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Re: [Indo-Eurasia] Origin of Chinese dragon?

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  • rodo pfister
    [Mod. note. If reading in a browser, set to UTF-8. - sf.] Dear John Carr mentions p. 137-138 in the previously quoted article, that chi chi 赤螭 ( red
    Message 1 of 77 , Oct 1, 2007
      [Mod. note. If reading in a browser, set to UTF-8. - sf.]

      Dear John

      Carr mentions p. 137-138 in the previously quoted article, that chi chi
      赤螭 ('red hornless dragons') in Sima Xiangru's "The Shanglin Park",
      translated by Watson 1965: 143. However, he does not add much on chi
      chi, which would help to identify a foreign product. They seem to come
      also in other colors in the "Chu ci" (玄螭, 白螭)(Hawkes tr. 1965: 275,
      160).

      Watson Burton tr. 1965: From 'The 'Shang-lin Park', in: Birch, Cyril
      (ed.), Anthology of Chinese literature, Grove Press, pp. 142-153.

      Dou you know what the pigment from Socotra was made of?

      rodo

      John Hill wrote:

      > [Mod. note. Set browsers to UTF-8. SF.]
      >
      > Dear Heleanor:
      >
      > Thank you for all the details. I am wondering if, in any of your
      > reading, you have come across Chinese "Red Dragons" - they turn up in
      > a list of products of Da Qin in the 3rd century Weilüe (which begins
      > with the phrase: "Da Qin has plenty of ... ).
      >
      > I am inclined to think that the Weilüe account merely repeats a story
      > that the Romans told about the origin of the "dragons' blood" which
      > came from Socotra and the adjacent east African coast, and was used as
      > a pigment and a medicine - but I have no proof and keep looking for
      > more info.
      >
      > It is listed as: chichi 赤螭 (literally, ‘Red hornless dragon’). I add
      > in my notes:
      >
      > "GR No. 1918 says that chi, “red�?, refers particularly to the colour
      > of cinnabar, or of fire. It is true that cinnabar was considered to be
      > the “Blood of the Red Dragon�? – especially among Taoist alchemists
      > (see Shafer (1957), p. 133), but this always referred to the chilong
      > 赤�? – long �? being the ‘normal’, or ‘common’ variety of dragon,
      > whereas chi 螭 is an unusual form. It is sometimes described as a
      > ‘hornless’ variety, and sometimes as a baby long. In either case, it
      > seems likely here that an unusual form of ‘dragon’ was chosen to
      > distinguish its product, or ‘blood,’ from real cinnabar.
      >
      > I have not found any other reference to chichi. . . ."
      >
      > Any help you may be able to give would be deeply appreciated.
      >
      > Cheers,
      >
      > John Hill
      >
      >
      >



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Lusthaus
      Steve, ... My posting also included additional material indicating (1) that, at least in the 19th c, the term alligator was used for some Indian crocodilians,
      Message 77 of 77 , Oct 3, 2007
        Steve,

        >[Mod. note. Dan, note that John corrected himself on this yesterday. - Cheers, Steve.]

        My posting also included additional material indicating (1) that, at least in the 19th c, the term alligator was used for some Indian crocodilians, [are these Indian alligators now extinct, or was this merely a nomenclature problem?] (2) the Chinese alligator, now almost extinct and confined to "a few ponds," once ranged over much of China, and (3) that standard Skt-Eng dictionaries list both alligator and crocodile as meanings for kumbhiira.

        cheers,
        Dan Lusthaus
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