Everyone Loves a Dragon Tale

Smithsonian Magazine

Dragons: A Brief History of the Mythical, Fire-Breathing Beasts

by Benjamin Radford, Live Science Contributor

Dragons are among the most popular and enduring of the world’s mythological creatures.

Dragon tales are known in many cultures, from the Americas to Europe, and from India to China. They have a long and rich history in many forms and continue to populate our books, films and television shows.

It’s not clear when or where stories of dragons first emerged, but the huge, flying serpents were described at least as early as the age of the ancient Greeks and Sumerians. For much of history dragons were thought of as being like any other mythical animal: sometimes useful and protective, other times harmful and dangerous. [Top 10 Beasts and Dragons: How Reality Made Myth]

Smaug the Golden Imgur





Greensboro Science Center

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  1. the Moscow coat of arms shows a guy on a horse spearing a winged dragon. It just so happens that the winged dragon was the symbol for Tartaria. Coincidence?

    • serenus, I did not know about the Moscow coat of arms….same as St. George the dragon slayer.

  2. To have so many different cultures have the same mythos presupposes the same source. I wonder if any Native American cultures have dragon lore. Since dragons pre-existed before “christianity” (who just used an existing legend, as always), it is possible the legend may have had a real source in antiquity. No one has found dragon fossils yet. Or have they?

    • Harry, What I find interesting is that when they started finding dinosaur bones, those would fit in quite nicely with the dragon theme.

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