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.
|The Dragon of La Trinità: An Italian Folk-Tale||Mary Lovett Cameron||21||3|
|The Hill of the Dragon: Anglo-Saxon Burial Mounds in Literature and Archaeology||Hilda R. Ellis Davidson||61||4|
|Saint Martha and the Dragon||Eliza Gutch||63||4|
|Fifty British Dragon Tales: An Analysis||Jacqueline Simpson||89||1|
|Sigemund the Dragon-Slayer||Annelise Talbot||94||2|
|Dragons in Twentieth-Century Fiction||Sandra Unerman||113||1|
|Prince Mohammad, Fereydun, Thraētaona, and Trita Āptya: Themes and Connections in Persian Narratives||Mehri Bagheri||112||2|
|Snake and Dragon Lore of Japan||F. J. Daniels||71||3|
|An Interpretation of a Lisu Tale||Paul Durrenberger||89||1|
|The Sussex Serpent||Jeremy Harte||105||1-2|
|Some West Sussex Superstitions Lingering in 1868||Charlotte Latham||1||1|
|Dragons and Big Cats||George Monger||103||2|
|Men, Saints, or Dragons?||David S. Reese||87||1|
|Sussex Local Legends||Jacqueline Simpson||84||3|