Everybody has heard of St. George but no one really knows who he was. Here is what we do know. The legend of Saint George and the Dragon describes the saint taming and slaying a dragon that demanded human sacrifices; the saint thereby rescues the princess chosen as the next offering.
As a highly celebrated saint in both the Western and Eastern Christian churches, Saint George is connected with a large number of patronages throughout the world, and his iconography can be found on the flags and coats of arms of a number of cities and countries.Saint George between AD 256–285 to 23 April 303, according to legend, was a Roman soldier of Greek origin and officer in the Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian, who was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. As a Christian martyr, he later became one of the most venerated saints in Christianity, and was especially venerated by the Crusaders. George's parents were Christians of Greek background, his father Gerontius (Greek: Γερόντιος, Gerontios meaning "old man" in Greek) was a Roman army official from Cappadocia, and his mother Polychronia (Greek name, meaning she who lives many years) was a Christian and a Greek native from Lydda in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina.
Here are a few of the countries St.George is the patron saint of, courtesy of Wikipedia:
- United States
The Legend of Ljubljana’s Dragon or (Jason and the Dragon.) The legend of the Ljubljana dragon, the symbol of the city. How Jason killed the dragon and founded the city of Ljubljana(Roman word alluviana, meaning a flooding river. A marshland.), while returning home to Greece.
Jason having completed his quest was detoured on his return home and found himself up the Danube where he and his men were stranded for the winter.Legend has it, that many centuries ago, this fearsome lizard lurked in the marshes that surround the Ljubljanica river, feeding on fish, otters, river rats… and those humans unfortunate enough to stray into its territory, who as simple farming folk, were easy prey for this fire-breathing monster. What no doubt this dragon hadn’t reckoned on, was a bona fide Greek hero, sailing up the river on the mighty Argo galley with a battle-hardened crew of warriors and a barbarian sorceress in tow. Jason was in fact on the run from King Aeetes: he had won the Golden Fleece from the Colchian ruler fair and square, but to add injury to insult he had also stolen the king’s beautiful daughter, Medea, into the bargain (her magic had helped Jason complete the three tasks Aeetes had set the him, and the two were very much in love… at least for now). Naturally Aeetes sent his entire fleet in pursuit of this smooth-talking kidnapper, chasing him across the breadth of the Black Sea; until Jason had been forced to take evasive action, sailing the Argo up the mouth of the Danube river, then into the Sava, and then finally up into the Ljubljanica river, as he tried to make it back to Thessaly, Greece, any way he could.
On a cold winter’s day, shortly after the Argonauts had set up their winter camp, the Greeks heard a terrible shrieking and saw the shadow of a giant flying beast rise from the waters next to their new home. Spitting fire and noxious fumes over their wooden houses, the monster set half the village on fire, with many of the Argonauts plunging into the icy marsh waters to save themselves. Several drowned, and one unlucky soldier was plucked by the scaly talons of the dragon and dragged back to its lair for supper.
TL;DR: Jason killed a dragon in Slovenia, he is remembered to this day as the dragon slayer who saved the city. How very St. George like of him.Now Medea had already helped Jason defeat one serpent (the one that guarded the Golden Fleece) by casting a sleep charm over the monster; and so it was that the brave hero sent the young unarmed girl first into the thicket. Finding a hole in the intertwining trunks she entered calmly, softly singing the enchanted words of a spell. Sure enough the dragon was lulled into a drowsy stupor and the sorceress was able to draw close enough to douse his serpentine brow with a potion, using the sprig of a Juniper tree, that put the beast firmly to sleep. Now that the basilisk was out cold, Jason crept into the thicket and drew his sword, determined to dispatch this devil to the shades; however his blade would not cut through the scaly armour of the lizard’s throat, nor could he even gouge its eyes, protected as they were by thick, layered, reptilian eyelids. Seeing her lover toil in vain, Medea counselled that he should bind the monster’s mouth shut with chains she had brought for that purpose, and then stuff its vast nostrils with the bones of its victims, which were lying in piles around the putrid lair that stank of death. Jason heeded her advice and the two of them retreated from the den, just as the beast started to stir. Awakening to suddenly find itself suffocating, the dragon’s fiery breath billowed in its stomach, unable to escape. It burst up from the thicket and into the night sky in blind panic, but its jaw could not snap the binds that the sorceress had overseen and only wisps of black smoke could escape its stuffed nostrils. Jason and Medea watched this terrible struggle crouching in the reeds: the manic beat of its wings, the spasms of its coiled neck, the silent shrieks of agony… until, with an almighty bang, the beast’s belly combusted from within, and its carcass exploded in a spray of fire and coloured sparks, lighting up the black sky for miles around. Yes, this was Slovenia’s first ever fireworks display!
What was the golden fleece and why had Jason journeyed to fetch it?
The Golden fleece was to be found in the region of Colchis. Where is modern day Colchis you may ask?
Colchis is Georgia.was an ancient Georgian kingdom and region on the coast of the Black Sea, centred in present-day western Georgia.
Saint George is a patron saint of Georgia, and it is claimed by Georgian author Enriko Gabisashvili that Saint George is most venerated in that nation. An 18th-century Georgian geographer and historian Vakhushti Bagrationi wrote that there are 365 Orthodox churches in Georgia named after Saint George, according to the number of days in one year. There are indeed many churches in Georgia named after the Saint; Alaverdi Monastery is one of the largest.
Devotions to the saint in Georgia date back to the 4th century. While not technically named after the saint (Sakartvelo is the Georgian name for the country), its English name is an early and well-attested back-derivation of Saint George. The name is reputed to be an anglicisationof Gurj, derived from the Persian word for the frightening and heroic people in that territory, and hence assumed by early medieval chroniclers to translate as George, due to the existing patronage.
How about Jason's wife Medea?Old Georgian was written in its own alphabetic script, known as Asomtavruli "capital letters" or Mrglovani "rounded". The alphabet is very nearly phonemic, showing an excellent "fit" between phonemes and graphemes. It is clearly modelled on the Greek alphabet, showing basically the same alphabetic order, and with letters representing non-Greek phonemes gathered at the end. Apart from letters for nearly all Georgian phonemes, the alphabet also contains three letters representing Greek phonemes not found in Georgian (ē, ü and ō). Most individual letters seem to be entirely independent designs, with only a few based directly on their Greek counterparts (cf. Greek Φ Θ Χ [pʰ tʰ kʰ], Asomtavruli Ⴔ Ⴇ Ⴕ).
"Jason" is ancient Greek, meaning healer.Medea is female given name. From the Greek Μηδεια Medeia, possibly meaning either to ponder or cunning. In Greek mythology Medea was a sorceress from Colchis who helped Jason gain the Golden Fleece. They were married, but eventually Jason left her for another woman. For revenge Medea slew Jason's new lover and also had her own children by Jason killed. Georgian popular tradition attributes the origins of the term Medicine to Medea's name
Another telling of the St. George legend mentions St. George curing the city of a poisoned water supply:Jason is a common given name for a male. It comes from Greek Ἰάσων (Iásōn), meaning "healer", from the verb ἰάομαι (iáomai), "heal", "cure", cognate with Ἰασώ, Iasō, the goddess of healing and ἰατρός, iatros, "healer", "physician". Forms of related words have been attested in Greek from as far back as Mycenaen (in Linear B) and Arcadocypriot (in the Cypriot syllabary) Greek: 𐀂𐀊𐀳, i-ja-te and i-ja-te-ra-ne, respectively, both regarded as standing for inflected forms of ἰατήρ, "healer".
Georgia gets its name from their patron St. George. Georgians recognize Jason's wife Medea as the originator of medicines. Was Jason a localized Greek title for St. George who was known for healing? Are the well documented legends of Jason able to give us an insight into the mysterious figure known as St. George?Saint George was a knight and born in Cappadocia. One time he came to the city of Silene in the province of Libya. Near this city was a pond, wherein there was a dragon which was poisoning all the country...
Are St. George and Jason the same historical figure? Did dragons once exist and were they a pest as described in the The Legend of Ljubljana’s Dragon? Perhaps there Intelligent giant lizards walked among us in the not so distant past.
Perhaps men of renown slayed these beasts. Perhaps the ground dwelling species were the first to be eradicated leaving only the ones capable of flight. Perhaps until very recently these 'legacy dragons' existed in isolated pockets feeding off of small human populations, their ability to escape by air making them particularly hard to kill. I'm convinced there is a connection between Jason and St. George. Is the evidence I've presented persuasive enough for you? As far as I know this connection isn't being presented anywhere else by anyone. What's your opinion?