claymore slinger


\Clay"more`\, n. [Gael. claidheamhmor a broadsword; Gael. claidheamh sword + mor great, large. Cf. Claymore.] A large two-handed sword used formerly by the Scottish Highlanders.

\Sling"er\, n. One who slings

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Medieval Dragons

The dragon's strength is found in its tail, not in its teeth. Its lashing tail does great harm, and the dragon kills anything it catches in its coils. The dragon is the enemy of the elephant, and hides near paths where elephants walk so that it can catch them with its tail and kill them by suffocation. It is because of the threat of the dragon that elephants give birth in the water. The dragon's venom is harmless. The dragon has a crest and a small mouth. When the dragon is drawn from its hole into the air, it stirs up the air and makes it shine. Dragons are found in India and Ethiopia.

Dragons are afraid of the peridexion tree and stay out of its shadow, which will harm them. Doves roost in the tree to be safe from the dragon.

Dragons cannot stand the sweet smell breathed out by the panther and hide in a hole when the panther roars.

Allegory/Moral

The Devil is likened to a dragon because he is the worst of all serpents. As the dragon makes the air shine, so the Devil makes himself appear as the angel of light to deceive the foolish.

The crest of the dragon represents the Devil crowned with pride. As the dragon's strength is not in its teeth but in its tail, the Devil, deprived of his strength, deceives with lies. The way in which the dragon attacks elephants represents the way the Devil attacks people, lying in wait along their path to heaven, wrapping them in his coils, and suffocating them with sin.

Sources (chronological order)

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:4-5): The dragon is the largest serpent, and in fact the largest animal on earth. Its name in Latin is draco, derived from the Greek name drakon. When it comes out of its cave, it disturbs the air. It has a crest, a small mouth, and a narrow throat. Its strength is in its tail rather than its teeth; it does harm by beating, not by biting. It has no poison and needs none to kill, because it kills by entangling. Not even the elephant is safe from the dragon; hiding where elephants travel, the dragon tangles their feet with its tail and kills the elephant by suffocating it. Dragons live in the burning heat of India and Ethiopia. (Book 16, 14:7): Dracontites is a stone that is forcibly taken from the brain of a dragon, and unless it is torn from the living creature it has not the quality of a gem; whence magi cut it out of dragons while they are sleeping. For bold men explore the cave of the dragons, and scatter there medicated grains to hasten their sleep, and thus cut off their heads while they are sunk in sleep, and take out the gems.

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