A-D, Cryptozoology, Fonts

Dragons Part 1

D is for Dragonwick

Dragonwick by Andreas Höfeld  http://www.fontgrube.de/en/

I don’t usually reference to commercial sites, but this one was a wonderful find when I found out I could search by subject matter. Their other dragon fonts include: Dragonbones, Scaling the Dragon, Dragon, Dragon Order, Dragon Master, & Dragonfly, et al. http://www.free-fonts.com/font/dragon.html

Dragons

Red DragonBlack DragonWhite Dragon

As long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by dragons. In my childhood the only dragons I could discover were in books and in Chinatown. Much to my delight that world has changed to include dragons everywhere you look.

Dragon myths resound in cultures from around the world. In some they are the greatest of monsters, and in others the givers of wisdom and strength. They are almost always enormous serpents, some with wings and some without. I have a couple shelves full of books about every type of dragon, their taxonomy and their places in our world. These would be my pet of choice.

Roughly the dragon is divided into two main groups: the European dragon and the Asian dragon.

Linguistically speaking, and who doesn’t want to speak linguistically?, for us English speakers the word dragon is from the Old French word dragon which came from the Latin draconem (nominative draco) meaning “huge serpent” which in turn came from the Greek drakon meaning a “serpent of huge size, giant seafish”.   When it comes to dragons all of these little details are important to me.

Dragons roam myth and legend in far too many cultures to list all of them in a single blog (thus Dragons Part 1, then Part II, then Part III), but some form of dragon has been around since the beginning of our recorded time and probably dates back even farther to prehistoric Indo-European mythology. There are references to dragons from Canaanite, Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Hittite cultures. Out of all those early dragons the most famous and recognizable is probably Humbaba from the Epic of Gilgamesh. Humbaba is described as a dragon-fanged, fire-breathing beast.

http://gilgamesh.psnc.pl/index.html For a some beautiful interpretive visuals.

http://ancienthistory.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=ancienthistory&cdn=education&tm=17&f=10&tt=14&bt=2&bts=52&zu=http%3A//www.mythome.org/Gilgamesh.html The translations tablet by tablet

IN THE ILLIAD, Agamemnon is supposed to have a blue dragon motif on his sword belt and a 3-headed dragon in his breastplate. Though the Greek word used could also denote a snake. The jury is still out on that one.

In the interest of keeping this short and readable, I will defer most dragon descriptions, myths and comments to later blogs. For now a few tantalizing tidbits

USES FOR DRAGON PARTS

BLOOD: Some uses that slain dragons have been accredited with: blood that is either poisonous or of incredible healing power. Dragon blood can also render skin invincible to those who bath in it. The blood can seep through iron, but is also is said to be so vile that the earth will not absorb it.

TEETH: Planting dragon teeth is planting an army of invincible warriors

TREASURE: there are always the dragon hoards of great treasure or great wisdom and knowledge.

IN RUSSIA dragons usually have heads in threes that will grow back if every head isn’t cut off. The most known version of three-headed Russian dragons portrays them as green, walking on two back paws and spitting fire. Many references to Russian dragons are found in Bylina (also Bylyna) which oral epic narrative poems. A lot of great Russian folklore in these.

IN INDIA the dragon is the personification of drought and enemy of Indra.

IN VIETNAM According to ancient myth the Vietnamese people are descended from a dragon and a fairy. For the Vietnamese the dragon brings the rain essential to agriculture. http://www.haivenu-vietnam.com/vietnam-culture-myths.htm

BIBLICAL REFERENCES. Starting with just two.

Job 26:13 “By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent” or “By His Spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

Isaiah 27:1 “In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea” or “the Lord will punish with his sword—    his fierce, great and powerful sword—Leviathan the gliding serpent,    Leviathan the coiling serpent;he will slay the monster of the sea1In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

ASIAN DRAGONS will have their own blog, but to tide you over I’ll let you know that Japanese dragons usually only have three claws. They are usually benevolent, associated with water, and may grant wishes.

Dachshunds Part 1

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Dachshunds were bred to chase and flush out badgers and have a stubborn enough temperament to do just that. Its name is Germanic and literally means “Badger dog:” Of course, Arna is sweet, though I must say she is used to getting her way. She does an excellent job of putting up with the Bengals and all the Bengal antics.

Dachshund baby pictureWalking the dog

Back to dragons. There is also the schizophrenic dragon Yidra, That debuts in my novel “Mage of Cliffport”.

Finally in cartography dragons are used to denote dangerous or unexplored territories. Or in my case, the welcome sign to my lair

Beyond This Place There Be Dragons

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