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The Dragon In Scenes Of Combat

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Chapter Summary

Myths of dragon-like creatures and the vanquishing of these dragons were well-known, if not universal, in the traditions both of the Indo- Europeans and of the Near Eastern civilisations with whom the Persian speaking peoples came into contact from at least the first half of the first millennium BC. The ancient myth of the dragon-fighter was thus reinterpreted in a religious way in the popular image of the Saoshiiaṇt overcoming Evil. The dragon combat is one of five heroic feats portrayed on the plate, the vignettes being separated by trees. The idea of connecting the cult and iconography of the Eastern Christian warrior saints with the dragon can be traced to at least the early seventh century.

Keywords: ancient myth; dragon combat; dragon-fighter; Eastern Christian; iconography



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