Thanks for bringing in Dr. Malcor's comments. I would still have a few
questions before feeling completely comfortable with the Sarmatians:
First off, at the same time in which the Sarmatians brought the motif to
Britain (and thanks for the Dio Cassius reference!), weren't there
already Rhineland auxilliaries serving in the legions in Britain (might
have been later for the Germans)? If this is so, then there's another
possiblity for transmission (though not as likely, as the Sarmatians
would have had a visual image, rather than an oral descirption).
Additionally, with the establishment of the Cohors I Britonnum in ca. 85
AD, the possiblity of British soldiers travelling about the Empire and
returning home with tales to tell could also be another source. Still,
this is a reach, when faced with the actual inscriptions which Dr. Malcor
The dragon image in Britain, however, shows up in
>>conjunction with the arrival of the Sarmatians, so it is most likely
>>that rather than from a Germanic source.
Hmmm. It's interesting, though, that with such an early date of possible
transmission, we don't see the motif in general use in Britain until
"Culhwch ac Olwen". I can't claim to have read the entire corpus of
Welsh literature from before 1000 (not that there's all that much of it),
but I don't remember seeing it in the poetry, where one would expect it.
If this is truly the case, is the Sarmatian transmission a dead end or
are there more inscriptions, especially in the late-Roman/early Saxon
At any rate, thank Dr. Malcor for her comments, and let her know I'll try
to find her book and give it a read over the summer.
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