Saint George's Day - April 23

Today is Saint George's Day, at least in England. He is probably best known for snuffing a dragon. As a child, I always heard and saw references to "Saint George and THE Dragon", leaving me to wonder if he slaughtered the last dragon, but I suspect that this is just a quirk of the English Language.

We don't know very much about that dragon, or dragons in general. but there had to be at least two on the Ark. Though they could've flown hither and yon sufficiently to give rise to the sightings all over the globe, this is unlikely. The energy needs would be horrific and food would've been quite scarce immediately after the flood. It also appears that there were once various species of dragons, perhaps as far back as the Ark itself. Not all had wings, so either there were multiple species on the Ark itself that reproduced and dispersed, or, horror of horrors, the various progeny of the original pair evolved into multiple species, at least some of which dispersed. In any event, St. George's dragon was probably not any of the dragons from Revelations (http://www.lizaphoenix.com/encyclopedia/dragon.shtml)

Insofar as they are generally depicted as being somewhat reptilian, it is likely that each species was pretty prolific. As carnivores, they would tend to disperse as juveniles. They are also reputed to live to enormous ages. Given that the one George killed was somewhere in the middle East,it more likely to be one of the originals from the Ark than the absolute last of their kind.

At any rate, Saint George became the patron saint of England somehow, so happy Saint George's Day.

Now I am aware that it has become fashionable to mimimize the magnificience of this monster mauler by claiming that his hagiographers, at some point, confused and conflated him with Saint Theodore, as if that were so easily done. The linked article is an example of this scurrilous discourse: https://www.foliamagazine.it/saint-george-dragon/ . Consider that this is no mere knight errant, no petty baron or count, but a freaking saint. His triumph is a sacred triumph, and this disrespectful discourse is nothing less than heresy. What's next, "Beowulf did it"?

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magiamma's picture

a quirk of THE English language.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

in English folklore to be eponymous with Norse Vikings who would raid coastal villages to steal gold, livestock and women.

Interesting that the dragon slayer moniker for George only comes into usage in England in the twelfth century - just after the Norman Conquest when William and his successors are trying to consolidate power.

Adopting a patron saint who would rid England of dragons (like Ireland's Saint Patrick earlier did of snakes) certainly seems like an effective way to unite the country against a common foreign foe and help the Normans (who were Viking descendants themselves) justify their own invasion and government.

Of course, the fact that they got the saint wrong and that Saint Theodore is the actual dragon slayer in the original Armenian carvings isn't surprising. Crusaders in general weren't exactly the sharpest knives in the drawer - a big reason why they could never make a go of their Eastern Med colonization project (until the twentieth century of course).

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Peace Sells

enhydra lutris's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
a possibly strictly English thing, but St. George is also big in Portugal, Georgia, The Levant, Ethiopia, and in the muslim world. Then there's the Geats and Beowulf ... .

All the same, have a great day and thanks for reading.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@enhydra lutris

Just that England's adoption of George as Patron saint in the 1100s is probably related to organizing coastal defenses against the Vikings.

St. George is also big in Portugal, Georgia, The Levant, Ethiopia, and in the muslim world,

Maybe just a coincidence, but a lot of those places were also visited by Vikings (including even Georgia), while the other coastal areas surely had their own dragons to deal with.

So basically, George is really the patron saint of Coastal Defenses.

Dragon slayer, though, sounds much cooler.

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Peace Sells

Lookout's picture

...or that's my understanding.
https://www.foliamagazine.it/saint-george-dragon/

Ley lines were termed ‘Dragon Lines’ by the Chinese centuries ago. When these ‘Dragon Lines’ cross each other their energy spirals into a vortex. If several lines cross at a given point, called a node, it produces a massive vortex of energy. One such place is located at Avebury in England, where twelve lines meet and go down into the Earth. This is a place where megalithic stone structures were built in ancient times and is where many crop circles appear today. https://dragondreaming.wordpress.com/ley-lines-dragon-lines/

Near Avebury are many white horses and other figures.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hill_figure
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uffington_White_Horse

Many think it represents St George's horse.

Here's a statue created by Italian WWII prisoners on Orkney...
1 Italian chapel (24)_0.jpg

Well better go slay my own dragons...young sweet gum trees taking over my wildflower field. The start of the mowing season begins here today. All the best.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

@Lookout
especially with the Christian serpent fetish. Good luck with your gum trees and have a great day.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

as well. And He was nice (so they say). What if St. George actually killed Puff? That would make St. George not so great. It's easy to slay someone who is nice, it's not really such an admirable achievement.
Since we're talking about knights and battles and arguments and hero worship, I think the tweedles are relevant:

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx
seem that puff does have some ability to to rise from the dead. As to the tweedles, all of Lewis Carroll's works are generally both significant and applicable at all times.

Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris when all that nonsense is not so nonsensical. I think Carroll may be a bit of a precursor to Monty Python. Or it could just be an English thing. Incisive nonsense....reliably good stuff.
Oh, and I did forget Puff was magic...so yes, one cannot kill him dead.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@randtntx
he presaged theater of the absurd and was loaded with sly existential content. I actually still believe that.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris of me as a teenager, I don't think I could have written that paper. Pretty darn good I'd say, I hope you made an 'A'.

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me that there might have been actual dragons around long ago, roughly similar in appearance to what is commonly depicted, and probably a creature you wouldn't want to hang around with. It is interesting that the dragon appears in cultural iconography going back many centuries and in places many thousands of miles distant from each other.

If there can be a Sasquatch species of man-ape alive today -- and I'm inclined to believe the evidence is solid for its current existence, go ahead and sue me in the federal court of your choosing -- why not dragons from yesteryear.

Just my dos centavos. And a caution not to go into the woods alone ...

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enhydra lutris's picture

@wokkamile
things that could've passed, though I doubt any interacted with any humans.
Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Azazello's picture

My theory is that dragon tales had their origin in Mongolia somewhere, where erosion might have exposed fossilized dinosaur remains. These would resemble dragons, no ?

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello
in the day one would think. I doubt that any survived to biblical times alive, even in remote areas, certainly not in the middle east, but oral traditions and cultural memory live a huge long time, even if there is some information shift here and there.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

detroitmechworks's picture

slapping a "Saint" and a bit of a makeover on em, and opening up across town.

But hey, I don't judge. Would be nice if they still DID those kind of things these days. Unfortunately Corproate (sic) America likes to pile their shit on top of them until everybody forgets that there was a reason underneath all that shit.

Ah well. Nothing personal, Christians. I know you're on a budget, because the king doesn't see your form of social control as useful. Don't worry, soon as they are unable to control people via brute force, Christian values of patience, non-aggression, and forgiveness will be trotted out HARDCORE.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@detroitmechworks Have a great one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --