Lindworm

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Lindworm

Post  Admin on 10/27/2008, 1:22 am

Lindworm


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.



A lindworm (called lindorm in Scandinavia and Lindwurm in Germany; the name consists of two Germanic roots meaning roughly "ensnaring serpent") is a large serpent-like dragon from European mythology and folklore. Legends report either two or no legs. In Nordic and German heraldry, the lindworm is the same as a wyvern, even though the folkloric lindworm lack wings.
Lindworms were supposedly very large and ate cattle and bodies, sometimes invading churchyards and eating the dead from cemeteries. Ancient Europeans believed Lindworms symbolized war and pestilence. The creature is also called a Lindworm snake.
However, it could also be known as the "whiteworm," and the sighting of one was thought to be an exceptional sign of good luck. Its shedded skin was believed able to greatly increase a person's knowledge about nature and medicine.
Saxo Grammaticus begins his story about Ragnar Lodbrok, a semi-legendary king of Denmark and Sweden, by telling of how a certain Thora Borgarhjort receives a cute baby lindworm, curled up inside of a casket, as a gift from her father the Earl. As the lindworm grows, it eventually encircles the hall of the Earl and takes Thora hostage, demanding to be supplied with no less than one ox a day, until she is freed by a young man in fur-pants named Ragnar, who thus obtains the honorary title of Lodbrok ("fur pants") and becomes Thora's husband.
In the tale of "Prince Lindworm" (also "King Lindworm"), from Scandinavian folklore, a hideous lindworm is born, as one of twins, to a queen, who, in an effort to overcome her childless situation, has followed the advice of an old crone. The second twin boy is perfect in every way. When he grows up and sets off to find a bride, the lindworm insists that a bride be found for him before his younger brother can marry. Since he eats each new bride they bring him, this creates a slight problem for the kingdom until a shepherd's daughter is brought to marry him, and through her courage, saves the day. Some versions of the story omit the lindworm's twin.
In Norway and Denmark, lindorm commonly refers to a sea serpent.
In modern Dutch, lintworm refers to a kind of tubeworm.
A famous German lindworm was said to harass the city of Klagenfurt.
The dragon Fafnir from the Völsunga saga is known plainly as "a lindworm" in the Nibelungenlied.
Marco Polo reported that in the "province of Carajan" (in South East Asia) there existed:

... snakes and great serpents of such vast size as to strike fear into those who see them, and so hideous that the very account of them must excite the wonder of those to hear it. ... You may be assured that some of them are ten paces in length; some are more and some less. And in bulk they are equal to a great cask, for the bigger ones are about ten palms in girth. They have two forelegs near the head, but for foot nothing but a claw like the claw of a hawk or that of a lion. The head is very big, and the eyes are bigger than a great loaf of bread. The mouth is large enough to swallow a man whole, and is garnished with great [pointed] teeth. And in short they are so fierce-looking and so hideously ugly, that every man and beast must stand in fear and trembling of them. There are also smaller ones, such as of eight paces long, and of five, and of one pace only. (The Travels of Marco Polo, Ch. XLIX)
While sounding similar to lindworms, most scholars believe that Marco Polo was referring to crocodiles with his "serpents."

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