Roman Glass Lizards

Roman Glass Lizards

Caribbean Animal Extinctions Began With The Conquistadors, Says Study

The beautiful, inhabited archipelago of islands in the south of the Caribbean, called Guadeloupe, was sighted by conquistador Christopher Columbus, in 1493, and the Caribbean became part of the “New World.” A recent study shows that Caribbean animal extinctions were non-existent until Europeans began “cultivating” their new territories. And by extension climate change also began when Caribbean animal extinctions got started, as the Westerners turned huge forests into fertile fields of crops to export to Europe and elsewhere.

The latest study on Caribbean animal extinctions shows that indigenous human beings were not the only ones impacted by European activities in the Caribbean and, by extension, Latin America. The study published in Sciences Advances magazine, “revealed a massive extinction of 50 to 70% of Guadeloupe’s snakes and lizards following European colonization.”

An organic banana plantation in Guadeloupe today. The commercialization of land on the 6 inhabited islands of Guadeloupe was consistent with the first evidence of Caribbean animal extinctions. ( daumy / Adobe Stock)

Flashback: Paperweights, Rare and Not So Rare

This article discusses the difference between rare and common paperweights, noting ways that one can tell if a paperweight is a genuine antique or an imitation. It originally appeared in the July 1943 issue of American Collector magazine, a publication which ran from 1933-1948 and served antique collectors and dealers.

“I have a number of books which belonged to my grandfather. They are very old, and I am quite sure they are valuable. Will you be so kind as to arrange with your friend, the rare book dealer to look them over and let me know their value?”

Three Desirable Antique Paperweights I: A signed Baccarat weight dated 1848

The books arrive. They are indeed old. The type is of an antique cut, the paper is brittle and streaked with brown. When I take them to my friend, the expert in old books, he examines them and shakes his head. “Not one in the lot,” he says, “is worth more than a few cents. The second-hand bookstores are full of this kind of antiques.”

A friend told me of an experience he had in France in the last war. While directing the work of a group of German prisoners who were doing some excavation work, they came upon a wall several feet beneath the surface of the ground. Suddenly, while the wall was being pried apart, one of the prisoners found an ancient Roman coin.

The American was delighted when the German offered to trade his find for a carton of cigarettes. When the coin was examined by an American expert in rare coins, he pronounced it genuine enough, but added that it was worth no more than the price that was paid.

These cases are cited on account of the frequency with which similar disappointments occur in the field of paperweights. From time to time, I receive letters, not a few of them from dealers, regarding weights which appear to meet all the specifications of rare antiques, but which, after thorough examination, prove to be nothing more than modern approximations of genuine and valuable French and British antiques.

Three Desirable Antique Paperweights II: A Millville rose, an example of the work of Ralph Barber, who made some of the most artistically beautiful and distinctive weights of American origin.

The entire field of modern imitations and outright counterfeits is far too great to cover in anything short of a bulky volume, but I shall attempt in this brief space to set forth certain facts which may be of help to collectors whose experience is still limited, and who, therefore, stand in some danger of acquiring paperweights which, if not entirely worthless, are at least less valuable than they may appear.

At some time in the comparatively recent past, possibly around the time of the first World War, one or more makers of paperweights in Czechoslovakia migrated to Scotland, and, judging from the volume of output, must have set tip quite an establishment there. Whatever the motives of these Czecho-Scottish glassworkers may have been, the fact is that they tuned out a great many modern weights which followed quite closely the style and patterns of some of the finest of the antique weights.

The designs in these modern imitations are widely varied and include flower, butterfly, and geometrical patterns. The weights are extremely well made, and the canes are concise and well placed. Some of them are signed with the letters “P Y,” these initials appearing on the clear glass background. They are now generally accepted as the mark of the Czech weight-maker turned Scotsman.

Wherein do these imitations differ from the genuine antiques? The most obvious difference is in the metal, the clear portions of the glass having a grayish cast and lacking the brilliance of the genuine antiques. In consequence, the greens, reds, and especially the yellows are somewhat obscured and toned down. They lack the beautiful, decisive clarity you find in the bona fide antiques. The maker simply did not have the quality of metal which was available to the old-time paperweight makers. That which he was compelled to use bears a resemblance to the old Irish Waterford glass.

Three Desirable Antique Paperweights III: A weight of millefiori design that followed the Venetian tradition, made at Bristol, England.

The collector whose experience with paperweights is still limited will do well to compare every suspicious piece with a known antique. The difference will generally be quite apparent. As his knowledge grows broader — especially, if he “lives” with even a small collection of fine antique weights for a considerable length of time, and observes them under all conditions of light and shade — there will soon be little danger that he will mistake the plebian piece for the true aristocrat.

The Czecho-Scottish weights, if I may be permitted so to call them, were little known in the United States until shortly before the appearance of my book, Old Glass Paperweights. Examples of two of them will be found, however, on page 32 of that volume. The first cut shows an overlay with a butterfly surrounded by circular rows of set-ups. The second also shows butterflies, with the initials “P Y” inserted at the side. The patterns are applied on clear and opaque backgrounds, and they follow closely the compositions used in genuine old weights.

Weights of this type are at present being brought to this country with English pieces, but up to this time they have been much more numerous in the East than in the Middle West. It pays to be on guard against them, for to acquire one under the impression that it belongs among rare antique specimens is to court disillusionment, and, quite possibly, financial loss.

A Paperweight Signed P Y: Made by Czechoslovakian glass workers who migrated to Scotland about the time of World War I, it is an imitation of the earlier paperweights. Actual comparison with an antique weight will show lack of tone and color value in the reproduction. Not a collectible.

Allow me to say in conclusion that collecting antique paperweights would not have quite its fascination if all the procedure were cut and dried — if there were not certain pitfalls along the way, if it were not necessary to exercise your wits at least a little. Now and then you can commit an error that leads to disappointment, and it is by no means impossible to make a foolish mistake that you always feel a little ashamed of — but do we not commit similar follies in every other department of life? Quite possibly Providence knew what it was about when it did not make life quite perfect!

Perhaps the most valuable asset of the paperweight collector is a consuming interest in the subject. Intense interest — I speak now from personal knowledge! — goes far to make up for what we may lack in native wit. Interest helps us to understand and to remember to put two and two together, and arrive at new hypotheses and conclusions to seize every bit of new information and try to fit it in with what we had before to develop our intuitions to a point where we can often “feel” that something is false or true long before we can demonstrate it by means of airtight logic.

If your interest is strong enough, it will teach you to observe, and to sharpen your perceptions, and perhaps the day will arrive when you see things which escape the notice of others and can echo the Wizard of Baker Street — “Elementary, my dear Watson!”

This article originally appeared in American Collector magazine, a publication which ran from 1933-1948 and served antique collectors and dealers.

The Roman Space Telescope will use a technique called coronagraphy to block the glaring light of exoplanet host stars to directly see planets and planet-forming disks. The Coronagraph Instrument is an advanced technology demonstrator for future exoplanet missions.

Jun 9, 2021 - Roman's team recently flight-certified all 24 of the detectors the mission needs. When Roman launches in the mid-2020s, these devices will convert starlight into electrical signals, which will then be decoded into 300-megapixel images of large patches of the sky. These images will allow astronomers to explore a vast array of celestial objects and phenomena, bringing us closer to solving many pressing cosmic mysteries.

Roman Glass Lizards - History

The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to "knowledge of the hidden". In the medical sense it is used to refer to a structure or process that is hidden, e.g. an "occult bleed" may be one detected indirectly by the presence of otherwise unexplained anaemia.

The word has many uses in the English language, popularly meaning "knowledge of the paranormal" , as opposed to "knowledge of the measurable", usually referred to as science. The term is sometimes popularly taken to mean "knowledge meant only for certain people" or "knowledge that must be kept hidden", but for most practicing occultists it is simply the study of a deeper spiritual reality that extends beyond pure reason and the physical sciences. The terms esoteric and arcane can have a very similar meaning, and the three terms are often interchangeable.

ALL-SEEING EYE: A universal symbol representing spiritual sight, inner vision, higher knowledge, insight into occult mysteries. Look at your $1 bill.

EYE in top Triangle of the PYRAMID : Masonic symbol for the all-seeing eye of god - an mystical distortion of the omniscient (all-knowing) Biblical God. You can find it on the $1 bill. See triangle, Eye of Horus and the Franklin Institute website

BUTTERFLY: Reminds Christians of the amazing transformation that takes place through Christ's redemption and regeneration. When "born again," we become "a new creation." (2 Cor. 5:17) To many pagans, its mythical meaning is linked to the soul (of the deceased) in search of reincarnation ."

CROSS: While anyone--even pagans--now use the cross as decoration or as an occult symbol, Christians must continue to treasure the cross of Calvary. But be careful what kind of cross you wear - and what message you communicate to others. To understand the Christian significance of the cross and appreciate its excruciating cost to our crucified and resurrected Christ, read " The Cross ".

Inverted cross : Originally represented the apostle Peter's humility in his martyrdom. He insisted that he be crucified upside-down, because he felt that he was unworthy to die in the same position as Christ. But today, especially in the rock music culture, it generally represents the opposite: satanism and its mockery of Christ. Lucifer continues to twist God's wonderful truths and works into lies and deceptions.

DREAMCATCHER : An American Indian magic spiderweb inside a sacred circle. After making dreamcatchers in crafts lessons in school, many children hang them on or near their beds. They have been told that these occult symbols will block bad dreams but allow good dreams to pass through the center. Don't believe that myth!

LIGHTNING BOLT : In ancient mythologies from many cultures (Norse, Roman, Greek, Native American, etc.) the lighting bolt would be hurled by male sky gods to punish, water, or fertilize the earth or its creatures. Navaho myths linked it to the Thunderbird, the symbol of salvation and divine gifts. On children's toys, it represents supernatural power. Double bolts, popular with contemporary skinheads, symbolize Nazi power.

Magic MIRROR: Used for "scrying" (foretelling the future, solve problems, answer questions. ) The preferred spectrum might decorated with "magic signs" during full moon rituals. Rosemary Ellen Guiley explains: "The ancient art of clairvoyance achieved by concentrating upon an object-- usually one with a shiny surface-- until visions appear. The term scrying comes from the English words descry which means 'to make out dimly' or 'to reveal." The Encyclopedia of Witches and Witchcraft, 307.

PEACE SYMBOL or NERO'S CROSS : A broken, upside-down cross. To Roman emperor Nero, who hated and persecuted the early Christians, it meant destruction of Christianity. Revived in the sixties by hippies and others who protested nuclear weapons, Western culture, and Christian values, it now symbolizes a utopian hope for a new age of global peace and earth-centered unity. But many of heavy metal rock fans would agree with Nero and use it to mock Christ and His followers.

SERPENT OR SNAKE : Most earth-centered or pagan cultures worshipped the serpent. It represents rebirth (because of its molting), protection against evil, either male of female sexuality, rain and fertility, a mediator between the physical and spiritual world. The list is endless, but in the Bible it usually represents sin, temptation, destruction, and Satan. (See "dragon") The circular image of the serpent biting its tail links the mythical significance of the serpent to that of the sacred "circle ." See "uroborus."

SUN & MOON JOINED AS ONE : A universal pagan expression of the merging of opposites. Like the "Yin Yang" (below) , the marriage of the male sun and the female moon represents unity in diversity, compromise instead of conflict, and conformity to a new consciousness where all is one.

THEOSOPHY : A simplified version of the symbol behind the occult beliefs of UN leader Robert Muller (his World Core Curriculum became a worldwide pattern for global education) and education leader Shirley McCune (see Star Wars Joins United Religions at the Presidio.) Notice the "ankh" in the center. The more elaborate version inserts a variety of other symbols such as the OM, pentagram, cross, etc. ( Because of its dark occult meaning and similarity to some of the complex magical signs used in alchemy and masonic rituals, we prefer not to post it.)

WISHBONE : Civilizations dating back to the 4th Century (Etruscans, Romans. Britain, America) have held turkey or chicken wishbone contest. Pulling the dry turkey or chicken bone until it snapped ("lucky break"), they believing the winner's wish or dream would come true. In today's increasingly superstitious culture, many believe that this symbol will "catch" their dreams, bring good luck, and make their wishes come true. As in contemporary witchcraft or magic, the object becomes a channel of "good" energy. Astrology and horoscopes link it to Saggitarius. It might also be confused with the Lambda (looks like a lower case, upside-down "y"), the Greek letter adopted by the International Gay Rights Congress in 1974 as the global symbol of homosexual "pride".

Archeologists have discovered several proofs for the existence of the female Druids. Many female burials have been discovered in Germany between the two rivers Rhine and Moselle. The women who were buried there were dated back to circa 4th century BC, and they were buried with lots of treasures, jewelry and other precious objects. Some of them were buried with a special torque on the chest, which are symbols of status. According to researchers, only a Druidess could have a high enough status to receive a burial like this. Two burials located in the Vix in Burgundy, France and Reinham in Germany were dated back to the 5th century BC, and almost certainly belonged to female Druids.

A Gorgon head is on the outside of each of the krater's three handles found in Vix, Burgundy, France. ( CC BY-SA 2.5 )

Moreover, on the Rue de Récollets, in Metz, France, there was discovered an inscription dedicated to the female Druid in honor of the God Sylvanus. It is difficult to confirm which of the noble Celtic women were really Druids, but it is believed that most of the well educated women whose graves contained luxury goods were the elite of their tribes and quite possibly Druids.

Northern Legless Lizard - Anniella pulchra

Range of other species of Anniella in California:

Some herpetologists and state agencies, including the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, still recognize this subspecies, so it is shown here separately from the rest of Anniella pulchra. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife formerly offered A. p. nigra special protection as a Species of Special Concern, but currently all Anniella found in California are listed as Anniella pulchra, and protected as a Species of Special Concern.

According to a 1943 paper by Charles Miller, A. p. nigra is found near the ocean from Carmel to the Monterey Peninsula. A. p. pulchra is found to the north and east, but there is an intergradient population that connects the two forms extending from near the mouth of the Salinas River as far north as Watsonville. The dark Anniella shown here were photographed not far from Watsonville and are presumed to be part of that intergrade population.

(Charles M. Miller. An Intergradient Population Connecting Anniella pulchra pulchra and Anniella pulchra nigra. Copeia 1943, No. 1 March 31.)

Ventral coloration varies from whitish to bright yellow.

Typically there is a dark line along the back and several thin stripes between scale rows along the sides where the dorsal and ventral colors meet, but variations occur.

Lizards from Porterville, Tulare County, have dark blotches underneath. (Stebbins, 2003)

Occurs in scattered locations in the San Joaquin Valley, along the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, and on the desert side of the Tehachapi Mountains and part of the San Gabriel Mountains.

There are old unconfirmed records from Redwood Canyon in Marin County, San Francisco, and Palo Alto. (Stebbins 2003)

Two melanistic or dusky populations occur. One is in coastal dunes from Morro Bay south to the mouth of the Santa Maria River in San Luis Obispo County. The other, recognized as Anniella pulchra nigra, occurs in beach dunes on the Monterey Peninsula and on the southern coast of Monterey Bay (south of the Salinas River) in Monterey County.

Possibly introduced into some areas of the southern Sierra Nevada foothills through nursery and tree-planting operations.

In 2008 Parham and Pappenfuss (2008) 2 using mt and nuDNA found five previously unrecognized genetic lineages of Anniella pulchra that are evolving independently.

In September of 2013 by Papenfuss and Parham 3 divided the existing one species of legless lizard into five species based on the five lineages from their 2008 study 2 , naming four new species and giving a new common name to the species now known as Anniella pulchra. The five species are:

Anniella alexanderae - Temblor Legless Lizard

Anniella campi - Southern Sierra Legless Lizard

Anniella grinnelli - Bakersfield Legless Lizard

Anniella pulchra - Northern California Legless lizard

Anniella stebbinsi - Southern California Legless Lizard

Anniella pulchra is traditionally split into two subspecies - Anniella pulchra pulchra - Silvery Legless Lizard, and Anniella pulchra nigra - Black Legless lizard, but these subspecies are no longer recognized by the SSAR (whose taxonomy is followed here) because of a 2000 study that showed that A. p. nigra and the Morro Bay populations have been found to have different evolutionary ancestors than A. p. pulchra, but not enough to warrant recognition as a distinct taxon. The 2008 study by Parham and Pappenfuss does not provide any information regarding these subspecies, but it does separate A. p. nigra into its own group, and the authors, in personal communications with an environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Game (related to me October 2010) have said that there is information that supports the recognition of A. p. nigra as a separate subspecies or even as a unique species, and their belief is that Pearse and Pogson did not mean to completely sink the subspecies, they meant to show that it had diverged significantly from the Morro Bay population, which should not be considered A. p. nigra.

From the SSAR Official Names List 6th Edition, 2008:

"Pearse and Pogson (2000, Evolution 54: 1041&ndash1046) presented evidence that the melanistic form previously designated Anniella pulchra nigra is polyphyletic, its Monterey Bay and Morro Bay populations having been derived independently from the silvery form previously designated A. p. pulchra. Although Pearse and Pogson did not propose any taxonomic changes, their results indicate that the subspecies A. p. pulchra and A. p. nigra do not correspond with separated or partially separated lineages, and therefore we do not recognize subspecies within A. pulchra. The existence and extent of genetic continuity between populations of melanistic and silvery legless lizards, as well as between northern and southern mtDNA haplotype clades, deserves further study."

Alternate and Previous Names (Synonyms)

Anniella pulchra pulchra - Silvery Legless Lizard (Stebbins 2003)
Anniella pulchra pulchra - California Legless Lizard - (Stebbins 1954, 1985)
Anniella pulchra pulchra - Silvery Footless Lizard - (Smith 1946)
Shovel-snouted Legless Lizard

All Anniella were protected from take with a sport fishing license in 2013.

Much of this lizard's habitat has been lost due to agriculture, housing development, sandmining, and other human land development, recreation, especially off-road vehicles in coastal dune areas, and by the introduction of exotic plants such as ice plant.

"The former A. pulchra, a species of special concern (Jennings and Hayes, 1994), is now divided into five species. This means A. pulchra has a smaller distribution than previously recognized, thereby enhancing concern about its conservation status. The remaining four species have even smaller ranges, some of which are degraded or threatened by human activities. Whereas much of the range of A. stebbinsi is already compromised by urban development, the conservation implications for the other three new species are even more striking because of their very limited distributions. Anniella grinnelli is known from a few sites in the southern San Joaquin Valley, an area that has been greatly modified by urban and agricultural development &hellip. Anniella grinnelli persists in small patches within the Bakersfield city limits, but some of the populations we collected were extirpated by development during the course of this study. The type locality at the Sand Ridge Preserve is a secure site that will help ensure the species survival. Anniella alexanderae is known from two sites at the base of the Temblor Mountains, and should be considered rare pending further study. Finally, Anniella campi is known from just three sites. This species may be restricted to the vicinity of potentially fragile springs in canyons that open into the Mojave Desert and so warrants careful monitoring. Additional research into the distribution, contact zones, and diversity of Anniella is clearly needed."

Stebbins, Robert C., and McGinnis, Samuel M. Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of California: Revised Edition (California Natural History Guides) University of California Press, 2012.

Stebbins, Robert C. California Amphibians and Reptiles. The University of California Press, 1972.

Samuel M. McGinnis and Robert C. Stebbins. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles & Amphibians. 4th Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2018.

Stebbins, Robert C. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. 3rd Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003.

Behler, John L., and F. Wayne King. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

Powell, Robert., Joseph T. Collins, and Errol D. Hooper Jr. A Key to Amphibians and Reptiles of the Continental United States and Canada. The University Press of Kansas, 1998.

Bartlett, R. D. & Patricia P. Bartlett. Guide and Reference to the Turtles and Lizards of Western North America (North of Mexico) and Hawaii. University Press of Florida, 2009.

Jones, Lawrence, Rob Lovich, editors. Lizards of the American Southwest: A Photographic Field Guide. Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2009.

Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Lizards, Lizards of the United States and of Canada. Cornell University Press, 1946.

2 Parham, James F., Theodore J. Papenfuss. High genetic diversity among fossorial lizard populations (Anniella pulchra) in a rapidly developing landscape (Central California) Conserv Genet DOI 10.1007/s10592-008-9544-y
Received: 12 September 2007 / Accepted: 15 February 2008. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

3 Four New Species of California Legless Lizards (Anniella)
Author(s): Theodore J. Papenfuss and James F. Parham
Source: Breviora, Number 536:1-17. 2013.
Published By: Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University

If no status is listed here, the animal is not included on either list. This most likely indicates that there are no serious conservation concerns for the animal. To find out more about an animal's status you can go to the NatureServe and IUCN websites to check their rankings.

2020 Special Animals List Notes:

1) Legless lizards (Anniella spp.) in California were traditionally considered one species, but are now considered five species (Pappenfuss and Parham, 2013). The prior (Jennings and Hayes, 1994) and current (Thompson et al. 2016) Species of Special Concern (SSC) projects evaluated the traditional single species taxon and determined all legless lizards in California to be an SSC. Therefore, the SSC status is carried over to the new taxon concepts until further SSC evaluation.

The 2020 list also shows Anniella spp. California legless lizard (which most likely refers to A. p. nigra) :

This element represents California records of Anniella not yet assigned to new species within the Anniella pulchra complex. Legless lizards (Anniella spp.) in California were traditionally considered one species, but are now considered five species (Pappenfuss and Parham, 2013). CNDDB has assigned new species concepts to most, but not all, previously known and extant legless lizard occurrences. Where an occurrence of a legless lizard is not known to the species level, the general concept California legless lizard (Anniella spp.) will be applied until further evidence is available. All legless lizards in California are a Species of Special Concern (Thomson et al., 2016).

Vulnerable&mdashAt moderate risk of extinction due to a restricted range, relatively few populations (often 80 or fewer), recent and widespread declines, or other factors.

Roman Glass Lizards - History

Ancient Rome was a powerful and important civilization that ruled much of Europe for nearly 1000 years. The culture of Ancient Rome was spread throughout Europe during its rule. As a result, Rome's culture still has an impact in the Western world today. The basis for much of Western culture comes from Ancient Rome, especially in areas such as government, engineering, architecture, language, and literature.

Rome first grew into power as a Republic. This meant that Rome's leaders, such as senators, were elected officials that served for a limited amount of time, not kings who were born into leadership and ruled for life. They had a complex government with written laws, a constitution, and a balance of powers. These concepts became very important in forming future democratic governments, like the United States.

The Republic would rule Rome for hundreds of years from around 509 BC to 45 BC.

In 45 BC Julius Caesar took over the Roman Republic and made himself the supreme dictator. This was the end of the republic. A few years later, in 27 BC, Caesar Augustus became the first Roman Emperor and this was the start of the Roman Empire. Much of the lower level government stayed the same, but now the Emperor had supreme power.

The Roman Forum was the center of government
Photo by Adrian Pingstone

As the Roman Empire grew it became more and more difficult to manage from the city of Rome. Eventually the Roman leaders decided to split Rome into two empires. One was the Western Roman Empire and was ruled out of the city of Rome. The other was the Eastern Roman Empire and was ruled out of Constantinople (today's Istanbul in Turkey). The Eastern Roman Empire would become known as Byzantium or the Byzantine Empire.

The fall of Rome generally refers to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It fell in 476 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire, or the Byzantine Empire, would rule parts of Eastern Europe for another 1000 years.

A greenhouse Renaissance

The early days of the Renaissance — from the 16th century and onward — saw greenhouses becoming more widespread all over Europe. Thanks to technological advances of the time, greenhouses during this period benefitted from better quality glass and metal, which made construction easier and more durable. At the same time, the aristocratic classes in countries like England, France, the Netherlands, and Italy were developing a taste for foreign plants and exotic fruits like oranges and pineapples. As a result, greenhouses soon became a must-have status symbol on wealthy estates. One of the most famous greenhouse examples from this era is the great glasshouse, or orangerie, at the Palace of Versailles, which was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1661.

1. Komodo Dragon

The Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard it can grow to about 10 feet and weigh as much as 150 pounds. It is native to the Indonesian Lesser Sunda Islands of Komodo, Flores, Padar, Rinca, and Gili Motang. The Komodo dragon has a long flat head with a rounded snout, huge muscular tail, bowed legs, and scaly skin. They are not shy of hunting large prey including deer, carrion, pigs, and water buffalo. Attacks on humans have also been reported. The saliva of the Komodo dragon is highly venomous and a single bite is enough to down a buffalo in less than 12 hours.

Watch the video: Terra X: Große Völker - Die Römer

ALCHEMY : This simple 17th century "sign" illustrates the blending of geometric shapes -- circle, triangle, square -- representing the various "elements" needed for spells and magic. It's interesting to note that some of the more popular occult computer games also involve "elements" needed for magic and spell-casting.
AMULET : A magic charm (such as this little Navajo bear earring), worn to bring good luck and protection against illness, accidents and evil forces. Don't believe it!
ANARCHY: Popular among school aged children today, this symbol for anarchy fits the message that pervades the most popular video games, role-playing games, movies and television. The lines of the "A" often extend outside the circle. To many satanists and other fast-growing occult groups it represents their slogan, "do what thou wilt." A former occultist explained that it represents the ASMODEAS: a demonic force driving teenagers toward sexual perversion and suicide.
ANKH : An Egyptian occult symbol cross symbolizing a mythical eternal life, rebirth, and the life-giving power of the sun.
ANGEL : Symbol of good and evil spirits in religions around the world. This picture shows a Tibetan guardian angel. For a comparison between Biblical angels and occult angels read chapter 8 in A Twist of Faith

ARROW : These two pictures shows the astrological sign for the archer (Sagittarius) -- part of the zodiac. But, through history, the arrow has also symbolized war, power, swiftness, the rays of the sun, knowledge. as well as deities such as the Greek god Apollo and goddess Artemis (both hunters), the Hindu weather god, Rudra and various gods of sexual attraction: Eros (Greek), Cupid (Roman), Kama (Hindu). On ancient Roman coins, it represented the Zoroastrian god, Mithra . The native American Cheyenne warriors revered the " sacred medicine arrows " as symbols of male power. Arrows held by skeletons would point to disease or death. Today, occult symbol usually just point in the preferred direction.
Crystal (Gazing) BALL: Used for divination (fortunetelling, scrying, clairvoyance. ). When the heavy crystal balls were too expensive, witches often used glass-ball fishing floats, colored glass balls, or magic mirrors. One website that markets these balls beckons: 'Why not buy one and try your own free psychic reading." Scroll down to "Magic Mirrors"
BAT : A symbol of good fortune in the East, it represented demons and spirits in medieval Europe.
BLAIR WITCH : A five-pointed compound symbol with a center triangel (see below) pointing down. The five lines resemble the microcosmic man with arms and legs outstretched inside a circle (with a pentagram in the background)-- a magic symbol or charm among medieval alchemists and wizards.

CHAOS: A self-made form of occultism taught through role-playing games such as Warhammer. According to one devotee, "Chaos is the opposite of order. Since everything changes, there is no right or no wrong -- only the quest for pleasure. The 8-pointed star represents the many different directions of chaos and the many ways you can follow it. We worship deamons and angels, and when we die, Chaos rewards us with the pleasures we liked in life. Chaos occult symbol is everywhere, it blows in the wind. " See Chaos Magic
CIRCLE (sacred hoop, ring): An ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, and female power. To earth-centered religions throughout history as well as to many contemporary pagans , it represents the feminine spirit or force, the cosmos or a spiritualized Mother Earth, and a sacred space. (See next item) Gnostic traditions linked the unbroken circle to the "world serpent" forming a circle as it eats its own tail.
CIRCLE with a DOT (BINDU) in the center : In the complex symbolic system of Hinduism and Buddhism, the bindu (dot) represents the male force. Together, the circle and the bindu symbolize the merging of male and female forces. (See "Sun Sign" below and "Circle" above)
CIRCLE (quartered): The sacred circle filled with a cross, four equal lines pointing from the center to the spirits of the north, east, south, and west -- or to the basic element: earth, water, air (or wind), and fire. In Native American traditions, it forms the basic pattern of the MEDICINE WHEEL and plays a vital part in major spiritual rituals. Many contemporary pagans consider it their main symbol for transmitting the energy of the goddess. (Scroll down to sun wheel) Churches have used variations of the same popular shape, usually calling it the Celtic Cross .
COMPASS (Masonic ): The Masonic symbol of the compass and the T-square represents movement toward perfection and a balance between the spiritual and physical which resembles Egyptian and oriental mysticism. The compass (used to form circles) represent spirit. The ruler (part of a square) represent the physical. Some public schools pass out pencil cases and other gifts decorated with this emblem.
COW : It symbolized the sky goddess Hathor to Egyptians, enlightenment to Buddhists, one of the highest and holiest stages of transmigration (reincarnation) to Hindus.
CRESCENT MOON : A symbol of the aging goddess (crone) to contemporary witches and victory over death to many Muslims. In Islamic lands, crescent can be seen enclosing a lone pentagram.
CROSS (IRON or EISERNAS KREUZ): Also called Mantuan or Maltese cross. First linked to an ancient goddess temple on Malta, it was adopted as the Iron Cross in Prussia. During the First World War, it appeared on German fighter planes and tanks. Later, it became a fascist symbol in France, Portugal and other nations. Compare it with Swastika 3 below.
Double-headed Eagle: A Masonic seal and initiation symbol. The number inside the pyramid over the eagle's head is 33. The eagle is a universal symbol representing the sun, power, authority, victory, the sky gods and the royal head of a nation.
DRAGON : A mythical monster made up of many animals: serpent, lizard, bird, lion. It may have many heads and breath fire. To mediaeval Europe, it was dangerous and evil, but people in Eastern Asia believe it has power to help them against more hostile spiritual forces. In the Bible it represents Satan , the devil.
ELEMENTS: The four basic elements to many pagans are earth, water, air (wind or spirit) and fire. Many consider the first two passive and feminine - and the last two active and masculine. In Wiccan or Native American rituals, the "quartered circle" (similar to the the Medicine Wheel) represents a "sacred space" or the sacred earth. The four lines may represent the spirits of the four primary directions or the spirits of the earth, water, wind and fire.

(This set of elements differs from those used in alchemy (above).

EYE OF HORUS : A favorite crafts project in schools, it represents the eye of Egyptian sun-god Horus who lost an eye battling Set. Pagans use it as a charm to ward off evil. (See All-Seeing Eye)

Notice that the picture shows a compound symbol - several symbols joined together to give a more complex meaning. It includes an unbiblical cross and, at the bottom, part of a face inside the rays of the sun. (See Sun )

FROG : A symbol of fertility to many cultures. The Romans linked it to Aphrodite, the Egyptian to the shape-shifting goddess Heket who would take the form of a frog. To the Chinese, it symbolized the moon -- "the lunar, yin principle" bringing healing and prosperity. [1] Since frogs need watery places, their image was often used in occult rain charms.
HEXAGRAM (see "triangles) or SIX-POINTED STAR : When surrounded by a circle, it represents the "divine mind" (a counterfeit of God's wisdom) to numerous occult groups through the centuries. Many still use it in occult rituals. But to Jewish people, it is their Star of David.
ITALIAN HORN (Cornu, Cornicello, Wiggly Horn, Unicorn horn, Lucifier's horn or Leprechaun staff). The ancient magical charm or amulet worn in Italy as protection against "evil eye" has also been linked to Celtic and Druid myths and beliefs. Other superstitions link it to sexual power and good luck. It is often worn with a cross (for double protection or luck?). In pre-Christian Europe, animal horns pointed to the moon goddess and were considered sacred.
LIZARD : Its "sun-seeking habit symbolizes the soul's search for awareness." To the Romans, who believed it hibernated, the lizard meant death and resurrection.
MANDALA : The Hindu term for "circle". In Hindu and Buddhist meditations, it is used to raise consciousness. In meditation, the person fixes his or her mind on the center of the "sacred circle." Geometric designs are common. The center of some mandalas show a triangle with a bindu (dot) inside a circle. It represents the merging of male and female forces.
MASONS (Freemasons): The Masonic symbol of the compass and the T-square represents movement toward perfection and a balance between the spiritual and physical which resembles Egyptian and oriental mysticism. The compass (used to form circles) represent spirit. The ruler (part of a square) represent the physical. Some public schools pass out pencil cases and other gifts decorated with this emblem. See All-Seeing Eye , Eye of Horus , and Dreamcatcher . Read " Masonic Centers are dream catchers , " then " Brotherhood of Darkness " by Dr. Stan Monteith.
MASK : Used by pagans around the world to represent animal powers, nature spirits, or ancestral spirits. In pagan rituals, the wearer may chant, dance and enter a trance in order to contact the spirit world and be possessed by the spirit represented by the mask. The mask pictured represents the mythical Hindu elephant god, Ganesha.
MEDICINE SHIELD: A round shield decorated with personal symbols or pictures of the animal spirit(s) contacted on a Spirit Quest or through a classroom visualization simulating an American Indian ceremony. Its basic image is often the form of the "medicine wheel" or "quartered circle."
OM: Sanskrit letters or symbol for the "sacred" Hindu sound om (ohm or aum) called "the mother of all mantras. Apparently, the four parts symbolize four stages of consciousness: Awake, sleeping, dreaming, and a trance or transcendental state.
PENTACLE or PENTAGRAM (FIVE-POINTED STAR pointing up) : A standard symbol for witches, freemasons, and many other pagan or occult groups . To witches, it represent the four basic elements (wind, water, earth and fire) plus a pantheistic spiritual being such as Gaia or Mother Earth. The pentagram is also " used for protection. to banish energy, or to bring it to you, depending on how it's drawn," wrote a Wiccan visitor.
PENTAGRAM (FIVE-POINTED STAR pointing down) : Used in occult rituals to direct forces or energies. Often represents satanism, the horned god or various expressions of contemporary occultism, especially when a goat-head is superimposed on the inverted pentagram.
PHILOSOPHERS STONE : The symbol for the Alchemist quest for transformation and spiritual illumination, it was also the British title of the first Harry Potter book (the U.S. publisher changed it to Sorcerer's Stone). The double-headed eagle in the center is a Masonic seal.
PHOENIX : A universal symbol of the sun, rebirth, resurrection and immortality, this legendary red "fire bird" was believed to die in its self-made flames periodically (each hundred years, according to some sources) then rise again out of its own ashes (some say after three days) -- as in this picture from a 5th century Turkish mosaic. Linked to the worship of the fiery sun and sun gods such as Mexico's Quetzalcoatl, it was named "a god of Phoenecia" by the Phoenician. To alchemists, it symbolized the the destruction and creation of new forms of matter along the way to the ultimate goal: the philosopher's stone.

SCARAB : Symbol of the rising sun, the Egyptian sun god Chepri (or Khepera), and protection from evil. To ancient Egyptians, the dung beetle rolled its dung balls like Chepri rolled the sun across the sky. The "sacred" symbol adorned popular seals, amulets and magic charms (worn as protection against evil spirits or to overcome barreness) first in Egypt, then in Phoenicia, Greece and other Mediterranean lands . Medieval alchemists used its pattern in their magical diagrams.
SPIDER : Linked to treachery and death in many cultures, it was seen as a "trickster" in ancient Africa, a "spinner of fate" in ancient goddess cultures and -- in ancient Greek myths -- the goddess Arachne turned into a spider by her jealous rival Athena. "Christian" cultures have linked it both to an evil force that sucked blood from its victims and to "good luck" because of the cross on the back of some species. The Chinese have welcomed the spider descending on its thread as a bringer of joys from heaven.
SPHINX : Ancient Egyptian and Babylonian guardian of sacred places --an idol with human head and a lion's body. The Greek sphinx would devour travelers who failed to answer her riddle. According to A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (by Arthur Waite, xii) the masonic sphinx "is the guardian of the Mysteries and is the Mysteries summarized in a symbol. Their secret is the answer to her question. The initiate must know it or lose the life of the Mysteries. If he can and does answer, the Sphinx dies for him, because in his respect the Mysteries have given up their meaning." (An occult, counterfeit view of redemption)
SPIRAL : Linked to the "circle". Ancient symbol of the goddess, the womb, fertility, feminine serpent force, continual change, and the evolution of the universe. (Illustrated at this website)
SQUARE : In contrast to the circle which often symbolizes the sacred and spiritual (including the "sacred" earth), the square represents the physical world. Like the quartered circle, it points pagans to the four compass directions: north, east, south and west. While the circle and "spiral" symbolize female sexuality in many earth-centered cultures, the square represents male qualities.
SUN FA CE : The pictured image is part of an 18th century Masonic ritual painting, but it illustrates a symbol that has been central to most major spiritual systems of history. Since the sun god usually reigned over a pantheon of lesser gods. his symbol played a vital part in pagan worship (and in the rituals of occult secret societies) around the world. In Inca myths, the sun was worshipped as the divine ancestor of the nation.
SUN and SUN SIGN : The sun was worshipped as a personified, life-giving deity in Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and other major civilizations of history. The more common symbol is the familiar face in the center of the sun's rays. (This will be explained in our report on the Teletubbies. (See sun symbol below the picture of the "Eye of Horus") A dot or point in the center of a circle symbolizes the blending of male and female forces. (See air, which also represents spirit, among the symbols for Elements) Hindus call the midpoint in a circle the bindu - the spark of (masculine) life within the cosmic womb.
SUN SIGN 2 : Found in Turkey and believed to represent the sun and the four directions. (See "Swastika" 1 and 2). Compare the curving lines with the primary lines of Swastika 3, the iron cross. Notice also that without the horizontal line, the symbol resembles the outline of the "Yin-Yang."
SUN WHEEL or RING CROSS : A universal symbol found on ancient slabs in Nordic countries, in pre-Columbian America and in Mediterranean countries. "Today, it is used as a log by some new fascist organizations," according to the Dictionary of Symbols . [3] Like the swastika and other sun symbols, it represents power and supremacy. See also "Circle (Quartered)". It serves as a logo for the Swedish national socialist party, Nordiska Rikspartiets (scroll to drawing of the sun wheel on a banner), and for the French Jeune Nation.
SWASTIKA 1 : Ancient occult symbol of the sun and the four directions. Revived by Hitler, it represents racism and the "white supremacy" of neo-nazis. Like other occult symbols , it is often placed inside a "circle".
SWASTIKA 2 (Crux Dissimulata): An ancient swastika which symbolized the four winds or directions and their corresponding spirits. It was also a "fire and sun symbol occurring initially in Asia and later among the Germanic tribes," according to The Herder Symbol Dictionary. [4] "The cross inscribed in a circle mediates between the square and the circle," emphasizing the "joining of heaven and earth. and "the perfected human being."
SWASTIKA 3: A contemporary variation of the many swastikas with labyrinth patterns. Like the two swastikas above, its arms point counterclockwise indicating a mystical, lunar and female orientation. Compare its two intersecting lines with "Sun Sign 2, its curved arms (following the shape of the circle) with Swastika 2, and its dark areas with the "Iron Cross."
TOAD: Linked to witchcraft and other occult practices.
TONGUE (protruding) : Linked to flame, fire, fertility, sexual power and spiritual power. In nations around the world, images of deities or masks with protruding tongues have indicated active and occupying spiritual forces -- often a union of masculine and feminine spirits. Such images were vital to pagan rituals invoking [demonic] spirits. The occult symbol for sexual/spiritual forces represented by gargoyles with protruding tongues which adorned Gothic cathedrals were believed to protect the buildings from other spiritual powers.
TOTEM : Carved, painted representation of power animals or animal-human ancestors. To American Indians in the Northwest, who believe that all of nature has spiritual life, the animals in their totems poles represent the spiritual powers of animal protectors or ancestors.
TRIANGLE (earring pictured) : Associated with the number three. Pointing upwards, it symbolizes fire, male power and counterfeit view of God. (See "pyramid") To Christians, it often represents the Trinity. Pointing down, it symbolizes water, female sexuality, goddess religions and homosexuality.

See a large picture of Kabbalistic triangles and how they are used together in ritual magic.

UNICORN : To many New Agers, it means power, purification, healing, wisdom, self-knowledge, renewal and eternal life. Origin: In the 4th century BC, Greek historian Ctesias told about a wild animal with healing powers and a spiral horn on its forehead. Medieval myths suggested it could only be caught with help from a virgin who would befriend it.
UROBORUS : The "circular" (see earlier symbol) serpent biting its own tail represents eternity and the cycles or "circle of life." Medieval alchemists linked it to the cyclical processes in nature. The uroborus pictured here (encircling the UN symbol for humanity seen inside a "triangle" (see above) was the official symbol on for the 1996 United Nations Conference on Human Settlements pictured on all its literature.
WHEEL : A universal symbol of or cosmic unity, astrology, "the circle of life," evolution, etc. The pagan sacred circle plus any number of radiating spokes or petals form the wheel - a Wheel of Life to Buddhists, a Medicine Wheel to Native Americans, a Mandala to Hindus. It symbolizes unity, movement, the sun, the zodiac, reincarnation, and earth's cycles of renewal. Pagans use it in astrology, magic and many kinds of rituals. (See "Medicine Wheel" and Circle-Quartered)
Tibetan Prayer WHEELS : "devices for spreading spiritual blessings and well being. Rolls of thin paper, imprinted with many, many copies of the mantra (prayer) Om Mani Padme Hum. are wound around an axle in a protective container, and spun around and around. Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying this mantra, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion." (From The Prayer Wheel)
WHEEL OF DHARMA : Buddhist wheel of life and reincarnation.