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Famous Canaanite, Hebrew Dragons

history | > famous dragons

Babylonian | > Canaanite/Hebrew | Egyptian | Iranian

Illuyankas

Illuyankas from Wilsonsalmanac.com

- [Canaanite] Illuyankas was a great dragon from Hittite* mythology, the Hittite version of the 'World Serpent'. Illuyankas initially defeated the storm-god Taru, his nemesis, and ripped out his eyes and heart. In one version, the storm-god had the goddess Inaras hold a great banquet for Illuyankas and his brood. When they had fallen asleep, they were pounced upon by the storm-god, accompanied by the other gods, and subsequently killed. In yet another version, Taru had his son marry the daughter of Illuyankas, the dowry of which included the return of Taru's eyes and heart. This effectively brought about the slaying of Illuyankas. The Hittites read this myth on New Year's Day, and the ritual of his defeat is cited every spring to symbolise the earth's renewal.

* The Hittites were a non-Semitic people inhabiting Canaan before it was settled by the Israelites. They invaded and settled Asia Minor at the beginning of the third millenium B.C., establishing an empire which lasted until around 1225 B.C.

- [Canaanite] Yam-nahar [also known as Yam/Yamm/Jamm] is sometimes associated with Lotan, the seven-headed serpent. Yam-nahar has much in common with the sea monster Leviathan. He has also been described as being a seven headed sea dragon that was destroyed by the young god Baal. Baal was a fertility god, and after equipping himself with magical weapons and slaying Yam-nahar, he was crowned king by the supreme god El. The tale symbolises nature's chaotic forces being overcome by the civilising aspect, which ensures the fertility of crops.

Paradise and Hell

Paradise and Hell, Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516)

- [Hebrew] The Serpent in the Garden of Eden is frequently portrayed with the face of Lilith, who was Adam's first wife in Hebrew legend. She considered herself his equal and left him and Eden rather than submit to him. She was often depicted as winged, having the body of a snake, and was said to be the temptress of Eve. She acquired the character of a wicked demon who killed new-born babies and was the enemy of mankind.

next [Egyptian]

References:

Books -
1. Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology
by Arthur Cotterell & Rachel Storm

Websites -
> The Serene Dragon
> Illuyankas article, Encyclopedia Mythica
> The Circle of the Dragon
> Garden of Eden Gallery