Friday, November 15, 2013

Decorative relief carved half round ceramic dragon tiles

Somewhere in the mountainous region of Snowdonia in Wales lies the remains of the ancient city of Emrys, home of the Druid alchemists known as the Pheryllt. In the Welsh tradition, this city was also known as Dinas Affaraon- ‘City of the higher powers.’ There are many stories and legends surrounding this archaeological site dating back to the Iron age and inhabited during several different time periods after. It was at Emrys, the Mabinogion tells, where Ludd Llaw Eveint, Celtic god of healing and health buried two fighting dragons. Centuries later the famous exchange from the legends of King Arthur between the warlord Vortigern and a youthful Merlin took place there. The story has it that when Vortigern fled into Wales to escape Anglo-Saxon invaders he chose this lofty hill fort as a royal retreat. He began work in earnest on the first of many proposed towers, only to find each day’s labor mysteriously destroyed over night. This continued for some time until Vortigern was advised to seek the help of a young boy born of a virgin mother. The boy they eventually found was Myrddin Emerys (Merlin), who explained that Vortigerns tower could not stand because of two battling dragons trapped in a hidden pool beneath the fort. Merlin then went on to prophesize, that though the white dragon representing the Saxons was winning at present, upon their release from the pool, the red dragon representing Wales would defeat the white, and the British would be driven from Wales. Marlins prophesy eventually came true and it has long been thought by some that the connection of Wales to the red dragon, as depicted on their flag stems from this Arthurian tale.

1 comment:

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