Mankind is a tough creature, able to adapt and survive and evolve in any location or situation put in front of them. We have lived in icy wastelands and scorching deserts, in steaming jungles and rocky hills, besides coastlines and on vast grassy plains. We have adapted and formed cultures so unlike one another to almost be alien. But despite the vast size of our world and the varied cultures that inhabit its every corner, there is one thing that connects almost all of mankind's civilisations. One shared piece of imagery that has managed to spread over mountains, borders and seas and wormed its way into the heart of folklore and story: the striking image of the dragon.
With its fiery breath and scaled hide, its sharp fangs and massive wings, there are few images as memorable and vivid as that of the dragon. Majestic and noble, sinister and terrible, enigmatic and omniscient, the dragon has come to represent an entire spectrum of emotions and ideologies. Whether it be the beneficent and powerful water dragons of Chinese mythology or the bestial, damsel-eating drakes of Western folktales, there is no denying the influence and importance dragons have had throughout our history.
These days, the dragon is everywhere, found in films and games – especially popularised by pen-and-paper games such as Dungeons & Dragons – or in stories for both children and adults, embossed on flags and stylised in heraldry, immortalised in statues and art: the image of the dragon is immensely recognizable. The Welsh flag bears the red dragon for example, whose origin can be found in Welsh mythology... Then there is the influence of dragons in Eastern culture, from the ‘Dragon-emperors' of China to the Nagas of Buddhist and Hindu myth... Read More
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