While writing Dragon Over Washington, I had to extensively research dragons. I read and analyzed dragon legends from the Middle East, from India, from the Far East and of course Roman and Greek dragons.
So, here are some of the more interesting things I’ve uncovered about Roman and Greek dragons.
Five Attributes Common to the dragons from the Roman and Greek Myths:
1. Poison. Almost every dragon has poison breath, blood or claws tipped with venom. The Hydra Hercules killed had poison blood. The Basilisk had poison blood as well. The dragon Cadmus killed also had poison blood.
2. Reptilian. The Roman Greek dragons were almost always reptilian. Even the huge monster Perseus killed was reptilian in nature.
3. Snake shaped. The Roman Greek dragons were without exception snake shaped, actually huge snakes with some other abilities or mutation. The notion that the dragon looked something like the dinosaurs (huge body held above the ground by mostly four limbs) came much later.
4. No Flying ability. Again, the Roman Green dragons usually could not fly. They could slither, swim and run but not fly. The exception to this rule are the dragons of the witch Medea, who could fly and pulled her chariot.
5. Size. All of the dragons in the Green and Roman Myths were huge. Starting from the dragon Cadmus fought who was big enough to kill and eat his entire entourage to the sea dragon Perseus killed, the dragons were truly gigantic.