December 12 – Dragons in print

speccoll
Thursday 12 December 2019
Title page from Ulyssis Aldrovandi … Serpentum, et draconum historiæ libri duo, 1640 (r17f QL666.O6)

The dragon is perhaps the most iconic of the fantastic beasts. This winged legendary creature, known for its fire breathing abilities is common to most cultures around the world, and has been a feature in much of modern literature.

Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi published a Natural History of Snakes and Dragons (Ulyssis Aldrovandi … Serpentum, et draconum historiæ libri duo) in 1640. Unable to select just one of the illustrations of this beast we thought we would share a selection of them (with a little festive decoration added by us). Tomorrow, we will highlight dragons represented in our manuscripts.

Dragon (with bells added) from Ulyssis Aldrovandi … Serpentum, et draconum historiæ libri duo, 1640 (r17f QL666.O6)
Dragon (with a little tinsel added) from Ulyssis Aldrovandi … Serpentum, et draconum historiæ libri duo, 1640 (r17f QL666.O6)
Dragon (with the addition of a sleigh) from Ulyssis Aldrovandi … Serpentum, et draconum historiæ libri duo, 1640 (r17f QL666.O6)

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3 thoughts on "December 12 – Dragons in print"

  • clcouch123
    Thursday 12 December 2019, 4.32pm

    Dragons in print. Sounds as if they're wearing paisley (sorry). I hadn't thought of dragons pulling sleighs. They should be hardy enough, if cold-bloodedness doesn't get in the way. Thank you for this delightful calendar series.

    Reply
  • Nancy
    Nancy
    Thursday 12 December 2019, 4.43pm

    I thought of dragons as having four legs and wyverns as bipedal.

    Reply
    • St Andrews Special Collections
      Friday 13 December 2019, 10.11am

      Thanks for your comment, Nancy. We haven't made the distinction in this blog series but there will be some dragons with four legs featured in today's post.

      Reply

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