It's late here, but I'm not sleepy, so here goes:
>Dave, another few thoughts.
>Do you see any connections between "dragon" and "sea serpent" or
>"leviathan"? According to Udo Becker, in the Old Testament the
>"embodies the continued agency of the chaos that existed before the
>. . "
Harummm. First off, before going in this direction, I would feel ti
necessary to define exaclty what we're talking about when we say Dragon
(I'll spare you the Aristotelian philospophy for now). Draco, draconis
is a Latin word which one finds used both for a snake and for an
other-worldly beastie. Now are we talking the Anne McCaffrey type or the
Chinese type--does it have to fly or breathe fire or simply be a big,
honkin' snake? For example, Virgil uses "serpentes" for the monsters
which came out of the sea and ate Laocoon at the gates of Troy, rather
As to the Leviathan, we find him in Job 41(KJV)
"Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord
which thou lettest down?
Canst thou put a hook in his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
Will he make any supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto
Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.
His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.
One is so near to another that no air can come between them.
By his sneezings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of
Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or cauldron.
His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth...
Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
He beholdeth all high things;
he is a king over all the children of pride.
Also, in Psalm 74:12-14:
For God is my King of old,
working salvation in the midst of the earth.
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength;
thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in peices,
and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
Interesting, no? Now, one can either take this literally--as some
description of a creature (possibly a crocodile) which the Job passage
would lend itself to, or a metaphoric motif, which is most likely of the
psalm. The continued agency of chaos? Maybe the Job text can be read
that way, but I don't think it does the psalm justice. Perhaps the
reason Hobbes took the metaphor was to show how humanity is a beast unto
itself, breathing fire, and stomping on the earth...
>I do consider this a very lightweight reference (as there is no
>a source :-) ), but have heard many comparisons between "dragon" and
>serpent". And I can't help but think of the Celtic preoccupation with
>"chaos" which can ensue when the world is out of order.
Hmmmm. Then again, there's also the fuzziness in Celtic literature
between this world and the otherworld, so that when one says 'world',
what does one mean? Both together or separately? What then is chaos in
a Celtic context? Is it un-naturalness or is it a lack of order, or
rather, the lack of order as a Celt would have seen it?
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