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Encyclopedia > Serpent (symbolism)

Serpent is a word of Latin origin (serpens, serpentis) that is commonly used in a specifically mythic or religious context, signifying a snake that is to be regarded not as a mundane natural phenomenon nor as an object of scientific zoology, but as the bearer of some symbolic value. Serpent can be any of the following: In usually mythological contexts, Serpent is the term for snake. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... Infraorders and Families Alethinophidia - Nopcsa, 1923 Acrochordidae- Bonaparte, 1831 Aniliidae - Stejneger, 1907 Anomochilidae - Cundall, Wallach & Rossman, 1993 Atractaspididae - Günther, 1858 Boidae - Gray, 1825 Bolyeriidae - Hoffstetter, 1946 Colubridae - Oppel, 1811 Cylindrophiidae - Fitzinger, 1843 Elapidae - F. Boie, 1827 Loxocemidae - Cope, 1861 Pythonidae - Fitzinger, 1826 Tropidophiidae - Brongersma, 1951 Uropeltidae - Müller, 1832... Zoology (from Greek: ζῴον, zoion, animal; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ...

Contents

Cross-cultural symbolic values

The serpent is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols. Considerable overlap exists in the symbolic values that serpents represent in various cultures. Some such overlap is due to the common historical ancestry of contemporary symbols. Much of the overlap, however, is traceable to the common biological characteristics of snakes. Image File history File links YaxchilanDivineSerpent. ... Image File history File links YaxchilanDivineSerpent. ... The Vision Serpent. ...


In some instances, serpents serve poop as positive symbols with whom it is possible to identify or to sympathize; in other instances, serpents serve as negative symbols, representing opponents or antagonists of figures or principles with which it is possible to identify. Serpents also appear as ambivalent figures, neither wholly positive nor wholly negative in valence. An example of a serpent used as a positive symbol is Mucalinda, the king of snakes who shielded the Buddha from the elements as the Buddha sat in meditation. An example of a serpent used as a negative symbol is the snake who tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, as described in the Book of Genesis. Mucalinda or Mucilinda is the name of a naga (a snake-like being), who protected the Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment. ... Media:Example. ... Michelangelos Creation of Adam, from the Sistine Chapel. ... For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation). ... Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ...


The following are some of the particular symbolic values frequently assiged to serpents in myth, legend, and literature:


Deceitfulness

Serpents are frequently connected with deceit, and are used to symbolize deceitfulness. An example is the serpent in the Garden of Eden, who tricks the Adam and Eve into partaking of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.


The symbolic connection between serpents and deceit may depend in part on the observation that snakes have forked tongues. A forked tongue is a tongue which has not one end, but two, pointing in different directions. In humans, the tongue is an essential tool in speech, and the presence of only one tip signifies the unity of truthful speech, and corresponds to the unity of the truth itself. There is only one truth, but there are many lies. The forked tongue represents the disunity of deceitful speech.


Guardianship

Serpents are represented as potent guardians of temples and other sacred spaces. This connection may be grounded in the observation that when threatened, some snakes (such as rattlesnakes or cobras) frequently hold and defend their ground, first resorting to threatening display and then fighting, rather than retreat. Thus, they are natural guardians of treasures or sacred sites which cannot easily be moved out of harm's way. Species about 30 Rattlesnakes is a group of venomous New World snakes, genera Crotalus and Sistrurus, which have a small noise-making jointed rattle on their tails. ... Cobra may mean: A cobra, a venomous snake. ...


At Angkor in Cambodia, stone sculptures of hooded nagas or serpents are frequently encountered as temple guardians. Map of the Angkor region in Cambodia. ... The word Naga can refer to several different things. ...


The Gadsden flag of the American Revolution depicts a rattlesnake coiled up and poised to strike. Below the image of the snake is the legend, "Don't tread on me." The snake symbolized the willingness of the colonists to fight for their rights and homeland. The Gadsden Flag The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag. ... Species 27 species; see list of rattlesnake species and subspecies. ...


Poison and medicine

Serpents are connected with poison and medicine. The snake's venom is associated with the chemicals of plants and fungi[1][2] [3] that have the power to either heal, poison or provide expanded consciousness (and even the elixir of life and immortality) through divine intoxication. Because of its herbal knowledge and entheogenic association the snake was often considered one of the wisest animals, being (close to the) divine. Its divine aspect combined with its habitat in the earth between the roots of plants made it an animal with chthonic properties connected to the afterlife and immortality. This entry covers entheogens in the strict sense of the word (i. ... For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ...


Renewal, rebirth, regeneration

Serpents are connected with renewal or regeneration. This trait is connected with the practice of snakes of shedding their old skin and growing a new one.


Vengefulness and vindictiveness

Serpents are connected with vengefulness and vindictiveness. This connection depends in part on the experience that poisonous snakes often deliver deadly defensive bites without giving prior notice or warning to their unwitting victims. Although a snake is defending itself from the encroachment of its victim into the snake's immediate vicinity, the unannounced and deadly strike may seem unduly vengeful when measured against the unwitting victim's lack of blameworthiness.


Edgar Allan Poe's famous short story "The Cask of Amontillado" invokes the image of the serpent as a symbol for petty vengefulness. The story is told from the point of view of the vindictive Montressor, who hatches a secret plot to murder his rival Fortunato in order to avenge real or imagined insults. Before carrying out his scheme, Montresor reveals his family's coat-of-arms to the intended victim: "A huge human foot d'or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel." Fortunato, not suspecting that he has offended Montressor, fails to understand the symbolic import of the coat-of-arms, and blunders onward into Montresor's trap. Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... The Cask of Amontillado (sometimes spelled The Casque of Amontillado) is a short story, written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in the November 1846 issue of Godeys Ladys Book. ...


Mythological serpents

Dragons

Sometimes serpents and dragons are used interchangeably, having similar symbolic functions. The venom of the serpent is thought to have a fiery quality similar to a fire spitting dragon. The Greek Ladon and the Norse Níðhöggr are sometimes described as serpents and sometimes as dragons. In Germanic mythology, serpent (Old English: wyrm, Old High German: wurm, Old Norse: ormr) is used interchangeable with the Greek borrowing dragon (OE: draca, OHG: trahho, ON: dreki). In China, the Indian serpent nāga was equated with the lóng or Chinese dragon. The Aztec and Toltec serpent god Quetzalcoatl also has dragon like wings, like its equivalent in Mayan mythology Gukumatz ("feathered serpent"). It has been suggested that European dragon be merged into this article or section. ... Chinese (Wu Xing) Japanese (Godai) Earth (地) | Water (æ°´) | Fire (火) | Air / Wind (風) | Void / Sky / Heaven (空) Hinduism (Tattva) and Buddhism (MahābhÅ«ta) Vayu / Pavan — Air / Wind Agni/Tejas — Fire Akasha — Aether Prithvi / Bhumi — Earth Ap / Jala — Water Bön Māori Fire has been important to all people of the earth, and... Ladon is the hundred-headed dragon that guarded the garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology. ... Níðhöggr gnaws the roots of Yggdrasill in this illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Thor, god of thunder, one of the major figures in Germanic mythology. ... Old English (also called Anglo-Saxon[1], Old English: ) is an early form of the English language that was spoken in parts of what is now England and southern Scotland between the mid-fifth century and the mid-twelfth century. ... The (Late Old High) German speaking area of the Holy Roman Empire around 950. ... Old Norse or Danish tongue is the Germanic language once spoken by the inhabitants of the Nordic countries (for instance during the Viking Age). ... It has been suggested that European dragon be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Phaya Naga be merged into this article or section. ... Japanese name Kanji: Hiragana: Korean name Hangul: Hanja: Thai name Thai: Vietnamese name Quoc Ngu: Han Tu: The Chinese dragon is a mythical Chinese creature that also appears in other East Asian cultures, and is also sometimes called the Oriental (or Eastern) dragon. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... The Atlantes – columns in the form of Toltec warriors in Tula. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... Maya mythology refers to the pre-Columbian Maya civilizations extensive polytheistic religious beliefs. ... In Maya mythology, Gukumatz (feathered serpent) was a feathered snake god, one of all three groups of gods who created Earth and humanity. ...


Sea serpents

Sea serpents were giant cryptozoological creatures once believed to live in water, whether sea monsters such as the Leviathan or lake monsters such as the Loch Ness Monster. If they were referred to as "sea snakes", they were understood to be the actual snakes that live in Indo-Pacific waters (Family Hydrophiidae). Loch Ness Monster (Painting) by Heikenwaelder Hugo Sea serpents are a kind of sea monster either wholly or partly serpentine. ... Cryptozoology is the study of rumored or mythological animals that are presumed to exist, but for which conclusive proof does not yet exist; or are generally considered extinct, but occasionally reported. ... Picture taken from a Hetzel copy of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Sea monsters or leviathans are sea-dwelling, mythical or legendary creatures, often believed to be of immense size. ... This article is about the biblical creature. ... Lake monster, loch monster, or leviathan is the name given to large unknown animals which have purportedly been sighted in, and/or are believed to dwell in lakes or lochs, although their existence has never been confirmed scientifically. ... For other uses, see Loch Ness Monster (disambiguation). ... For sea snakes in mythology and cryptozoology, see Sea serpent. ... Sea snakes of several different species belong to a group related to the cobras but aquatic rather than land dwelling. ...


Cosmic serpents

The serpent, when forming a ring with its tail in its mouth, is a clear and widespread symbol of the "All-in-All", the totality of existence, infinity and the cyclic nature of the cosmos. The most well known version of this is the Aegypto-Greek Ourobouros. It is believed to have been inspired by the Milky Way as some ancient texts refer to a serpent of light residing in the heavens. The Ouroboros Alternate spellings: Oroborus, Uroboros, Uroborus The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a snake or dragon swallowing its tail, constantly creating itself and forming a circle. ... For other uses, see Milky Way (disambiguation). ...

Vishnu resting on Ananta-Shesha, with Lakshmi massaging his "lotus feet."
Vishnu resting on Ananta-Shesha, with Lakshmi massaging his "lotus feet."

In Norse mythology the World Serpent (or Midgard serpent) known as Jörmungandr encircled the world in the ocean's abyss biting its own tail. Image File history File links AnantaVishnu. ... Image File history File links AnantaVishnu. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Norse, Viking or Scandinavian mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian peoples, including those who settled on Iceland, where most of the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ...


In Hindu mythology Vishnu is said to sleep while floating on the cosmic waters on the serpent Shesha. In the Puranas Shesha holds all the planets of the universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as "Ananta-Shesha" which means "Endless Shesha." In the Samudra manthan chapter of the Puranas, Shesha loosens Mount Mandara for it to be used as a churning rod by the Asuras and Devas to churn the ocean of milk in the heavens in order to make Soma (or Amrita), the divine elixir of immortality. As a churning rope another giant serpent called Vasuki is used. Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... Vishnu (IAST , Devanagari ), (honorific: Sri Vishnu) also known as Narayana is the Supreme Being or Ultimate Reality for Vaishnavas and a manifestation of Brahman in the Advaita or Smarta traditions. ... In Indian and Hindu mythology, Sesha is a naga (serpent). ... Purana (Sanskrit: , meaning tales of ancient times) is the name of an ancient Indian genre (or a group of related genres) of Hindu or Jain literature (as distinct from oral tradition). ... In Hinduism, Samudra manthan (Devanagari: समुद्र मंथन) or The churning of the ocean of milk is one of the most famous episodes in the Puranas and is celebrated in a major way every twelve years in the festival known as Kumbha Mela. ... Mount Mandara is a mountain which appears in the Samudra manthan episode in the Hindu Puranas. ... In Hindu mythology, the Asura are a group of power-seeking deities, sometimes misleadingly referred to as demons. ... It has been suggested that Deva (tribe) be merged into this article or section. ... The Ocean of milk in Hindu mythology is the place where 13 precious treasures were lost. ... This article is about the Vedic plant and ritual. ... Look up Amrita in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Vasuki is a naga, or one of the serpents of Hindu mythology. ...


In pre-Columbian Central America Quetzalcoatl was sometimes depicted as biting its own tail. The mother of Quetzalcoatl was the Aztec goddess Coatlicue ("the one with the skirt of serpents"), also known as Cihuacoatl ("The Lady of the serpent"). Quetzalcoatl's father was Mixcoatl ("Cloud Serpent"). He was identified with the Milky Way, the stars and the heavens in several Mesoamerican cultures. Statue of Coatlicue displayed in National Museum of Anthropology and History in Mexico City Coatlicue, also known as Teteoinan (also transcribed Teteo Inan) (The Mother of Gods), is the Aztec goddess who gave birth to the moon, stars, and Huitzilopochtli, the god of the sun and war. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... In Aztec mythology, Mixcoatl (Cloud Serpent) was a god of the hunt, the north star and war. ...


The demi-god Aidophedo of the West African Ashanti is also a serpent biting its own tail. In Dahomey mythology of Benin in West Africa, the serpent that supports everything on its many coils was named Dan. In the Vodun of Benin and Haiti Ayida-Weddo (a.k.a. Aida-Wedo, Aido Quedo, "Rainbow-Serpent") is a spirit of fertility, rainbows and snakes, and a companion or wife to Dan, the father of all spirits. As Vodun was exported to Haiti through the slave trade Dan became Danballah, Damballah or Damballah-Wedo. Because of his association with snakes, he is sometimes disguised as Moses, who carried a snake on his staff. He is also thought by many to be the same entity of Saint Patrick, known as a snake banisher. For other uses, see Ashanti (disambiguation). ... The Dahomey (or Fon) are a nation located in Benin, Africa. ... The term Voodoo (Vodun in Benin; also Vodou or other phonetically equivalent spellings in Haiti; Vudu in the Dominican Republic) is applied to the branches of a West African ancestor-based religious tradition with primary roots among the Fon-Ewe peoples of West Africa, in the country now known as... In Vodun, and especially in Benin and Haiti, Ayida-Weddo (aso Aida-Wedo, Aido Quedo) is a loa of fertility, rainbows and snakes, and a companion or wife to Damballa. ... Veve of Damballa In Vodun, Damballa is one of the most important of all the loa. ... For information about the holiday, see: Saint Patricks Day Saint Patrick (Latin: [2], Irish: Naomh Pádraig) was a Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. ...


The serpent Hydra is a star constellation representing either the serpent thrown angrily into the sky by Apollo or the Lernaean Hydra as defeated by Heracles for one of his Twelve Labours. The constellation Serpens represents a snake being tamed by Ophiuchus the snake-handler, another constellation. The most probable interpretation is that Ophiuchus represents the healer Asclepius. Hydra (IPA: ) is the largest of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... The 16th-century German illustrator has been influenced by the Beast of Revelation in his depiction of the Hydra. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ... Serpens (the snake) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. ... Ophiuchus (IPA: ), formerly referred to as Serpentarius (IPA: ), the former originating in the Greek language and the latter in the Latin language, both meaning serpent-holder, is one of the 88 constellations and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. ...


Chthonic serpents and sacred trees

In many myths the chthonic serpent (sometimes a pair) lives in or is coiled around a Tree of Life situated in a divine garden. In the Genesis story of the Torah and Biblical Old Testament the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is situated in the Garden of Eden together with the tree of immortality. In Greek mythology Ladon coiled around the tree in the garden of the Hesperides protecting the entheogenic golden apples. For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Tawrat be merged into this article or section. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh to refer to its canon, which corresponds to the Protestant Old Testament. ... In the Bibles Book of Genesis, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil was the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden from which God forbade Adam and Eve to eat. ... For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation). ... The Tree-of-Life is a fictional plant (the ancestor of yams, with similar appearance and taste) in Larry Nivens Known Space universe, for which all Hominids have an in-built genetic craving. ... Ladon is the hundred-headed dragon that guarded the garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology. ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ...

Níðhöggr gnaws the roots of Yggdrasill in this illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript.

Similarly Níðhöggr the dragon of Norse mythology eats from the roots of the Yggdrasil the World Tree. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (828x263, 513 KB)The dragon Niðhöggr gnawing the roots of Yggdrasill. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (828x263, 513 KB)The dragon Niðhöggr gnawing the roots of Yggdrasill. ... Níðhöggr gnaws the roots of Yggdrasill in this illustration from a 17th century Icelandic manuscript. ... This tree from the Viking Age Överhogdal tapestries is believed to show Yggdrasil with Viðópnir. ...


Under yet another Tree (the Bodhi tree of Enlightenment), the Buddha sat in ecstatic meditation. When a storm arose, the mighty serpent king Mucalinda rose up from his place beneath the earth and enveloped the Buddha in seven coils for seven days, not to break his ecstatic state. The Bodhi Tree at the Mahabodhi Temple. ... Media:Example. ... Mucalinda or Mucilinda is the name of a naga (a snake-like being), who protected the Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment. ...


The Vision Serpent was also a symbol of rebirth in Mayan mythology, fuelling some cross-Atlantic cultural contexts favored in pseudoarchaeology. The Vision Serpent goes back to earlier Maya conceptions, and lies at the center of the world as the Mayans conceived it. "It is in the center axis atop the World Tree. Essentially the World Tree and the Vision Serpent, representing the king, created the center axis which communicates between the spiritual and the earthly worlds or planes. It is through ritual that the king could bring the center axis into existence in the temples and create a doorway to the spiritual world, and with it power". (Schele and Friedel, 1990: 68) The Vision Serpent. ... Maya mythology refers to the pre-Columbian Maya civilizations extensive polytheistic religious beliefs. ... Pseudoarchaeology is an aspect of pseudohistory. ... In certain Indo-European religions there was a belief in a world tree, such as Yggdrasil, in Norse mythology, an Oak in Slavic mythology and in Hinduism, a banyan tree. ...

The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE.
The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. It the oldest known image of snakes coiling around an axial rod, dating from before 2000 BCE.

Sometimes the Tree of Life is represented (in a combination with similar concepts such as the World Tree and Axis mundi or "World Axis") by a staff such as those used by shamans. Examples of such staffs featuring coiled snakes in mythology are the caduceus of Hermes, the Rod of Asclepius and the staff of Moses. The oldest known representation is that of the Sumerian fertility god Ningizzida. Ningizzida was sometimes depicted as a serpent with a human head, eventually becoming a god of healing and magic. It is the companion of Dumuzi (Tammuz) with whom it stood at the gate of heaven. In the Louvre, there is a famous green steatite vase carved for king Gudea of Lagash (dated variously 22002025 BCE) with an inscription dedicated to Ningizzida. Ningizzida was the ancestor of Gilgamesh, who according to the epic dived to the bottom of the waters to retrieve the plant of life. But while he rested from his labor, a serpent came and ate the plant. The snake became immortal, and Gilgamesh was destined to die. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. ... Roman griffon, Turkey This article is on the animal. ... Axis mundi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Specifically, Shaman (saman) is a term in Evenk, Manchu and other Manchu-Tungus languages for an intellectual and spiritual figure; who usually possess power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, one of which is analogous to the function of a healer in other cultures. ... The Caduceus Two caduceuses without wings as decoration of door portal in Ztracená street in Olomouc (Czech Republic). ... For other uses, see Hermes (disambiguation). ... Rod of Asclepius The Rod of Asclepius (also known as Asklepios or Aesculapius) is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology and healing the sick with medicine. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... Sumer (or Shumer, Sumeria, Shinar, native ki-en-gir) formed the southern part of Mesopotamia from the time of settlement by the Sumerians until the time of Babylonia. ... The Sumerian god Ningizzida accompanied by two gryphons. ... Northwest Semitic Tammuz (Hebrew תַּמּוּז, Standard Hebrew Tammuz, Tiberian Hebrew Tammûz), Arabic تمّوز Tammūz; Akkadian Duʾzu, Dūzu; Sumerian Dumuzid (DUMU.ZID the true son) was the name of an Ancient Near Eastern deity. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... An Egyptian carved and glazed steatite scarab amulet. ... Statue of Gudea, British Museum London Gudea was a ruler (ensi) of the city of Lagash in Southern Mesopotamia who ruled ca. ... Lagash or Sirpurla was one of the oldest cities of Sumer and later Babylonia. ... (Redirected from 22nd century BCE) (23rd century BC - 22nd century BC - 21st century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2217 - 2193 BC -- Nomadic invasions of Akkad 2181 BC -- Egypt: End of Egypt: End of Seventh Dynasty, start of Eighth Dynasty 2160 BC -- Egypt... (Redirected from 21st century BCE) (22nd century BC - 21st century BC - 20th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2130 - 2080 BC -- Ninth Dynasty wars in Egypt 2112 - 2095 BC -- Sumerian campaigns of Ur-Nammu 2064 - 1986 BC -- Twin Dynasty wars in Egypt... Gilgamesh, according to the Sumerian king list, was the fifth king of Uruk (Early Dynastic II, first dynasty of Uruk), the son of Lugalbanda, ruling circa 2650 BC. He is also the central character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, which says that his mother was Ninsun, (whom some call Rimat... The Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Babylonia and is among the earliest known literary works. ...

Ancient North American serpent imagery often featured rattlesnakes.
Ancient North American serpent imagery often featured rattlesnakes.

Ningizzida has been popularised in the 20th C. by Raku Kei Reiki (a.k.a. "The Way of the Fire Dragon") where "Nin Giz Zida" is believed to be a fire serpent of Tibetan rather than Sumerian origin. Nin Giz Zida is another name for the ancient Hindu concept of Kundalini, a Sanskrit word meaning either "coiled up" or "coiling like a snake". Kundalini refers to the mothering intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual maturation leading to altered states of consciousness. There are a number of other translations of the term usually emphasizing a more serpentine nature to the word— e.g. 'serpent power'. It has been suggested by Joseph Campbell that the symbol of snakes coiled around a staff is an ancient representation of Kundalini physiology. The staff represents the spinal column with the snake(s) being energy channels. In the case of two coiled snakes they usually cross each other seven times, a possible reference to the seven energy centers called chakras. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... A Reiki treatment in progress Reiki IPA: ) is a form of spiritual practice,[1] used as a complementary therapy,[2] proposed for the treatment of physical, emotional, and mental diseases. ... This article discusses the adherents of Hinduism. ... Kundalini ( ) is a Sanskrit word meaning either coiled up or coiling like a snake. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... For other uses, see Joseph Campbell (disambiguation). ... In Hinduism and its spiritual systems of yoga and in some related eastern cultures, as well as in some segments of the New Age movement, a chakra (from the Sanskrit word चक्र meaning wheel, circle) is thought to be an energy node in the human body. ...


In Egypt, Ra and Atum ("he who completes or perfects") were the same god, Atum, the "counter-Ra," was associated with earth animals, including the serpent: Nehebkau ("he who harnesses the souls") was the two headed serpent god who guarded the entrance to the underworld. He is often seen as the son of the snake goddess Renenutet, often confused with the snake goddess Wadjet. For other uses, see Ra (disambiguation). ... History Atum (alternatively spelt Tem, Temu, Tum, and Atem) is an early deity in Egyptian mythology, whose cult centred on the Ennead of Heliopolis. ... In Egyptian mythology, Nehebkau (he who harnesses the souls) was the snake god who guarded the entrance to Duat, the underworld. ... In Egyptian mythology, Renenutet was a goddess of cobras, children and fertility. ... In Egyptian mythology, Buto (papyrus colored--referring to the color of the cobra) was a snake (especially cobra) goddess and patron of the oracle in the city of the same name. ...


The image of the serpent as the embodiment of the wisdom transmitted by Sophia was an emblem used by gnosticism, especially those sects that the more orthodox characterized as "Ophites" ("Serpent People"). The chthonic serpent was one of the earth-animals associated with the cult of Mithras. The Basilisk, the venomous "king of serpents" with the glance that kills, was hatched by a serpent, Pliny the Elder and others thought, from the egg of a cock. For the Gnostic Christians, the Sophia was a central element in their cosmological understanding of the Universe. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... The Ophites is a blanket term for numerous gnostic sects in Syria and Egypt about 100 A.D. The common trait was that these sects would give great importance to the serpent of the biblical tale of Adam and Eve, connecting the Tree of Knowledge (of Good and Evil) to... This article or section contains too much jargon and may need simplification or further explanation. ... Woodblock print of a basilisk from Ulisse Aldrovandi, Monstrorum historia, 1642 Cityseal of Zwolle from 1295 with Saint-Michael killing a basilisk In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk (from the Greek βασιλίσκος basiliskos, a little king, in Latin Regulus) is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ...


Outside Eurasia, in Yoruba mythology, Oshunmare was another mythic regenerating serpent. The mythology of the Yorùbá is sometimes claimed by its supporters to be one of the worlds oldest widely practised religions. ...


The Rainbow Serpent (also known as the Rainbow Snake) is a major mythological being for Aboriginal people across Australia, although the creation stories associated with it are best known from northern Australia. In Fiji Ratumaibulu was a serpent god who ruled the underworld and made fruit trees bloom. The Rainbow Serpent/Snake is a major mythological being for Aboriginal people across Australia, although the creation stories associated with it are best known from northern Australia. ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... Languages Several hundred indigenous Australian languages (many extinct or nearly so), Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English, Torres Strait Creole, Kriol Religions Primarily Christian, with minorities of other religions including various forms of Traditional belief systems based around the Dreamtime Related ethnic groups see List of Indigenous Australian group names Indigenous... Creation beliefs and stories describe how the universe, the Earth, life, and/or humanity came into being. ... In the mythology of Fiji, Ratumaibulu is a god of great importance who presides over agriculture. ...


Serpents in religious and cultural traditions

Cambodian mythology

See also: Naga (mythology)

Serpents, or nagas, play a particularly important role in Cambodian mythology. A well-known story explains the emergence of the Khmer people from the union of Indian and indigenous elements, the latter being represented as nagas. According to the story, an Indian brahmana named Kaundinya came to Cambodia, which at the time was under the dominion of the naga king. The naga princess Soma sallied forth to fight against the invader but was defeated. Presented with the option of marrying the victorious Kaundinya, Soma readily agreed to do so, and together they ruled the land. The Khmer people are their descendants.[4] The nagas ( snake) are an ancient race of snake-humanoid beings first depicted in ancient Vedic Hindu mythology and oral folklore from at least 5000 B.C.E. Stories involving the Nagas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu (India, Nepal, and the island... The word Naga can refer to several different things. ... The Khmer people are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 13. ... // Nagas In India there is an ancient belief in a subterranean race of divine serpent people who dwell in patalas or palaces in the underground city of Bhogavati. ... The Brahmana (Sanskrit ब्राह्मण) are part of the Hindu Shruti; They are composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and the period of their composition is sometimes referred to as the Brahmanic period or age (approximately between 900 BC and 500 BC). ... This article is about the Vedic plant and ritual. ... The Khmer people are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 13. ...


Greek mythology

See also: Dragons in Greek mythology

Serpents figured prominently in archaic Greek myths. According to some sources, Ophion ("serpent", a.k.a. Ophioneus), ruled the world with Eurynome before the two of them were cast down by Cronus and Rhea. Dragons play a role in Greek mythology. ... In Greek mythology, Ophion (serpent), also called Ophioneus ruled the world with Eurynome before the two of them were cast down by Cronus and Rhea, according to some sources. ...


The Minoan Snake Goddess brandished a serpent in either hand, perhaps evoking her role as source of wisdom, rather than her role as Mistress of the Animals (Potnia theron), with a leopard under each arm. She is a Minoan version of the Canaanite fertility goddess Asherah[citation needed]. It is not by accident that later the infant Heracles, a liminal hero on the threshold between the old ways and the new Olympian world, also brandished the two serpents that "threatened" him in his cradle. Classical Greeks did not perceive that the threat was merely the threat of wisdom. But the gesture is the same as that of the Cretan goddess. The Minoan civilization was a bronze age civilization which arose on Crete, an island in the Aegean Sea. ... Minoan Snake Goddess figurine c 1600 BCE Snake Goddess describes a number of figurines of a woman holding a snake in each hand found during excavation of Minoan archaeological sites in Crete dating from approximately 1600 BCE. By implication the term also describes the deity depicted although little more is... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms Felis pardus Linnaeus, 1758 The Leopard (Panthera pardus) is an Old World mammal of the Felidae family and one of the four big cats of the genus Panthera, along with the tiger (), the lion () and the jaguar (). Once distributed across southern Eurasia and Africa from... For other uses, see Canaan (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Asherah pole be merged into this article or section. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ...


Typhon the enemy of the Olympian gods is described as a vast grisly monster with a hundred heads and a hundred serpents issuing from his thighs, who was conquered and cast into Tartarus by Zeus, or confined beneath volcanic regions, where he is the cause of eruptions. Typhon is thus the chthonic figuration of volcanic forces. Amongst his children by Echidna are Cerberus (a monstrous three-headed dog with a snake for a tail and a serpentine mane), the serpent tailed Chimaera, the serpent-like chthonic water beast Lernaean Hydra and the hundred-headed serpentine dragon Ladon. Both the Lernaean Hydra and Ladon were slain by Heracles. Zeus darting his lightning at Typhon, Chalcidian black-figured hydria, ca. ... In classic Greek mythology, below Heaven, Earth, and Pontus is Tartarus, or Tartaros (Greek Τάρταρος, deep place). ... The Statue of Zeus at Olympia Phidias created the 12-m (40-ft) tall statue of Zeus at Olympia about 435 BC. The statue was perhaps the most famous sculpture in Ancient Greece, imagined here in a 16th century engraving Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Zeús, genitive: Diós), is... Heracles and threatened Cerberus, Attic black-figure neck-amphora, ca. ... Chimera on a red-figure Apulian plate, ca 350-340 BCE (Musée du Louvre) In Greek mythology, the Chimera (Greek Χίμαιρα (Chímaira); Latin Chimaera) is a monstrous creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, which was made of the parts of multiple animals. ... The 16th-century German illustrator has been influenced by the Beast of Revelation in his depiction of the Hydra. ... Ladon is the hundred-headed dragon that guarded the garden of the Hesperides in Greek mythology. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ...


Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in the vase-paintings and by sculptors as a serpent. Pytho was the chthonic enemy of Apollo, who slew her and remade her former home his own oracle, the most famous in Classical Greece. In Greek mythology, Python was the oracular serpent of Delphi. ... Delphi (Greek , [ðe̞lˈfi]) is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in a valley of Phocis. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ...

Statue of Asclepius in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin.
Statue of Asclepius in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin.

Amphisbaena a Greek word, from amphis, meaning "both ways", and bainein, meaning "to go", also called the "Mother of Ants", is a mythological, ant-eating serpent with a head at each end. According to Greek mythology, the mythological amphisbaena was spawned from the blood that dripped from Medusa the Gorgon's head as Perseus flew over the Libyan Desert with it in his hand. Medusa and the other Gorgons were vicious female monsters with sharp fangs and hair of living, venomous snakes. The Gorgons wore a belt of two intertwined serpents in the same configuration of the caduceus. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1339 KB) Beschreibung Object in the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1339 KB) Beschreibung Object in the Pergamonmuseum, Berlin. ... The Pergamon Museum The Pergamon Museum (in German, Pergamonmuseum) is one of the museums on the Museum Island in Berlin. ... This article is about the capital of Germany. ... Amphisbaena (pronounced: , plural: amphisbaenae), Amphisbaina, Amphisbene, Amphisboena, Amphisbona, Amphista, Amphivena, or Anphivena (the last two being feminine), a Greek word, from amphis, meaning both ways, and bainein, meaning to go, also called the Mother of Ants, is a mythological, ant-eating serpent with a head at each end. ... Medusa, by Arnold Böcklin (1878) In Greek mythology, Medusa (Greek: Μέδουσα, guardian, protectress[1]) was a monstrous chthonic female character, essentially an extension of an apotropaic mask, gazing upon whom could turn onlookers to stone. ... See also Gorgona, for the Colombian/Italian islands. ... Perseus with the head of Medusa, by Antonio Canova, completed 1801 (Vatican Museums) Perseus, Perseos, or Perseas (Greek: Περσεύς, Περσέως, Περσέας), the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty there, was the first of the mythic heroes of Greek mythology whose exploits helped establish the hegemony of Zeus and the Twelve...


Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis, learned the secrets of keeping death at bay after observing one serpent bringing another (which Asclepius himself had fatally wounded) healing herbs. To prevent the entire human race from becoming immortal under Asclepius's care, Zeus killed him with a bolt of lightning. Asclepius' death at the hands of Zeus illustrates man's inability to challenge the natural order that separates mortal men from the gods. In honor of Asclepius, snakes were often used in healing rituals. Non-poisonous snakes were left to crawl on the floor in dormitories where the sick and injured slept. In The Library, Apollodorus claimed that Athena gave Asclepius a vial of blood from the Gorgons. Gorgon blood had magical properties: if taken from the left side of the Gorgon, it was a fatal poison; from the right side, the blood was capable of bringing the dead back to life. However Euripides wrote in his tragedy Ion that the Athenian queen Creusa had inherited this vial from her ancestor Erichthonios, who was a snake himself and receiving the vial from Athena. In this version the blood of Medusa had the healing power while the lethal poison originated from Medusa's serpents. Asclepius (Greek also rendered Aesculapius in Latin and transliterated Asklepios) was the god of medicine and healing in ancient Greek mythology, according to which he was born a mortal but was given immortality as the constellation Ophiuchus after his death. ... The Bibliotheca (in English Library), in three books, provides a grand summary of traditional Greek mythology and heroic legends. ... Apollodorus was a common name in ancient Greece. ... For other uses, see Athena (disambiguation). ... A statue of Euripides. ... Ion is an ancient Greek play by Euripides, thought to be wrtten between 414 and 412 BC. It follows the orphan Ion in the discovery of his origins. ...


Laocoön was allegedly a priest of Poseidon (or of Apollo, by some accounts) at Troy; he was famous for warning the Trojans in vain against accepting the Trojan Horse from the Greeks, and for his subsequent divine execution. Poseidon (some say Athena), who was supporting the Greeks, subsequently sent sea-serpents to strangle Laocoön and his two sons, Antiphantes and Thymbraeus. Another tradition states that Apollo sent the serpents for an unrelated offense, and only unlucky timing caused the Trojans to misinterpret them as punishment for striking the Horse. Statue of Laocoön in the Vatican Laocoön (in Greek – Λαοκόων, pronounced roughly La — oh — koh — on), son of Priam, was allegedly a priest of Poseidon (or of Apollo, by some accounts) at Troy; he was famous for warning the Trojans in vain against accepting the Trojan Horse from the... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ... For other uses of Troy or Ilion, see Troy (disambiguation) and Ilion (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Athena (disambiguation). ...


Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great and a princess of the primitive land of Epirus, had the reputation of a snake-handler, and it was in serpent form that Zeus was said to have fathered Alexander upon her; tame snakes were still to be found at Macedonian Pella in the 2nd century AD (Lucian, Alexander the false prophet) and at Ostia a bas-relief shows paired coiled serpents flanking a dressed altar, symbols or embodiments of the Lares of the household, worthy of veneration (Veyne 1987 illus p 211). Olympias (Greek: Ολυμπιάς) (c. ... For the film of the same name, see Alexander the Great (1956 film). ... Epirus, spanning Greece and Albania. ... An atrium with a pebble-mosaic paving The city-state of Pella was the palace-capital of ancient Macedon, (now in Greece), removed from the older palace-city of Aigi (Vergina) by king Archelaos, (413–399 BC), who invited the painter Zeuxis, the greatest painter of the time, to... Lucian. ... Ostia Antica was the harbor of ancient Rome and perhaps its first colonia. ... Lares (pl. ...


Aeetes, the king of Colchis and father of the sorceress Medea, possessed the Golden Fleece. He guarded it with a massive serpent that never slept. Medea, who had fallen in love with Jason of the Argonauts, enchanted it to sleep so Jason could seize the Fleece. Aeetes (in Greek Αἰήτης) - King of Colchis (territory of modern West Georgia) in Greek mythology, Aeetes figured prominently in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. ... In ancient geography, Colchis (sometimes spelled also as Kolchis) (Greek: Κολχίς, kŏl´kĬs; Georgian: კოლხეთი, Kolkheti) was a nearly triangular district in Caucasus. ... This article is about the Greek mythological figure. ... Jason returns with the golden Fleece on an Apulian red-figure calyx krater, ca. ... This article is about the hero from Greek mythology. ... The Argo, by Lorenzo Costa In Greek mythology, the Argonauts (Ancient Greek: ) were a band of heroes who, in the years before the Trojan War, accompanied Jason to Colchis in his quest for the Golden Fleece. ...


Norse mythology

See also: Jörmungandr

Jörmungandr, alternately referred to as the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent, is a sea serpent of the Norse mythology, the middle child of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Thor goes fishing for the Midgard Serpent in this picture from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript. ... Loch Ness Monster (Painting) by Heikenwaelder Hugo Sea serpents are a kind of sea monster either wholly or partly serpentine. ... Norse, Viking or Scandinavian mythology comprises the indigenous pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian peoples, including those who settled on Iceland, where most of the written sources for Norse mythology were assembled. ... It has been suggested that Loki and the dwarfs be merged into this article or section. ... The giants Fafner and Fasolt seize Freyja in Arthur Rackhams illustration to Richard Wagners version of the Norse myths. ... Angrboda (Old Norse Angrboða Harm-foreboding) appears in Norse Mythology as a giantess. ...


According to the Prose Edda, Odin took Loki's three children, Fenrisúlfr, Hel and Jörmungandr. He tossed Jörmungandr into the great ocean that encircles Midgard. The serpent grew so big that he was able to surround the Earth and grasp his own tail, and as a result he earned the alternate name of the Midgard Serpent or World Serpent. Jörmungandr's arch enemy is the god Thor. The Younger Edda, known also as the Prose Edda or Snorris Edda is an Icelandic manual of poetics which also contains many mythological stories. ... For other meanings of Odin, Woden or Wotan see Odin (disambiguation), Woden (disambiguation), Wotan (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Loki and the dwarfs be merged into this article or section. ... According to the Edda Fenrisulfr bites off the hand of Týr (John Bauer, 1911) In Norse mythology, Fenrir or Fenrisulfr is a wolf, the son of Loki and the giantess Angrboða. ... In Norse mythology, Hel (sometimes Anglicized or Latinized as Hela) is the queen of Hel, the Norse underworld. ... For other uses, see Midgard (disambiguation). ... Serpent can be any of the following: The reptile commonly called snake. ... This tree from the Viking Age Överhogdal tapestries is believed to show Yggdrasil with Viðópnir. ... Thors battle against the giants, by MÃ¥rten Eskil Winge, 1872 Thor (Old Norse: Þór, also known as Tor) is the red-haired and bearded god of thunder and war in Norse Mythology and more generally Germanic mythology (Old English: Þunor, Old Dutch and Old High German: Donar, from...


Judaic and Christian tradition

Adam, Eve, and the (female) Serpent at the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Medieval Christian art often depicted the Edenic Serpent as a woman, thus both emphasizing the Serpent's seductiveness as well as its relationship to Eve. (This connection might be due do the influence of Lilith, as well.) Several early Church Fathers, including Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea, interpreted the Hebrew "Heva" as not only the name of Eve, but in its aspirated form as "female serpent."
Adam, Eve, and the (female) Serpent at the entrance to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Medieval Christian art often depicted the Edenic Serpent as a woman, thus both emphasizing the Serpent's seductiveness as well as its relationship to Eve. (This connection might be due do the influence of Lilith, as well.) Several early Church Fathers, including Clement of Alexandria and Eusebius of Caesarea, interpreted the Hebrew "Heva" as not only the name of Eve, but in its aspirated form as "female serpent."

In the Hebrew Bible (the Tanach) of Judaism, the speaking serpent (Hebrew nahash) in the Garden of Eden brought forbidden knowledge, but was not identified with Satan in the Book of Genesis. "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made," Genesis 3:1 reminded its readers. Nor is there any indication in Genesis that the Serpent was a deity in its own right, aside from the fact that the Pentateuch is not otherwise rife with talking animals. Although the identity of the Serpent as Satan is made explicit in the later writings of the Hebrew prophets and the New Testament of the Bible, in Genesis the Serpent is merely portrayed as a deceptive creature promoting as good what God had directly forbidden, and particularly cunning in manipulating truth toward its deceptive ends. (cf. Gen. 3:4-5 and 3:22) Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (427x615, 79 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Adam and Eve Serpent (symbolism) Notre Dame de Paris The Fall of Man Gothic art Eve (Bible) Temptation... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (427x615, 79 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Adam and Eve Serpent (symbolism) Notre Dame de Paris The Fall of Man Gothic art Eve (Bible) Temptation... Michelangelos The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Adam, with Eve in His arm. ... Michelangelos The Creation of Eve, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Eve from the side of Adam. ... Notre Dame de Paris: Western Façade For other uses, see Notre Dame. ... “Lilitu” redirects here. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers... Clement of Alexandria (Titus Flavius Clemens), was the first member of the Church of Alexandria to be more than a name, and one of its most distinguished teachers. ... Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (c. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum Hebrew Bible is a term that refers to the common portions of the Jewish canon and the Christian canons. ... 11th century Targum Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also spelt Tanach or Tenach) is an acronym for the three parts of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the initial Hebrew letters of each part: Torah [תורה] (The Law; also: Teaching or Instruction), Chumash [חומש] (The... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Garden of Eden (disambiguation). ... This article is about the concept of Satan. ... For other uses, see Genesis (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Christian scriptures. ...


Though it was cursed for its role in the Garden, this was not the end of the serpent, who continued to be venerated in the folk religion of Judah and was tolerated by official religion until the in time of king Hezekiah. Hezekiah (or Ezekias) (Hebrew: חזקיה or חזקיהו, God has strengthened) was the 13th king of indepedent Judah and the son of King Ahaz and Abijah (2 Chronicles 29:1), who was a daughter of a man (who was not the prophet) named Zechariah. ...


A conversion of a rod to a snake and back was believed to have been experienced by Moses and later by his brother Aaron according to Islamic, Christian, and Jewish hagiography: Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... In botany and horticulture, the popular name given to various tall flowering plants : Common mullein or great mullein (Verbascum thapsus), a biennal medicinal herb used in Amerindian medicine as a tonic for lung problems, such as cough, asthma or bronchitis; Snapdragon or Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae)(other common names: shepherds...

Moses lifts up the brass snake, curing the Israelites from the venom of snake bites.
Moses lifts up the brass snake, curing the Israelites from the venom of snake bites.
And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand and caught it and it became a rod in his hand. (Exodus 4:2-4)

The Book of Numbers provides an origin for an archaic bronze serpent associated with Moses, with the following narratives: Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1417x1516, 511 KB) Summary Taken at St Marks Church, Gillingham, by Mike Young Categories Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Serpent (symbolism) Nehushtan Metadata This file... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1417x1516, 511 KB) Summary Taken at St Marks Church, Gillingham, by Mike Young Categories Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Serpent (symbolism) Nehushtan Metadata This file... Exodus is the second book of the Torah, the Tanakh, and the Old Testament. ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Moses lifts up the brass snake, curing the Isrealites from Snake Bites. ...

"21.6. And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. 7. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. 8. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. 9. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived." (Book of Numbers 21:6-9)

When the young reforming king Hezekiah came to the throne of Judah in the late 8th century: The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ...

"He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan." 2 Kings 18:4.

In Christianity, a connection between the Serpent and Satan is strongly made, and Genesis 3:14 where God curses the serpent, is seen in that light: "And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life". Some feel that this seems to indicate that the serpent had legs prior to this punishment. But if the lying serpent was in fact Satan himself (as he is called THE serpent or dragon), rather than an ordinary snake simply possessed by Satan, then the reference to crawling and dust is purely symbolic reference to his ultimate humiliation and defeat. Moses lifts up the brass snake, curing the Isrealites from Snake Bites. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... This article is about the concept of Satan. ...


In the Gospel of Matthew 3:7, John the Baptist calls the Pharisees and Saducees visiting him a "brood of vipers". Later in Matthew 23:33, Jesus himself uses this imagery, observing: "Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Gehenna?" ("Hell" is the usual translation of Jesus' word Gehenna.) The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον, Kata Maththaion or Kata Matthaion) is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. ... St. ... The Pharisees (from the Hebrew perushim, from parash, meaning to separate) were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE). ... The sect of the Sadducees (or Zadokites and other variants) - which may have originated as a Political Party - was founded in the 2nd century BC and ceased to exist sometime after the 1st century AD. Their rivals, the Pharisees, are said to have originated in the same time period, but... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Although in the minority, there are at least a couple of passages in the New Testament that do not present the snake with negative connotation. When sending out the twelve apostles, Jesus exhorted them "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matthew 10:16). Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      For other uses, see...


Jesus made a comparison between himself and the setting up of the snake on the hill in the desert by Moses:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15).

In this comparison Jesus was not so much connecting himself to the serpent [citation needed], but showing the analogy of his being a divinely provided object of faith, through which God would provide salvation, just as God provided healing to those who looked in faith to the brass serpent. The other most significant reference to the serpent in the New Testament occurs in Revelation 12:9, where the identity of the serpent in Genesis is made explicit:

"The great dragon was hurled down -- that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray..."

This verse lends support to the view that of the serpent being Satan himself, which helps to explain, as well, why Eve was not surprised to be spoken to by the serpent -- it was not a talking snake, but a beautiful and intelligent (yet evil) angelic being.

  • Veyne, Paul, 1987. A History of Private Life : 1. From Pagan Rome to Byzantium

Snake handling is a religious ritual in a small number of Christian churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and Pentecostal. Practitioners believe it dates to antiquity and quote the Bible to support the practice, especially: Snake handling is a religious ritual in a small number of Christian churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and Pentecostal. ... The Pentecostal movement within Protestant Christianity places special emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. ...

"And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:17-18)
"Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19)

Native North American mythology

In one Native American story, an evil serpent kills one of the gods' cousins, so the god kills the serpent in revenge. But the dying serpent unleashes a great flood. People first flee to the mountains and then, when the mountains are covered, they float on a raft until the flood subsides. The evil spirits that the serpent god controlled then hide out of fear.[1] The Mound Builders associated great mystical value to the serpent, as the Serpent Mound demonstrates, though we are unable to unravel the particular associations. Miamisburg Mound, the largest conical mound in Ohio, is attributed to the Adena archaeological culture. ... Other sites in the U.S. of similar history may be found at Indian Mounds Park The Great Serpent Mound is a 1,330-foot-long, three-foot-high prehistoric effigy mound located on a plateau of the Serpent Mound crater along Ohio Brush Creek in Adams County, Ohio. ...


Modern medicine

Caduceus
The Star of Life features a Rod of Asclepius
The Star of Life features a Rod of Asclepius

Snakes entwined the staffs both of Hermes (the caduceus) and of Asclepius, where a single snake entwined the rough staff. On Hermes' caduceus, the snakes were not merely duplicated for symmetry, they were paired opposites. (This motif is congruent with the phurba.) The wings at the head of the staff identified it as belonging to the winged messenger, Hermes, the Roman Mercury, who was the god of magic, diplomacy and rhetoric, of inventions and discoveries, the protector both of merchants and that allied occupation, to the mythographers' view, of thieves. It is however Hermes' role as psychopomp, the escort of newly-deceased souls to the afterlife, that explains the origin of the snakes in the caduceus since this was also the role of the Sumerian entwined serpent god Ningizzida, with whom Hermes has sometimes been equated. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... The Star of Life The Star of Life is a blue, six-pointed star, outlined with a white border which features the Rod of Asclepius in the center, originally designed and governed by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (under the United States Department of Transportation, DOT). ... For other uses, see Hermes (disambiguation). ... The Caduceus Two caduceuses without wings as decoration of door portal in Ztracená street in Olomouc (Czech Republic). ... Rod of Asclepius The Rod of Asclepius (also known as Asklepios or Aesculapius) is an ancient Greek symbol associated with astrology and healing the sick with medicine. ... The Phurba (Tib. ... Rhetoric (from Greek , rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is generally understood to be the art or technique of persuasion through the use of spoken language; however, this definition of rhetoric has expanded greatly since rhetoric emerged as a field of study in universities. ... Many sets of religious beliefs have a particular spirit, deity, demon or angel whose responsibility is to escort newly-deceased souls to the afterlife, such as Heaven or Hell. ...


In Late Antiquity, as the arcane study of alchemy developed, Mercury was understood to be the protector of those arts too and of arcane or occult "Hermetic' information in general. Chemistry and medicines linked the rod of Hermes with the staff of the healer Asclepius, which was wound with a serpent; it was conflated with Mercury's rod, and the modern medical symbol— which should simply be the rod of Asclepius— often became Mercury's wand of commerce. Another version is used in alchemy whereas the snake is crucufied, known as Nicolas Flamel's caduceus. Art historian Walter J. Friedlander, in The Golden Wand of Medicine: A History of the Caduceus Symbol in Medicine (1992) collected hundreds of examples of the caduceus and the rod of Asclepius and found that professional associations were just somewhat more likely to use the staff of Asclepius, while commercial organizations in the medical field were more likely to use the caduceus. Late Antiquity is a rough periodization (c. ... For other uses, see Alchemy (disambiguation). ... This imaginative portrait of Nicolas Flamel dates from the nineteenth century. ...


Modern political propaganda

Following the Christian context as a symbol for evil serpents are sometimes featured in political propaganda. They were used to represent Jews in antisemite propaganda. Snakes were also used to represent the evil side of drugs in such films as Narcotic and Narcotics: Pit of Despair. In another one a drug dealer transforms into a snake. For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ... 1978 English language imprint of Protocols of Zion depicting image of Symbolic snake on cover Cover of a Brazilian version of the Protocols Cartoon from the Syrian Arab daily newspaper Tishreen (Apr 30, 2000). ...


References

  • Joseph Campbell, Occidental Mythology: the Masks of God, 1964: Ch. 1, "The Serpent's Bride."
  • John Bathurst Deane, The Worship of the Serpent, 1833. (On-line text)
  • David P. Chandler, A History of Cambodia, 1992.
  • Lewis Richard Farnell, The Cults of the Greek States, 1896.
  • Joseph Eddy Fontenrose, Python; a study of Delphic myth and its origins, 1959.
  • Jane Ellen Harrison, Themis: A Study of the Social Origins of Greek Religion, 1912. cf. Chapter IX, p.329 especially, on the slaying of the Python. [2] [3]
  • Joseph Lewis Henderson and Maud Oakes, The Wisdom of the Serpent. The tribal initiation of the shaman, the archetype of the serpent, exemplifies the death of the self and a transcendent rebirth. Analytical psychology offers insights on the meaning of death symbolism and the serpent symbol.
  • Edgar Allan Poe, The Cask of Amontillado, available in an online version at literature.org.
  • Carl A. P. Ruck, Blaise Daniel Staples & Clark Heinrich, The Apples of Apollo: Pagan and Christian Mysteries of the Eucharist, 2001.

For other uses, see Joseph Campbell (disambiguation). ... Joseph Edward Fontenrose (1903-1986) was an American classical scholar. ... Jane Ellen Harrison (September 9, 1850–April 5, 1928) was a ground-breaking English classical scholar and feminist. ... Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... The Cask of Amontillado (sometimes spelled The Casque of Amontillado) is a short story, written by Edgar Allan Poe and first published in the November 1846 issue of Godeys Ladys Book. ... Carl A. P. Ruck is a professor in the Classical Studies department at Boston University. ...

See also

It has been suggested that European dragon be merged into this article or section. ... The nagas ( snake) are an ancient race of snake-humanoid beings first depicted in ancient Vedic Hindu mythology and oral folklore from at least 5000 B.C.E. Stories involving the Nagas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu (India, Nepal, and the island... This does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Ethnoherpetology is the study of the past and present interrelationships between human cultures and reptiles and amphibians. ... Late second-century statue of Glycon. ... The nagas ( snake) are an ancient race of snake-humanoid beings first depicted in ancient Vedic Hindu mythology and oral folklore from at least 5000 B.C.E. Stories involving the Nagas are still very much a part of contemporary cultural traditions in predominantly Hindu (India, Nepal, and the island... It has been suggested that The Reptilian Agenda be merged into this article or section. ... In Roman mythology a genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. ... Druids Glass or Druids egg, also known as adderstanes in the south of Scotland and Gloine nan Druidh (Druids glass in Scottish Gaelic) in the north was in high esteem amongst the Druids. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Vergil Aenid 2.471. 
  2. ^ Nicander Alexipharmaca 521. 
  3. ^ Pliny Natural History 9.5. 
  4. ^ Chandler, A History of Cambodia, p.13.

For other uses see Virgil (disambiguation). ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598 Galleria Borghese, Rome The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos) is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BCE (between 29 and 19 BCE) that tells the legendary story... Nicander (2nd century BC), Greek poet, physician and grammarian, was born at Claros, near Colophon, where his family held the hereditary priesthood of Apollo. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Naturalis Historia Pliny the Elders Natural History is an encyclopedia written by Pliny the Elder. ...

External links


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