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#61
I´m impressed. Thanks to you, Kiyo Heart
Die größten und unmöglichsten aller Konflikte beruhen immer auf derselben Grundlage: "Du bist doof, nein, du bist doof, nein DU bist doof!" (Jonas Jonasson)
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#62
Look what I have found Big Grin :
While the Romans developed the initial phases of their dragon-husbandry in isolation, they likely learned some of breeding from the Chinese sometime afterwards - if only indirectly, as knowledge has a tendency to radiate. I'm uncertain as to how likely the Chinese would have been to permit the export of Chinese eggs; I'll have to research a bit more into the Han dynasty to see how open they were to such thing. I know the Qing (the dynasty reigning at the time of the Napoleonic Wars) and possibly their predecessors are certainly not, but times and people change.

If the Chinese did send some eggs to the Romans (perhaps in trade for Roman eggs), that may explain why the Kaziliks are a bit more serpentine than the Western dragons as well as being able to interbreed with a Celestial (and why none of the other Ottoman dragons were mentioned as being serpentine) - perhaps they are a distant cousin of the Scarlet Flower, far removed for centuries after their transplantation by means fair or foul to the Roman Empire, bred to Roman preference (Big! Aggressive! Flaming death to the enemy!) to produce the dragon we know today. They naturally fell into the hands of the Ottomans as the Eastern Roman Empire fell. Of course, that's all conjecture based on tenuous evidence; Temeraire's difficulty breeding with a Yellow Reaper may have more to do with his immaturity, and dragons aren't a terribly fecund lot to begin with.

The fact that Marcus Antonius's taming of Vici was a novel concept suggests that the Western world (by which I mean the Mediterranean civilizations and Europe proper) knew practically nothing about dragons other than "Big, scaly, kills lots of people, and some of them breathe fire." The Greeks, like as not, did not have dragons tamed in Antiquity, save for the odd exceptional case of taming a hatchling - somewhat alike taming wolf cubs preceeding the domestication of the dog. Indeed, I doubt very much that Eurasian dragons were domesticated outside of China until the Romans. I just as strongly believe that there were isolated instances of dragon-taming preceeding the Roman Empire that amounted to no lasting significance in any dragon-breeds.

Given the Romans, however, I don't doubt that they became very excellent dragon-breeders - but unlike the Chinese, they didn't integrate dragons into their culture, nor did they breed for intelligence and grace. Instead, the Romans likely bred for size, strength, scaly armor, and other traits which are more useful in combat. Through comparing the British with the French and what little we know of the Spanish, I think we get something of an idea of the Roman dragon-lines. British dragons naturally tend towards a smaller size (an understandable consequence of living on an island) and don't have many dragons who are large or fire-breathers; the British Isles also felt the yoke of Roman domination much less than mainland Europe. Likewise, through both ferals we see ourselves and Laurence's mentions of the Crusades, there's indication that the natural state of dragons is significantly smaller than the heavyweight and middleweight fighting beasts we see in the Napoleonic Wars. France and Spain, on the other hand, both have fire-breathing dragons and France is flush with large dragon breeds (we have little information on the size of Spanish breeds, but they range between the 'little' Flecha-del-Fuego and the middleweight to heavyweight Cauchador Real). While it's entirely possible that pyrogenesis arose multiple times, it may well be that there is an ancestral fire-breather native to Rome (or at least the Mediterranean basin) and exported outward with the Roman conquest after domestication, along with other dragon breeds that were bred for size, strength, and scaly armor. That the Prussians lacked fire-breathers in the early 1800s supports this notion, as Germania long resisted Rome and the Romans would have had a vested interest in keeping their fire-breathers out of German hands.

Parenthetically, I'd like a good look at a Flecha-del-Fuego in the books. I think that could provide us some useful information, too, as to the origins of pyrogenesis (that is to say, whether Flecha-del-Fuegos are descended from Kaziliks, are a cousin with the same ancestor, or are descended from the same line as the French Flamme-de-Gloire).

When Rome fell, I'm fairly certain that dragon-handling was lost with much of Rome's other technology - though not completely. Thus did Rome's breeds radiate out into the myriad of breeds present today, both by speciation (that is to say, isolated populations diverging from one another) or by introgression of European ferals into the former Roman lines. When civilization began to recover from the collapse of the Empire in the later Middle Ages, Europeans also began taming and then domesticating dragons once again. Because of the sheer number of European breeds as compared to the Chinese dragons, I suspect that there numerous re-domestication events in Europe. The Mongol invasion of Europe quite probably had something to do with that, with both the Mongols under Genghis Khan re-domesticating European dragons and their targets doing it in self-defense. After all, while there was that break in the less-civilized parts of Europe after Rome's fall, there's no reason to believe the Asians suffered any such troubles.

When I said dragon domestication began with Rome in the West, I deliberately did not include India. I believe that they have dragon breeds that at least share a common ancestor with Chinese dragons, and likely have as long a history of working with dragons as the Chinese do. Judging by how elephants are handled in India, however, I suspect that dragons there were not truly domesticated but rather were tamed individually and left to breed as they wished. Because of this, most of their native dragons are like as not the same as their ancestral wild stock - which could explain why India remains under British dominion in this timeline. Of course, considering the Mughal Empire originated from Mongol invaders, I suspect that 'wild stock' would be of fairly good substance.

I believe Egypt likely had no native extant dragons until they were conquered by Rome. The deity Apep (sometimes known as Apophis) strikes me as being rather similar to a fire-breathing dragon (perhaps like the Kazilik), which bodes ill for the wellbeing of dragons in Kemet.
Ballistische Experimente mit kristallinem H2O auf dem Areal des Pädagogischen Instituts unterliegen striktester Prohibition!
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