Chinese Dragons were borrowed from Scythians?


“A titan of Ancient History and one of the greats of twentieth-century historical scholarship, Rostovtzeff” (Yale quote) observed: “There is a striking similarity between the dragons of the Scythians of the fifth-fourth centuries B.C. and those of the Chinese art of the Chou period. A common origin is beyond doubt. I suspect that this is the case of the two jade figures of two small deer with elaborate antlers which have been recently acquired from Mr. C.T. Loo by the Metropolitan Museum… However this may be, in this case an influence of the Scythian art is beyond doubt. The treatment of the deer is the same as in so many figurines of deer in the tumuli of the Seven Brothers…

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Scythian influence may be noticed in many jades which are usually dated in the Han period. The best is the figurine of a tiger or a lion with the head turned in the direction opposite to the body… It looks as if it were a direct imitation of a Scythian psalion.

Direct borrowing from the Scythian may be stated for some arms and weapons. Before the Chinese adopted the military equipment of their neighbors in the Han period, they had occasionally used some weapons which had been modelled on Scythian patterns, especially swords and daggers.”

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