Thursday, 12 March 2009

Here be dragons

On many ancient maps the words "here be dragons" were printed to indicate dangerous and/or unexplored areas. Or?

But. Maybe there is only one known historical example. and

And it was not even "Here be dragons" - but the latin HC SVNT DRACONES ("hic sunt dracones").

And still we belive that it was a common phrase on maps. How many more historical facts are just myths?

Should we trust history? Who writes history? Where does our common knowledge come from?

1 comment:

  1. Without any kind of formal eduction, I will jump on this from a small personal level. I will try to make the story short.

    I was living in Houston, Texas, USA in 1981 or 1982 having moved from England. One of employees had lived near me in England, although I did not know him then.

    One day out of the blue he asked me to describe the journey I took from my house to the hospital where my daughter was born. I didn't think much of the question, but humoured him anyway.

    I got about 1/2 way along the route when he interrupted and asked me, "Which side of the road are you driving on?" Strange to say, even though I was recounting an English driving experience, I was very definitely driving on the US side of the road as I imagined the journey. I hope that is only a reconstructed memory and not what I was actually doing when going to witness my daughter's birth.