Lions in Popular Culture
Lions in Human Culture
The portrayal of the male Lion in his dominance and glory with the large mane has been one that humans love since the beginning of time. This feline is viewed as one that is fierce, powerful, and strong. Many are in awe of it and that is why it continues to be so symbolic around the world. There are early writings from various time periods as well as cave drawings that show the Lion in various positions.
In some cultures there were rituals to honor the Lion. They would paint their bodies to look like them. It was believed that by honoring the Lion this way they would be less likely to be attacked by them.
Reports of Lions coming into villages and killing humans including children were scary. The villagers often believed that such events took place because the gods where angry with them. They wanted to do all they could to spare the village from such events unfolding in the future.
Many of the early leaders throughout history have been connected with Lions. The Kinds of Assyrian were known to have them as far back as 850 B.C. The Romans kept the Lions in arenas and gladiators would slaughter them in front of cheering crowds.
The Bible tells us the story of Daniel and the Lion. The story involves King Darius and the fact that Daniel was often seen praying. Since that was against the law he was tossed into the cages with the Lions. Yet in the morning the King was amazed to see that Daniel hadn’t been eaten. Instead, he told a remarkable story of angels keeping the mouths of the Lions closed to protect him. He was then released from the Lion cage. Then the King ask Daniel to be one of his advisors to help rule Babylon.
There are many sports teams that use the Lion as a mascot. There are also businesses that use it as a logo to show they are going to be strong and powerful in their niche. They have been placed on flags for countries and well documented in various films. Many people absolutely love the Disney film The Lion King. Today it is also a major play on Broadway. This show depicts the role of the Lion and the entire circle of life in the wild.
In the Wizard of Oz the Lion is one of the main characters. His desire is to go with Dorothy to the Wizard so he can gain courage. In the movie he is even afraid of his own shadow. He won’t roar either because he is afraid when he does. As the movie progresses though he has to be very brave to help save Dorothy, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow.
The book and now movie The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe is a mystical story about three children during wartime. They are playing in a home when they are taken through a portal in a wardrobe. There they meet Aslan who is a wise and powerful Lion. He strives to bring peace and order to the people. The book was written in the 1950’s but continues to be a top seller today.
One of the constellations is the Leo which is a huge Lion. Aristotle wrote about the Lions in his very early work. This was around 300 B.C. There are also writings from the Persians about the Lions that would attack the camels moving through the dessert, often with people and supplies on them.