Before we made the earth round, when the earth was still flat, and you could fall off the edge if you weren’t careful, cartographers put dragons at the edge of maps to represent the unknown territories, ‘here there be dragons’, or ‘HIC SVNT DRACONES’.
Ancient map makers must have been the Rock Stars of ‘the day’, if it wasn’t known, put a big old monster there and be cool about it, tell everyone to take caution, because when you run out of map, ‘here there be dragons’. I think I was born five hundred years too late, I just love this kind of stuff.
It doesn’t hurt that this phrase has been used by countless authors, artists, musicians, and the likes of Hector Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) in Pirates of the Caribbean, and Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) in Out of Africa.
Often times I’ve thought about putting this above our door. It’s perfect for a house that’s filled with Border Collies, especially the puppy version. ‘Here There Be Dragons’. Nothing to misinterpret there. A bit of unknown territory, some caution, hints of magic, ancient something, mystery for sure, possible danger, and the temptation to enter and find out, maybe.
My little dragon, Rhumb, who reminds me of a time when the earth was flat and you could fall off the edge if you ran out of map, because, here there be dragons! She makes my life so very interesting and full of adventure.
Happy New Year, Nancy