original art by Anne Stolks
"Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth... Tame the dragon and the gift is yours."
~ Noela Evans~
Dragons in Legend and Folklore
Greek heroes who are supposed to have slain dragons are Hercules, Apollo, and Perseus. Indeed, the World Book Encyclopedia (1973) says "every country had them in its mythology." In Norse mythology, a Great Ash Tree, Yggdrasil, which was thought to support the whole universe, had three immense roots. One extended into the region of death. Niflheim and the dragon Nidhogg perpetually gnawed at the root of the tree. This precarious situation, which seems to place the whole universe at Nidhogg's mercy, perhaps shows the conscious or subconscious deeply rooted fear of the proto-Norse for dinosaurs, those terrible lizards. If the fearsome creatures were threatening the ancestors of the Norse peoples, one can easily see how such a myth could have developed.
The Egyptians wrote of the dragon Apophis, enemy of the sun god Re. The Babylonians recorded their belief in the monster Tiamat. The Norse people wrote of Lindwurm, guardian of the treasure of Rheingold, who was killed by the hero Siegfried. The Chinese wrote of dragons in their ancient book, I Ching, associating the creatures with power, fertility, and well being. They also used dragons in early art, ancient pottery, folk pageantry and dances as a motif. The Aztecs' plumed serpent may have represented a hybrid in their thought between a dragon and another creature. The pottery of ancient Nazca culture of Peru shows a cannibal monster much like a dragon.
In British Columbia, Lake Sashwap is believed to be home to the dragon Ta Zam-A, and Lake Cowichan to Tshingquaw. In Ontario, Lake Meminisha is the reputed home of a fish-like serpent feared by the Cree Indians. Angoub is the legendary Huron dragon, Hiachuckaluck the dragon believed in by the Chinooks of British Columbia.
Dragons are so widely accepted a part of Irish folklore that Robert Lloyd Praeger, naturalist, says they are "an accepted part of Irish zoology." Dr. P.W. Joyce, historian, in his book on Irish place-names, says, "legends of aquatic monsters are very ancient among the Irish people" and shows that many Irish place names resulted from a belief in these dragons.
The Lambton Wurm
The Lambton wurm was caught by a fishermen named John Lambton he threw the monster into a well. He then changed his life around and went on a pilgrimage he was gone for many years and the wurm continued to survive in the well eventually it had grown up and was terrorizing the nearby town, many people would try to slay it but every time they cut it, it's halves would rejoin. John Lambton returned from his pilgrimage and found that the wurm he had caught so many years ago was causing much havoc, he sought the help of an old witch who told him to make a special armor of blades and fight in the river where he had caught the wurm. John obtained an armor of blades and fought the wurm in the river so that each segment of the wurm would float away. But there was also a curse along with the wurm, after he defeated it he was told to kill the first person he saw which was his father, Instead he killed his pet dog which did not dispel the curse and every heir of the Lambton family met an early death for the next nine generations.
Jormungander the Midgard Serpent
Jormungander the midgard serpent was a dragon of limitless power, spawned by Loki the god if evil, it's coils spanned across the earth and as far as the eye could see. Then Odin the god wisdom cast it far out into the deepest oceans. Yet the serpent Jormungander still continued to grow beneath the waves deep within it's watery domain, beyond the realm of gods and men it grew even larger until it's mighty coils could encircle the earth. Biting it's tail like a giant ouroboros it was destined to stay in it's dark watery domain until the final day of Ragnorak where it would be free to roam the earth and have one last final battle with Thor the god of Thunder.
Cetus the dragon of Poseidon
In Ancient Greece Queen Cassiopeia boasted she was more beautiful then the sea nymphs, this angered the sea god Poseidon and he sent his sea dragon Cetus to wreak havoc upon their kingdom. The kingdoms monarchs desperately questioned an oracle who claimed the seadragon could only be placated by the sacrifice of the queens daughter Andromeda. Andromeda was chained to a cliff overlooking the ocean and the Serpent Cetus came for her, but miraculously Persues was returning from slaying the gorgon medusa he saw the princess and her upcoming fate. He used his sword and sliced into an unprotected area of it's skin and into it's heart after three strikes the mighty sea dragon Cetus fell dead.
On the fifth day of creation god shaped and breathed life into all the creatures of the sea, at which time he also created Leviathan to serve as ruler of the seas. No mortal weapon could penetrate the leviathan's shimmering scales and no living thing on earth could ever hope to oppose it's might. Nothing could cause a flicker of fear in the leviathan's heart. Initially god created a pair of these fantastic beasts but then it became clear that their power was so much that the entire world would be threatened by a race of them. So god destroyed one of them, but as compensation for the loss of it's partner he granted the surviving leviathan immortality. And so the great leviathan would live forever beneath the oceans of earth until the day of judgment when it would be slain by the archangel Gabriel.
The Lindorm King
A queen unable to have children consulted a soothsayer who promised she would have children in less then a year provided she eat two onions the queen so excited by this quickly left without allowing the soothsayer to finish. She returned home and in her excitement ate the first onion without even peeling the skin the second whoever she did peel. As prophesized she did give birth the first born was a hideous monster a scaled wingless serpent - which in disgust she threw out the window the second born was a healthy young boy. Years later the young prince met his brother the lindorm out in the woods, the lindorm threatened that the prince would never find true love unless he was presented a willing girl. Many woman were sacrificed to the lindorm. Finally one knowing she would be next consulted the soothsayer who told her a secret. She entered the lindorms lair clad in many garments and asked that for each dress she shed he would shed a layer of skin, he agreed and after the last layer he transformed into a prince. Then the soothsayer finally was able to mention what the queen had not heard those many years ago, Be sure to peal the onion first.
Siegfried and Fafnir
Fafnir the son of a dwarf king murdered his father for his wealth which he coveted, after gaining his fathers wealth he retreated with it to Gnitahead and jealously guarded it. But the treasure was tainted by his dyeing fathers curse, and it's evil influence enhanced by his own hatred caused him to transform into a dragon which always guarded the treasure. Fafnir and his treasure remained this way for centuries while his brother Regin plotted to gain it, he used a warrior named Siegfried as a pawn- he had Siegfried hide in a hole beneath the path to a lake, then when Fafnir came to drink he would stab the vulnerable area of it's belly. Afterwards Regin asked him to cook the dragons heart and he did, when handing the cooked heart to Regin he burnt his finger and licked it he could then understand the language of birds and overheard them talking of Regin's plan to kill him, Siegfried then beheaded Regin near the carcass of his brother, He then went to claim the treasure and the curse which accompanied it.
The Mordiford Wyvern
There once was a young girl named Maud who discovered a baby wyvern in the woods her parents demanded she return it, but instead she hid it and brought it milk each day, and in time the two bonded but as the two aged together the wyvern grew larger eating first wild animals, it eventually gained a taste for human flesh, a danger to everyone but Maud, the people soon decided it had to die. Maud's wyvern was soon killed by a wandering knight named Garsten. Maud still stayed along side her dying wyvern mourning it's death, as Garsten triumphantly rode back to town leaving behind a dead monster and it's only friend a girl named Maud.
St. George and the dragon
A beastly dragon had come in from the swamps of Silene! In a desperate attempt to get rid of this dragon the local farmers fed the dragon two sheep a day, this strategy worked until they ran out of sheep and the dragon went on a rampage, soon the evil king agreed to allow the sacrifice of children, but day's and weeks went by and it soon came time for the kings own daughter to be the next sacrifice, a knight named George had come into that town at the moment of her sacrifice and he untied her. The dragon soon arrived and he prepared to lance it, as he neared he was suddenly stopped by giant frills of circles like eyes, he continued forward and pierced the dragons neck with his spear, the king was so pleased he allowed George to convert the entire city to Christianity.
This story was Christian propaganda against Dragons, the dragon and the king both represent the evils of paganism, while St George represents the righteousness of the missionaries. Yet still the story may have some truth.
Long ago a native American tribe called the Illini tribe lived in harmony with the Piasa which ate mostly deer and other large animals, it had no interest in humans until one day when a warring tribe attacked the Illini tribe, during that battle many men from both sides lost there lives and although the Illini won the battle the worst was yet to come. The Piasa witnessed the battles and being a carnivores creature the bodies where a tempting snack for it, and it soon discovered that it liked it's new found meat. It soon became the mortal enemy of the Illini tribe and a great meeting was held, after hours of debating plans to kill the Piasa one risky plan was decided upon, they decided to lure it to the ground where twenty of there greatest warriors would slay it. A brave named Massatoga volunteered to act as bait to lure it down. He headed towards it's lair singing a tribal chant and when the Piasa spotted him he ran to an area with a lot of trees, when the Piasa landed and folded it's wings the warriors pummeled it with arrows and hacked at it until the dragon was no more.
The Serpent god of Mexico.
Quozalcoatl -was the god of the Mayans and the Aztecs it has many similarities to the eastern dragon. It was said to be a feathered serpent that could fly it also had a human form which it used to guide the people. I am still researching this and will include more later.
Was a feathered serpent similar to the eastern dragon.
Was A god of both the Aztecs and the Mayan's
The hydra was a dragon in Greek mythology. Hercules was said to have fought it. It was a multi headed dragon and for each head cut off a new one took it's place. Hercules defeated the hydra by burning each neck with a torch before a new head could grow.
The Hydra was a mythological dragon that had several heads and was killed by Hercules.That myth is the only account of a hydra that I could find.
The hydra had nine heads and for each head which was removed two would take it's place this dragon was defeated by Hercules who melted the stub of each neck before new heads could form.
Side Note:It should also be added that Hercules' 11th task involved venturing into Athena's garden to get the golden apples. A dragon guarded those apples and it was killed so that Hercules could get the apples. Athena put the dragon's body into the sky and created the Draco constellation.
Two elder gods Apsu and Tiamat became increasingly angry with new generations of gods apsu wanted to get rid of them Tiamat tried to calm his rage but reluctantly agreed to help him Apsu was later captured and killed after this Tiamat became enraged she created an army of fishtailed and scorpion tailed warriors she also gained the support of other gods, then she took on the form of a giant semi dragon the other gods unable to challenge such a task agreed to make Marduk the supreme god if he could vanquish her, he agreed and sought the help of a hurricane, he caught Tiamat in a net and pummeled her with arrows, when Tiamat opened her enormous jaws to eat Marduk the hurricane flew into her and prevented her from closing her mouth, Marduk shot an arrow down her throat and into her belly Losing no time he sliced apart her internal organs and split her heart in half he continued until Tiamat the embodiment of chaos was no more. Marduk was now the supreme power, he cut the corpse in half and used one half to make the heavens and one half to make the earth.
Beowulf and the Dragon
Beowulf the famous Danish king fought a dragon, In Beowulf's later years now an old man he was asked to slay a dragon which was ravaging the country. A thief had stolen a cup from the dragons hoard the dragon enraged began it's rampage, Beowulf arrived and fought the dragon alone but was unable to defeat it. Beowulf and the dragon where to evenly matched, Beowulf about to lose, was saved by his friend Wiglaf who stabbed the dragon allowing Beowulf time to finish it. Beowulf later died of his wounds and gave Wiglaf his kingdom.
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