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A balaur is a creature in Romanian folklore, similar to a European dragon
European dragon
European dragons are legendary creatures in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe.In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature. The Latin word draco, as in constellation Draco, comes directly from Greek δράκων,...

. A bălaur is quite large, has fins, feet, and is polycephalous
Polycephaly is a condition of having more than one head. The term is derived from the Greek stems poly- meaning 'much' and kephali- meaning "head", and encompasses bicephaly and dicephaly . A variation is an animal born with two faces on a single head, a condition known as diprosopus...

 (it usually has three, sometimes seven, or even twelve serpent heads). As a traditional character which is found in most Romanian fairy tales, it represents Evil and must be defeated by Făt-Frumos
Făt-Frumos is a knight hero in Romanian folklore, usually present in fairy tales....

 in order to release the princess (see also Zmey). It is also believed, in Wallachia
Wallachia or Walachia is a historical and geographical region of Romania. It is situated north of the Danube and south of the Southern Carpathians...

 that the saliva of a balaur can form precious stones.

Balaur seems to derive from either the Proto-Indo-European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

Root (linguistics)
The root word is the primary lexical unit of a word, and of a word family , which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents....

 *bel-, "strong", or *bhel-, "to swell". It is considered to be a pre-Roman conquest
Roman Dacia
The Roman province of Dacia on the Balkans included the modern Romanian regions of Transylvania, Banat and Oltenia, and temporarily Muntenia and southern Moldova, but not the nearby regions of Moesia...

 word from the Romanian substratum (see also List of Romanian words of possible Dacian origin). It could also be from the Albanian
Albanian language
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

 word bole, which means "giant serpent" or buldr, which means "sea-serpent".

Popular culture

  • In the MMORPG
    Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

    Aion may refer to:In music:*Aion , a Japanese metal band**Aion , their 1992 album*Aion , a Polish gothic metal band*Aion , a 2003 album...

    , the Dragons that once ruled the world and are the enemy are called the Balaur.
  • In the MMORPG
    Massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a genre of role-playing video games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual game world....

     Star Trek Online
    Star Trek Online
    Star Trek Online, often abbreviated as STO, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game developed by Cryptic Studios based on the popular Star Trek series created by Gene Roddenberry. The game is set in the 25th century, 30 years after the events of Star Trek Nemesis...

    the largest class of Gorn warship is the Balaur Dreadnought. Retrieved 2011-06-19.
  • In Ace Combat: Joint Assault
    Ace Combat: Joint Assault
    Reception to the game has been mixed. GameSpot and IGN stated that the game's story was not as dramatic as those from previous titles, and its saving grace is the co-operative play options and the easy access to new rewards...

    , there is a gigantic railgun
    A railgun is an entirely electrical gun that accelerates a conductive projectile along a pair of metal rails using the same principles as the homopolar motor. Railguns use two sliding or rolling contacts that permit a large electric current to pass through the projectile. This current interacts...

     weapon named the Balaur.
  • A Balaur will appear in episode 3 in series 5 of the science-fiction sci-fi drama Primeval
    Primeval or primæval may refer to:* Primeval, a British science fiction television series.* Primeval , a 2007 film* Primeval , a score of music from the BBC TV series Doctor Who...