‘Even in a little church not five miles from where I am sitting there is a thirteenth century font with a panel on which is sculptured in low relief the diabolical boar trying to uproot the True Vine with his snout.” – Introduction ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’.
The ‘Sign of Jonah’ is at least as old as the Babylonian Fish-Gods as also is the backward looking beast overcome by Marduk, amongst others if memory serves.
The hero usually does both…sometimes cutting a way out!
A lot of the composite beasts were originally calendrical symbols anyway with each different section of the bodily form representing a span of time or season.
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