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For the river, see Zmeu River. For the village in Iaşi County, see Lungani. For the computer scanner, see ZmEu (vulnerability scanner).

The Zmeu (plural: zmei, feminine: zmeoaică/zmeoaice) is a fantastic creature of Romanian folklore and Romanian mythology. Sometimes compared to other fantastic creatures, such as the balaur or the vârcolac, the zmeu is nevertheless distinct, because it usually has clear anthropomorphic traits: it is humanoid and has legs, arms, the ability to create and use artifacts such as weapons, and has the desire to marry young girls. In some stories, Zmeu appears in the sky and spits fire. In other stories, it has a magical precious stone on its head that shines like the sun. It likes beautiful young girls, whom it kidnaps, usually for the purpose of marrying them. It is almost always defeated by a daring prince or knight-errant. Its natural form is that of a dragon or balaur.

Name[edit]

Most scholars agree that Zmeu's name and appearance are derived from the Slavic Zmey. However, the linguist Sorin Paliga challenges the notion that the Romanian word Zmeu is of Slavic origin, and hypothesizes that the pan-Slavic forms were an early Slavic loan from the Dacian language.[1] The relation with Romanian zmeură ("raspberry") has been deemed to be possible, but rather unlikely, by Alexandru Ciorănescu.[2]

The word also refers to the kites that children fly.

Role and functions[edit]

The "zmeu" figures prominently in many Romanian folk tales as the manifestation of the destructive forces of greed and selfishness. Often, the zmeu steals something of great value, which only Făt-Frumos (the Romanian "Prince Charming"; literally: "handsome youth") can retrieve through his great, selfless bravery. For example, in the ballad of the knight Greuceanu, the zmeu steals the sun and the moon from the sky, thereby enshrouding all humanity in darkness. In the story of Prâslea the Brave and the Golden Apples, the zmeu robs the king of the precious "golden apples"; a parallel can be drawn to the German fairy tale The Golden Bird, the Russian Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf, and the Bulgarian The Nine Peahens and the Golden Apples — although in all these other cases, the thief was a bird (nevertheless, in some versions of the Romanian story, the zmeu does transform into a bird to steal the golden apples). Usually, the zmeu resides in the "other world" (celǎlalt tǎrâm) and sometimes Făt-Frumos has to descend into his dark kingdom, implying that the zmeu lives underground.

The zmeu has a plethora of magical, destructive powers at his disposal. He can fly, shapeshift, and has tremendous supernatural strength. Ultimately, the abilities of the zmeu are of no avail, as Făt-Frumos defeats him through martial skill and daring.

Some English translations refer to the "zmeu" as the ogre or giant from western European mythologies. Like the ogre, the zmeu likes to kidnap a maiden to be his wife in his otherworldly realm. After Făt-Frumos slays the zmeu, he takes the maiden as his bride-to-be. Similarly, like the giant in the popular British stories of Jack and the Beanstalk, the zmeu returns home to his fortress from his raids into human lands sensing that a human (Făt-Frumos) is lying in ambush somewhere nearby. A Zmeu is also sometimes pictured as a flame who goes in the room of a young girl or widow and once inside, becomes a man and seduces her.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ S. Paliga, Lingvistica si arheologia slavilor timpurii. O alta vedere de la Dunarea de Jos.Ed. Cetatea de Scaun 2009
  2. ^ Zmeură, in Alexandru Ciorănescu, Dicționarul etimologic român, Universidad de la Laguna, Tenerife, 1958-1966.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zmeu — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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8990 videos foundNext > 

890 news items

Forbes

Forbes
Mon, 10 Nov 2014 08:07:30 -0800

These oddities (e.g., statistically excessive requests from a single IP address by a program called ZmEu) pop out and are surfaced to the interface as graphical summaries that humans can easily read. But there's more! Some of MindSpark's most ...
 
Infosecurity Magazine
Mon, 04 Feb 2013 14:39:33 -0800

Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2012, FortiGuard Labs detected high activity levels of ZmEu, a tool that was developed by Romanian hackers to scan web servers running vulnerable versions of the mySQL administration software (phpMyAdmin) in order to ...
 
Liternet
Sat, 14 Jun 2014 02:33:45 -0700

Astăzi facem recapitulare! Cutărescu, ţii minte despre ce am vorbit ora trecută? Fireşte că nu. Habar n-ai. Cutăriţa, s-aud! Bravo, Cutăriţa! Pregătită, ca întotdeauna! Ai văzut, Cutărescule, cum se-nvaţă? A ştiut tot, cuvinţel după cuvinţel - aşa cum ...

Ziare.com

Ziare.com
Tue, 18 Nov 2014 12:03:19 -0800

Bine ai raspuns . Eu mai intreb daca un presedinte te duce pe drumul desavarsirii atunci un preot unde zmeu te mai duce ???? mare minune ,. - daca nu-i la moscova , la instructaj !:o))) "Ponta pleaca in concediu dupa esecul suferit la alegerile ...
 
Mami
Sat, 07 Jun 2014 05:36:02 -0700

Un tutorial video in care inveti sa confectionezi un zmeu din hartie. Dureaza doar cateva minute, iar copilul tau va fi foarte incantat. Cum confectionezi un zmeu din hartie in doar cateva minute. Pentru a confectiona acest zmeu din hartie, ai nevoie ...

Ziare.com

Ziare.com
Sun, 09 Nov 2014 02:21:39 -0800

Iris Radulian (foto) a plecat din Romania in urma cu noua ani. A mai votat peste hotare, dar niciodata nu s-a simtit atat de nedreptatita si de umilita ca la turul intai al alegerilor prezidentiale din acest an. "Traim in strainatate, dar asta nu ...

Economica.net

Economica.net
Mon, 03 Nov 2014 05:29:21 -0800

Şi cum altfel şi-ar fi putut dori să curgă firul basmului dacă este chiar instituţia de credit cu cea mai mare pondere a restanţelor, creditorul cu cele mai multe procese cu clienţii din România. Nu este însă şi singurul zmeu financiar cu mari probleme ...

New York Times

New York Times
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 10:57:53 -0700

The knight Fat-Frumos, who rescues her from a zmeu, a shapeshifting part-human, part-multi-headed dragon, presides over steamed dumplings with similarly hearty fillings but delicate skins, crimped like gyoza. Also worthy are the less heroically ...
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