Folklore Virtual Special Issue: Dragons
Introduced by Dr Juliette Wood
From Fafnir to Smaug, to the pearl-chasing Chinese long and the dragons that stalk the world of Internet games, these mythical creatures, whether traditional or literary, carry great symbolic value. The mound-dwelling, fire-breathing dragon in Beowulf belongs to a group of mythical beasts known throughout the world. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth novels have influenced the perception of dragons as winged, fire-breathing, reptilian quadrupeds, but, as so often with mythical animals, they come in many forms. Some are wingless, legless, or multi-headed, while the popular heraldic beast, the wyvern, has two legs, wings, and a serpentine tail. The names reveal something of their heritage. ‘Dragon’ comes from the Greek drakon (a large serpent). ‘Wyvern’ is derived from the Latin for viper (vipera), and the Germanic word, wyrm, is cognate with Latin vermis (worm).
Editor Jessica Hemming and Book Reviews Editor Juliette Wood have brought together a range of articles from Folklore in this Virtual Special Issue. In the podcast introduction, Juliette Wood examines dragon lore in various contexts, but focuses mainly on traditions about dragons in Britain and Europe, as well as the ways in which this dynamic tradition has influenced folktales.
Listen to Dr Wood's exploration of the theme and read the selected articles for free today.
|Presidential Address: Archaeology & Folklore||H. J. Fleur||59||2||1948|
|The Folklore of Ancient Egyptian Monuments||L. V. Grinsell||58||4||1947|
|The Devil's Footprints and Other Folklore: Local Legend and Archaeological Evidence in Lancashire||David A. Barrowclough & John Hallam||119||1||2003|
|Those Who Dwell under the Hills: Orkney’s Mound Lore and Its Wider Context||Nela Scholma-Mason||131||2||2020|
|Fossil Folklore in the Liber Monstrorum, Beowulf, and Medieval Scholarship||Timothy J. Burbery||126||3||2015|
|The Folklore of Some Archaeological Sites in Corsica||Dorothy Carrington & Leslie Grinsell||93||1||1982|
|Antiquity Imagined: Cultural Values in Archaeological Folklore||Jerome A. Voss||98||1||1987|
|Burials and Archaeology: A Survey of Attitudes to Research||Francis Celoria||77||3||1966|
|A 'Divine' Purpose? The Legacy of T. C. Lethbridge||Niall Finneran||114||1||2003|
|Snakestone Bead Folklore||Rachael Pymm||126||4||2018|