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LETTERS AND COMMENTS

Dear Editor,

Of interest to readers of CSSHS Quarterly would be the story of "Bel and the Dragon," from the Apocrypha (in any Catholic Bible, the 14th chapter of Daniel). Here is a semi-Biblical example of a late dinosaur.

There is another aspect to the widespread dragon-serpent mythology of the world. I refer to the Uroboros, the cosmic dragon, often represented with its tails touching its head or in its mouth. The Uroboros encircles the world and time, indicating the circular nature of time. It can be found in Babylonia, Greece, Nigeria, India, Mexico, etc. (Cf. Mircea Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return (also titled Cosmos and History), Princeton, 1971, pp. 37-42, 55-60).

The Uroboros encircles and guards the Edenic world-egg, out of which man has come. Often, man ascends out of the Edenic world-egg by staying the serpent. However the myth reads, it seems to be universally acknowledged that the Uroboros serpent was the ruler and guardian of the original world. This may be the origin of, or be related to, the stories of dragons guarding treasures.

From a Christian standpoint, the sacred character of serpents is not difficult to understand. The serpent-snake-dragon-Uroboros is associated with Satan, who pretends to be the god of this world. Thus, it is not surprising that non-Christian religions of the world ascribe to the Serpent the overlordship of time and space, and see him as the ruler of the original paradise from which man has come. Much work needs to be done in this area.

If the dinosaur provides us with a Creational backdrop for understanding the dragon mythology of the world, the Uroboros provides us wit ha "Fall" orientation. For the full picture, we need both.

Cordially in Christ,
    James B. Jordan
    Jackson, Ms.
 


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