Mythical Creatures of the Middle Age

Mythical creatures are monsters renowned in folklore and myth. Today, I researched a specific mythical plant, beast, fish, serpent and bird.

A Peridixion tree, also known as Circa Dexteram, is an Indian tree that attracts doves and repels dragons. The doves are fond of the fruit, and are afraid of the dragon, so they come to the tree for safety.

A Leucrota is a composite, or mixed, beast with a mouth that stretches from ear to ear. Like the Peridixion tree, the Leucrota originates in India. A Leucrota is described to have a horse’s head, the chest and legs of a lion, hind quarters of a stag and cloven hooves. It has an extremely wide mouth that stretches from ear to ear. It does not have individual teeth, but only a single bone in their place. A Leucrota, much like a hyena, can make sounds that resemble human speech. In 1 c.e., Pliny the Elder wrote about the Leucrota in his book “Natural History Book 8”.

A Jaculus, otherwise known as an Iaculus or Javelin-snake, is a flying carnivorous serpent. Instead of using its flying abilities to catch prey, the serpent flies to a tree top and launches itself down on it’s prey, killing it instantaneously. Pliny the Elder also wrote about the Jaculus in 1c.e.

A torpedo fish, or Electric ray, is a fish or ray that has the ability to electrocute or paralyze someone if they come into contact with them. Isisdore of Seville wrote about the torpedo fish in the 7th century c.e.

Cinnamologus is an Arabian bird that makes it’s nest from the fruits of the cinnamon tree. Men couldn’t climb the tree to obtain the cinnamon because of the delicate branches, so they threw lead balls at the nest to knock the cinnamon down. Herodotus, Pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville all wrote about this bird, Herodotus in the 5th century b.c.e, Pliny in the 1st century c.e. and Isidore in the 7th century c.e.

Mythical creatures were made for specific reasons. People would sometimes claim that a mythical creature such as a Basilisk had entered their village, so as to scare people away. A griffin is a church symbol, sometimes people would claim that a griffin came to their village because something miraculous was about to happen. another reason was to prove bravery or intelligence. Such as if there was a rumor that there was a dragon in a nearby cave, a man would “slay it” to prove his bravery.

In conclusion, these made up creatures aren’t much different from Nessie the Loch-Ness Monster or Bigfoot. They are all invented and dreamed up for the same reason: to arouse excitement, fear and suspicion among the world’s population.

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