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Re: "plumed" serpents



jhecht@world.std.com wrote:

> It would be interesting to see if any medieval catalogs of wonders listed
> any stone "dragons" or similar beasts.

I beleive that there is a collection of medievally-found fossils at
the
|V|atican, since in those times many such curiosities were sent to the Pope...

On the general issue of the origin of the european dragon, I havent
seen
much mention of a progression of the idea from sea-monster to
land-based
dragons... There's plenty of "convincing" evidence for sea serpents
that
medieval peoples could have had access too (i.e. Oarfish taken as baby
serpents, giant squid etc etc). Medieval thought incorporated the
concept of
correspondances - for example, the capture of a narwhale was entirely
beleivable to them as *proof* that unicorns existed, because anything
in the
sea must have its corresponding analogue on land (and indeed *in* it -
this
was the explanation for fossils for a while to:
ammonite=landsnail=seashell,
for example, the existance of any one implying the existance of
something
similar in the other two realms...). So, if they accepted
sea-serpents,
there *had* to be "land serpents", and physical evidence such as
fossil
remains would simply be confirming something that they already had
strong
grounds to suspect, by their reasoning at that time.

Just my 0.02 - interesting thread, folks.

M.


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