The sword in a stone may refer to drawing iron or copper from ore. It was the iron age by then, and iron weapons ruled. The dragon image was widespread around the world, and may refer to chemical processes. Eastern metallurgists, especially in the eastern Mediterranean, protected knowledge of their craft in a guildlike manner. We're probably looking at signs of the latest hi-tech advances of the times.
posted on 03/03/2004 11:28:05 AM PST
(Theorems link concepts; proofs establish links)
I've always thought that dragon legends may have been spawned by dinosaur fossils. A T-Rex skull would make a fine catalyst for such stories.
We're probably looking at signs of the latest hi-tech advances of the times.
That's a very interesting notion and it makes sense. The idea of an iron "sword" being "hidden" or "imprisoned" in stony iron ore is an elegant literary metaphor and is probably the best interpretation I've run into.
Could you expand on your idea that dragons represented chemical processes? Can you trace it to any source? I know salamanders were thought to possess alchemical powers but I've never run into anything about dragons in that context.
posted on 03/04/2004 9:51:51 AM PST
by Bernard Marx
(In theory there's no difference between theory and practice. But in practice there is.)
"The sword in a stone may refer to drawing iron or copper from ore."
Certainly possible. I have read the other theory in a number of sources though.
"The dragon image was widespread around the world, and may refer to chemical processes."
The dragon image is widespread in Europe and eastern Asia. I didn't know it was an image in other areas.
At any rate, the Romano-Britains or proto-Welsh used the title Pendragon. Dragon itself comes from Greek through Latin. I believe in Ancient Greek, Draco, the noun, came from a verb meaning "to stare", hence "the staring one" and was used for serpents in general.
The legions did use images of animals on their individual standards, and I believe one of the Legions stationed in Britain used a Dragon.
posted on 03/04/2004 10:17:21 AM PST
(God Bless Senator Joe McCarthy!!!)
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