Dragon Legends—Truths Behind the Tales
In the book of Job, God describes a behemoth and a fire-breathing leviathan
(Job 40:15–24; 41:1–34). These creatures are unlike anything we find today.
Is it possible these dragons refer to dinosaurs and other reptile-like creatures
of the air and sea?
Dragons appear again and again in the records of cultures around the world,
as well as in their art and pottery. The similarities are hints that many accounts
may be based on actual encounters with these creatures—dinosaurs and other reptiles
which God created on day five and six (Genesis 1:20–25) and which survived the
Flood aboard Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6:19).
Dragons may not be around today for the same reasons that other animals go
extinct—changes in environment, food issues, hunting by man. Let’s face it,
most legends end with a dragon’s death. But their memory lives on.
In the far north of Queensland, Australia, Aborigines from the Kuku Yalanji
tribe described and painted a sea and lake monster that looked surprisingly
like a plesiosaur.
Babylon is the heart of early civilization after the Flood. A famous entrance
called the Ishtar Gate was built by Nebuchadnezzar II (a powerful ruler during
the Israelites’ Babylonian exile). This gate displays a reptilian creature
with four legs, standing upright on its hips like a dinosaur.
Chinese dragons, well-known throughout the world, even appear on China’s
twelve-year calendar cycle. Eleven of these animals are common today (dog,
rat, monkey, etc.), so why assume that the twelfth (a dragon) was mythological?
The Travels of Marco Polo describes some of these long and lanky “serpents,”
which included short legs and claws. He claimed the Chinese would use special
methods to kill these dragons. Some of the dragons’ body parts were used for
medicinal purposes, and others were eaten as a delicacy.
Herodotus, an ancient Greek writer, records in The Histories, “There
is a place in Arabia [modern Egypt], situated very near the city of Buto,
to which I went, on hearing of some winged serpents; and when I arrived there,
I saw bones and spines of serpents, in such quantities as it would be impossible
to describe. The form of the serpent is like that of the water snake; but
he has wings without feathers, and as like as possible to the wings of a bat.”
Bishop Bell, who died in 1496,
is buried in the foundation of the
famous Carlisle Cathedral. The
ornate brass engravings around the
grave show several animals, some
of which appear to be dinosaurs,
like a long-neck sauropod and
a horned ceratopsian.
The Roman historian Cassius Dio recounted how a Roman army once killed a
dragon. The original fragment from Book 11 of his Roman History, now
lost, was repeated by John of Damascus (AD ~676–749), in his book On Dragons
and Ghosts: “One day, when Regulus, a Roman consul, was fighting against
Carthage, a dragon suddenly crept up and settled behind the wall of the Roman
army. The Romans killed it by order of Regulus, skinned it and sent the hide
to the Roman senate. When the dragon’s hide, as Dio says, was measured by
order of the senate, it happened to be, amazingly, one hundred and twenty
feet long, and the thickness was fitting to the length.”
The Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf describes three encounters Beowulf,
king of the Geats (Gothenburg, Sweden, today), has with three creatures. The
last one, encountered in Sweden, is a fiery flying serpent that lives underground
and comes out only at certain times. The injuries from this battle lead to Beowulf’s
Peru is known for dragon and dinosaur-like creatures in their pottery and other
artifacts. For example, the Museum of the Nation displays a dragon-like dinosaur
on a piece of pottery attributed to the Moche culture (AD 400–1100).
Several petroglyphs (etchings in stone) resemble air or land dragons. A pictograph
in San Rafael Swell is of something similar to a Pteranodon or Pterodactyl.
One in Natural Bridges National Monument looks rather similar to a sauropod.
from Southern Illinois at Carbondale in mechanical engineering.
Since joining Answers in Genesis, Bodie has contributed to several
books, including Dragons: Legends and Lore of Dinosaurs.
https://answersingenesis.org/dinosaurs/dragon-legends/dragon-legends-truths-behind-the-tales/ This article originally appeared on answersingenesis.org