Author: Fran Black
The Dragon has played an important part in myths and religions since pre-historic times. The history of dragons goes back at least six thousand years, and there are dragon tales and legends from every continent except Antarctica.
In almost every culture, and all throughout history, there are stories of these mythical and magical creatures called dragons. Different people have various theories of why so many cultures developed such a long lasting belief in dragons; however, none can actually be proven.
Many believe that dragons were what we now call dinausaurs. It may be that dragon stories partly grew out of people finding dinosaur bones. The thought is that when dragon bones were dug up later, they were given the new classification of dinosaur.
Many evolutionists believe that dinosaurs became extinct millions of years before man walked the planet, while others claims dispute this. It is said that dinosaur fossils, which have been discovered along with human footprints and remains, add proof to the ancient people’s history of dragons. Others feel that people forgot that dragons were ever real, and quickly faded into mythology.
In almost every culture and all throughout history there are stories of these magical creatures called dragons. Later, in Europe these dragons in art forms were thought to be real life animals rather than symbols of evil.
Throughout many cultures, dragons may have appeared different, but they have always retained the same basic core elements. When most people think of dragons they generally think of fire breathing monsters, but originally dragons were usually connected with water. To the ancient Chinese, dragons were not creatures of fire, as so many would think, but rather creatures of water.
The dragon of the Chinese resided in rivers, lakes, pools and rose in great clouds of mist to promote rainfall. In earlier Mideast stories, the dragons are most often associated with water and wisdom. Historians use this conection with water to distinguish dragons from other mythical animals.
While the east feels that the dragon is a divine, mythical creature that brings good fortune, prosperity and bounty, western dragons are viewed differently. They are connected to the element fire, and they fling their colossal tails about, and viciously create destruction.
The contrary views of the east and the west indicate opposing views where humans viewed dragons as a symbols of wisdom and peace, or symbols of chaos and evil. Neither would disagree that dragons were viewed as powerful creatures. This, along with the wide variance in the physical description of dragons, contributes to confusion in the definition of a dragon.
The humans revered the dragons, some clans even calling them gods. Hence, dragons were held in high regard, and their images kept and worn, to win their approval. Originally, it was believed that dragons were the ones who talked directory to the Gods.
It was also thought at this time that earthquakes were caused by battles between dragons and gods. In history, many different cultures began to adopt the idea of gods fighting with dragons to restore order.
The dragon may be ancient, but it remains as influential today as it did four thousand years ago. Today, the popularity of fantasy, and such role-playing games as Dungeons and Dragons, means that dragon figurines are a hot commodity.
Online stores promoting dragon items have popped up including http://www.dragon-gifts.com
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