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Mythical Monsters


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Author Topic: Mythical Monsters  (Read 1754 times)
Keira Kensington
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« Reply #840 on: March 27, 2010, 08:11:10 pm »

enormous a serpent was open for all to see, credence could no longer be refused the Ethiopians, or their statements be received as fables; for they say that they have seen in their country serpents so vast that they can not only swallow cattle and other beasts of the same size, but that they also fight with the elephant, embracing his limbs so tightly in the fold of their coils that he is unable to move, and, raising their neck up underneath his trunk, direct their head against the elephant's eyes; having destroyed his sight by fiery rays like lightning, they dash him to the ground, and, having done so, tear him to pieces."
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #841 on: March 27, 2010, 08:11:30 pm »

In an account of the castle of Fahender, formerly one of the most considerable castles of Fars, it is stated—"Such is the historical foundation of an opinion generally prevalent, that the subterranean recesses of this deserted edifice are still replete with riches. The talisman has not been forgotten; and tradition adds another guardian to the previous deposit, a dragon or winged serpent; this sits for ever brooding over the treasure which it cannot enjoy."

p. 211
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #842 on: March 27, 2010, 08:11:49 pm »

I shall examine, on a future occasion, how far those figures correspond to the Persian ideas of dragons and serpents, the azhdaha ( = dragon) and már ( = snake), which, as various poets relate, are constant guardians of every subterraneous ganj (  = treasure).
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #843 on: March 27, 2010, 08:14:30 pm »

The már at least may be supposed the same as that serpent which guards the golden fruit in the garden of the Hesperides.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #844 on: March 27, 2010, 08:14:51 pm »

Footnotes

162:* "In turning to the consideration of the primitive works of art of the American continent . . . when in the bronze work of the later iron period, imitative forms at length appear, they are chiefly the snake and dragon shapes and patterns, borrowed seemingly by Celtic and Teutonic wanderers, with the wild fancies of their mythology, from the far eastern land of their birth."—D. Wilson, Prehistoric Man, 1862.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #845 on: March 27, 2010, 08:15:04 pm »

"He had remarked that the Indians of the north-west coast frequently repeat in their well-known blackstone carvings the dragon, the lotus flower, and the alligator."—O. G. Leland, Fusang, London, 1875.

162:† "Dragon, an imaginary animal something like a crocodile."—Rev. Dr. Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, p. 243.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #846 on: March 27, 2010, 08:15:22 pm »

162:‡ "In the woods of Java are certain flying snakes, or rather drakes; they have four legs, a long tail, and their skin speckled with many spots, their wings are not unlike those of a bat, which they move in flying, but otherwise keep them almost unperceived close to the body. They fly nimbly, but cannot hold it long, so that they fly from tree to p. 163 tree at about twenty or thirty paces' distance. On the outside of the throat are two bladders, which, being extended when they fly, serve them instead of a sail. They feed upon flies and other insects."—Mr. John Nieuhoff's Voyage and Travels to the East Indies, contained in a collection of Voyages and Travels, in 6 vols., vol. ii. p. 317; Churchill, London, 1732.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #847 on: March 27, 2010, 08:15:53 pm »

163:* Chambers’ Encyclopædia, vol. iii. p. 635.

163:† The following is the nearest approach to such an assertion I have met with, but appears from the context to apply to geologic time prior to the advent of man. "When all those large and monstrous amphibia since regarded as fabulous still in reality existed, when the confines of the water and the land teemed with gigantic saurians, with lizards of dimensions much exceeding those of the largest crocodiles of the present day: who to the scaly bodies of fish, added the claws of beasts, and the neck and wings of birds: who to the faculty of swimming in water, added not
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #848 on: March 27, 2010, 08:16:03 pm »

only that of moving on the earth but that of sailing in air: p. 164 and who had all the characteristics of what we now call chimeras and dragons, and perhaps of such monsters the remains, found among the bones and skeletons of other animals more resembling those that still exist and propagate, in the grottos and caverns in which they sought shelter during the deluges that affected the infancy of the globe, gave first rise to the idea that these dens and caves were once retreats whence such monsters watched and in which they devoured other animals." Thomas Hope, On the Origin and Prospects of Man, vol. ii. p. 346; London, 1831.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #849 on: March 27, 2010, 08:16:27 pm »

Southey, in his Commonplace Book, pityingly alludes to this passage, saying, "He believes in dragons and griffins as having heretofore existed."

165:* From the context, Lanuvium appears to have been on the Appian Road, in Latium, about twenty-fives miles from Rome.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #850 on: March 27, 2010, 08:16:49 pm »

165:† Propertius, Elegy VIII.; Bohn, 1854.

165:‡ History of Animals, Book ix., chap. ii. § 3; Bohn.

165:§ Ibid., Book vi., chap. xx. § 12.

165:** Ibid., Book i., § 6.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #851 on: March 27, 2010, 08:17:10 pm »

166:* History of Animals, Book ix., chap. vii. § 4.

166:† Natural History of Pliny, Book viii., chap. xli., translated by J. Bostock and H. T. Riley; Loudon, 1855.

166:‡ Anim. Nat., Book vi., chap. iv.

166:§ Natural History, Book viii., chap. xxii.
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Keira Kensington
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« Reply #852 on: March 27, 2010, 08:17:54 pm »

166:** "On the contrary, towards ourselves they were disappointingly undemonstrative, and only evinced their consciousness of the presence of strangers by entwining themselves about the members of the family as if soliciting their protection. . . . They were very jealous of each other, Mr. Mann said; jealous also of other company, as if unwilling to lose their share of attention. . . . Two sweet little children were equally familiar with the other boas, that seemed quite to know who were their friends and playfellows, for the children handled them and petted them and talked to them as we talk to pet birds and cats."—Account of Snakes kept by Mr. and Mrs. Mann, of Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, in Snakes, by C. C. Hopley; London, 1882.
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« Reply #853 on: March 27, 2010, 08:18:19 pm »

167:* Natural History, Book xxix., chap. xx.

167:† "It is probable that the island of Zanig described by Qazvinius, in his geographical work (for extracts from which vide Scriptorum Arabum de Rebus Indicis loci et opuscula inedita, by L Gildemeister, Bonnæ, p. 168 1838), as the seat of the empire of the Mahraj, is identical with Zaledj. He says that it is a large island on the confines of China towards India, and that among other remarkable
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« Reply #854 on: March 27, 2010, 08:18:37 pm »

features is a mountain called Nacan (Kini Balu?), on which are serpents of such magnitude as to be able to swallow oxen, buffaloes, and even elephants. Masudi includes Zanig, Kalah, and Taprobana among the islands constituting the territory of the Mahraj."—P. Amédée Jaubert, Géographie d’Edrisi, vol. i. p. 104; Paris, 1836.
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