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Dragon Symbolism : Western Dragon VS Eastern Dragon | Moyustore

Dragon Symbolism : Western Dragon VS Eastern Dragon | Moyustore

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Regardless of the East and the West, dragons are one of the oldest legendary creatures! Images and stories of dragons will appear in large numbers in Eastern and Western books, architecture, and decoration. But there is a big difference between eastern and western dragons!

Legend has it that Western dragons possess such powerful power and magic, and there are many types, and they have a huge family system, which is not inferior to Eastern dragons.

Western Dragon (Uncover the origin and true meaning of Western Dragon!)

However, due to different historical developments and different cultural beliefs, people have completely different views on eastern and western dragons! So, what are the significant differences between Western Dragons and Eastern Dragons?

difference in appearance

The most intuitive thing is the difference in appearance. In Chinese mythology and folklore, the Eastern Dragon is a god, the leader of scale insects. Its appearance is also extraordinarily mysterious and beautiful.

Wang Fu of the Eastern Han Dynasty described the appearance of the dragon in this way: "The dragon has nine shapes, its head is like a cow, its horns are like a deer, its eyes are like a shrimp, its ears are like an elephant, its neck is like a snake, its scales are like a fish, its claws are like a phoenix, and its palms are like a phoenix. Like a tiger, it has eighty-one scales on its back, its voice is like a copper plate, it has a beard beside its mouth, a pearl under its chin, reverse scales under its throat, and Boshan on its head. Water can turn into fire.”

Western dragons are more like large lizards with bat wings, covered with scales, long and thick necks, horned or frilled heads, sharp teeth, and a long tail.

It walks with four powerful feet, flies with a pair of giant wings like bat wings, and more importantly, the western dragon has a powerful body and magic. Hot flames can be ejected from the mouth, which has powerful destructive power!

Differences in timing of origin

The origin of the Eastern Dragon can be traced back to the Neolithic Age more than 8,000 years ago, while the concept of the Western Dragon was much later than this, appearing in Western myths about 4,000 years ago.

In Greek mythology, the earliest mention of dragons was the dragon-shaped giants who fought against the god king Zeus. These dragon-shaped giants were born of the earth goddess Gaia and the sky god Uranus. They have ferocious faces, messy beard and hair, and a scaly tail behind them. They have brought endless disasters to human beings, so Western dragons are often called magic dragons.

Due to the profound influence of ancient Greek civilization on the West, the image of Greek dragons has been inherited and developed throughout Europe. However, around the 2nd century A.D., the image of European dragons began to undergo major changes: Western dragons were not only poisonous, but also fire-breathing, ferocious, greedy for money, and cruel.

The dragon in the European national epic "Beowup" is the poisonous dragon guarding the treasure. It is extremely bloody and ferocious, and it is a powerful monster image. Then, with the rise of Christianity, the description of dragons in the Bible once again changed the image of dragons in the Western world. In the Bible story, Satan once turned into a big red dragon, whose tail swept over a third of the stars. The big red dragon had seven heads, each wearing a crown, greedily devouring newborn babies. So far, the western dragon From a miser to an incarnation of Satan!

Re-given a new meaning, the representative of evil, cunning and cruelty. This image has been continued down to become the basic image of the western dragon.

Of course, there are dragon hunters in the east, and there are also a large number of dragon slayers in the west. And slaying the dragon once became the highest praise for heroes and braves.


In fact, China sanctified the "dragon" because it was later bound to the imperial power. As for it becoming a symbol of the Chinese nation, this was after the formation of modern nationalism.

And the dragons of the West aren't all evil. For example, in Celtic mythology: King Fotigang obeyed the wizard, excavated the lake and drained the water, and found a red dragon and a white dragon. At this time, the two dragons woke up and began to fight each other. The white dragon initially had the upper hand, but the red dragon fought back and finally drove the white dragon away. Merlin explains that the red dragon represents the Anglo nation, the subjects of King Vertigan, and the white dragon represents the Saxon nation. The Anglo nation will first be invaded by the Saxon nation, then resist with blood, and finally drive out the Saxons.

In addition, after Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty, the red dragon became his symbol, appeared in the coat of arms and flags, and gradually became a symbol of Wales.

The red dragon in the Welsh flag, clearly a symbol of the sublime

Finally, in Slavic mythology, there are mythical creatures similar to dragons in Greco-Roman-Christian culture. In southern regions, such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the image of dragons is divided into two types. A dragon whose name is the same as the one in Russian legend, but whose image is different. It is usually a male with superhuman wisdom, knowledge and wealth. It is huge and strong, good at magic, and very greedy for the beauty of human women. They are good at pursuing to please human women, and can have offspring with them. Therefore, this kind of dragon is often regarded as an object of respect, and many national heroes are described as dragons or their descendants in folk tales.

Summarize:

In other words, in fact, no matter the western dragon or the Chinese dragon, they are an extremely large group, which cannot be summed up in terms of pure good and evil. The English "dragon" comes from the ancient Greek δρκωνdrákōn, which translates to "giant snake".

 

Dragons in European culture are the result of multiple mythological influences

To be honest, it is quite speechless to see this kind of problem. These reading materials under the banner of "popular science" are actually nonsense. Because Western dragons have absolutely nothing to do with Chinese dragons. Why? Think about it carefully, everyone. If we say that there are snakes in China and snakes in Europe, but the species of snakes are completely different, there is no problem, and biology can prove it.

But the dragon is just a legendary animal. There are different legends in different places. These legends are completely irrelevant. The dragon in European culture is the result of many influences. Before there were Greek, Babylonian mythology and even Christianity, and later there were Nordic mythology, Celtic culture and Anglo-Saxon legends, which created the colorful image of dragons in European culture. Influenced by Greek mythology, the dragon is the guardian of the treasure, so the dragon represents the evil symbol of greed and destruction.

As for why this animal in Western legends is also called "dragon", this is entirely due to translation. The translation of "dragon" into dragon can be said to be a rather unsuccessful translation, and there are still many disputes. Because there is no relationship between Chinese and Western "dragons", they are completely two kinds of mythical creatures.

However, Chinese dragons and Western dragons are also quite similar in that they are both imagined by people based on certain existing animals.

Dragons are mythical creatures that people imagine based on the characteristics of snakes and lizards.

There is a saying: "Gods did not create humans in their own images, but humans created Gods in their own images." Any fantasy has a realistic background, and it is impossible for people to imagine an animal out of thin air.

And dragons are just that: a huge mythical creature with features of snakes and lizards. However, both the East and the West have imagined mythical beasts based on such creatures, not because they are related to each other, but because they "coincidence".

Human beings have something in common. For example, there are legends of "unicorns" in both the East and the West (Xiezhi (xiè zhì) in China), and they are also symbols of integrity and strength. The reason for this situation may be that Because among ancient humans, the horn of a "beast" was a symbol of power, and humans in ancient times usually worshiped a kind of power.

Then, the question should be changed to: Why are the symbolic meanings of the "mythical creatures with the characteristics of snakes and lizards" in the East and the West opposite?

Next, let's talk about whether the symbols of the Chinese dragon and the western dragon are really "one good and one evil".

Chinese dragons do not necessarily represent sacredness, and Western dragons are not all evil

In fact, this is also a misunderstanding. Has the Chinese dragon always been a symbol of "noble" and "sacred"? Not necessarily, everyone has at least heard the legends of "Nezha making troubles in the sea" and "Monkey King making troubles in the Dragon Palace". Here, Nezha and Monkey King are not villains, so their opponent "Dragon King", even if he is not a villain, is not completely holy. However, in ancient Chinese classics and myths and legends, there are many records of humiliating dragons, humiliating dragons, fighting dragons, and killing dragons.

Nezha Nao Hai

In fact, China sanctified the "dragon" because it was later bound to the imperial power. As for it becoming a symbol of the Chinese nation, this was after the formation of modern nationalism.

And the dragons of the West aren't all evil. For example, in Celtic mythology: King Fotigang obeyed the wizard, excavated the lake and drained the water, and found a red dragon and a white dragon. At this time, the two dragons woke up and began to fight each other. The white dragon initially had the upper hand, but the red dragon fought back and finally drove the white dragon away. Merlin explains that the red dragon represents the Anglo nation, the subjects of King Vertigan, and the white dragon represents the Saxon nation. The Anglo nation will first be invaded by the Saxon nation, then resist with blood, and finally drive out the Saxons.

In addition, after Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty, the red dragon became his symbol, appeared in the coat of arms and flags, and gradually became a symbol of Wales.

The red dragon in the Welsh flag, clearly a symbol of the sublime

Finally, in Slavic mythology, there are mythical creatures similar to dragons in Greco-Roman-Christian culture. In southern regions, such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the image of dragons is divided into two types.

A dragon whose name is the same as the one in Russian legend, but whose image is different. It is usually a male with superhuman wisdom, knowledge and wealth. It is huge and strong, good at magic, and very greedy for the beauty of human women. They are good at pursuing to please human women, and can have offspring with them. Therefore, this kind of dragon is often regarded as an object of respect, and many national heroes are described as dragons or their descendants in folk tales.

Summarize:

In other words, in fact, no matter the western dragon or the Chinese dragon, they are an extremely large group, which cannot be summed up in terms of pure good and evil. The English "dragon" comes from the ancient Greek δρκωνdrákōn, which translates to "giant snake".

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