doubled as a propaganda billboard. Its center shows Parthia returning the
eagle standard captured from Crassus at the battle of Carrhae, a symbol of
Roman honor redeemed. (Detail of marble
statue, Vatican Museum, Rome).
Notice the eagle
standards in this scene of an emperor addressing
his troops. (Detail from the arch of Constantine, Rome.)
Being a powerful and versatile creature that can dive
in the sea, fly in the sky, and intermediate between worlds, the dragon
features in many Chinese myths.
The funeral banner of Lady Dai (died 168 BCE)
features four dragons. Two appear in the upper, celestial ream, one
underneath the sun on the right side, the other under the moon on the left.
In the lower, vertical part of the banner that illustrates the human world,
two intertwining dragons soar upward, bringing the spirit of the deceased
with them. (Excavated from tomb No. 1 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan.)