The Council of Mythical Creatures of England

8 British mythical figures
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In Revelations , the drakon is the ancient serpent equated to the devil.

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This religious narrative reccurs in the Cappadokian story of St George slaying the dragon, a story originating in the East which became Westernised during the Crusades, retold by knights and artists until it was infused in popular culture and representation. Diodorus Siculus, a Greek historian in the first century, narrates an interesting story whose thematic echo and protagonist shaped the story of St John in the centuries following the Crusades. Diodorus narrates what is basically a story of colonisation of the Greek island of Rhodes involving, however, an invisible dragon:. And Apollo commanded them to receive Phorbas and his companions and to colonize together with them the island of Rhodes — Phorbas was a son of Lapithes and was tarrying in Thessaly together with a considerable number of men, seeking a land in which he might make his home — and the Rhodians summoned him as the oracle had commanded and gave him a share in the land.

And Phorbas destroyed the serpents, and after he had freed the island of its fear he made his home in Rhodes; furthermore, since in other respects he proved himself a great and good man, after his death he was accorded honours like those offered to heroes. Library of History Book V.


Alluding to Diodorus Siculus, the story of a knight of St John slaying a dragon in fourteenth century Rhodes is almost identical. As the Ottoman empire expanded Westward after the fall of Jerusalem, the knights who were defending the Hospital in the Holy Land fled to Cyprus and then Rhodes, where they built fortresses to defend themselves.

Dieudonne de Gozon, a Frenchman from Gascony, was allegedly a knight in Rhodes at a time when a big serpent was tormenting the island and had killed many locals.

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The travel guides in our collection, written in Latin and in vernacular Italian, also confirm the deep roots of this tradition, since they treat the incident as a historic fact. However, there is probably more to the origins of the dragon tradition in the story of St John in Rhodes. Considering the geographical and environmental patterns of the morphological variation of certain animal species, particularly local serpents, may add a dimension to this story that goes beyond its symbolic connotations. The area around Rhodes, including the nearby island of Samos, has been known as a natural habitat of extraordinary, and often oversized, lizards and other relevant species since ancient times.

Even today, a visit to the Local History Museum or even a wonder in the local area in the summer where one might see lizards of great size sunning themselves on the side of countryside roads, will prove this to be true.

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What is more, Rhodes was a port with high traffic, a point of reference for both pilgrims and traders who were travelling to and from the East. As Cairo was often on the pilgrim route to the Holy Land connecting it to Rhodes, it is quite plausible that a crocodile or any other serpent non-native to the land may have boarded one of these connecting ships. Although elephants were not protagonists in the story of St John and, unlike the lion and the unicorn, have not made it to the coats of arms of the Grand Masters or of members of the Order since medieval times, their presence in stories bestiaries, and travel guides was quite prominent, and the knights were fascinated by them.

The depiction of elephants was heavily dominated by illustrations of the animal carrying a castle on its back.

Mythical creatures

Another famous elephant that could have fascinated the knights might have been a war elephant allegedly captured in the Holy Land by Roman emperor Frederick II who launched the Sixth Crusade with the support of the Hospitallers and the Templars. Naturally, an elephant would have been a sight to behold! Bristol's obsession with unicorns dates back to the 16th century when the city chose to include two of the illusive beasts in its official seal, it was stamped into the hot wax of thousand of legal documents of the time.

The unicorns being shown on either side of the blazon makes them supporters of the city, documents of the time said that unicorns will only do homage to men of virtue. They can be seen paying homage by the way they are posed, they are depicted seated rather than rearing up on their hind legs as you might expect. Beneath the unicorns was the phrase, "virtute et industry" which means "by virtue and industry," it also included a golden ship departing from a silver castle. Photo: upload.

Scottish Myths & Legends

Today signs the unicorn can still be found all over the city wherever you see the coat or arms, it featured in the original University Of Bristol logo until it was redesigned in , on the front terrace of the Royal West of England Academy, at the entrance of the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, and unicorns featured in the North Bristol Rugby Club tie and blazer badge as designed by an art teacher from Monks Park School. Photo: commons.

Two of the most prominent unicorns in Bristol can be seen high above College Green at either end of the roof of City Hall.

Unicorns and magical creatures activities - Torbay Council

Photo: flickr. The SS Great Britain marked a period in Bristol's history when the city was at the forefront of the world, in Isambard Kingdom Brunel launched the world's first luxury cruise liner, at the time it was the longest passenger ship in the world. Intelligent, and enjoys riddles.

Likes to seek out shiny objects.

Academic History

Porlocks were studied by fifth year students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Care of Magical Creatures class during the school year. Suddenly, a Kraken surfaces in the Thames and attacks. If you can get Von Breydenbach and Viaggio de Venetia al Santo Sepolchro by Noe, are on display in our medieval gallery and contain the narrations of pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, as well as illustrations of places, monuments, people, and animals they encountered, including a medieval unicorn. Throughout the gameworld, numerous objects must be interacted with to proceed, including switches.

Habitat : Murky pools, especially under bridges, sometimes found in springs or wells. Behaviour : May try to tempt children to come near the water, and then pull them in to drown them a very useful spirit for nervous parents of accident-prone kids. Can also drown children who swim into deep water. Relatives in other mythologies : water spirit, siren, vodyanoy found in Russia.

Behaviour : May attack unwary travellers in remote areas. Generally avoids human habitation, but may steal valuable objects from houses. Throws rocks around, creating boulder fields and cairns. Also carves out strange holes in rocky outcrops hiidenkirnut thought by humans to be used by a hiisi to churn milk.

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Appearance : Small, child-like. Most easily seen around Christmastime, often wearing a red tunic and a pointed red hat topped with a sleigh bell. Keeps a close eye on children before Christmas, and will report any misbehaviour to Santa Claus, with sorry consequences for kids expecting presents.

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Who was Nessie - the Loch Ness Monster? Watch this story, one of our 'British tales' videos about characters and people from British history, to find out! Play a word game to learn and practise mythical creatures vocabulary.

Habitat : Closely associated with human habitation, often a specific building such as a farmhouse, stable or sauna. Children must always behave respectfully in the sauna to avoid upsetting the Saunatonttu.