The Evolution of the Dragon
G. Elliot Smith
Available in PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook. This book has 290 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1919.
Fully illustrated. This is a set of three connected essays on the symbolism and development of the concept of the dragon in world mythology. Smith proposes a theory of how the dragon originated as a representation of the Mother Goddess, a symbol of the power and mystery of nature, and later evolved into a symbol of evil, turning into the prototype for the Christian devil. He uses linguistic, ethnographic, and biological data to bolster his theory. While in some respects a difficult book, depending on one's attention span, it is also a browser's delight. We learn about the origin of clothing, the water of immortality which Gilgamesh sought, and the symbolism, folklore and biology of the octopus, mandrake, pearls, cowry shells, etc. In particular, students of comparative mythology will enjoy this book.
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