Legend of the Colchian Dragon

Legend of the Colchian Dragon

One of the most famous stories in the Greek mythology is that of the Argonauts. Most notably, of the hero Jason and his quest for the Golden Fleece.  This fleece came from a magical ram, and it hung in a sacred grove of trees. Of course, another story connected to this one is the legend of the Colchian dragon. This is because the fleece was in the distant land of Colchis.

Jason’s adventure, however, was only one part of the story of the Golden Fleece, which began years earlier. After many adventures, Jason finally manages to get to Colchis, along with the Argonauts. However, King Aeëtes refused to give up the Golden Fleece. He insisted that first, Jason must harness two fire-breathing bulls to a plow. After that, he had to plant dragon’s teeth into the ground and defeat the warrior springing from them.

Legend of the Colchian DragonLegend of the Colchian Dragon

Aeëtes had a daughter, Medea, who was a sorceress. She fell in love with Jason and therefore helped him accomplish these tasks. In addition to this, she also helped Jason steal the Golden Fleece. And now we get to the actual legend of the Colchian dragon.  The Dragon was a giant and watchful serpent that guarded the Golden Fleece.

When Jason and the Argonauts came to get the Fleece, Medea was the one who put the beast to sleep. This is how they managed to steal the Fleece and run away with it. There is another version of the story, which only appears in a vase painting. In this one, the dragon consumes Jason and then disgorges him.

The monster’s teeth were harvested by King Aeetes for their magical properties. He also commanded Jason to put them in a sacred field of Area. Once they were seeded, a tribe of warlike men sprang up from the Earth.

All in all, this is one of the most famous stories in all of the Greek mythology. It’s up there along with the Iliad and Odyssey.

 

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