Dragons Part One

The word “dragon” comes from the Latin, draco, itself derived from the Greek, drakon, a word describing any kind of large snake, real or imagined.

In Greek mythology, there are several such creatures, many of them the progeny of Typhon (or Typhoeus) and Echidna, the “mother and father of all monsters”: Ladon, who lived in the Garden of the Hesperides; Hydra, who guarded the underworld; and the Colchian Dragon, an unsleeping serpent who guarded the Golden Fleece, which Jason managed to steal thanks to Medea, who sang spells to the dragon.

In the West, dragons are often seen as evil and dangerous, but some writers, such as Ursula K. Le Guin, show a more nuanced side in their fiction. I want to explore, over coming weeks, the relationship between humans and dragons, where they came from, and why they matter.


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