The Origin Of The Dragon

2970 Words12 Pages
Jacob Rey
Professor Ellen Oliveira
ARLT – 100G
7 October 2014

Dragons Transformed
Dragon have been predominant in many cultures for centuries. Its function may differ culture to culture but its identity has become a universal symbol; we all have the dragon in common. Dragons are everywhere and appear to be the most documented creature in all of ancient history, second to that of the human being (Isaacs 19). These magnificent creatures like any other monster have an origin. Scholars, however, debate the origin of the dragon pointing to several aspects; diffusion and conception from other biological organisms. Is there a definite origin of the dragon? This debate has sparked another simply because it appears that the dragon’s identity
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The origin of dragons is a well debated topic and there seems to be numerous origins however, because the dragon appears in many cultures and because the dragon belief shares so many similarities, Smith argues the dragon must have a common origin (Blust 519). This then raises the question as to how this could be possible especially when there exists a diverse plethora of cultures throughout the world and many geographical locations. This has baffled many including psychologist C. G. Jung, which suggests that dragons are "archetypes," or symbols acquired in the past and genetically transmitted for ages as an innate property of the human mind (519). This is an interesting approach, however, there still remains others that must also be discussed; the diffusion of the idea of the dragon and the inspiration by biological organisms.
Diffusion is the common explanation to explain the extent to which cultures come to the general consensus on the identity of the dragon. Smith explains that the dragon was a creation of the Egyptian priesthood and from Egypt spread to the Near East, Europe, India, China and Mesoamerica (521). This process of diffusion did not occur at a rapid pace but rather a slow one that took many centuries through contact made during trade. There is evidence to support this claim made by Smith, as the first basic
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