Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy St. George's Day!

And with it, a taxonomy of dragons, via the British Library.

Sir, you just killed my pet dragon, Cedric!
Now I have to find a new playmate for my goat, Winifred!
From their blog:

"Dragons are near-ubiquitous in medieval manuscripts.  They take pride of place in bestiaries and herbals, books of history and legend, and Apocalypse texts, to name a few.  They serve as symbols, heraldic devices, and even as ‘just’ decoration, and their physical characteristics can vary widely. Cinematic and literary depictions of dragons today are fairly consistent; they are almost always shown as reptilian, winged, fire-breathing creatures (in a word, Smaug).  But this was by no means a constant portrayal in the medieval period."

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