Meet 3 Unique Dragons of Greek Mythology

11/02/2022

     Although Dragons are of Chinese origin, the Greeks also had their representations for the Dragon figure. We've separated for you 3 exclusive Dragons that only exist in Greek Mythology!

Dragons Around the World:

     The best known image of Dragons comes from European legends (Celtic/Germanic) but the figure is recurrent in almost all ancient civilizations. Perhaps the dragon is a key symbol of primitive beliefs, like the ghosts, zombies and other creatures that recur in many myths of civilizations without any connection between them.

     There are myths about dragons in several other cultures around the planet, from dragons in the shape of serpents and crocodiles from India to the feathered serpents worshiped as gods by the Aztecs, passing through the great lizards of Polynesia and several others, varying enormously in terms of shapes, sizes and meanings.

     The Greek writer Philostratus dedicated an extensive passage from his Life of Apollonius of Tyana to the dragons of India (book III, chapters VI, VII and VIII). He provided very detailed information about these dragons.

The Dragons of Greek Mythology that we separate are: Ladon, Lernean Hydra and Scylla.

Ladon the Golden Fleece Dragon:

     Ladon, the Dragon of Colchis, in Greek Mythology, was known as the guardian of the golden fleece (sheepskin capable of bringing anything and everything back to life), which the hero Jason and the Argonauts managed to seize. The Colchis dragon was very large, but it was very slow.

     Legend says he slept with one eye open and the other closed. Many heroes tried, but only Jason succeeded. To get the Golden Fleece, the heroes would have to kill fire buffalo, seed their teeth, fight with tooth-born cadaverous warriors called Sparti, defeat them to get to the dragon and kill it. All this in the same day. As Hesiod says in Theogony, Gaia, the Earth, and her son Ponto, the sea, had many children, among whom were Phorcys and Ceto.

     In turn, these two gave rise to a terrible lineage: The Three Gorgons, Stheno, Euryad and Medusa and the two greas, creatures already born with gray hair. Finally, Ceto "gave a terrible serpent that, on the sides of the black earth, at the end of the World, guarded the golden apples". This was Ladon, and his story is associated with that of the Hesperides.


Lernean Hydra, the Regenerating Dragon:

     The Lernean Hydra, in Greek Mythology, was a monster, son of Typhon and Echidna, who inhabited a swamp near Lake Lerna, in Argolis, today what would be equivalent to the east coast of the Peloponnese region. The Hydra had a dragon's body and several serpent heads. According to legend, the Hydra's heads could regenerate; some versions say that when a head was cut off, two grew in its place, but early versions of the legend did not include this feature.

     The Hydra was so poisonous that it killed men with its breath alone and ate them; if someone got close to her while she was sleeping, just smelling her trail would kill him in terrible torment.

     The Hydra was defeated by Heracles (Hercules, in Roman mythology) in his second labor. Initially Heracles tried to crush the heads, but each one that he cut gave rise to two instead. He then decided to change tactics and, so that the heads would not regenerate, he asked his nephew Iolaus to burn them with a firebrand right after the cut, thus healing the wound. He was left with only the middle head, considered immortal. Heracles cut off and buried the last head with a huge stone. Thus, the monster was killed.

Scylla: The Nymph Turned into a Sea Monster:

     In Greek Mythological tradition, Skyla (or Scylla) was usually related to Charybdis, another sea monster. The two lived on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina and personified the dangers of sailing near rocks and eddies. At the top of the rock, which was not as high as the rock opposite Scylla, stood a black fig tree. Charybdis proper was out of sight.

     In other versions, Scylla was the daughter of Phorcys and Hecate or even of Lamia. As with most marine gods, she was sometimes thought of as the daughter of Typhon and Echidna; Higino says she was killed by Hercules. Skyla was a Sea Dragon, very similar to the Lernaean Hydra, many people confuse them, but to differentiate them is simple: Hydra is a land Dragon and Skyla, a water monster.

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