And of course there is that cute little mascot of the Crimsons, nor doubt derived of the red dragon of Wales, the guardian of the Celts in Arthurian legends (and probably another legend that survived into a new myth from an earlier culture).

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