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Top 10 Dragon Mythology

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Dragons have appeared in some of our most ancient pieces of literature. Some of the most memorable encounters are the Beowulf's dragon and Tolkien's Smaug, but there are many more in world mythology and literature. Read on.

1. An Instinct for Dragons

An Instinct for Dragons
by David E. Jones. Routledge. From the publisher: "'An Instinct for Dragons' is anthropologist David E. Jones's account of his search for the mysterious birth of this ubiquitous monster. In a vast synthesis of art, mythology, history, and anthropology, Jones finds that the dragon is in fact a universal image."
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2. The Medieval Dragon

The Medieval Dragon
by Joyce Tally Lionarons. Hisarlik Press. From the publisher: "This study of the dragon in medieval German literature examines four works: 'Beowulf,' 'The Saga of the Volsungs,' 'Das Nibelungenlied' and 'Thidrek's Saga.' Each represent an unanticipated challenge to readers' expectations concerning dragons and dragon slayers."
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3. Year of the Dragon: Legends & Lore

Nigel Suckling, and Wayne Anderson (Illustrator). Barnes & Noble Books. From the publisher: "This charming travelogue with its beautiful illustrations and fascinating narrative, leads the reader through the dragon-laden landscape of Chinese folktales and classic literature, and even uncovers some new dragon lore from the far-flung corners of the Chinese Empire."
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4. A Dictionary of Folklore

by David Pickering. Facts on File. From the publisher: "From dragons, fairies, giants, and trolls to Paul Bunyan, Robin Hood, and UFOs, 'A Dictionary of Folklore' is an illuminating and comprehensive one-volume guide to the central themes and traditions of world folklore from ancient times to the present day."
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5. Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia

by Carol Rose. W.W. Norton & Co. From the publisher: "This illustrated encyclopedia not only identifies and describes individual beasts in their cultural context, but also groups them together across cultures and discusses common mythological strands and conceits. An extensive bibliography and useful appendixes assist further learning for students of all levels."
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6. The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer

by Jesse L. Byock (Translator). University of California Press. This Icelandic epic has been the foundation upon which J.R.R. Tolkien and other great writers and artists have based their works. This myth endures.
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7. In the Court of the Jade Emperor: Stories from Old China

by Rosalind Kerven. Cambridge University Press. From the publisher: "Stern dragon-kings and dragon princesses mingle with gods and goddesses in this meticulously researched collection of fifteen myths, legends and folktales that recreate the fascinating colorful civilization of ancient China."
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8. Dragons and Demons: Myths and Legends From Asia Brought to Life

by Stewart Ross, and Francis Phillipps (Illustrator). Millbrook Press. This book includes six myths and legends drawn from Asia and the Far East.
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9. Hungarian Folktales: The Art of Zsuzsanna Palko

by Zsuzsanna Palko Vera Kalm (Translator). University Press of Mississippi. From the publisher: "In Mrs. Palko's masterful magic tales, the imaginative world of dragons, talking animals, and castles on rooster feet also embraces ordinary hardworking farmers and artisans like those in her Hungarian audiences."
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10. Hero-Tales of Ireland

by Jeremiah Curtin. Dover Publications. From the publisher: "Compiled by a 19th-century ethnographer from the Smithsonian Institution, this volume abounds in fantastic accounts of bold warriors who battle dragons and giants, outwit sorcerers, and overcome death itself."
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