Drakaina (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, a drakaina (Ancient Greek: δράκαινα) is a female dragon, sometimes with human-like features. Examples included Campe, Delphyne, Echidna and Sybaris.

Python, slain by Apollo, and the earliest representations of Delphyne are shown as simply gigantic serpents, similar to other Greek dragons[citation needed]. However, although the word "drakaina" is literally the feminine form of drakon (Ancient Greek for dragon or serpent), most drakainas had some features of a human woman. Lamia, Campe, Echidna, and many representations of Ceto, Scylla and Delphyne had the head and torso of a woman.

The drakaina was a monster generally slain only by gods or demigods. Zeus slew Delphyne and Campe, Apollo slew Python, and Argus Panoptes slew Echidna[citation needed].

Echidna was the mother of a huge brood of monsters, including other dragon-like creatures. According to Hesiod, Echidna gave birth to Cerberus, Orthrus, the Chimera, the Nemean lion, the Sphinx and the Hydra. (Other ancient authors, such as Hyginus, attribute even more monsters as children of Echidna, such as the Cretan bull, the Caucasian eagle, the Crommyonian sow, the Colchian dragon, the Harpies and Scylla and Charybdis[citation needed].)

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