What are Dragons?
The dragon is a fabulous monster. It is generally envisaged asa massive, winged fire breathing lizard or snake. The word reached English from Greek via Latin and French. It can be translated as "sharp sighted". The equivalent English word Drake or fire-drake is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'draca'.
Their form has varied from the beginning. Tiamat, the primal dragon of the Chaldaens, possessed four legs, a scaly body and wings, whereas the Egyptian Apep was a monstrous snake. Beowulf's dragon is also described as a snake (wyrm) but Sigurd's has legs, in spite of its snake-like movements, because he wounds it "behind the shoulder". Dragons often had lashing, barbed tails, sometimes with a sting at the end.
The first dragons, like Tiamet, were deities and they could only be killed by other deities. These first dragons, incarnations of primal chaos, were so varied in nature as to deny classification. Later, lesser dragons were somewhat more consistent however and in the days when people still believed in dragons scholars classified them in to several types depending on body shape and habitat.
In some gnostic scripture the defenders of heaven are dragons.
In the Bible Tiamat is referenced in Revelations as a dragon with seven heads and a great destroyer of the world.
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