Talk:Dragons in Greek mythology

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"Pytho" != dragon[edit]

Pytho, the chthonic serpent of the oracle at Delphi is not normally confused with dragons, as someone has confused it here. Busy work without reading or consulting other Wikipedians is fingerpainting. --Wetman 12:38, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

Suggestions for additional dragons here: dragons feature in the myths of Cadmus, Jason and Medea.

Most of the monsters that people are popularizing as dragons should simply be described as snakes or serpents. (talk) 06:09, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Ladon, the polyglot[edit]

"It was said that his heads spoke with a multitude of voices in many languages." I removed this dubious statement here. What ancient source suggests this? --Wetman 08:25, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I wouldn't be too surpised if someone said this about Ladon, as this is a plausible description of Typhoeus, a creature quite simiilar to Ladon; but the question is who, if anyone, say that Ladon spoke many languages with many tongues... --Akhilleus (talk) 06:15, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Maybe a stupid question...but what's a dragon?[edit]

The article never defines dragon. So how can I tell if Python was confused with a dragon or not?

One of the Greek words for "snake" is drakon. Python is a drakon (or in the Homeric Hymn, a drakaina--that's a female snake for you Greekless folks). So why isn't he a dragon?

Fontenrose's Python starts (p. 1):

Every god has his enemy, whom he must vanquish and destory. Zeus and Baal,
Coyote and Ahura Mazda, Thor and the Lord of Hosts, are alike in this: that each
must face a dreadful antagonist. Apollo's enemy was the great dragon Python,
whom he had to fight and kill before he could establish his temple and oracle
at Delphi.

Fontenrose goes on to discuss Typhon/Typhoeus, Ladon, the Hydra, and many other snaky creatures as variants of the adversary in the combat myth. To me, Python looks like a dragon, but without a definition, it's sort of hard to tell. Fontenrose doesn't actually give a definition of "dragon" as far as I've seen yet, nor does the Oxford Classical Dictionary and the other stuff I've got at hand. The Wikipedia entry on Dragon doesn't really help all that much. If "dragon" just means "really big snake" then Python fits the bill. --Akhilleus (talk) 06:15, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Typhon can hardly be called a dragon because he is a giantic grotesque humanoid. Python is not in fact a drakon (male serpentine dragon) but she is a dracaena (female creature with a humanoid torso and serpentine legs). The real question unfortunately remains: What makes a dragon a dragon? Pafferguy (talk) 14:26, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Ooops! Looks like Python is a serpentine creature. Must have been thinking of something else. Pafferguy (talk) 14:28, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

removed text from "Ladon" section[edit]

I removed this from the "Ladon" section: "He was also said to have come in contact with Odysseus as a teenager in the form of a hundred-headed serpent as keeper and protector of "The Serpent Maze"." That's a description of a novel by Jane Yolen, which isn't exactly a classical source. --Akhilleus (talk) 17:08, 21 July 2006 (UTC)


Please comment if you would think it to be appropriate to once again resurrect page Ladon (mythology) from being redirect to have the content what is currently here. Main argument for this is to get interwiki to work properly, which seems to be quite impossible while missing the article from en-wiki. Currently following wikis have articale about Ladon the Dragon: als, bg, br, cs, de, et, es, fi, fr, it, lt, nl, sl, sv and zh, but only als seems to have Dragons in Greek mythology. Most of those have an article about Python as well. My suggestion is that Ladon would be shown here in same manner than Python currently is. --Iwfi 08:47, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

As there hasn't been any comments, I have now proceeded with split. --Iwfi 05:28, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Confusion between serpents and dragons[edit]

I agree with previous posters that some definition of dragon needs to be added. The point being that the serpent and serpent like monsters are an archetype throughout Indo-European cultures (and yes, specifically in the earliest myths the name for the monster is the same as the word for snake). It's become popular to describe all these monsters as dragons, but that's really doing it a disservice (and jumping to conclusions. The use of dragon in English translations of Vedic myths for example can be traced to a German translator in the middle ages deciding to translate snake as dragon). Since no definition of "dragon" is in the article and likely can't really be reached as the concept of a dragon is different amongst different cultures, the article should be changed to exactly what the myths (and Greek language) describe "Serpents in Greek mythology". (talk) 06:03, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Drakon - Dragon (the difference explained[edit]

The Western European "Dragon": DRAGON/DRAGO

If I recall this type was made popular in the middle ages. Mostly in the East, You'll find the earliest tales of dragons around Romania (if I recall correctly). These creatures ruled the sky and are usually winged lizards. They're highly intelligent, sleep on a bed of gold (some stories state). In a way they're the bridge between the Grecian Drakon and the Norse Dragon.

Winged lizard like being - Wings - Legs - Breathes fire (Think Tolkien's Smaug)

The Grecian (South-Eastern European) Dragon: DRAKON/DRACON/DRACO

In Greek Mythology the flying dragon is rare if not non-existent. Drakons are mythologic serpents. I.e. A snake is a snake, unless a god/hero meets it, then it is usually a drakon. They're big, mean, usually hard to kill and rather diverse in powers/abilities/weaknesses. There is a reason why the biblical devil depicts himself as a serpent in Genesis.

This is the greek type. Great big serpents - No wings - No legs (Hydra is special, as i'm not sure it is a true Drakon. As far as mythological categories go, i think its species is Hydra) - Breathe fire or poison - Have a lethal or demoralising stare (Think Harry Potter's basilisk but more badass)

The Norse (Northern) Dragon: DRAGON

Usually more bat-like then lizard like. They have thin wings, usually just a stretched skin from front legs (wings) to rear legs. Breathe fire, and usually have antlers or other horns on a scaly head. This based on the reality that the Norse never really had to deal with serpents, since it's rather cold up in the north for cold blooded beings. Niddhogg is a dragon. Fafnir is special in this regard, a child of Loki, he is a huge serpent and could be seen as a Drakon. Yet he is considered a dragon. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:36, 16 October 2013 (UTC)