There are numerous venomous serpents, but the mortality from snake-bite is low.
Crete, like several other large islands, enjoys immunity from dangerous serpents - a privilege ascribed by popular belief to the intercession of Titus, the companion of St Paul, who according to tradition was the first bishop of the island, and became in consequence its patron saint.
The Minoan goddess is sometimes seen in her chthonic form with serpents, sometimes in a more celestial aspect with doves, at times with lions.
Others have regarded it as an empty portable throne, 2 or as a receptacle for sacred serpents (analogies in Frazer, Pausanias, iv.
He also has a mitre (q.v.), and carries a crozier (5ucavLs ov), a rather short staff ending in two curved branches decorated with serpents' heads, with a cross between them.
She was represented standing, in a long tunic; on her head was a helmet, ornamented with sphinxes and griffins; on her breast was the aegis, fringed with serpents and the Gorgon's head in centre.
The Reptilia include II species of the crocodile, alligator and lizard, including the savage jacare of the Amazon, several species of turtle, 4 species of batrachians, and 29 species of serpents, including the striped rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus), Lachesis mutus, and a rather rare species of Cophias.
The greatest size to which some species attain, according to positive observation, is about 12 ft., and therefore far short of the statements as to the length of the so-called sea-serpents (q.v.).
Perhaps the earliest known instance of his prominent appearance of large size in the sculptures of the temples is under Tahraka, at Jebel Barkal, Nubia, at the beginning of the 7th century B.C. As the protector of children and others he is the enemy of noxious beasts, such as lions, crocodiles, serpents and scorpions.
Among the reptiles are various species of serpents, tortoises, turtles, lizards, &c. Locusts are common and sometimes do great damage.
On the one hand we have sects with a strongly ascetic tendency, on the other we find some characterized by unbridled libertinism; in some the most abandoned prostitution has come to be the most sacred mystery; in others again appears the worship of serpents, which here appears to be connected in various and often very loose ways with the other ideas of these Gnostics - hence the names of the " Ophites," " Naasseni."
The great teocalli of Huitzilopochtli in the city of Mexico stood in an immense square, whence radiated the four principal thoroughfares, its courtyard being enclosed by a square, of which the stone wall, called the coatepantli or serpent-wall from its sculptured serpents, - measured nearly a quarter of a mile on each side.
AEMILIUS MACER, of Verona, Roman didactic poet, author of two poems, one on birds (Ornithogonia), the other on the antidotes against the poison of serpents (Theriaca), imitated from the Greek poet Nicander of Colophon.
He led his companions into the desert, and having exhorted the serpents and wild beasts, in the name of the Prophet, to retire, he struck his spear into the ground exclaiming "Here is your Kairawan" (resting-place), so naming the city.'
Of serpents there are only two poisonous kinds, the common viper and the adder (Kreuzotter).
Their power over serpents has been doubted, yet their performances remain unexplained; they, however, always extract the fangs of venomous serpents.
The Saadia are famous for charming and eating live serpents, &c., and the Ilwania for eating fire, glass, &c. The Egyptians firmly believe in the efficacy of charms, a belief associated with that in an omnipresent and over-ruling providence.
They are further described as having temples (sabuas) in which they suspend images of serpents and other monsters as well as the trophies procured by war.
7 "seraphim" stood where the Ethiopic and the Greek give "the serpents" or "the dragons"; Paradise, serpents and cherubim are here made subject to Gabriel.
Also the flying serpents of Israelitish folklore in Isa.
Itinerant showmen carry about these serpents, and cause them to assume a dancing motion for the amusement of the spectators.
Serpents are very common, both venomous and non-venomous; the pythons attain a great size.
Fights between these huge serpents and the crocodiles which infest all the rivers are said to be not uncommon.
2 There we find, not indeed living serpents, but deities with serpent-symbolism, indicating a composition of various strata of religious belief, analogous to the evidence for serpent-symbolism from Babylonia, Crete, Greece or Peru; for the higher religions have almost invariably retained in their ritual and belief, sometimes with only slight modification, cruder conceptions which can still be studied in less elevated form among the lower races of India, Africa or America.
A very common belief associates serpents or dragons and other monsters with the guardianship of treasure or wealth; comp., e.g., 2.
Serpents adorned with necklaces of jewels wisdom.
According to a common Indian belief a wealthy man who dies without an heir returns to guard his wealth in the form of a serpent, and Italian superstition supposed that to find a serpent's skin brought good luck (Leland) .2 No singular preference for jewels on the part of serpents will explain the belief, and creatures like the jackdaw which have this weakness do not enjoy this prominence in folk-lore.
Buckland, Anthropological Studies (1891), pp. 104-139 (on serpents in connexion with metallurgy and precious stones).
Serpents were supposed to know of a root which brought back their dead to life, and an old Greek story told how certain mortals took the hint.
Siegfried bathed in the blood of heals in g g healing the dragon he slew and thus became invulnerable; the blind emperor Theodosius recovered his sight when a grateful serpent laid a precious stone upon his eyes; Cadmus and his wife were turned into serpents to cure human ills.
Now, serpents were tended in the sanctuaries of the Greek Aesculapius (Asklepios), the famous god of healing.
Especially common are tie popular stories connecting serpents with submarine palaces and treasures (Crooke i.
The ammonite, here an instrument in a nature " marriage," has elsewhere given rise to legends of the destruction of serpents, viz.
In Annam where water spirits may take the form of serpents or of human beings, two deified heroes were said to have been serpents born of a childless woman, who drank from a bowl of water into which a star had fallen.
13 In the sanctuary of Aesculapius at Epidaurus women were visited in their dreams by a serpent - the reputed father of the child that was born, and elsewhere Sicyon who had such a progenitor was regarded as the son of the divine healer.14 Similar also was the origin of Augustus in a temple of Apollo, the god who had his tame serpents in the grove on Epirus.
66), so in an Indian story the son of a king of serpents and of a virgin (or, in a variant form, a widow) was succoured in warfare by his sire (Fergusson, 266).
Lucian, De dea Syria, § 12 seq.) are connected with the beliefs associating wells or springs with serpents and other occupants.
In the Arabian Nights Solomon prescribes the flesh of two serpents for the childless wives of the king of Egypt and his vizier.
Moreover, the Psylli would test the legitimacy of their new-born by exposing them to serpents which would not harm those of pure birth, and a similar ordeal among the Ophiogenes of Asia Minor showed whether a man was really of their kin.
8 This peculiar " kinship " between serpent-clans and serpents may be further illustrated from Senegambia, where a python is supposed to visit every child of the python-clan within eight days of birth, apparently as a sign of recognition.
Also Lane's account of the " Saadeeyeh " sect who charm away serpents from houses (Modern Egyptians).
Among many African tribes the house-haunting serpents are the dead, who are therefore treated with respect and often fed with milk.'
In Egypt not only are there serpents of the houses, but each quarter in Cairo had a serpent-guardian (Lane).
19 Athene (" the Athenian one ") was primarily the guardian spirit of Athens, and at the Erechtheum her sacred serpent (apparently known to the 3rd century A.D.), was fed monthly with honeycakes; when, during the Persian War, it left the food untouched it was taken as a sign that the protectors had forsaken the city20 At Lebadeia in the shrine of Trophonios (to whom serpents were sacred) offerings of honey cakes were made to an oracular serpent.
4).2 To these characteristics of serpents and serpent-godlings we must add the control of the weather.
5 A careful study of all the related traditions suggests that they preserve an unmistakable recollection of human sacrifice to serpents and other spirits of the water, and that the familiar story of the hero who vanquishes the demon and rescues the victim (usually a female, and especially a virgin) testifies to the suppression of the rite.
In the Thesmophoria, a sowing festival of immemorial antiquity performed by women, cakes and pigs were thrown to serpents kept in caves and sacred to the corngoddess Demeter, who, like the Bona Dea, was representative 108, III seq., 209 sqq.).
Aesculapius (§ 13) - much in the same way as Hercules has contests with serpents and dragons, becomes the patron of medicinal springs, and by marrying the serpent Echidna was the ancestor of the snakeworshipping Scythians.
The Cretan Kouretes), or to depict the conquest of barbarians as the overthrow of serpents or serpent-like beings.
France had its traditions of the destruction of serpents by the early missionaries (Deane, 283 seq.), and the memory possibly survived at Luchon in the Pyrenees, where the clergy and people celebrated the eve of St John by burning live serpents.
The shrine is famous for its cures, and when the saint has his serpent-festival on the first Thursday in May, Serpari or serpent-men carry coils of live reptiles in procession before his image, which in turn is hung with serpents of all sizes.
The rites, we may suppose, have become modified and more orthodox, but none the less they are a valuable testimony to the persistence of the cult among people who still claim power over serpents and immunity from their bite, and who live hard by the home of the ancient tribe which ascribed its origin to the son of Circe."
Moreover, we find at Madagascar the procession of the god of fertility and healing, the patron of serpents who are the ministers of his vengeance (Frazer, Paus.
In a Bengal festival the men march entwined with serpents, while the chief man has a rock-boa or python round his neck and is carried or rides on a buffalo (Fergusson, 259).259).
Some of the most exquisite and most ingenious of these earlier productions, such as the magnificent iron eagle in the south Kensington Museum, the wonderful articulated models of crayfish, dragons, serpents, birds, that are found in many European collections, came from the studios of the MiyOchins; but these were the play of giants, and were not made as articles of commerce.
Hera sent two serpents to destory the new-born Hercules, but he strangled them.
The infantine struggle with serpents was a favourite subject.
8) = "serpents"; cf.
It is in the form of three serpents twisted together, and before the heads were broken off was at least ft.
Serpents which would only attack those who were not natives were to be found on the banks of the Euphrates and also at Tiryns (Mir.