The Western Dragon in Lore, Literature and Art (CLAM101)

15 credits

The module surveys the development of the dragon in the western tradition. All aspects are considered, but particular attention is paid to the themes, motifs and meanings of dragon-slaying narratives. We begin with the western dragon’s Near-Eastern forbears, concentrate heavily on the copious and rich dragon-slaying narratives of Classical antiquity and of late-antique and medieval hagiography, and move on to the dragon’s role in Germanic literature and international folklore, including British. There will be defined opportunities to investigate matters of the dragon’s more recent reception (i.e. nothing infra dig.). The module is suitable for both specialist Classics and non-specialist students. There are no pre- or co-requisites, but students that bring to the module experience in Classics/Ancient History, Medieval History, Theology, History of Art, Comparative Literature or Herpetology may find themselves able to engage particularly deeply with aspects of it. The module is eminently suitable for those of interdisciplinary bent.