How we see dragons.
The dragon is found in multiple cultures modern and ancient. Images and legends of the dragon go back many thousands of years. There are depictions in cave paintings 25,000 years old, rock art in China that was made 8000 years before the birth of Christ. Some argue that these images show dinosaurs, others argue they represent a specific species.
The dragon appears in ancient Sumerian and Babylonian legends. Aztecs worshipped a dragon god. Oddly enough the eastern dragons are often found to be beneficent to humanity while in western depictions the dragon is a fire breathing monster with a taste for human flesh and a greed for gold.
In many legends dragons can communicate with mortals and express their wishes an idea I like very much. European dragons tend to be described as scaly. “The dragons of the mountains have scales of a golden colour.” Greek scholar Philostratus (c. AD 170-245)
Chinese dragons are occasionally depicted with bat-like wings growing out of the front limbs, but most do not have wings, as they are seen as mystical creatures with a range of powers including flight. It is said a dragon can disguise itself as a silkworm, or become as large as our entire universe. It can fly among the clouds or hide in water. It can form clouds, can change colour as an ability to blend in with their surroundings or glow in the dark.
The Aztec dragon god Quetzalcoatl is shown as serpentine and feathered and had the ability to take human form if he wished.
Aboriginal legends in Australia tell of the great spirits and totems during creation, in animal and human form that moulded the barren and featureless earth. The Rainbow Serpent came from beneath the ground and created huge ridges, mountains, and gorges as it pushed upward. The Rainbow Serpent is understood to be of immense proportions and inhabits deep waterholes and is in control of life’s most precious gift of water. In some cultures, the Rainbow Serpent is considered to be the ultimate creator of everything in the universe.
Which one is your favourite depiction?
Dragon Image ID : 23104292 Image Type : Stock Vector Copyright : dvarg
"RainbowSerpent" by The original uploader was Digitaltribes at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RainbowSerpent.jpg#/media/File:RainbowSerpent.jpg "Juxtlahuaca Serpent (M Lachniet)" by Photo by Matt Lachniet, University of Nevada at Las Vegas - Photo by Matt Lachniet, University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Licensed under Attribution via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Juxtlahuaca_Serpent_(M_Lachniet).jpg#/media/File:Juxtlahuaca_Serpent_(M_Lachniet).jpg "C-shaped jade dragon" by Wheielapn at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by nopira.. Licensed under GFDL via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:C-shaped_jade_dragon.jpg#/media/File:C-shaped_jade_dragon.jpg