Where do dragons come from?

“Whence do all these so widely shared themes and motifs derive?” we might ask. “Where do dragons come from? Where, for example, on the map, might I draw a circle to mark the homeland of the species dragon? Or is that place not to be found, perhaps, in any part of the map at all?”

If questions of this kind occur to us and we take them seriously enough to begin to look for answers, the quest may take us not only into every part of the world and century of the past, into oriental temples, painted paleolithic caves, and the deepest jungle sanctuaries, but also, in some way or other, inward, upward, and downward, following shamans on their visionary journeys and witches to their sabbaths.

-- Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell, "Myths East to West," in Myths, by Alexander Eliot (Copyright © 1976), p. 32
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