This cinches it. How much more proof do we need??? I came home today, the twelth of March, 1998 and picked up the mail. I grabbed the Discover Magazine and was already happy because the featured story was about how cave women were not happy little cave makers, and that they beat the cheeze outta antelope and stuff. I read through, and they describe "venus figures" which were basically stylized figurines of women which were used for divination rituals (so they conjecture). I'm reading, and reading, then, I'm shaking. Surprise.

"...a recently discovered Grimaldi figurine known as Beauty and the Beast. This greenish yellow serpentine sculpture portrays tow arched bodies facing away from each other and joined at the head, shoulders, and lower extremities. One body is that of a Venus figurine. Th other is a strange creature that combines the traingular head of a reptile, the pinched waist of a wasp, tiny arms, and horns. 'It is clearly not a creature of this world,' says Mussi."
Due to the lack of any other mythological or fantabulous beasts found in the paleolithic period, I would like to point out...why is the creature described as "out of this world"? It sounds like a dragon to me. Sounds a lot like the Celtic horned serpent. A lot like a mushussu. The wasp like waist may be a sylization, because something tells me these Venus figures were not the figure of the women of the day. The typical Venus figurine is a rather pear shaped woman with no faces. It is quite a stylized figure.
western European Dragon

More often than not, as in 98% of the time, Westerns are rather mean. Ok, downright eeeevil. Or depicted as such. Whatever. For some reason, in order to get rid of a rampaging dragon, it is necessary to tie a virgin princess to a wall/rock/stake in a wedding dress as an offering. This story has been told by the Greeks, with Perseus and Andromeda, and with the Europeans with St. George. There is a tale in which Hercules has to save a maiden with a similar predicament. I mean isn't that just inviting a dragon to stay? C'mon! You're feeding it, not deterring it!!!!!!!! I guess the ancients were not as wise as we think. Western dragons often dwell in rivers or oceans. This is told right from the beginning with Tiamat, who is the Ocean, and the water theme continues with Apep, and so on. The seven headed devil dragon of the Book of Revelation spews a river, as does the dragon Gargouille of France. Dragons also held great knowledge: the pythonesses of ancient greece were witches who derived wisdom from the great beasts. Of course, there are hoarders. Ladon guarded the Golden apples at Hesperides, Tiamat's toadie guarded sacred tablets, and yet another dragon guarded the golden fleece from Jason. And the list goes on: Here is a list of particular western dragons I find interesting. Oh, and the African Dragons are stationed here, temporarily I think, because they are west of the Eastern Dragons and the New World dragons...gimme a holler if you really don't like it.

western dragon

Ethiopia is supposedly overflowing with dragons, according to Lucan, the classical writer. They are brightly coloured and some are so big that they were confused for hills! Later, Marco Polo wrote that great flights of European dragons flew to Ethiopia. Desert dwellers there are said to be extremely poisonous.

Yeeeeeehaa!!!!!!! Dragons in Subsaharan Africa!!! The circle is complete!!!!!!

Going further into Africa, many Bushmen tribes told of various monsterous serpents. Some were so large and powerful that they could crush a full grown heartbeast. They also painted The Great Black Serpent in caves along the orange river, and the Horned Serpent as well. Most ferocious of the 'mythological' serpents was Kouteign Kooru which means "master of the water." It was rumoured to be larger than the hippopotomaus and lived in the river amongst the reeds. When caught, it unleashed its mighty wrath, writhing, and whipping the water so much that it created a crown of rainbows about its body. It's interesting to note the similarity of the name "kooru" with "kakuru" the australian rainbow serpent, and their connection to the rainbow is interesting, too!!

I recieved an E-mail which told me of the Venda Tribe in Africa, who live in the Limpopo Highlands, and they believe in a rain serpent which somes out of the clouds in the mountains when it rains and eats children that don't stay inside. Noone has ever seen it because it hides so well in the clouds, but they say it is black and long.
Thank you, Kai Losgott!

Okay, skipping northward again...to Egypt...

Apep: the dragon (also known as aphophis) who was constantly at war with the sun god, Ra. Represents night. Every night, Ra sails through the underworld in his boat. Each night Apep attempts to stop Ra's journey. The solar eclipse is what they ancient Egyptians believed to be Apep escaping from the underworld and doing battle with Ra during the daytime.

Buto Buto, Vazit, or Wadjet: also known as the Dragon of Osiris, this dragon goddess protected the pharoah, caused the nile river to flood.
Ladon: the dragon who guarded the golden apples at Hesperides. Legend says that Herkales killed it, and it was placed in the heavens by the gods and is now known as the constellation Draco.
Python: the dragon slain by the Greek sun god Apollo. Python guarded an oracle that was tended by the pythonesses, female soothsayers who divined wisdom from the dragon. Apollo killed the dragon to save some mortal maiden, and then claimed the oracle for himself.
Tiamat: she was the creator of the world, untill that is, Marduk killed her and became king of the Gods. Image shown comes from the Ishtar gate of Babylon. Not Tiamat, but a type of dragon called "mushussu" considered sacred to the god Marduk.
Typhon: dragon slain by Zeus. He was said to have the body of a man, the tail of a serpent, and a hundred dragon heads.
Learnian Hydra: a seven (or nine) headed serpent dragon that was slain by Herkales. I'd like to note here that not all many headed dragons are hydras. What makes a hydra a hydra is the fact that it regrows its heads! Actually, for each head that was cut off, two more grew in its place, and one head was immortal. Herkales burned off the other six ( or eight, take your pick) and buried the immortal one under a boulder.

Now on to Europe!

Fafnir: a dragon slain by Sigurd for his hoard. Fafnir was not always a dragon; he merely became one to become more formidable.
Gargouille: a french dragon which emerged from the Rhine river and terrorized France by causing floods that streamed from its mouth untill slain by St. Roman. Gargouille ("the gargler") inspired the statues we lovingly know as gargoyles, which is why they were first used as water spouts!
Midgard: a norse dragon so huge it could circle the earth while holding tis tail in its mouth.
Lindwurm: German term for dragon. Lindwurm should not be confused with wyrm. Lindwurms have been shown with wings and legs, similar to a french heraldic wyvern.
Nidhoggr: another norse dragon. It constantly eats at Yggdrasil, the Universal Tree. Nighoggr is known to spit out insults like no other. He is also known as "dread biter" and it is his job to strip the flesh from dead corpses ( on three: 3...2...1... EEEEEEEEEEEEWWW!!! )

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