Saint George is both man and myth. He is considered “The Great Martyr” by the Greek Orthodox Church. He, in fact, did exist, and his chivalric character led to the allegorical fable of his slaying of the great dragon.
There are no known birth or death dates for Saint George, but it is known that he was born in Cappadocia in Asia Minor, which is now Turkey, into a Christian family of noble lineage. In Asia Minor, it was the reign of Emperor Diocletian, who, in 302 AD, took it upon himself to persecute the believers of Christianity. Saint George opposed the mistreatment and annihilation of these Christians. Upon speaking out against the harshness of Diocletian’s decrees against the Christians, Saint George was imprisoned and tortured, dragged through the streets and beheaded in Nicoimedia, which is presently Palestine, which makes him one of the earliest martyrs. The emperor's wife was so impressed by Saint George's unfaltering faith, she converted to Christianity and was put to death. Saint George was canonized in 494 AD by Pope Gelasius.
The legend and myth of Saint George was believed to have begun at some point in the twelfth century and was continually passed down, especially in the form of song by troubadours in the fourteenth century. The story is believed to have been derived from that of Virgin Andromeda and Perseus. In Silene, Libya, there was a dragon doing his part to terrorize that portion of the country. The town of Silene had fed it the majority of their livestock in order to try and acquiesce the dragon, and had moved on to people. They were about to sacrifice Cleolinda, the resident princess. At this precise moment, Saint George appeared in Silene, killed the dragon and ...
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...ll. He has been a Saint for over 1500 years and his fame will continue on into the next century.
Cornish, F. Wallace. Chivalry. New York: The MacMillan Co., 1911.
Vale, Juliet. Edward III and Chivalry. Suffolk: Boydell Press, 1982.
Porter, J. R., ed. And Russell, W.M.S., ed. Animals in Folklore. Cambridge: D.S. Brewer Ltd, 1978.
Groiler Multimedia Encyclopedia. Computer Software. Groiler, Inc. 1995. Mac. 968K. CD-ROM.
Saint George Patron Saint of Scouting
Artisan Publishers St. George by E.O. Gordon
Saint George Patron Saint of England
The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St John the Baptist, Washington D.C.
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