Ancient Greeks have an affinity with dragons and frequently used them as monsters in fantastic mythological tales. As with most Greek mythological creatures, dragons still perpetuate the modern culture. For instance, the band my friend recently watched, the Imagine Dragons into the night tour used the mystical creatures in their band name.
Ancient Greece has four main types of dragons: the serpent-like Dracones, the marine Cetea, the she-monster Dracaenae, and the fire-breathing Chimaera.
Here are the most well-known and feared dragons in ancient Greece:
Ladon is a serpent-like dragon that guarded the tree with the golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides. He is said to have almost a hundred heads and his body twined around the tree. According to myths, he was defeated by Heracles in a bloody battle.
The daughter of Typhon and Echidna, the Lernaean Hydra is a dragon-like water serpent that has between seven and nine heads. It has a venomous breath, blood, and fangs that can instantly kill any living creature. Cutting its head off is no good since it will simply grow back. Heracles also defeated this monster by cutting the heads off then applied blazing firebrands unto the oozing stump to prevent regrowth. Then Heracles dipped his arrows in the dragon’s blood to make it poisonous against his enemies.
Pytho or Python
The earth-dragon of Delphi, Python is a serpent-like dragon that was created and destroyed by Apollo. He was a drakaina – either a male or a female. He was the nemesis of Apollo. The story goes that when Leto was about to deliver Artemis and Apollo, sons of Zeus, Hera the jealous one ordered Python to chase Leto throughout the land so she would not deliver the sons. When the sons were finally delivered, Apollo chased the dragon to Mount Parnassus where he killed it.
The Colchian Dragon
This enormous serpent-like dragon was a child of Typhon and Echidna, therefore the sibling of Lernaean Hydra. It faithfully guarded the Golden Fleece at Colchis, said to never sleep or rest. When Jason tried to retrieve the Fleece, Medea the witch put the dragon to sleep.