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Damaszkuszi Szent János A sárkányokról című írása
St. John of Damascus about the Dragons

Author(s): Anna Judit Tóth
Subject(s): Customs / Folklore, Metaphysics, Middle Ages, Hermeneutics, History of Religion
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: late antique religion; Byzantine folklore; dragon; witch; John of Damascus;

Summary/Abstract: Two short treatises were published in Patrologia Graeca (94, 1599–1602) attributed to Saint John of Damascus. Their author argues against the existence of two mythical creatures, the dragon and the strynx, both are shape-shifters and the strynx devours infants. Although both creatures are well-known from medieval and modern folklore, this type of dragon, which appears in human form and kidnaps women, is reported in this text first. In my study I analyse the content and mythological connections of the text, and I make an attempt to reconstruct the circumstances of their writing. They are probably fragments of homilies, or a work that aimed to help other priest in preaching. The author expected an educated audience, who are able to understand his scientific arguments or his allusions on Roman history. On the base of the content and the argumentation of the text I refute the authorship of Damascene. I propound the existence of a latin version, since we know a Latin sermon whose title: De pythonibus et maleficis seems to be a translation of the Ps-Damascene texts, however, the extant text is, unfortunately, independent from the title.

  • Issue Year: 61/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 55-69
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: Hungarian