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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.
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1495 news items

Monitorul de Suceava

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Monitorul de Suceava

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Departe de mine demonizarea acestei licori, mai ales că am avut câteva experienţe pe calea asta. Numai că una este să bei responsabil şi alta e ca alcoolul să-ţi guverneze existenţa. Sunt studii care arată că anumite tipuri de personalitate sunt mai ...

RomaniaTV.net

RomaniaTV.net
Mon, 06 Apr 2015 03:16:43 -0700

Chinezii au făcut un ZMEU de Cartea Recordurilor GALERIE FOTO VIDEO. Publicat: Luni, 06 Aprilie 2015 13:03 // Actualizat: Luni, 06 Aprilie 2015 13:09 // Sursa: romaniatv.net. Autor: Filip Stan. Zmeul uriaş are şase kilometri lungime şi este, de fapt, ...

Adevărul

Adevărul
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 08:00:00 -0700

Zburătorul era un fel de zmeu care intra noaptea pe horn, sub formă de şarpe şi chinuia femeile gravide până pierdeau copilul. Avestiţa, aripa Satanei era, în credinţa populară, cea mai vicleană şi mai rea dinte spiritele necurate. ” Se arată femeilor ...
 
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 ...

Ziare.com

Ziare.com
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 03:27:37 -0700

ca 10(ZECE) au scris osanale dedicate unui prezidel total nedemocratic,cu inclinatii autoritar-dictatoriale care a fost mielusel in afara tarii si zmeu in interior.Atributii sale principale( in securitatea si aparare nationala si politica externa )nu ...

PUBLIKA TV (Comunicat de Presă)

PUBLIKA TV (Comunicat de Presă)
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 13:20:46 -0700

Foştii fotbalişti Denis Zmeu, Nicolae Rudac şi Constantin Arbănaş fac primii paşi în cariera de antrenor. Aceştia s-au înscris la cursuri pentru obţinerea licenţei B UEFA, certificat ce le oferă dreptul tehnicienilor să pregătească copii până la 18 ani ...

Glasul Aradului

Glasul Aradului
Mon, 20 Apr 2015 05:22:30 -0700

... prin punerea în valoare a cântărilor psaltice ale marilor protopsalţi români: Macarie Ieromonahul, Anton Pann, Dimitrie Suceveanu, Nectarie Protopsaltul, Amfilohie Iordănescu, Neagu Ionescu, Ioan Zmeu, Victor Ojog etc., dar şi a repertoriului bizantin.
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