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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Introducing the Medieval Dragon

The figure of the dragon loomed large in the medieval imagination. Dragons were intended to frighten and also to fuel fantasy by providing a suitably threatening, evil creature for the hero to overcome. Yet their cultural role went far beyond that of monstrous reptilian adversaries.
Introducing the Medieval Dragon explores the characteristics of the dragon and the multifarious views found in the relevant medieval writings. Through insightful textual study, Thomas Honegger presents new interpretations of religious and literary works, visual imagery, and other depictions of these mythic beasts to illuminate the social value of these representations. From the basis of this study within everyday medieval mythology, Honegger reveals how the figure of the dragon is constantly revived—from Beowulf to Tolkien, Disney to Harry Potter.

144 pages | 1 color plate, 15 halftones | 5 x 7 1/2

Medieval Animals


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"This study of the medieval dragon not only provides a detailed examination of the perceived threats to medieval society, but also more broadly sheds telling light on the very nature of medieval culture. Superbly well researched yet also highly accessible, this is scholarship at its best."

Martin Arnold, University of Hull

 "A pithy introduction to the weird and wonderful world of medieval dragon lore. Honegger emphasizes the diversity and cultural specificity of these fascinating creatures, while also attending to their durability and near universality as symbols. Ranging from literature and learned writings to religious art and folklore, the book is as rich and multifaceted as its subject."

Robert Mills, University College London

Table of Contents

Preface List of illustrations Introduction The Dragon and Medieval Scholarship The Dragon and Medieval Religion The Medieval Dragon and Folklore The Dragon and Medieval Literature Outlook and Conclusion Endnotes Further reading Bibliography Inde

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