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News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
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Mythical Monsters


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Author Topic: Mythical Monsters  (Read 1754 times)
Keira Kensington
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« Reply #810 on: March 27, 2010, 06:26:17 pm »

For instance, Pigafetta, in a report of the kingdom of Congo, * "gathered out of the discourses of Mr. E. Lopes, a

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« Reply #811 on: March 27, 2010, 06:26:30 pm »

Portuguese," speaking of the province of Bemba, which he defines as "on the sea coast from the river Ambrize, until the river Coanza towards the south," says of serpents, "There are also certain other creatures which, being as big as rams, have wings like dragons, with long tails, and long chaps, and divers rows of teeth, and feed upon raw flesh. Their colour is blue and green, their skin painted like scales, and they have two feet but no more. * The Pagan negroes used to worship them as gods, and at this day you may see divers of them that are kept for a marvel. And because they are very rare, the chief lords there curiously preserve them, and suffer the people to worship them, which tendeth greatly to their profits by reason of the gifts and oblations which the people offer unto them."
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #812 on: March 27, 2010, 06:26:43 pm »

And John Barbot, Agent-General of the Royal Company of Africa, in his description of the coasts of South Guinea, † says: "Some blacks assuring me that they (i.e. snakes) were thirty feet long. They also told me there are winged serpents or dragons having a forked tail and a prodigious wide mouth, full of sharp teeth, extremely mischievous to mankind, and more particularly to small children. If we may credit this account of the blacks, they are of the same sort of winged serpents which some authors tell us are to be found in Abyssinia, being very great enemies to the elephants. Some such serpents have been seen about the river Senegal, and they are adorned and worshipped as snakes are at Wida or Fida, that is, in a most religious manner."
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« Reply #813 on: March 27, 2010, 06:26:54 pm »

Ulysses Aldrovaudus ‡ who published a large folio volume on serpents and dragons, entirely believed in the existence of the latter, and gives two wood engravings of a specimen

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« Reply #814 on: March 27, 2010, 06:27:03 pm »

which he professes to have received in the year 1551, of a true dried Æthiopian dragon.

He describes it as having two feet armed with claws, and two ears, with five prominent and conspicuous tubercles on the back. The whole was ornamented with green and dusky scales. Above, it bore wings fit for flight, and had a long and flexible tail, coloured with yellowish scales, such as shone on the belly and throat. The mouth was provided with sharp teeth, the inferior part of the head, towards the ears, was even, the pupil of the eye black, with a tawny surrounding, and the nostrils were two in number, and open.
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« Reply #815 on: March 27, 2010, 06:27:16 pm »

He criticises Ammianus Marcellinus for his disbelief in winged dragons, and states in further justification of his censure that he had heard, from men worthy of confidence, that in that portion of Pistorian territory called Cotone, a great dragon was seen whose wings were interwoven with sinews a cubit in length, and were of considerable width; this beast also possessed two short feet provided with claws like those of an eagle. The whole animal was covered with scales. The gaping mouth was furnished with big teeth, it had ears, and was as big as a hairy bear. Aldrovandus sustains his argument by quotations from the classics and reference to more recent authors. He quotes Isidorus as stating that the winged Arabian serpents were called Sirens, while their venom was so effective that their bite was attended by death rather than pain; this confirms the account of Solinus.
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« Reply #816 on: March 27, 2010, 06:27:30 pm »

He instances Gesner as saying that, in 1543, he understood that a kind of dragon appeared near Styria, within the confines of Germany, which had feet like lizards, and wings after the fashion of a bat, with an incurable bite, and says these statements are confirmed by Froschonerus in his work on Styria (idque Froschonerus ex Bibliophila Stirio narrabat). He classes dragons (which he considers as essentially winged animals) either as footless or possessing two or four feet.

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« Reply #817 on: March 27, 2010, 06:27:43 pm »

He refers to a description by Scaliger * of a species of serpent four feet long, and as thick as a man's arm, with cartilaginous wings pendent from the sides. He also mentions an account by Brodeus, of a winged dragon which was brought to Francis, the invincible King of the Gauls, by a countryman who had killed it with a mattock near Sanctones, and which was stated to have been seen by many men of approved reputation, who thought it had migrated from transmarine regions by the assistance of the wind.
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« Reply #818 on: March 27, 2010, 06:27:58 pm »

Cardan † states that whilst he resided in Paris he saw five winged dragons in the William Museum; these were biped, and possessed of wings so slender that it was hardly possible that they could fly with them. Cardan doubted their having been fabricated, since they had been sent in vessels at different times, and yet all presented the same remarkable form. Bellonius states that he had seen whole carcases of winged dragons, carefully prepared, which he considered to be of the same kind as those which fly out of Arabia into Egypt; they were thick about the belly, had two feet, and two wings, whole like those of a bat, and a snake's tail.
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« Reply #819 on: March 27, 2010, 06:28:07 pm »

It would be useless to multiply examples of the stories, no doubt fables, current in mediæval times, and I shall therefore only add here two of those which, though little known, are probably fair samples of the whole. It is amusing to find the story of Sindbad's escape from the Valley of Diamonds reappearing in Europe during the Middle Ages, with a substitution of the dragon for the roc. Athanasius Kircher, in the Mundus Subterraneus, gives the story of a Lucerne man who, in wandering over Mount Pilate, tumbled into a cavern from which there was no exit, and, in searching round, discovered the lair of two dragons, who proved

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« Reply #820 on: March 27, 2010, 06:28:39 pm »

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« Reply #821 on: March 27, 2010, 06:28:52 pm »

p. 206

more tender than their reputation. Unharmed by them he remained for the six winter months, without any other sustenance than that which he derived from licking the moisture off the rock, in which he followed their example. Noticing the dragons preparing for flying out on the approach of spring, by stretching and unfolding their wings, he attached himself by his girdle to the tail of one of them, and so was restored to the upper world, where, unfortunately, the return to the diet to which he had been so long unaccustomed killed him. In memory, however, of the event, he left his goods to the Church, and a monument illustrative of his escape was erected in the Ecclesiastical College of St. Leodegaris at Lucerne. Kircher had himself seen this, and it was accepted as an irrefragable proof of the story.
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« Reply #822 on: March 27, 2010, 06:29:04 pm »

Another story is an account also given by A. Kircher, * of the fight between a dragon and a knight named Gozione, in the island of Rhodes, in the year 1349 A.D. This monster is described as of the bulk of a horse or ox, with a long neck and serpent's head—tipped with mule's ears—the mouth widely gaping and furnished with sharp teeth, eyes sparkling as though they flashed fire, four feet provided with claws like a bear, and a tail like a crocodile, the whole body being coated with hard scales. It had two wings, blue above, but blood-coloured and yellow underneath; it was swifter than a horse, progressing partly by flight and partly by running. The knight, being solicited by the chief magistrate, retired into the country, when he constructed an imitation dragon of paper and tow, and purchased a charger and two courageous English dogs; he ordered slaves to snap the jaws and twist the tail about by means of cords, while he urged his horse and dogs on to the attack. After practising for two months, these latter could scarcely retain their frenzy at the mere sight of the image. He then proceeded to

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« Reply #823 on: March 27, 2010, 06:29:28 pm »

Rhodes, and after offering his vows in the Church of St. Stephen, repaired to the fatal cave, instructing his slaves to witness the combat from a lofty rock, and hasten to him with remedies, if after slaying the dragon he should be overcome by the poisonous exhalations, or to save themselves, in the event of his being slain. Entering the lair he excited the beast with shouts and cries, and then awaited it outside. The dragon appearing, allured by the expectation of an easy prey, rushed on him, both running and flying; the knight shattered his spear at the first onset on the scaly carcase, and leaping from his horse continued the contest with sword and shield. The dragon, raising itself on its hind legs, endeavoured to grasp the knight with his fore ones, giving the
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« Reply #824 on: March 27, 2010, 06:30:03 pm »



FIG. 40.—THE DRAGON Of THE DRACHENFELDT. (Athanasius Kircher.)
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