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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 zmeurăraspberry’ 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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3248 news items

Ziarul Evenimentul

Ziarul Evenimentul
Fri, 12 Feb 2016 18:25:30 -0800

Să cioplești legat la ochi/ de un zmeu cam zbanghiu, cam plecat de acasă,/ să cioplești în carnea pietrei și ea/ să nu capete,/ să nu vrea să capete formă./ Să te rogi zeului,/ să te faci mangă,/ s-o iei de la capăt din roșeața zorilor,/ și degeaba ...

Ziarul de Iaşi

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Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:45:00 -0800

Municipalitatea a pus în functiune o instalatie de iluminat arhitectural la cladirea care gazduieste cel mai nou muzeu al Iasului, Muzeul Municipal. În acelasi timp, reprezentantii primariei au precizat ieri ca au început procedurile de acreditare a ...

Viaţa liberă

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Fri, 12 Feb 2016 02:52:30 -0800

Şi fiindcă veni vorba de Cărtărescu, la Dan Movileanu găsim şi un „Zmeu de tablă” (amintind sau nu de acel om din Tecuci care a avut un motor), dar şi Ispita Lucrurilor Inutile şi, pentru că tot vorbim de piramide, şi o piramidă din căpăţâni de varză ...

Realitatea

Realitatea
Thu, 01 Oct 2015 04:20:32 -0700

Share pe Facebook Share pe Twitter. Profilul psihologic al românilor: Între Făt-Frumos și Zmeu. Profilul psihologic al poporului român, stabil între Făt-Frumos și Zmeu. Psihologii au împărțit românii în două tipuri de personalitate, pe care le-au ...

Softpedia

Softpedia
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 05:05:29 -0800

The company detected high activity levels in the use of ZmEu, a web scanning tool that's designed to identify servers running vulnerable versions of phpMyAdmin. Developed by Romanian hackers, the ZmEu can be successfully used to determine what ...

Descopera

Descopera
Sun, 16 Aug 2015 00:07:30 -0700

Înaintea inventării avioanelor, zmeele erau folosite şi în scopuri militare. Un zmeu, de exemplu, avea 11 metri lungime şi putea să ridice un om la 30 de metri in aer. Istoria zmeului este aşa de lungă încât nimeni nu ştie cu exactitate cine l-a ...

Adevărul

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Thu, 11 Feb 2016 04:20:31 -0800

Dar Pepelea, cu ajutorul Zânei Lacului, le redă înfăţişarea, reuşeşte să îl învingă pe Zmeu, o eliberează pe Sânziana şi se căsătoreşte cu ea. Din distribuţie fac parte Vlad Ajder, Eduard Şişu, Gina Geru, Elena Marin, Marian Sterian, Rodica Panu, Adina ...

DigiSport

DigiSport
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 23:35:54 -0800

A dat jucatori afara doar pt ca a putut sa faca asta, l-a luat el pe Falcao, ca demonstreaza el tuturor ca il face zmeu. A facut rahatul praf. Nu are plan tactic, nu tin minte mutari maiastre din ultimii ani, stiu doar de acel autobuz, camasa-n el de ...
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