The modern celebration of St. George’s Day, frequently associated with intense English nationalism, grew out of a religious feast that commemorated a Middle-Eastern individual who died protesting an intolerant empire.
Edmund was said to have been crowned at the age of just fourteen years by St Humbert on 25 December 855 in the then royal capital Burna, (probably Bures St Mary, Suffolk). Almost nothing is known of his life and reign, though he was recorded as a just and uncompromising ruler, the embodiment of the Greek ideal of the kalòs kai agathòs – that is, the right balance of the Good and the Beautiful, the combination of virtues that could create the perfect nobleman.
In this paper, I want to look at the legend of St George and at possible pagan and pre-Christian sources for the legend, as well as some of the other literary descendants that may be associated with him.
In 1222, 23 years after the death of Lionheart in the reign of young Henry III, the council of Oxford meeting in Osney Abbey fixed St.George’s Day 23 April as a national festival. It is said that Edward III made St. George the patron saint.
of England in 1344 (or 48) and in Windsor he enlarged the chapel of St. Edward to become the chapel of St. George.
In popular Western depictions and descriptions the dragon assumed monstrous proportions and is most often described as an enormous, winged serpent-like beast, half reptile, half mammal, with a scaly body and a powerful tail, four-legged like a crocodile, with protruding teeth and eyes, sharp claws and the capacity to exhale fire or noxious gases.