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Alternate/earlier name for the greek word Ouroborus?

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posted on May, 4 2009 @ 07:24 PM
although i am aware rather similar (albeit different) inquries have prompted for this rather interesting symbol in past threads ie the most useful;

i was sincerely hoping that someone might be able to provide me with assistance prior to me creating a slightly alternate journey

so far most intriguingly various sources have compiled a repository of information concerning the origins of the ouroborus symbology (and thanks go to you all)

my question however concerns what was the various names for the ouroborus symbol prior to the greek word ouroborus? ie oυροβόρος the 'tail devouring snake'

if the greeks did not invent the notion of ouroborus which i think most of us would agree they did not and therein only provided a name ie the serpent consuming its end, what were the earlier renditions of this cyclical symbol named? ie the sumerian name for the ouroborus symbol? or even potentially later lingustical translations of this particular concept?

so far i can only seem to locate information on later concepts such as yoruba oshunmare and mesopotamian quetzalcoatl; both of which refer to similar although quite different symbols and deities altogether then the ouroborus notion and although indeed many beliefs have their serpent creator deities (norse, early east etc) i am particularly hoping to find the origins of the distinct ouroborus titles prior to well it being called ouroborus

what did the various chinese dynasties call this cyclical ouroborus symbol? other then going down the potential iching suggested path? even the egyptians much have had their own word for it rather then merely adopting the greeks?

any thoughts would be most appreciated



posted on May, 4 2009 @ 07:35 PM
I had just stumbled upon this while doing some research, not sure if it is older or not, but I think so.

In Hindu (Vedic) tradition, Shesha (Śeṣa in IAST transliteration, Devanagari: शेष) is the king of all nagas, one of the primal beings of creation, and according to the Bhagavata Purana, an avatar of the Supreme God[1] known as Sankarshan. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the Universe on his hoods and to constantly sing the glories of Vishnu from all his mouths. He is sometimes referred to as "Ananta-Shesha" which means "Endless Shesha" and as "Adishesha", which means First snake.

Not one hundred percent sure if you would consider it the same as Ouroborus as in eating it's own tail, but as endless it does infer such.......

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 02:41 AM
evening interested always

much obliged for your thoughts on Shesha; i am indeed familar with this deity and you are correct, within its animal form it can take to mean eternity however, rather unfortunately you are also correct in your assessment that this particular reference and therein the philosophical ideology it adheres to is rather different from that one concerning ouroborus

however it is always delightful to hear others perceptions on the matter



posted on May, 8 2009 @ 12:18 PM
I am surprised you haven't gotten more responses on this subject.

There is much available and it is one of our prevalent symbols.

In my journeys I have run across much regarding different forms of it in the course of history.

Unfortunately none have "stuck" in my mental field.

Perhaps it's time for more research...........

posted on May, 8 2009 @ 12:54 PM
Here is a link that has some historic value.


The serpent or dragon eating its own tail can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, circa 1600 BC. However the pig dragons of the Hongshan culture (4700–2200 BC) of China are older. From ancient Egypt it passed to Phoenicia and then to the Greek philosophers, who gave it the name Ouroboros ("tail-devourer").

Norse mythology

In Norse mythology it appears as the serpent Jörmungandr, one of the three children of Loki, who grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. In the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok, such as Ragnarssona þáttr, the Geatish king Herraud gives a small lindorm as a gift to his daughter Þora Town-Heart after which it grows into a large serpent which encircles the girl's bower and bites itself in the tail. The serpent is slain by Ragnar Lodbrok who marries Þora. Ragnar later has a son with another woman named Kráka and this son is born with the image of a white snake in one eye. This snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail, and the son was named Sigurd Snake-Eye.


Snakes are sacred animals in many West African religions. The demi-god Aidophedo uses the image of a serpent biting its own tail.

Often it seems the African religions are left out for some reason, but pesonally I find much of it has been absorbed for a long time by the "other" accounts.

Edit to add another link:

This one is regarding the Tarot card The World from Pythagorean Alchemical works.

I particularly like this page.

[edit on 8-5-2009 by interestedalways]

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