Dragons in Greek Mythology | Dragon Vibe
Dragons in Greek Mythology

Greek, Multi-headed, Mythology -

Dragons in Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, dragons were, for the most part, huge snakes with supernatural abilities. The Greeks called these beasts "Drakon". These creatures played a major role in Greek myths.

In this article, we will look at the main dragon-like creatures in Greek mythology.

To go further in your love of the Dragons from Greek Mythology, don't hesitate to check out these incredible products, inspired by the ancient legends :

1. Typhon

Typhon was the most powerful and dangerous creature in Greek mythology. Typhon was both a god and a monster. He inhaled and breathed fire.

His parents:

Typhon was the son of Gaia and Tartarus. Gaia was the goddess of the earth, and Tartarus, a potential murderer.

His genesis:

According to some legends, Hera wanted to create a god more powerful than Zeus. Thus, she would have made these two super-powerful gods give birth to a terrible creature.

His mission:

He was sent to Earth to put an end to Zeus and the world. And what's worse, Typhon had the ability to do it!

Typhon the Fearful of the Gods:

Typhon fought many battles against Zeus. He also destroyed cities and even threw down mountains in his absolute fury. Many of the Olympian gods were frightened by him, and took animal form after that. Only Dionysus, Athena and Zeus remained in their original forms.

Typhon and Echidna

Typhon and Echidna

His Terrible Children:

In addition to having been the initiator of many devastations, Typhon was the progenitor of many terrible creatures, along with her sulfurous lover Echidna. He was known as the "father of all monsters", and Echidna the "mother of all monsters". Among their children were:

  • The Sphinx, who killed all those who could not solve his riddles,

  • The Lion of Nemea and his impenetrable skin,

  • Or the Cerberus, a three-headed dog that protected the world from the dead,

  • Or the Orthrus monster, which was a two-headed dog that lived with giants,

  • not to mention the Caucasian eagle, which devoured Prometheus' liver every day,

  • And of course the Hydra of Lerna, the Chimera and the Ladon. We'll see those three later in this article.

His Physics:

  • Typhon was gigantic, so much so that its head was close to the stars.

  • He had a human torso, but his legs were serpentine vipers that whistled and attacked when he moved.

  • Its main head supported 100 snake heads, which made different animal noises.

  • His eyes were glowing red. They terrorized anyone who had the misfortune to see them.

  • Hundreds of different wings were grafted onto his body. His hands were made up of 100 coiled snakes. His legs were the same.

  • Some sources say that Typhon had up to 100 heads, all of different animals such as bulls, wild boars...

Zeus against Typhon

Zeus, on the left with his lightning, against Typhon.

2. Ladon

If we had to select a Greek mythological creature that most closely resembles a dragon, the Ladon would win the contest! He became famous for wrapping his body around a tree in the Garden of Hesperides.

His parents:

he was the son of Typhon and Echidna. That said, he was also named son of Ge, or the son of Phorcys and Ceto.

His mission:

His main mission was to guard the golden apples of this garden, which were so coveted! And since he never slept, these apples were constantly watched over. This mission had been entrusted to him by Juno.

His death:

He was killed by Hercules (Heracles), during the famous 12 works of the latter. Indeed, Heracles' mission was to recover the golden apples.

His physique:

According to the legend, he could have up to 100 heads.

If you are curious about monsters with multiple head, don't miss our article about the Three-headed Dragons



The constellation called "Draco", which encircles the North Pole, is associated with Ladon.

A dangerous sea monster:

According to Hesiod, the members of the Ladon family (his parents, brothers and sisters) symbolized the perils of the sea. Moreover, his name meant "strong flow"... The Ladon knew about violent sea currents!

A little anecdote:

Legend has it that he could adopt different tones of voice.

Ladon and Heracles on a Roman plate

Ladon and Heracles on a Roman plate

3. Hydra of Lerna

It is true that the Hydra of Lerna was a gigantic water snake, but it really had all the features of a dragon.

Her parents:

She was the daughter of Typhon and Echidna, but was raised by Hera.

Her mission:

The main objective of the Hydra of Lerna was to watch over one of the entrances of Hades.

Her physique:

This powerful and gigantic snake had a multitude of heads. It would have had between five and one hundred heads (several sources give different numbers). However, the majority of the accounts teach us that she had between seven and nine.

A highly venomous creature:

Her breath, claws and blood were deadly poisonous.

Her Story:

She lived in a swamp near Lerna. She often frightened people until the day Heracles went to fight her. He cut off her heads with a sledgehammer or a sickle.

But every time one of her heads was cut off, one or two new heads grew back in its place. One of those heads was even invincible. Indeed, even after it was cut off, it would not die. According to some, this head was made of gold.

So, in order to kill the Hydra of Lerna, Heracles and his nephew (Iolaus) burned the severed stumps. Thus, the wounds were cauterized, and thus the heads could not regenerate.


The Hydra was integrated by Hera into the constellations Hydra and Cancer.

If you want to know more about the history of this creature, we invite you to take a look at our article on the Hydra of Lerna, where you will certainly learn a lot!

Hercules battling hydra

Hercules battling hydra, John Singer-Sargent, 1921

4. Python

Snake, human, dragon or all three? Pytho, or Python, was considered a colossal snake, or dragon. On the paintings of the vases and the sculptures, he took the features of a snake. However, various stories showed him in human form.

Similar to Echidna?

The python was presented several times as a male or female dragon. Some sources liken it to Echidna, a drakaina half woman, half snake, who was in couple with the giant and devastating Typhon.

Son of the Great Flood:

According to some legends, he was born from decaying mud caused by the Great Flood.

His mission:

He had been selected by Gaia (the earth), his mother, to protect the sacred oracle of Delphoi (Delphi).

His rival:

Python was the main chthonian rival of Apollo, protective god of Delphi.

His story:

In the version delivered by Hyginus, the latter tells us the following things: Zeus slept with the goddess Leto. The latter was then to give birth to Artemis and Apollo. Hera charged Python to chase the goddess so that she could not give birth.

When the child Apollo grew up, he wanted revenge. He went directly to find Python at his home on Mount Parnassus. He pursued him to the oracle of Gaia in Delphi. He entered the sanctuary and killed him with a volley of a hundred arrows.

Apollo was from the ancient dwelling of Python, his personal oracle.

Apollo slaying the Python

Apollo slaying the Python

5. Colchis Dragon

Known as Drakon Kolkhikos, the dragon of Colchis had the immense privilege of having the word "dragon" in its name!

His parents:

This creature was one of the sons of Typhon and Echidna. This is what made him famous.

His physique:

According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, this giant snake had a crest and three tongues.

His mission:

According to the legend, this dragon was insomniac. He never took a break and never let his guard down. An excellent guardian, in short! Good thing, that was his job! Indeed, the monster's main objective was to secure the Golden Fleece in the sacred grove of Ares in Colchia.

His death:

The witch Medea plunged him into a deep sleep with her magic and some medicines. Or, according to other versions, Orpheus put her to sleep with his lyre. So Jason and the Argonauts were able to get hold of the famous Golden Fleece.

In another version, which can only be seen on painted vases, Jason was first eaten by the monster, before being regurgitated.

His magical teeth:

The teeth of the Colchis dragon were recovered by King Aeetes, for their magical characteristics. He asked Jason to plant them in a sacred field in Ares. Once sown, a clan of warrior men, the Spartans, sprang from the earth in their adult state.

dragon of Colchis

The dragon of Colchis

6. Ismenian Dragon

The Drakon Ismenios (Ismenian dragon) was a gigantic snake.

His parents:

He was the son of Ares, god of offensive war and destruction, in Greek mythology.

His mission:

He was in charge of protecting the sacred spring of Ares, not far from Thebes.

His story:

When Kadmos (Cadmus) arrived to found the city of Thebes, he sent soldiers to fetch water. His men were killed by the Ismenian dragon.

Kadmos then took care of the problem on his own. He neutralized the Ismenian serpent with a heavy stone.

The goddess Athena commanded him to plant the dragon's teeth. The harvest was fruitful: fierce warriors armed with weapons and adults, called Spartans, rose from the earth. They killed each other, except five of them: Echion, Udaeus, Chthonius, Hyperenor and Pelor. These five later became the ancestral lords of Thebes.

Thereafter, Ares avenged his Ismenian son, turning Kadmos and his wife into snakes.

Kadmos and the Ismenian dragon

Cadmus fighting the Ismenian dragon - amphora from Euboea, ca. 560–550 BC

7. Scythian Dracaena

Her physique:

From head to waist, Scythian Dracaena (Drakaina Skythia) was a woman. Underneath, she had a snake's tail for legs.

Her story:

One day, Hercules traveled to Scythia with the herd of Geryon. While Hercules slept, a woman named Scythian Dracaena stole some of the cattle.

When he awoke, Heracles (Hercules) valiantly searched for them in every corner of the country. When he returned to Hylaea, he found in a cave the famous creature, which was the queen of that country.

The Scythian Dracaena then proposed to Heracles an association, before sending the animals away. He accepted and then became, through him, the ancestor of an ancient line of Scythian kings, who may have identified with the Echidna.

Scythian Dracaena

Dracaena Scythian

8. Chimera

The Khimaira (Chimera) was a three-headed monster that was wreaking havoc in the Lykia (Lycia) region of Anatolia. According to Homeric poems, the Chimera was of divine origin.

Her parents:

She was the daughter of Typhon and Echidna.


She was a rather strange monster, which breathed fire. Her name was probably inspired by the volcano named Chimaera, near Phaselis, in Lycia.

An atypical physique:

The least we can say is that her physique was special. She had a lion's body and head, a goat's head sticking out of her back, the udders of a goat and a snake as a tail!

Her story:

The hero Bellerophon, having been ordered by King Iobatès to kill the monster, set out to meet the Chimera on the back of the winged horse Pegasos. He drove a sharp lead spear into its flaming throat, causing the Chimera to suffocate by melting the metal.


According to Greek mythology, Pegasos, who was the rival of the Chimera, was positioned among the stars, like the constellation Pegasus, which rises in the spring. Khimaira was probably juxtaposed with the latter and associated with the constellation of Capricorn, whose rising announced the arrival of winter. Indeed, Capricorn has a goat's head and a snake-like tail, two parts found in the Chimera.

An inspiring story:

A Greco-Roman mosaic suggests that the medieval representations of St. George killing the dragon on his horse are strongly inspired by the Greco-Roman representations of Bellerophon killing the Chimera on his winged horse.



9. Sea Monster of Ethiopia

Ketos Aithiopios was a sea monster.

His mission:

This creature was charged by Poseidon with the destruction of Ethiopia. This was decided as punishment for the "excessiveness" and pride of Queen Cassiopeia, who considered her daughter Andromeda more beautiful than the Nereids.

His story:

To calm the anger of the deities of the sea, the girl was tied to a rock as a sacrifice. That's when Perseus landed. He watched the girl, flew away, killed the monster and took her as his wife. Some say Perseus turned the monster into stone... It is said to be a rock near the Lebanese city of Joppa (frequented by ancient travelers).


The sea monster, along with Perseus, Andromeda and his parents, King Kepheus (Cepehus) and Queen Kassiopeia, were placed among the stars of the sky as constellations.

Perseus Andromeda and Ketos Aithiopios

Perseus, Andromeda and Ketos Aithiopios - Corinthian vase

10. Trojan Sea Monster

The Trojan sea monster (Trojan Cetus) was a giant of the seas.

His mission:

The Trojan sea monster was also missioned by Poseidon. In his case, it was to invade the land of Troy.

His history:

When Laomedon built the city of Troy, Poseidon and Apollo, who had rebelled against Zeus, were condemned to serve Laomedon, against payment.

So Poseidon built the walls of Troy, while Apollo took charge of the king's cattle on Mount Ida. According to some, Poseidon received help from Eaque. But it turned out that the part built by Eaque was the weakest. Here, the wall could have been easily pulverized.

When the two gods had done their work, Laomedon refused to pay them as he had promised, and expelled them... a great mistake!

Vase representing the sea monster of Troy

Poseidon punished this breach of promise by sending a sea monster to the territory of Troy to devastate everything.

An oracle said that the only way to escape this terrible punishment was to offer the king's daughter as a sacrifice. King Laomedon did so, by hindering Hezione to the rocks.

Heracles undertook to save the girl, if Laomedon gave her the horses that Tros had received from Zeus, as compensation for Ganymede. Laomedon promised to provide them. But Laomedon, being a good traitor, once again forgot to keep his word, after Heracles had killed the sea monster and saved Hezione.

Heracles, quite angry, embarked with a squadron of six ships to Troy. There he slaughtered Laomedon, with all his sons except Podarces (Priam). He got Telamon to marry Hezione.

Hercules saving Hesione

Hercules saving Hesione

To go further in your love of the Dragons from Greek Mythology, don't hesitate to check out these incredible products, inspired by the ancient legends :

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