Traits and Origins of the European Dragon

Traits and Origins of the European Dragon

An European dragon is a legendary creature from the overlapping folklore and mythology of various European countries. In modern times, dragons are depicted as large, scaly lizards that can breathe fire. Sometimes they even have large, bat-like wings, four legs and a muscular, long tail. However, this has not always been the case with dragons throughout history.

In folktales, an European dragon could even have magical powers, keeping alive for thousands of years. Their blood was corrosive or had acidic properties. In the opera Siegfried, the blood of a dragon allowed Siegfried to understand the language of the Forest Bird. A typical dragon usually guards a castle or a cavern that holds a treasure. Dragons are even associated with a hero that is trying to slay them.

Though they have wings, dragons live in caves or in underground lairs. For this reason, people believe that dragons are creatures of the Earth. This probably stemmed from an exaggeration of fossils and remains of dinosaurs.

Traits and Origins of the European DragonTraits and Origins of the European Dragon

Dragons from the Greek mythology often guarded treasures. Ladon is one such example. It is a dragon with 100 heads that guarded the tree of Herdias, until Heracle killed it. Similarly, Python from Delphi guarded the oracle, until Apollo took its life as revenge for it tormenting his mother. Hydra is another type of dragon with Greek origins. It is a serpentine swamp monster with dragon characteristics which Heracles killed.

An European dragon is, more often than not, evil, in contrast with the Asian dragons which are benevolent and wise creatures. In German and Scandinavian folklore, dragons could even take the form of worms. They are called wyrms, and they, too, are generally evil. However, there are exceptions and these only attack when threatened. These dragons have no legs, but their breath is poisonous.

All in all, European dragons are vastly different, depending on the region and its culture. However, they do have one thing in common: they are all frightening and evil. In addition to this, no matter their shape or origins, dragons will always be fascinating.

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