Dr. Eileen Jankowski
When someone thinks of a dragon, they often imagine the East Asia dragon or the European fire breathing dragons slain by heroes. While completely different creatures in their meaning and abilities, they get lumped into the same category in the English language because of their serpent-like appearances. In the 9th Century BC, the Chinese dragon made its’ first written appearance in Yi Jing, an ancient Chinese divination text. The dragon was viewed as a benevolent god that brought rain for good harvests. A major distinction between Eastern and Chinese dragons was that the Chinese dragon was not in a specific myth or tale, it was a symbol and a deity to the Chinese. In this research project, the Chinese dragon will be compared to Fafnir the dragon in Norse mythology, and St. George and the Dragon. Fafnir appeared in written form in the 13th century in the Volsunga Saga. Fafnir was a man driven by greed and killed his father to gain his treasure. In doing so, Fafnir turned into a Dragon that guarded his treasure only to be slain by Sigurd. In St. George and the Dragon, the dragon spewed venom and poisoned the countryside’s water supply. My research aims to explore the commonalities between these creatures that do not seem to have much in common at all in order to reveal the important themes in ancient folklore.
Lucas, Sophia, "Dragons: From Deities to Evil Serpents" (2019). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 367.