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Related: Andromeda - damsel in distress - mythology
The Dragon Slaying the Companions of Cadmus (1588) - Hendrick Goltzius
Image sourced here.
Other European legends about dragons include "Saint George and the Dragon", in which a brave knight defeats a dragon holding a princess captive. This legend may be a Christianized version of the myth of Perseus, or of the mounted Phrygian god Sabazios vanquishing the chthonic serpent, but its origins are obscure. Saint George is the Patron Saint of England. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_dragon [May 2005]
Saint George on horseback rides alongside a wounded dragon being led by a princess, late 19th century engraving.
Saint George versus the dragon, Gustave Moreau, c. 1880. This small one has the look of a griffin or a wyvern.
Saint George (c. 275/280-April 23, 303) was a soldier of the Roman Empire and later Christian martyr.
The tale of George and the Dragon is widely considered among secular historians to share a common theme with the ancient Greek myth of Ethiopian princess Andromeda and her saviour and later husband Perseus, slayer of the gorgon Medusa. According to this myth, Perseus beheaded Medusa and George his Dragon in a shared theme of decapitation. Perseus' meeting with Andromeda was placed in her native Ethiopia. In several versions, George meets his Dragon in Libya (North Africa west of Egypt). Both locales can be interpreted to represent distant chthonic kingdoms of magic. The saving of the king's daughter is another shared theme as is the reward-bargain exacted by the respective hero of the stories: Possession of the princess for Perseus and the mass baptism of the king's subjects for George.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George [May 2005]
Saint George and the Dragon
According to the Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, the story of Saint George and the Dragon took place in a place he called "Silene," in Libya. There was no such place, the name being perhaps a corruption of Cyrene. The Golden Legend is the first to place this tale in Libya, as a sufficiently exotic locale, where a dragon might be imagined. A translation of the original text of Jacobus de Voragine is linked below.
This town had a pond large as a lake where a plague-bearing dragon dwelled. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it a sheep and a virgin every day, the virgin chosen by lottery. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George_and_the_Dragon [May 2005]
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