A dragon is a fabulous winged crocodile usually represented as of large size, with a serpents tail, so the dragon and serpent are sometimes interchangeable.
The White Goddess Book Of Shadows

Dragons - Mythology and Folklore - The White Goddess

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Wednesday, 29 June 2022




The Greek word drakõn [1], 'serpent', is related to the word drakos, meaning 'eye', and in classical legend the idea of watching is retained in the story of the dragon who guards the golden apples in the Garden Of The Hesperides, and in the story of Cadmus [2]. In medieval romance captive maidens were often guarded by a dragon.

A dragon is a fabulous winged crocodile usually represented as of large size, with a serpents tail, so the dragon and serpent are sometimes interchangeable. In the Middle Ages the word was the symbol of sin in general and paganism in particular, the metaphor being derived from Revelation 12:9 [3], where Satan is termed both 'the Great Dragon' and 'that old serpent', and from Psalm 91:13 [4], where it is said 'the dragon shalt thou trample under feet'. Hence, in Christian art it has the same significance.

Among the many saints usually pictured as dragon slayers are St Michael [5], St George, St Margaret, St Samson, Archbishop of Dol, St Clement of Metz, St Romain of Rouen, destroyer of the huge dragon La Gargouile, which ravaged the Seine, St Philip the Apostle, St Martha, slayer of the terrible dragon Tarasque (associated with Tarascon, the saints patron city), St Florent, who killed a dragon which haunted the Loire, St Cado, St Maudet and St Pol, who performed similar feats in Brittany, and St Keyne of Cornwall.

Among the ancient Britons and the Welsh the dragon was the national symbol on the war standard. Hence the term Pendragon for the dux bellorum, or leader in war.


[1] Dragon
drag·on \'drag-en\ n [Latin dracon-, draco, dragon, fr. Gk drakõn]
archaic: a huge serpent, a fabulous animal usually represented as a monstrous winged and scaly serpent or saurian with a crested head and enormous claws.

[2] Cadmus
(Phoenician). In Greek Mythology the son of Agenor, King of Phoenicia, and of Telephassa. He was the founder of Thebes in Boeotia and the introducer of the alphabet into Greece. Legend says he slew the dragon that gurded the fountain of Dirce, in Boeotia, and sowed its teeth, from which numerous murderous men sprang. With the council of Athene, he threw a precious stone among them. The warriors turned upon each other until only five remained to help him build the city.

[3] Revelations 12:7-9
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they were defeated and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world -- he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

[4] Psalm 91:13
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

[5] St Michael
Saint Michael is the only angel to have a feast day in the Lutheran calendar and the only angel to have a feast day on any calendar prior to the 9th century. He is commemorated on Sept 29, the feast of St. Michael and All Angels on the Lutheran calendar. Churches have been dedicated to St. Michael since the fourth century the first being near Constantinople.

Michael is mentioned by name several times in Holy Scripture – the passage from Revelation above, twice in Daniel (10:13 and 12:1), and in Jude 9. He is also believed to have been the mysterious warrior encountered by Joshua where he introduces himself as Commander of the Lord's army (Joshua 5:13-15).

Although traditionally credited with driving Lucifer and his legions from heaven, St. Michael was first venerated as a healer not a warrior in Phrygia. Pope Gregory the Great credited St. Michael with ending the plague in Italy when he saw Michael sheathing a flaming sword.

Michael means "Who is like God?" which is said to be the war cry of God's angel's before going into battle. Michael is believed in the east and by many in the west to be the highest ranking of all the angels. He is the protector of God's chosen people and thus is also the protector of the Church and her members against the evil one. He is the protector of Christian armies.

His symbol is the balance scales as tradition has it that he will weigh human souls on the Day of Judgment.

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