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Dragons, myth and not universal gods

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The Gremlin
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).

This scenario is possible without any need of real immortal giant quadrupedal flying reptiles.

but i thought Zeus was a really a dragon?? The above does not sit well with DC's theory.

When I began to write my history I was inclined to count these legends as foolishness, but on getting as far as Arcadia I grew to hold a more thoughtful view of them, which is this. In the days of old those Greeks who were considered wise spoke their sayings not straight out but in riddles, and so the legends about Cronus I conjectured to be one sort of Greek wisdom. In matters of divinity, therefore, I shall adopt the received tradition.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.8.3

in regard to the begining of your explaination...

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.

do you mean cults, as in lots of different cults within a culture, or a whole culture whose religion is based on dragon/serpentine gods?

other cults/forms/animals/bodyparts and attributes were much more popular/important. The Bull for one.

A far more convincing case can be made for very real bovine gods teaching man civilization, nurturing them etc... :P

Edited by lil gremlin

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Archosaur
This scenario is possible without any need of real immortal giant quadrupedal flying reptiles.

but i thought Zeus was a really a dragon?? The above does not sit well with DC's theory.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.8.3

in regard to the begining of your explaination...

do you mean cults, as in lots of different cults within a culture, or a whole culture whose religion is based on dragon/serpentine gods?

other cults/forms/animals/bodyparts and attributes were much more popular/important. The Bull for one.

A far more convincing case can be made for very real bovine gods teaching man civilization, nurturing them etc... :P

I have not made a claim that there were/are dragons in the literal sense, Grem (nor, was that what DC is arguing on this debate). While I do think there is something to the legend of the dragon (though not necessarily literally what the ancients believed in), it is something I cannot prove, so do not attempt to do so. Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary proof, after all. So, as no-one is walking a dragon in for a detailed and peer-reviewed study, such discussions must remain in the realm of conjecture.

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The Gremlin
I have not made a claim that there were/are dragons in the literal sense, Grem (nor, was that what DC is arguing on this debate). While I do think there is something to the legend of the dragon (though not necessarily literally what the ancients believed in), it is something I cannot prove, so do not attempt to do so. Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary proof, after all. So, as no-one is walking a dragon in for a detailed and peer-reviewed study, such discussions must remain in the realm of conjecture.

DC

QUOTE

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.

He means this in a very literal sense....real living breathing quadrupedal, winged, giant reptiles....

and you find his argument most convincing, that suggests that although you have made no overt claims of that nature, you concur.

realm of conjecture? thats what ive been arguing from the start......that it is speculation, and not fact. Now you seem to be in agreeance with me on the subject of the debate.

You are starting to confuse me, which is it? :D

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Archosaur
DC

QUOTE

He means this in a very literal sense....real living breathing quadrupedal, winged, giant reptiles....

and you find his argument most convincing, that suggests that although you have made no overt claims of that nature, you concur.

realm of conjecture? thats what ive been arguing from the start......that it is speculation, and not fact. Now you seem to be in agreeance with me on the subject of the debate.

You are starting to confuse me, which is it? :D

It may be able to prove weather most early cultures had what we today would call dragons as religious subjects. I don't think this debate proved or disproved this. This is provable and debatable independent of weather such creatures might have any basis in reality.

Dragons, like cryptids, supernatural phenomena, and UFOs remain in the realm of conjecture because of the standards of proof required by proper science. Unless a dragon, other cryptic, physcic, or space alien actually shows up at a lab for peer-reviwewd, repeatable, and public examination, such claims must be considered conjecture. This does not mean it is appropriate to summarly dismiss all claims, however.

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The Gremlin

so what you are saying amongst other things is, that there is insufficient evidence to say :-

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.

???

taking into account the model of 'dragon' DC insists was the origin of all dragons in every culture, not to mention the earliest civilising gods, the abrahamic god, mesopotamian gods, classical gods, levantine gods, chinese gods, American gods, etc...etc....

It may be able to prove weather most early cultures had what we today would call dragons as religious subjects.

deliberately vague?

we know most cultures featured creatures (in stories, artwork etc) that we toay call dragons, we know some were worshiped (if you count naga cults and other serpent worship/propitation),

but

as i made clear in my first post DC believes these all have their root in a living, breathing creature of supreme intellegence, civilizing 'chosen' peoples and predating on 'rejected' ones. Really leading armies and laying waste to cities, taking human sacrifice and debauching the virgins. (well i didnt go into that much detail in the first post)

this debate takes DC's model as signified by 'dragon'.

because that is what he meant.

This does not mean it is appropriate to summarly dismiss all claims, however.

no just the claims to factuality that are blatantly false and misleading once recognised.

I shudder at the thought of a society where that didnt happen.

Edited by lil gremlin

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Evangium

After following the debate as it unfolded, I'm glad to see that it is open to comment.

My first complaint (and only relevant one, since the others were fixed via moderator intervention), would be the length of time between responses. Whilst it is understandable that both participants have a life outside the forums, I feel that this factor may have had an influence on the eventual disjointedness that crept into the debate. Having said that, the upside is that both participants upheld there commitment and saw the debate out to it's conclusion, rather than let it stay indefinitely open (as is the case elsewhere on the board).

As for the arguments put forward by each member, both were well presented, however I did find that Grem's arguments did rely a little on the audience having some familiarity with DC's past history on this and other forums.

This brings us to an interesting twist in the debate. If, as an audience member, we are aware of the claims that DC has made in the past, then Grem has certainly proven that the dragons that DC claims were mankinds teacher's and tyrants are little more than exaggerations of earlier tales and misidentification/misinterpretation of ordinary animals. DC offers absolutely no effort to provide the audience with so much as one piece of evidence to the contrary.

However, if the audience member is not aware of DC's past claims, then the debate is less cut and dried. Initally, DC is careful not to state that all dragons were real flesh and blood, scaly clawed firebreathing creatures. Instead he focuses more on the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship, and only makes refernce to actual quadrapedal forms in two posts, before switching tack to the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship. Additionally, as the debate ends up mired down in ancient and classical Greek beliefs, the topic of a universal religion is never fully broached by either party.

Unfortunately, as interesting as DC's argument is in regards to the greeks worshipping mighty serpents, his lack of references severely undemines his position when compared to the references provided by Grem in support of his arguments.

Thus, I am lead to the conclusion that, if we disregard DC's past (as we should for this debate), neither party has satisfactorily argued for or against a global serpent/dragon cult. However, I do understand that something on this scale would be difficult to achieve within the parameters of the UM Debate pro-forma. If the original scope of this debate was limited to dragon/serpent worship being the origins for the greek pantheon, then I would concede that Grem has the stronger argument as he has provided sufficient references to support it. If DC had done the same, then the only deciding factor would have come down to the persuasiveness of the projected personalities of both participants.

edit: Typos,

Edited by Evangium

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Archosaur
However, if the audience member is not aware of DC's past claims, then the debate is less cut and dried. Initally, DC is careful not to state that all dragons were real flesh and blood, scaly clawed firebreathing creatures. Instead he focuses more on the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship, and only makes refernce to actual quadrapedal forms in two posts, before switching tack to the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship. Additionally, as the debate ends up mired down in ancient and classical Greek beliefs, the topic of a universal religion is never fully broached by either party.

Unfortunately, as interesting as DC's argument is in regards to the greeks worshipping mighty serpents, his lack of references severely undemines his position when compared to the references provided by Grem in support of his arguments.

Thus, I am lead to the conclusion that, if we disregard DC's past (as we should for this debate), neither party has satisfactorily argued for or against a global serpent/dragon cult. However, I do understand that something on this scale would be difficult to achieve within the parameters of the UM Debate pro-forma. If the original scope of this debate was limited to dragon/serpent worship being the origins for the greek pantheon, then I would concede that Grem has the stronger argument as he has provided sufficient references to support it. If DC had done the same, then the only deciding factor would have come down to the persuasiveness of the projected personalities of both participants.

edit: Typos,

Well put, E. I am actually of the opinion that DC has shown widespread, though not universal, dragon cults, but neither argument was ultimately conclusive.

As to real flesh-and-blood dragons: it wasn't the subject of the debate. Without independent verifiable, and repeatable, facts, the subject of dragons remains with many of the other subjects within these fora. There are many subjects on UM I do not believe in. Yet it does not follow that since I do not believe in them (due to lack of evidence) that these are dangerous frauds. Many really believe in these subjects, or thought they were witnesses.

It seems quite clear to me that DC believes what he is saying, and is trying to tell us, even against stormy opposition. That it is widely opposed, or that one may not believe in it, does not make it fraud.

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The Gremlin
Well put, E. I am actually of the opinion that DC has shown widespread, though not universal, dragon cults, but neither argument was ultimately conclusive.

As to real flesh-and-blood dragons: it wasn't the subject of the debate. Without independent verifiable, and repeatable, facts, the subject of dragons remains with many of the other subjects within these fora. There are many subjects on UM I do not believe in. Yet it does not follow that since I do not believe in them (due to lack of evidence) that these are dangerous frauds. Many really believe in these subjects, or thought they were witnesses.

It seems quite clear to me that DC believes what he is saying, and is trying to tell us, even against stormy opposition. That it is widely opposed, or that one may not believe in it, does not make it fraud.

From my 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.

I quite clearly set out right in the intro that im arguing against the witnessing/worship of real quadrupedal reptiles.....

When someone uses Pliny as evidence for the above to prove that they existed and were worshiped, as a matter of fact......i call that either mistaken, or deliberately misleading.

Since its been pointed out to dc in the past, im left with only the latter, that he is intentionally using evidence in a misleading way to prove something that cannot be proven.

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Archosaur
From my first post....

I quite clearly set out right in the intro that im arguing against the witnessing/worship of real quadrupedal reptiles.....

When someone uses Pliny as evidence for the above to prove that they existed and were worshiped, as a matter of fact......i call that either mistaken, or deliberately misleading.

Since its been pointed out to dc in the past, im left with only the latter, that he is intentionally using evidence in a misleading way to prove something that cannot be proven.

DC: "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."

I agree with this. DC's evidence has shown many instances of ancient belief. Berevity alone may have kept him from quoting the many sources has previously has, and thre are even modern believers. Note, believers, not necessarily proof of existence.

"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."

I agree with this as well. Arguing the difference of minor details of a mythic creature is like arguing semantics.

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

My mistake, DC did NOT claim that dragons were universally venerated.

"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."

This is an unprovable hypothesis. Without physical evidence of dragons, this statement may not be proved. Thus, while an intriguing idea, it must remain speculative.

However, it is probable that their anthropormorhic gods, were very likely dragon gods too, in their distant past."

Here DC does an excellent job in the threads raising the, sometimes, serpentine nature of Zeus and other normally anthropomorphic gods.

So that is why I have to split my vote.

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The Gremlin
DC: "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."

I agree with this. DC's evidence has shown many instances of ancient belief. Berevity alone may have kept him from quoting the many sources has previously has, and thre are even modern believers. Note, believers, not necessarily proof of existence.

I agree that dragons, albeit in a number of physical configurations, has been believed in by folk all over the world.....in one way or another. Ive never disagreed with this statement, and didnt in this debate.......It was never under debate, never contended.

"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."

I agree with this as well. Arguing the difference of minor details of a mythic creature is like arguing semantics.

not when its how people visualise the dragon they are telling tales about, there are often clear differences. From wingless, limbless snakes to composites of different animals with any variation of heads, wings, limbs, tails etc. Too disparate to claim any single origin.

Its not always easy to see past the smokescreen, DC is carefully making it sound like Chinese and Western dragons have the same origin...namely in a real quadrupedal reptile....but stipulating that it is the 'short' dragons of china that he is refering to....and not the long/lung dragon (which is much older).

In this he is correct to a point, it is not any 'real' creature we owe the similarities, but the spread via trade of the composite body form of the Mushushu mythical construct....that makes Chinese 'bixies' (not dragons, which the Chinese call 'long/lung' ) like the western dragon.

Hopefully DC will take up my earlier challenge and start another chapter in this debate, concerning the Chinese dragons.

now look at that last statement of dc's ...."Yes, winged, claw footed , serpentine necked, scaled dragons were acknoledged all over the world by ancient man."

As Evangium said, DC is very careful at this time to be vague and not make clear what he really proposes.....Ive never disagreed with the notion that dragons can be found just about everywhere, so what is the point in making a statement like that?........by doing so he implies that i do disagree with it, a smokescreen to deflect from the real area of contention.

which is as i made clear from the very start, and repeated throughout.....I disagree that all dragons come from a single source, being a real quadrupedal , winged reptile etc. etc....While DC insists they were.....and not only that, but its not speculation, it is fact!

I havent detracted from that area of contention the whole debate, its strange how you missed it. The only thing ive adjusted along the way is the scope of the debate. Realising that (as Evangium observes) dealing with universality would be too much for the space allowed, i decided to stick with one culture here, and move on to another in another thread......Since then Legionromanes has started a thread on the Mushushu which has left me little to do in Mesopotamia....Although i may touch on it in a thread about Chinese dragons because it would be unavoidable.

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

My mistake, DC did NOT claim that dragons were universally venerated.

I didnt say that he did, did I ? He believes that they were universally witnessed, and that those they 'chose' to assist in civilising took them for gods, had rides on them in the skies etc..... (its all in my first post.)

This is an unprovable hypothesis. Without physical evidence of dragons, this statement may not be proved. Thus, while an intriguing idea, it must remain speculative.

DC's statement? I know its unprovable. Which is why it must be speculation and not fact.

However, it is probable that their anthropormorhic gods, were very likely dragon gods too, in their distant past."

Here DC does an excellent job in the threads raising the, sometimes, serpentine nature of Zeus and other normally anthropomorphic gods.

Let me get this straight.......the debate is about the statement DC made (in the first post) and to explain the statement i made it clear that 'dragon' here in this debate as far as DC is concerned means very real quadrupedal, winged, etc....etc....

And you are giving him points for pointing to a big snake daemon from Serpent Worship/ Fertility cult.....and claiming it as a dragon????

Zeus as Zeus Meilichios has a serpentine nature, as well as an anthropomorphic one.....but Zeus has no origin in the Serpentine or draconic......he had changed into many animals (in the myths), why more a serpent than a swan? or a bull?

What other anthropomorphic gods did he point to that had their origins in serpentine creatures?

All very nice ofcourse, but irrelevent to the topic....as ive shown. so it should either be points away, or ignored.

look at the last sentence again that is above, see his unmerited use of 'probable' and 'likely'...and the vague 'dragons' and ofcourse the 'distant past'.....

a great set of unverifiables.....deliberately vague and misleadingly suggestive.

As ive said before archie your'e quite entitled to your opinion. It appears to me however that you do not have a clear view on what went on here. Heck i would have peppered each of my posts with nice but irrelevent pictures of dragons, and snakes, serpent eagles, crocs etc if i thought you were bought so easily.

Edited by lil gremlin

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draconic chronicler
Zeus as Zeus Meilichios has a serpentine nature, as well as an anthropomorphic one.....but Zeus has no origin in the Serpentine or draconic......he had changed into many animals (in the myths), why more a serpent than a swan? or a bull?

What other anthropomorphic gods did he point to that had their origins in serpentine creatures?

Sure Grem, we can do Chinese dragons next, but I can guarantee you will fail even more miserably there.

But back to the subject at hand, Zeus is clearly more serpent/drakon than other animals because it is THIS form that is used when he mates with other gods, and THIS form that is used when he fights other gods. This actually suggests this would be his original lform then,(reptilian) though over the centuries, and as man became more confident of his place in the world, the old dragon gods became anthropomorphised. We see this with great Ushumgal serpent dragons of Sumeria, and legends suggesting that Quetzalcoatl would "return" in human form. Many Chinese legends state their dragons could assume human form as well.

And while serpent imagery was mentioned, we also find in Greek culture people worshipping Ketos, as both a sea dragon and a goddess. Both things you denied before the evidence was presented. That alone has caused you to "lose" this aspect of the debate, for Ketos is most often depicted as a long necked, often winged and claw footed, reptilian creature often referred to as a dragon. My point would have been made if Ketos was nothing more than a monster, like the dragons of the Germanics, but in fact she is considered both a goddess and a long necked, winged, claw footed 'dragon' by the Greeks, though you are correct that all greeks did not worship her, though here lineage (according to her godly parentage makes her a goddess even if she had a dragon form. Now I am not saying these thing are to be taken literally, save for the fact that the 'greeks' believed the Ketos dragons were very real, and it is not surprising then we would find some accounts of such an awesome beast being worshipped by Greeks, just as they were by most other advanced civilization of antiquity.

I frankly can't see how anyone could say you "won" this debate in light of the documented worship of the Ketos dragon by certain Greeks. This blows your entire argument out of the water.

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The Gremlin
Zeus is clearly more serpent/drakon than other animals because it is THIS form that is used when he mates with other gods, and THIS form that is used when he fights other gods. This actually suggests this would be his original lform then,(reptilian) though over the centuries, and as man became more confident of his place in the world, the old dragon gods became anthropomorphised. We see this with great Ushumgal serpent dragons of Sumeria, and legends suggesting that Quetzalcoatl would "return" in human form. Many Chinese legends state their dragons could assume human form as well.

please provide evidence for Zeus having his origins in Serpent worship......irrelevent anyways since you claim dragons have 4 legs 2 wings, etc.....

Zeus among the gods changes form more than most, he does it at whim....into a number of beasts.

This does not mean that he was previously a snake deity, and certainly not a quadrupedal winged reptile that lived and breathed.

please be more specific with your statements....your vagueness can (intentionally or not) lead others to misinterpret what you are saying.

are we talking 1 instance where he mated with a Goddess, how many instances are there of him turning into a big snake? please provide specific verifyable evidence.

you do realise that this does not in anyway prove or even suggest that Zeus was a living, quadrupedal, winged reptile?

If you mean some serpent deities were anthropomorphised, then i agree and have never contended this statement......if however you mean real quadrupedal winged reptiles left their wards, who then worshiped real humans in their place believing their god/ess had transformed.....then you have no evidence and only speculate. .... which has been the point of the debate.

Keto was a goddess in an anthropomorphic sense, ketos was her associated monster.....or another aspect of her....

1. you havent proved that they were quadrupedal

2. Only one reference can be found of ketos worship, and that comes from Joppa in the levant. The most likely scenario here is that a sea-creature had its tradition here and was worshiped....and equated by the greeks and Pliny after them with the ketos. If Hellenistic greek settlers partook of this foreign cult, rather than just the locals, then you do not have evidence of it.

I denied the ketos was a quadrupedal, winged creature (that really lived) also that it was not depicted as such until the late-classical/hellenistic period when it began to take on eastern form.

I denied that ketos was worshiped in Greek culture.....and it seems to be true, perhaps besides the unverifyable possiblility that some Hellenistic Greeks took part in a local levantine cult.

In Greek culture the evidence we have shows her depicted as a large fish/sharkey type snakey monster until the 4th Century BC.

The Perseus myth was what it all was about, not the ketos. He was a wanderer, and suited the Hellenistic Greeks as a sort of figurehead better than Herakles.....He was the father of the persian race...etc.... so appealed to the majority of Hellenistic Greeks and Hellenized natives around the Hellenistic world.....which is why we see scenes involving him and/ or the ketos cropping up in the farest of flung places, even India.

Eastern stylistics crept into Greek art, particularly in Perseus scenes because of this link.....the ketos once thus depicted pretty much stayed as a levantine sea-creature even into the Roman Period.

By focusing on the ketos you miss that basic fact.

Ketos was a personification of the wild sea and its monstrous creatures. The Greeks understood this, they were capable....but your right they did occasionally see ketos, just like pliny....whales....Pliny describes one beached and slaughtered for its blubber.

If you knew how localised and disjointed Greek Religion was you would not have made such a vague and generalized statement....

None of your evidence suggests that our ancestors worshiped real living quadrupedal, winged reptiles or even witnessed them.....and none of it establishes that claim as 'fact' rather than 'speculation'.

edit to add....

You have missed some glaring opportunities in this debate to present a better argument DC, better lines of approach and actually some reasonable evidence that would have taken me a little thought to engage. Im thinking of one thing in particular amongst a handfull of things.

but as Archie noted, nothing short of scientific proof would have proved your statement 'fact' and not 'speculation'.

Edited by lil gremlin

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The Gremlin

Btw

did anyone get to read this on Glykon and his master? no one's mentioned anything :hmm:

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

here's a little....

Sacred snakes were a regular feature of sanctuaries of Asclepius ; but to give a serpent a human head and style it the god incarnate was a distinct innovation. Moreover, the proper function of Asclepius was to heal the sick, who passed the night in his temple, expecting either to be cured while they slept or to have some form of treatment suggested to them in their dreams. But at Abonoteichus we hear nothing of incubation, and only incidentally of healing; the “new Asclepius” deals in oracles like Apollo, and gives advice on any subject. This, together with Alexander’s extravagant claims of divine descent, confirms Lucian in his appraisal of him as an out-and-out charlatan, aiming to play upon the gross credulity of the times and to secure the greatest gain with the least effort. (AM Harmon)

Lucian. on Alexander the false prophet.

There they saw great serpents, quite tame and gentle, so that they were kept by women, slept with children, let themselves be stepped upon, were not angry when they were stroked, and took milk from the breast just like babies. There are many such in the country, and that, probably, is what gave currency in former days to the story about Olympias; no doubt a serpent of that sort slept with her when she was carrying Alexander.8 So they bought one of the reptiles, the finest, for a few coppers; [8] and, in the words of Thucydides: “Here beginneth the war!”9

12. Well, upon invading his native land with all this pomp and circumstance after a long absence, Alexander was a man of mark and note, affecting as he did to have occasional fits of madness anti causing his mouth to fill with foam. This he easily managed by chewing the root of soapwort, the plant that dyers use; but to his fellow-countrymen even the foam seemed supernatural and awe-inspiring. Then, too, they had long ago prepared and fitted up a serpent’s head of linen, which had something of a human look, was all painted up, and appeared very lifelike. It would open and close its mouth by means of horsehairs, and a forked black tongue like a snake’s, also controlled by horsehairs, would dart out. Besides, the serpent from Pella was ready in advance and was being cared for at home, destined in due time to manifest himself to them and to take a part in their show—in fact, to be cast for the leading rôle.

13. When at length it was time to begin, he contrived an ingenious ruse. Going at night to the foundations of the temple which were just being excavated, where a pool of water had gathered which either issued from springs somewhere in the foundations themselves or had fallen from the sky, he secreted there a goose-egg, previously blown, which contained a snake just born; and after burying it deep in the mud, he went back again. In the morning he ran out into the market-place naked, wearing a loin-cloth (this too was gilded),14 carrying his falchion, and tossing his unconfined mane like a devotee of the Great Mother in the frenzy. Addressing the people from a high altar upon which he had climbed, he congratulated the city because it was at once to receive the god in visible presence. The assembly—for almost the whole city, including women, old men, and boys, had come running— marvelled, prayed and made obeisance. Uttering, a few meaningless words like Hebrew or Phoenician, he dazed the creatures, who did not know what he was saying save only that he everywhere brought in Apollo and Asclepius. [14] Then he ran at full speed to the future temple, went to the excavation and the previously improvised fountain-head of the oracle, entered ‘the water, sang hymns in honour of Asclepius and Apollo at the top of his voice, and besought the god, under the blessing of Heaven, to come to the city. Then he asked for a libation-saucer, and when somebody handed him one, deftly slipped it underneath and brought up, along with water and mud, that egg in which he had immured the god; the joint about the plug had been closed with wax and white lead. Taking it in his hands, he asserted that at that moment he held Asclepius! They gazed unwaveringly to see what in the world was going to happen; indeed, they had already marvelled at the discovery of the egg in the water. But when he broke it and received the tiny snake into his hollowed hand, and the crowd saw it moving and twisting about his fingers, they at once raised a shout, welcomed the god, congratulated their city, and began each of them to sate him­self greedily with prayers, craving treasures, riches, health, and every other blessing from, him. But Alexander went home again at full speed, taking with him the new-born Asclepius, “born twice, when other men are born but once,”15 whose mother was not Coronis,16 by Zeus, nor yet a crow, but a goose! And the whole population followed, all full of religious fervour and crazed with expectations.

15. For some days he remained at home, expecting what actually happened—that as the news spread, crowds of Paphlagonians would come running in. When the city had become over-full of people, all of them already bereft of their brains and sense, and not in the least like bread-eating humans, but different from beasts of the field only in their looks, he seated himself on a couch in a certain chamber, clothed in apparel well suited to a god, and took into his bosom his Asclepius from Pella, who, as I have said, was of uncommon size and beauty.17 Coiling him about his neck, and letting the tail, which was long, stream over his lap and drag part of its length on the floor, he concealed only the head by holding it under his arm—the creature would submit to anything—and showed the linen head at one side of his own beard, as if it certainly belonged to the creature that was in view.

16. Now then, please imagine a little room, not very bright and not admitting any too much daylight; also, a crowd of heterogeneous humanity, excited, wonder-struck in advance, agog with hopes. When they went in, the thing, of course, seemed to them a miracle, that the formerly tiny snake within a few days had turned into so great a serpent, with a human face, moreover, and tame! They were immediately crowded towards the exit, and before they could look closely were forced out by those who kept coming in, for another door had been opened on the opposite side as an exit. That was the way the Macedonians did, they say, in Babylon during Alexander’s illness, when he was in a bad way and they surrounded the palace, craving to see. him and say good-bye. This exhibition the scoundrel gave not merely once, they say, but again and again, above all if any rich men were newly arrived.

17. In that matter, dear Celsus, to tell the truth, we must excuse those men of Paphlagonia and Pontus, thick-witted, uneducated fellows that they were, for being deluded when they touched the serpent— Alexander let anyone do so who wished—and besides saw in a dim light what purported to be its head opening and shutting its mouth. Really the trick stood in need of a Democritus, or even Epicurus himself or Metrodorus, or someone else with a mind as firm as adamant toward such matters, so as to disbelieve and guess the truth— one who, if he could not discover how it went, would at all events be convinced beforehand that though the method of the fraud escaped him, it was nevertheless all sham and could not possibly happen.

18. Little by little, Bithynia, Galatia, and Thrace came pouring in, for everyone who carried the news very likely said that he not only had seen the god born but had subsequently touched him, after he had grown very great in a short time and had a face that looked like a man’s. Next came paintings and statues and cult-images, some made of bronze, some of silver, and naturally a name was bestowed upon the god. He was called Glycon in consequence of a divine behest in metre; for Alexander proclaimed:

“Glycon am I, the grandson of Zeus, bright beacon to mortals!”

26. Again and again, as I said before, he exhibited the serpent to all who requested it, not in its entirety, but exposing chiefly the tail and the rest of the body and keeping the head out of sight under his arm. But as he wished to astonish the crowd still more, he promised to produce the god talking—delivering oracles in person without a prophet. It was no difficult matter for him to fasten cranes' windpipes together and pass them through the head, which he had so fashioned as to be lifelike. Then he answered the questions through someone else, who spoke into the tube from the outside, so that the voice issued from his canvas Asclepius.24

These oracles were called autophones, and were not given to everybody promiscuously, but only to those who were noble, rich, and free-handed. [27] For example, the oracle given to Severianus in regard to his invasion of Armenia was one of the autophones. Alexander encouraged him to the invasion by saying:

“Under your charging spear shall fall Armenians and Parthi;

Then you shall fare to Rome and the glorious waters of Tiber

Wearing upon your brow the chaplet studded with sunbeams.” 25

well he wasnt going to tell him ....'your going to get your but pwned by the Parthians!!!' was he?

fascinating. ;)

Here we have one charlatan turning a snake into something its not, and another giving bad advice to generals. :P

Edited by lil gremlin

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draconic chronicler
Btw

did anyone get to read this on Glykon and his master? no one's mentioned anything :hmm:

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

here's a little....

Lucian. on Alexander the false prophet.

well he wasnt going to tell him ....'your going to get your but pwned by the Parthians!!!' was he?

fascinating. ;)

Here we have one charlatan turning a snake into something its not, and another giving bad advice to generals. :P

But the point you seem to miss is the fact that millions of people in the advanced, estremely literate Roman world, (primarily the Hellenistic side of it), BELIEVED that a Drakon was a god, just as they apparently believed Zeus, who would revert to a Drakon for the most intimate activities such as mating with other Drakons who were also the highest gods in the Greek Parthenon. And to fight another God, Zeus would also become a Drakon, and not remain in human form.

What other animal could Alexander have used that was more "godlike" to ancient man than a reptile. But why worship reptiles in every corner of the world, unless in much earlier times, a sentient reptilians gave them good reason too, as ancient accounts all over the world appear to document.

Early Christians, pariticularly the Gnostics also portrayed Jesus as a Drakon, and some identified him as the Serpent in Eden who risked all to give mankind wisdom. Funny how most Christians today have the complete opposite idea, and that 'ignorance" is a good thing.

Edited by draconic chronicler

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The Gremlin

it was not a drakon, and im sure it would not have been described as such. (in the snakey-drakon sense)

also

1....did it have wings?

2....was it gigantic?

3.....was it quadrupedal?

you havent got the first idea what these people believed.

Alexander's motives are well explained in the account by lucian....no need to concoct any.

why worship snakes? and thats the crux

you cant see why anyone would want to revere and honour simple non quadrupedal, non talking, non magic powers snakey snakes.

you dont understand....and so create a scenario that your more comfortable with.

No sentient reptiles gave them 'reason' to worship snakes.

DC my point in posting lucian is to illustrate how irrelevent it was for you to use it as evidence that quadrupedal and winged reptile sentient beings were witnessed and worshiped.

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legionromanes
why worship snakes? and thats the crux

snakes were worshipped across the ancient world as a symbol of immortality, this aspect comes from their ability to shed their skin..... this is why snakes are often seen as symbols of the gods, because the gods by association are also immortal. Immortality is what seperates humans and Gods in every ancient culture. Dragons are not immortal so just symbolize power or in the early days when they were only aquatic they symbolised power over the dangers of the sea, hence dragons like Tiamat or the Ketos actually symbolize the sea itself.

:tu:

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Evangium
Early Christians, pariticularly the Gnostics also portrayed Jesus as a Drakon, and some identified him as the Serpent in Eden who risked all to give mankind wisdom. Funny how most Christians today have the complete opposite idea, and that 'ignorance" is a good thing.

Interesting, but where do Prometheus and Maui fit into things? From all accounts these two could fit the bill as trickster demigods, and, hazarding a guess here, the cultures they come from regarded the ability to make their own fire the point in which they also acquired the wisdom/sentience which truly distinguished them from the rest of the animal and spirit worlds, which 'existed' at the time.

Edited by Evangium

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draconic chronicler
it was not a drakon, and im sure it would not have been described as such. (in the snakey-drakon sense)

also

1....did it have wings?

2....was it gigantic?

3.....was it quadrupedal?

you havent got the first idea what these people believed.

Alexander's motives are well explained in the account by lucian....no need to concoct any.

why worship snakes? and thats the crux

you cant see why anyone would want to revere and honour simple non quadrupedal, non talking, non magic powers snakey snakes.

you dont understand....and so create a scenario that your more comfortable with.

No sentient reptiles gave them 'reason' to worship snakes.

DC my point in posting lucian is to illustrate how irrelevent it was for you to use it as evidence that quadrupedal and winged reptile sentient beings were witnessed and worshiped.

Actually Gem, this debate shows that I know a good deal more than you of what these people believed.

You claimed Ketos was not a God.

I said Ketos was worshipped as a God.

Pliny in a first hand account stated Ketos WAS worshipped as a God by Greek speaking peoples.

You lose.

Yes you are able to impress some of the small minds here by flooding your posts with pointess references, but we know they are pointless.

Between the long necked, winged and claw footed Ketos sea dragons, and the quadrepedal, winged dragon-like gryphons, there is overwhelming evidence that the Greeks believed in the same dragons seen centuries earlier going back to Sumeria, and centuries later, with virtually identical dragons reported as late as 16th century europe (much as the Tudor dragon on the Welsh flag.)

Several scholar shave noticed a probable connection between Zeuss and the near-eastern storm gods, and some of these gods had dragon associations including Marduk, Enlil, Enki, etc. Thus when we see tthe Zeus of classical times with numerous reptilian characteristics, there is a good possibility that his origins were in the weather causing storm dragons of mesopotamia.

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Mattshark
Pliny in a first hand account stated Ketos WAS worshipped as a God by Greek speaking peoples.

Source.

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draconic chronicler
Source.

It is posted earlier in the debate. Even Grem does not refute this, he is just trying to wheedle out of it by saying the people were not "greek", even though by this time these people were thoroughly hellenized and even used the GREEK name of the god instead of some Asian dragon deity.

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The Gremlin
snakes were worshipped across the ancient world as a symbol of immortality, this aspect comes from their ability to shed their skin..... this is why snakes are often seen as symbols of the gods, because the gods by association are also immortal. Immortality is what seperates humans and Gods in every ancient culture. Dragons are not immortal so just symbolize power or in the early days when they were only aquatic they symbolised power over the dangers of the sea, hence dragons like Tiamat or the Ketos actually symbolize the sea itself.

:tu:

lol i wasnt asking, i was paraphrasing dc.

but thanks for explaining it to him. :tu:

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The Gremlin
Actually Gem, this debate shows that I know a good deal more than you of what these people believed.

You claimed Ketos was not a God.

I said Ketos was worshipped as a God.

Pliny in a first hand account stated Ketos WAS worshipped as a God by Greek speaking peoples.

You lose.

There is no evidence of Greeks worshiping ketos. Bilingual levantine locals who could speak greek, and often wore greek clothes may well have worshiped keto, but thats a far cry from Greek ,rather than Hellenized local folk, witnessing ketos daily, weekly, monthly or annually, taking rides on the creature and learning the secrets of civilization from it. Sorry dc you lose.

You have found one foreign cult....im sure there are more, where a draconic figure is honoured even worshiped.....a few greeks far from home may well have participated.

You cannot find any evidence for any worship of keto on the greek mainland.

You cannot even prove ketos was quadrupedal.

You had no idea of the importance of the Perseus myth, and by implication, ketos the seamonster.

Yes you are able to impress some of the small minds here by flooding your posts with pointess references, but we know they are pointless.

Please demonstrate my references being pointless....i always say why im posting something. They always have points to them, if you cant understand or would rather not understand what those points are then noone can help you.

Between the long necked, winged and claw footed Ketos sea dragons, and the quadrepedal, winged dragon-like gryphons, there is overwhelming evidence that the Greeks believed in the same dragons seen centuries earlier going back to Sumeria, and centuries later, with virtually identical dragons reported as late as 16th century europe (much as the Tudor dragon on the Welsh flag.)

Please provide the 'overwhelming evidence' that you refer to. Do you mean that they had seen a representation of a mythical composite creature, that could not possibly have ever lived? probably.

and you claim that these folk saw these creatures often???

clearly false.

Several scholar shave noticed a probable connection between Zeuss and the near-eastern storm gods, and some of these gods had dragon associations including Marduk, Enlil, Enki, etc. Thus when we see tthe Zeus of classical times with numerous reptilian characteristics, there is a good possibility that his origins were in the weather causing storm dragons of mesopotamia.

Enlil was not a dragon. Zeus was neither a drakon, (a big mythical snake) nor a quadrupedal winged reptile that people saw and learned the secrets of civilisation from ..... you should write childrens books.

Your still missing the evidence you should present and the argument to go with it.

a more able debating opponent would be able to formulate a better argument than the one you have presented to me.

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The Gremlin
It is posted earlier in the debate. Even Grem does not refute this, he is just trying to wheedle out of it by saying the people were not "greek", even though by this time these people were thoroughly hellenized and even used the GREEK name of the god instead of some Asian dragon deity.

perhaps you should read up more on Hellenizm and the period between the conquest of Alexander, and Octavian's conquest of egypt.

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truthseeker68

I'm still waiting DC....still waiting.

After reading this entire debate and looking at the evidence provided on both sides.....the only conclusion I personally can obtain from this is the simple fact that you (DC) have only shown once again that because YOU believe that Dragons are real.....therefor they are.

And....In one of your replies to Grem you stated that Dragons are spiritual entities..? So.....they are ghosts..?

The more I kept reading your replies the more contridiction I found....and like a good politician (kudos by the way)...you manage to walk around the real debate and give no real evidence other than Zues could turn into a snake...and Zues was a mythological being. Just because the Greeks worshiped someone or something doesn't mean it was a real living being.

If I had the time I'm sure I could come up with lot's of circumstantial evidence for the existence of Flying Pigs worshipped by pagans.

I want to believe DC....I really do....that's why I keep reading your posts....WAITING for some shred of evidence. But all you seem to do is regurgitate the same old stuff for your beliefs and all the while diverting ones attention from the real question at hand.

I must admit.....you would make a great magician or.....cult leader.

STILL WAITING.....!!!!!

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draconic chronicler
I'm still waiting DC....still waiting.

After reading this entire debate and looking at the evidence provided on both sides.....the only conclusion I personally can obtain from this is the simple fact that you (DC) have only shown once again that because YOU believe that Dragons are real.....therefor they are.

And....In one of your replies to Grem you stated that Dragons are spiritual entities..? So.....they are ghosts..?

The more I kept reading your replies the more contridiction I found....and like a good politician (kudos by the way)...you manage to walk around the real debate and give no real evidence other than Zues could turn into a snake...and Zues was a mythological being. Just because the Greeks worshiped someone or something doesn't mean it was a real living being.

If I had the time I'm sure I could come up with lot's of circumstantial evidence for the existence of Flying Pigs worshipped by pagans.

I want to believe DC....I really do....that's why I keep reading your posts....WAITING for some shred of evidence. But all you seem to do is regurgitate the same old stuff for your beliefs and all the while diverting ones attention from the real question at hand.

I must admit.....you would make a great magician or.....cult leader.

STILL WAITING.....!!!!!

In this debate I only had to prove that dragons were believed in ase universal deities. Grem foolishly chose the Greeks tp dispute this, and he was proven wrong, as any unbiased person can see. Zeus was probably a dragon deity blong before writing, but his recorded legends strongly indicate this. But this is just icing on the cake. We have accounts such as those of Pliny d. 79AD, that Ketos, who was the daughter of other Gods, was worshipped in at least one town he visited. And by this time, ketos was clearly identified as a long necked, reptilian 'dragon' with clawed feet. A good example from Pliny' time is the Augustan Peace monument in rome. Anybody, around the world looking at that monument would say, that lady appears to riding on the back of a dragon.

No one has yet to prove any god is real. I have shown that the Greeks, (since Grem chose this culture), did indeed have dragon deities and this may have been based on seeing these creatures, which Pliny also acknowledged as real and he was a Roman admiral.

All poor Grem can do is cut and paste pointless 'smokescreens'. He lost. The Greeks had dragon gods. Everybody had dragon gods.

Can I prove the drgaon god were inspired by flesh and blood dragons? I don't have to here, but in the Cryptid forum, we see photos, eyewitness accounts, voice recordings, film footage , etc, of animals that could be our ancestor's dragons.

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