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Thread: What are those?
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Old March 19th, 2012, 02:07 PM   #18
Filiberto Boncompagni
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cyprus
Posts: 85

Hi Pierre,
In chinese tradition the dragon often represented the Emperor and the phenix the Empress
Mmmmh….. You gave me the idea to check my “DICTIONNAIRE DES SYMBOLES” (Chevalier/Gheerbrant, Ed. Robert Laffont, 1993 re-print).

About “Phénix” - first mentioned by Herodotus [5th century BCE] (History, book 2) - it says it symbolized resurrection and immortality. “That’s why in all of the Middle Ages it was the symbol of Christ’s resurrection”.
As for the Dragon, in Christianity it was associated to the serpent in symbolizing the Demon or Evil (see St. George, the dragon slaughter )

I guess that the “Phoenix and Dragon” iconography that was imported from the Orient (and whose meaning I don’t remember at the moment, but it goes beyond the Emperor/Empress) was adopted in Europe to symbolize the fight between the good and the evil.

Which doesn’t help us to find the origins of the “Phoenix and Dragon” rugs in those paintings but could authorize us to think that some (I say some) of them could even be European copies.
But this is only a theory…

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