List of dragons in mythology and folklore

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This article is a list of dragons in mythology and folklore.

Asian dragons
Chinese dragon Lóng (or Loong. Lung2 in Wade-Giles romanization.)
Chinese Dragon Banner.svg
The Chinese dragon, is a creature in Chinese mythology that also appears in other Asian cultures, and is sometimes called the Oriental (or Eastern) dragon. Depicted as a long, snake-like creature with four claws (or five for the imperial dragon), it has long been a potent symbol of auspicious power in Chinese folklore and art. This type of dragon, however, is sometimes depicted as a creature constructed of many animal parts. It might have the fins of some fish, or the horns of a stag.
Indian dragon Nāga A serpentine dragon common to all cultures influenced by Hinduism. They are often hooded like a cobra and may have several heads depending on their rank. They usually have no arms or legs but those with limbs resemble the Chinese dragon. Other dragons are the Vrtra the serpent dragon who is defeated by Indra the thunder god and king of heaven, and the other evil serpent in Vedic lore, Ahi (cognate with the Zoroastrian Azi Dahaka).
Indonesian/Malay dragon Naga or Nogo Derived from the Indian nāga, belief in the Indo-Malay dragon spread throughout Maritime Southeast Asia with Hinduism. The word naga is still the common Malay/Indonesian term for dragon.[1] Like its Indian counterpart, the naga is considered divine in nature, benevolent, and often associated with sacred mountains, forests, or certain parts of the sea.[citation needed]
Japanese dragon Ryū
Okyo Dragon.jpg
Similar to Chinese dragons, with three claws instead of four. They are usually benevolent, associated with water, and may grant wishes.
Khmer Dragon Neak
Linteau Musée Guimet 25973.jpg
The Khmer dragon, or neak is derived from the Indian nāga. Like its Indian counterpart, the neak is often depicted with cobra like characteristics such as a hood. The number of heads can be as high as nine, the higher the number the higher the rank. Odd-headed dragons are symbolic of male energy while even headed dragons symbolize female energy. Traditionally, a neak is distinguished from the often serpentine Makar and Tao, the former possessing crocodilian traits and the latter possessing feline traits. A dragon princess is the heroine of the creation myth of Cambodia.
Korean dragon Yong (Mireu) A sky dragon, essentially the same as the Chinese lóng. Like the lóng, yong and the other Korean dragons are associated with water and weather. In pure Korean, it is also known as 'mireu'.
Imoogi A hornless ocean dragon, sometimes equated with a sea serpent. Imoogi literally means, "Great Lizard". The legend of the Imoogi says that the sun god gave the Imoogi their power through a human girl, which would be transformed into the Imoogi on her 17th birthday. Legend also said that a dragon-shaped mark would be found on the shoulder of the girl, revealing that she was the Imoogi in human form.
Gyo A mountain dragon. In fact, the Chinese character for this word is also used for the imoogi.
Philippine Dragon Bakunawa The Bakunawa appears as a gigantic serpent that lives in the sea. Ancient natives believed that the Bakunawa caused the moon or the sun to disappear during an eclipse. It is said that during certain times of the year, the Bakunawa arises from the ocean and proceeds to swallow the moon whole. To keep the Bakunawa from completely eating the moon, the natives would go out of their houses with pots and pans in hand and make a noise barrage in order to scare the Bakunawa into spitting out the moon back into the sky. Some say that the Bakunawa is known to kill people by imagining their death and remote in eye contact.
Vietnamese dragon Rồng or Long
Dragonvietnam.gif

(Ly dynasty, Daiviet X)

These dragons' bodies curve lithely, in sine shape, with 12 sections, symbolising 12 months in the year. They are able to change the weather, and are responsible for crops. On the dragon's back are little, uninterrupted, regular fins. The head has a long mane, beard, prominent eyes, crest on nose, but no horns. The jaw is large and opened, with a long, thin tongue; they always keep a châu (gem/jewel) in their mouths (a symbol of humanity, nobility and knowledge).
European dragons
Catalan dragon drac Catalan dragons are serpent-like creatures with two legs (rarely four) and, sometimes, a pair of wings. Their faces can resemble that of other animals, like lions or cattle. They have a burning breath. Their breath is also poisonous, the reason by which dracs are able to rot everything with their stench. A víbria is a female dragon.
French dragons Dragon Meddragon Liber Floridus Lambert of sint Omaars 1460.jpg Authors tend often to present the dragon legends as symbol of Christianity's victory over paganism, represented by a harmful dragon. The French representation of dragons spans much of European history, and has even given its name to the dragoons, a type of cavalry.
Sardinian dragon scultone The dragon named "scultone" or "ascultone" appears in legends in Sardinia, Italy. It had the power to kill human beings with its gaze. It was a sort of basilisk, lived in the bush and was immortal.
Scandinavian & Germanic dragons Lindworm
Dragon héraldique.png
Lindworms are serpent-like dragons with either two or no legs. In Nordic and Germanic heraldry, the lindworm looks the same as a wyvern. The dragon Fafnir was a lindworm.
English dragons Wyvern Wyverns are common in medieval heraldry. Their usual blazon is statant. Wyverns are normally shown as dragons with two legs and two wings.
Welsh dragons Y Ddraig Goch
Welsh dragon.svg
In Welsh mythology, after a long battle (which the Welsh King Vortigern witnesses) a red dragon defeats a white dragon; Merlin explains to Vortigern that the red dragon symbolizes the Welsh, and the white dragon symbolizes the Saxons – thus foretelling the ultimate defeat of the English by the Welsh. The ddraig goch appears on the Welsh ¬
The worm hill dragon 700 AD the Anglo-Saxons settled and called it "Wruenele" this translates as "Wruen" worm, reptile or dragon and "ele" hill. According to local folklore the hill at Knotlow was the lair of a dragon and the terraces around it were made by the coils of its tail. Knotlow is an ancient volcanic vent and this may explain the myth.
The Bignor hill dragon There is a brief mention of a Dragon on Bignor Hill south of the village of Bignor near the famous Roman Villa, apparently "A Large dragon had its den on Bignor Hill, and marks of its folds were to be seen on the hill". Similar legends have been told of ridges around other hills, such as at Wormhill in Derbyshire.
Zomok A giant winged snake, which is in fact a full-grown zomok. It often serves as flying mount of the garabonciás (a kind of magician). The sárkánykígyó rules over storms and bad weather.
sárkány A dragon in human form. Most of them are giants with multiple heads. Their strength is held in their heads. They become gradually weaker as they lose their heads.

In contemporary Hungarian the word sárkány is used to mean all kinds of dragons.

Slavic dragons zmey, zmiy, żmij, змей, or zmaj, or drak, or smok
Dragon Crop.svg
Smok Wawelski from Sebastian Münster's Cosmographie Universalis, 1544
Similar to the conventional European dragon, but multi-headed. They breathe fire and/or leave fiery wakes as they fly. In Slavic and related tradition, dragons symbolize evil. Specific dragons are often given Turkic names (see Zilant, below), symbolizing the long-standing conflict between the Slavs and Turks. However, in Serbian and Bulgarian folklore, dragons are defenders of the crops in their home regions, fighting against a destructive demon Ala, whom they shoot with lightning.[2][3]
Armenian dragon Vishap Related to European dragons
Siberian dragon Yilbegän Related to European Turkic and Slavic dragons
Romanian dragons Balaur, Zburator Balaur are very similar to the Slavic zmey: very large, with fins and multiple heads.
Chuvash dragons Vere Celen Chuvash dragons represent the pre-Islamic mythology of the same region.
Asturian and Leonese dragons Cuélebre In Asturias and León mythology the Cuélebres are giant winged serpents, which live in caves where they guard treasures and kidnapped xanas. They can live for centuries and, when they grow really old, they use their wings to fly. Their breath is poisonous and they often kill cattle to eat. Leonese language term Cuelebre comes from Latin colŭbra, i.e., snake.
Albanian Dragons Bolla In the Albanian mythology Bolla (also known as Bullar in South Albania), is a type of serpentic dragon (or a demonic dragon-like creature) with a long, coiled, serpentine body, four legs and small wings in ancient Albanian folklore. This dragon sleeps throughout the whole year, only to wake on Saint George's Day, where its faceted silver eyes peer into the world. The Bolla does this until it sees a human. It devours the person, then closes its eyes and sleeps again.[4] Bolla was worshiped as the deity Boa by the ancestors of Albanians, Illyrians.[5] Bolla appears in the coat of arms of the House of Bua Shpata.
Kulshedra In its twelfth year, the bolla evolves by growing nine tongues, horns, spines and larger wings. At this time it will learn how to use its formerly hidden fire-breathing abilities, and is now called a kulshedra or kuçedra (hydra). The kuçedra causes droughts and lives off human sacrifices. Kulshedras are killed by Drangue, Albanian winged warriors with supernatural powers. Thunderstorms are conceived as battles between the drangues and the kulshedras.
Dreq Dreq is the dragon (draco) proper. It was demonized by Christianity and now is one of the Albanian names of the devil.
Portuguese dragons Coca In Portuguese mythology coca is a female dragon that fights with Saint George. She loses her strength when Saint George cuts off one of her ears.
Greek dragons Drákōn - δράκων
Kadmos dragon Louvre E707.jpg
Cadmus fighting the Ismenian dragon (which guarded the sacred spring of Ares) is a legendary story from the Greek lore dating to before ca. 560–550 B.C. Greek dragons commonly had a role of protecting important objects or places. For example, the Colchian dragon watched the Golden Fleece and the Nemean dragon guarded the sacred groves of Zeus.[6] The name comes from the Greek "drakeîn" meaning "to see clearly".[7]
Tatar dragons Zilant
Flag Kaz.jpg
Really closer to a wyvern or cockatrice, the Zilant is the symbol of Kazan. Zilant itself is a Russian rendering of Tatar yılan, i.e., snake.
Turkish dragons Ejderha or Evren The Turkish dragon secretes flames from its tail, and there is no mention in any legends of its having wings, or even legs. In fact, most Turkish (and later Islamic) sources describe dragons as gigantic snakes.
Lithuanian Dragons Slibinas This dragon is more of a hydra with multiple heads, though sometimes it does appear with one head.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "dragon." kamus.net. 2010. http://www.kamus.net/result.php?w=en-usa&q=dragon&submit=Search&e=0 (29 June 2011).
  2. ^ Зечевић, Слободан (1981). Митска бића српских предања. Belgrade: "Вук Караџић" : Етнографски музеј.  (A book in Serbian about mythical creatures of Serbian traditions)
  3. ^ Беновска-Събкова, Милена. "Змей". Родово Наследство. Retrieved 2007-08-13.  (An extract from the book Змеят в българския фолклор (The Dragon in Bulgarian Folklore), in Bulgarian)
  4. ^ Lurker, Manfred (1984). The Routledge Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Devils and Demons, Taylor & Francis e-Library. p.35
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ [2]
  7. ^ [3]