in 2000 CE are unlikely to see dragons in the sky, and the Anglo-Saxons
do not report seeing them in 1000 AD, the approach of the millennium
then and now occasioned both the dread and the excitement of expectation.
It is difficult to imagine a better image for both of those emotions
than dragons above, flying under their own sublime power and for their
own hidden reasons. Some Anglo-Saxons may have imagined the reference
in the Chronicle to signify genuine flights of real dragons in the air,
and they are not, perhaps, very different from people today who know
that somehow we are threatened from the same direction to which we usually
look for the beneficence of our gods by holes in the ozone layers, mushroom
clouds, and exploding airplanes. Some Anglo-Saxons, however, knew that
dragons serve us as metaphors, and they may have been like many of us
today who search less poetically for ways to embody the magic and power
of the ciphers we assign to our lives when we tally our own age or that
of our world. If the very number is significant when a person turns
16, 21, 30, 50 or 100, how much more significance is felt when we perceive
our whole civilization to have reached such a numerical plateau. Indeed,
there are dragons in the sky.
in the Sky is, at its heart, a snapshot of two communities. The present
day society of English-speaking communities (i.e. the United Kingdom,
USA, Australasia, etc.) and the society of Anglo-Saxon England. Using
the recent millennium as a milestone in human history, this electronic-book
compares and contrasts human experience in England of the tenth/eleventh
century with the conditions of English-speaking people today, now spread
over the earth since the last millennium.
Patrick W. Conner Dr.
Stuart D. Lee
Editor, Dragons in the Sky Editor,
Dragons in the Sky
West Virginia University University
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