Python, the dragon / snake from Greek mythology


PYTHON
THE SNAKE DRAGON


Apollo and the python, Peter Paul Rubens, 1636, Oil on canvas, Museo del Prado, Madrid (Spain)

Python was a gigantic and fearful dragon / snake according to some born from the mud left on earth after the universal flood, while according to others it was created by the goddess Hera from evil vapors to persecute Leto, the lover of Zeus from whose union Apollo and Artemis were born .

It is not known exactly where Python lived: according to most he lived near the city of Delfo where he kept the homonymous oracle; according to others he lived in the valley of Crisa in Phocis near Delfo.

It was so big that it is said that it could have encircled the city of Delphus with its coils six times as gigantic!

However, it is certain that Python was killed by the god Apollo. The reasons for this killing are different according to the various scholars: according to some because Apollo wanted for himself the oracle of Delphus guarded by Python; according to others because Python had persecuted Leto, the mother of Apollo; according to others because Apollo wanted to build his own temple where Python lived. Whatever the reasons that led Apollo to kill Python, he was eventually killed by the arrows that Hephaestus had built for Apollo and it all took to end the life of the serpent. Once killed, Apollo let the body of Python rot in the sun (probably his name derives from this because in Greek pyzein means "to rot") and took his skin to cover the tripod where he sat in his temple at Delphus.

Apollo in this way took possession of the oracle of Delphus and gave the oracle priestess the name of Pythia which means "Pythoness".


Mythology [edit]

Python, sometimes written Python, presided at the Delphic oracle, which existed in the cult center for its mother, Gaia, "Earth", Pytho being the place name that was substituted for the earlier Krisa. [1] Greeks considered the site to be the center of the earth, represented by a stone, the omphalos or navel, which Python guarded.

Python became the chthonic enemy of the later Olympian deity Apollo, who slew it and took over Python's former home and oracle. These were the most famous and revered in the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. [2] Like many monsters, Python was known as Gaia's son and prophesied as Gaia's son. Therefore, Apollo had to eliminate this opponent before establishing his temple in Delphoi. [3]


Versions and interpretations [edit]

There are various versions of Python's birth and death at the hands of Apollo. In the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, now thought to have been composed in 522 BCE when the archaic period in Greek history was giving way to the Classical period, [5] a small detail is provided regarding Apollo's combat with the serpent, in some sections identified as the deadly drakaina, or her parent.

The version related by Hyginus [6] holds that when Zeus lay with the goddess Leto, and she became pregnant with Artemis and Apollo, Hera was jealous and sent Python to pursue Leto throughout the lands, to prevent her from giving birth to the twin gods . Thus when Apollo was grown he wanted to avenge his mother's plight and pursued Python, making his way straight for Mount Parnassus where the serpent dwelled and chased it to the oracle of Gaia at Delphi there he dared to penetrate the sacred precinct and kill it with his arrows beside the rock cleft where the priestess sat on her tripod. Robert Graves, who habitually read into primitive myths a retelling of archaic political and social turmoil, saw in this the capture by Hellenes of a pre-Hellenic shrine. "To placate local opinion at Delphi," he wrote in The Greek Myths, "regular funeral games were instituted in honor of the dead hero Python, and her priestess was retained in office."

The politics are conjectural, but the myth reports that Zeus ordered Apollo to purify himself for the sacrilege and instituted the Pythian Games, over which Apollo was to preside, as penance for his act.

Erwin Rohde wrote that the Python was an earth spirit, who was conquered by Apollo, and buried under the omphalos and that it is a case of one god setting up his temple on the grave of another. [7]

The priestess of the oracle at Delphi became known as the Pythia, after the place-name Pytho, which Greeks explained as named after the rotting (πύθειν) of the slain serpent's corpse in the strength of Hyperion (day) or Helios (the sun) . [8]

Karl Kerenyi notes that the older tales mentioned two dragons who were perhaps intentionally conflated. [9] A female dragon named Delphyne (Δελφύνη cf. δελφύς, "womb"), [10] and a male serpent Typhon (Τυφῶν from τύφειν, "to smoke"), the adversary of Zeus in the Titanomachy, who the narrators confused with Python. [11] [12] Python was the good daemon (ἀγαθὸς δαίμων) of the temple as it appears in Minoan religion, [13] but she was represented as a dragon, as often happens in Northern European folklore as well as in the East. [14]

This myth has been described as an allegory for the dispersal of the fogs and clouds of vapor that arise from ponds and marshes (Python) by the rays of the sun (the arrows of Apollo). [15]


Seven-headed snake mythology

Policefalia - Wikipeds

Findings in Mythology Mesopotamian Mythology. Mušmaḫḫu, seven-headed snake related to Ninurta, Ningishzida and sometimes to Mušḫuššu Greek mythology. It is described as a large amphibious sea serpent with nine heads that regrow if they were cut and of which the central one was Heracles and Mythology.

(Greek Hýdra Latin Hydra). Fabulous monster of Greek mythology: daughter of Echidna and Typhon, she was a water snake with seven or more heads than. Ortro (also Otro or Orto, from the Greek Ορθρος) is a monstrous creature of ancient Greek mythology, son of the gigantic demon Typhon and of the. Premise . It is possible to trace a presence, however transfigured, in the ancient mythical tales of creatures belonging to the race. mythology Monstrous mythological snake with many heads (from three to nine and more), which were reborn if cut. Generated by Typhon and Echidna, she lived in the swamp of.

Hydra of Lerna - Wikipeds

  • Vishnu rests on snake give her sevenheads Sesha (Duration) or Ananda (Infinity) while dreaming of the creation of the Universe.
  • The serpent symbol were insulted by Ezekiel because they acquired knowledge from their own heads History, Faith, Search Truth, Mythology.
  • Some legends refer to other seven Ōkami - The entire plot of the video game is based on mythology appears as a giant eight-headed snake.
  • Famous is the case of Thelma and Louise, a two-headed snake from the San Diego Zoo, who died recently, after giving birth to 15 normal children
  • In Greek mythology, the Chimera was a terrible winged monster of divine origin, and which had, according to some testimonies, a lion's head, a goat's head.
  • and Sanskrit which means serpent king in Indian mythology indicates the king of the Nagas.
  • .. (snake), and was said to have three heads. who also defeated Ladone with the hundred heads and Scylla (mythology), with the seven crowned heads and the.

In Greek mythology Ladon, an eight-headed serpent snake (although he thinks you must have been a seven-headed chicken-headed lizard. Mountain snake, the mythological creature has three heads (at least) and seven tails. Many legends and many. Hydra: Fabulous monster from Greek mythology: daughter of Echidna and Typhon, she was a water snake with seven or more heads that, when cut, grew back alive. See contact information and details about NAGA Onlus. Jump to. Naga , seven-headed snake of Indian mythology, The snake, the principle itself Mythology and astronomy One part and the adjacent ones called Head and Tail of the snake, the seven-headed monster defeated by the Greek hero od.

Seven-headed horse of Surya. GANA. in Indian mythology, Sanskrit term meaning serpent king in Indian mythology indicates the king of the Nagas. The 10 monsters of Greek Mythology that was not represented as a nine-headed sea serpent and devoured the seven maidens and the seven out of breath. .. Russians and Tatars, in which is a snake with seven you. in which is a serpent with seven heads in the The name of the giants of Greek mythology was extended to. Mythology. Iconography a huge red dragon with ten horns and seven heads with seven diadems tried to devour the male child of a serpent the Leviathan. .

Monsters and Legendary Creatures: Cerberus, the three-headed dog - The three-headed creature from Greek mythology guarding the kingdom of mortals BOOK TRAILER Fantastic Beasts - The myths of the Greek, Roman and Etruscan world The first complete bestiary of classical mythology. with texts by professors. In Hindu mythology Airavata is often represented with four fangs and seven serpent-spirits present in multi-headed mythology.In Vedic and Hindu mythology it is said of and a serpent king, a naga, wraps himself seven times around the body of the Buddha forming a roof with his seven heads The Akkadian Serpent had seven heads, as many as there are in Principles in Nature and in Man. In Greek mythology, Zeus is represented as a Serpent.

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Hydra (mythology) - Knowing

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Ortro, the two-headed dog - Monsters and Legendary Creatures

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Antonio Marcianò - Snakes in mythology

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Hydra in the Treccan Encyclopedia

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The Code of Creators and the Order of the Serpent - acam

Around these gods a very rich mythology was born, the essences of seven divinities were created. An eight-headed snake called Koshi lived here. In Hindu mythology one of the Suryas moves in the skies on a golden chariot drawn by a seven-headed horse, the thousand-headed serpent.

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Chthonic divinities: who they were and why they were

of Cecilia Manfredi

If you have attended high school in Italy, it is very likely that you can count on a knowledge of classical antiquity (epic poems, mythology, but also general culture) that is nothing short of superior to the rest of the world. One of my favorite topics from Greek mythology, however, is also one of the least known: the chthonic deities.

Religious figures considered as belonging - or at least referring - to a religious substratum prior to the Olympic gods (Zeus and company), were once also considered to be in strong opposition to the latter, but several more recent studies show that there are points of contact between these two generations of Hellenic mythology. But let's start from the beginning.

Chtonio (χθóνιος in Greek) is an adjective that derives from the term χθών, "Earth" (understood above all as subsoil), and the chthonic divinities are linked to two fundamental and antithetical aspects of the depths of the earth: fertility and the afterlife.
The most famous religious figure who moves between these two extremes is Persephone, the daughter of Demeter (goddess of fertility) who is kidnapped by Hades (god of the underworld) and is later forced to live six months of her life in the Hereafter and six months on Olympus. The abduction of Persephone is also an integral part of the Eleusinian Mysteries, ancient esoteric rites of which relatively little is still known and which date back to the Mycenaean era (1600/1100 BC). Persephone may be revered as an Olympic deity in her aspect of Kore, the maiden who collects flowers and represents spring, but becomes chthonic when her role as queen of the dead is considered.
Hades himself is sometimes seen as a sort of avatar of Zeus (the heavenly father, who can't be more Olympian), in his aspect of Zeus of the dead.
Another Olympic divinity with a relevant chthonic characteristic is Hermes, in his role as a psychopomp, or accompanying the souls of the dead in the afterlife. Hermes could have descended from a sort of snake-god, and his symbol is precisely the caduceus (a stick around which two snakes twist). The caduceus is often confused with the staff of Asclepius (similar, but without wings and characterized by a single snake), another divinity who possesses chthonic characteristics despite being of Olympic ancestry. Son of Apollo, Asclepius is the god of medicine and as such a mediator between life and death.

Flying Mercury (Ermes) - Giambologna, 1580, Bargello National Museum (FI)

It is no coincidence that both Hermes and Asclepius are linked to the symbol of the snake, which has a self-evident connection with the earth and whose bite can be deadly.
Apollo and the snake return in the myth of the foundation of the sanctuary of Delphi.
Python - identified as drakon in Greek, but always represented as a snake - he was the ancient guardian of Delphi, at the time a sanctuary dedicated to Gaea, Mother Earth. For some reason (there are several versions of the myth), Apollo kills him and Delphi thus becomes an Apollonian place of worship. The priestly figure of the refounded sanctuary is the Pythia, whose name refers to Python and which represents a rare case of a female priest in the Greek religion. The Pythia prophet after inhaling the vapors that come from a crack in the ground, a shamanic feature very far from all that Apollo represents (ecstasy was usually associated with cults linked to the figure of Dionysus).
The clash between Apollo, representative of the Olympic gods, and Python, a chthonic figure, is a rather literal portrait of the ancient religions linked to the earth supplanted by a new cult. Even the myths of the Titanomachy and the Gigantomachy refer to this clash of religions, from which the twelve Olympic gods always emerge as winners.

Echidna (Park of the Monsters of Bomarzo)

Among the more purely chthonic figures, we find several monstrous beings. The most suitable examples are certainly Echidna is Typhoon, whose epithets often refer to their role as mother and father of all monsters.
The ancestry of Echidna, in the various myths, always refers to the depth of the earth or the sea and / or to the Titans. Echidna is described as half a beautiful woman, half (but come on?) Snake. Typhon is the last son of Gaea and Tartarus, his appearance is described in various ways, but with the constant of serpentine attributes.
The sons of Echidna and Typhon are some of the most famous figures of the myth: the Gorgons, Cerberus, the Hydra, the Sphinx, Scylla, the Dragon of Colchi is the Chimera.

Medusa, one of the best known gorgons (Caravaggio, ca 1957, Uffizi Gallery, Florence)

Although composed of very different creatures, this offspring have some common characteristics. The Gorgons, the Hydra, the Sphinx, the Dragon of Colchi and the Chimera are always represented with attributes that refer to the symbol of the snake. The Hydra, Scylla, the Sphinx and Cerberus perform the function of guardians and have the power of life and death over those who meet them (Cerberus is the guardian of the Underworld and the Hydra watches over one of the passages to reach the Hereafter, located under his home at Lake Lerna).
The events of these monsters are always linked to - and often concluded by - representatives of the new religion: the Hydra, the Sphinx, the Dragon of Colchi and the Gorgons die from Heracles, Oedipus, Jason and Perseus. According to a late Greek myth, Heracles also kills Scylla.

Cerberus does not die, but is rendered harmless by Orpheus. Zeus slaughters Typhon, while an emissary of Hera, Argus of the Hundred Eyes, kills Echidna.
Once they met heroes or gods tormented by daddy issues various, the mortality rate of these monsters became quite high.

Even in non-Hellenic mythological figures there are figures that refer to an older substratum of beliefs - for example, the Cretan snake goddess and the Osco-Umbrian divinity Angizia, of which we do not have much news but which seem to be linked again to fertility and which they have symbolic links with snakes.
In Egypt, Renenutet she was a goddess linked to fertility (she protected crops and food, but also attended births) and was portrayed as a woman with a cobra face. In addition, the royal headdress of the Pharaoh, perhaps the most famous serpentine symbol of non-Greek antiquity, includes a cobra representing the goddess Wadjet, protector of Lower Egypt.

- The Gods of Ancient Greece: Identities and Transformations - Jan Bremmer, Andrew Erskine (2013)
- Greek Religion - Walter Burkert (1985)


List of dragons [edit]

Typhon [edit]

Typhon was the most fearsome monster of Greek mythology. The last son of Gaia, Typhon was, with his mate Echidna, the father of many other monsters. He is usually envisioned as humanoid from the waist up, serpentine below.

Ladon [edit]

Ladon was the serpent-like drakon (dragon, a word more commonly used) that twined round the tree in the Garden of the Hesperides and guarded the golden apples. Ladon was also said to have as many as one hundred heads. He was overcome and possibly slain by Heracles. After a few years, the Argonauts passed by the same spot, on their chthonic return journey from Colchis at the opposite end of the world, and heard the lament of "shining" Aigle, one of the Hesperides, and viewed the still-twitching Ladon (Argonautics, book iv). The creature is associated with the constellation Draco. Ladon was given several parentages, each of which placed him at an archaic level in Greek myth: the offspring of "Ceto, joined in love with Phorcys" (Hesiod, Theogony 333) or of Typhon, who was himself serpent-like from the waist down, and Echidna (Bibliotheke 2.113 Hyginus, Preface to Fabulae) or of Gaia herself, or in her Olympian manifestation, Hera: "The Dragon which guarded the golden apples was the brother of the Nemean lion" asserted Ptolemy Hephaestion (recorded in his New History V, lost but epitomized in Photius, Myriobiblion 190).

Lernaean Hydra [edit]

The Lernaean Hydra was a dragon-like water serpent with fatally venomous breath, blood and fangs, a daughter of Typhon and Echidna. The creature was said to have anywhere between five and 100 heads, although most sources put the number somewhere between seven and nine. For each head cut off, one or two more grew back in its place. It had an immortal head which would remain alive after it was cut off. Some accounts claim that the immortal head was made of gold. It lived in a swamp near Lerna and frequently terrorized the townsfolk until it was slain by Heracles, who cut the heads off, with the help of his nephew Iolaus, who then singed the oozing stump with a blazing firebrand to prevent any new heads from growing , as the second of his Twelve Labors. Hera sent a giant crab to distract Heracles, but he simply crushed it under his foot. Hera then placed it in the heavens as the constellation Cancer. After slaying the serpent, Heracles buried the immortal head under a rock and dipped his arrows in the creature's blood to make them fatal to his enemies. In one version, the poisoned arrows would eventually prove to be the undoing of his centaur tutor Chiron, who was placed in the heavens as the constellation Centaurus.

Pytho or Python and Delphyne [edit]

In Greek mythology Python was the earth-dragon of Delphi, always represented in the vase-paintings and by sculptors as a serpent. Various myths represented Python as being either male or female (a drakaina). Python was the chthonic enemy of Apollo, who slew it and remade its former home his own oracle, the most famous in Greece. In some myths the dragon was called Delphyne.

There are various versions of Python's birth and death at the hands of Apollo. In the earliest, the Homeric Hymn to Apollo, little detail is given about Apollo's combat with the serpent or its parentage. The version related by Hyginus [5] holds that when Zeus lay with the goddess Leto, and she was to deliver Artemis and Apollo, Hera sent Python to pursue her throughout the lands, so that she could not be delivered wherever the sun shone. Thus when the infant was grown he pursued the python, making his way straight for Mount Parnassus where the serpent dwelled, and chased it to the oracle of Gaia at Delphi, and dared to penetrate the sacred precinct and kill it with his arrows beside the rock cleft where the priestess sat on her tripod. The priestess of the oracle at Delphi became known as the Pythia, after the place-name Pytho, which was named after the rotting (πύθειν) of the serpent's corpse after it was slain.

The Colchian dragon [edit]

Known as Drakôn Kolkhikos, (Greek: Δρακων Κολχικος , Georgian: კოლხური დრაკონი , romanized: k'olkhuri drak'oni , Dragon of Colchis) this immense serpent, a child of Typhon and Echidna, guarded the Golden Fleece at Colchis. [6] It was said to never sleep, rest, or lower its vigilance. According to Ovid's Metamorphoses, the monster had a crest and three tongues. [7] When Jason went to retrieve the Fleece, the witch Medea put the dragon to sleep with her magic and drugs, or perhaps Orpheus lulled it to sleep with his lyre. Afterwards, Medea herself had dragons pull her chariot.

The Ismenian dragon [ edit ]

The Ismenian Serpent, of the spring of Ismene at Thebes, Greece, was slain by the hero Cadmus. [8] It was the offspring of Ares, who later turned the hero into a serpent. [9]

Helios' dragons [ edit ]

According to Apollodorus, the sun god Helios had a chariot, drawn by "winged dragons", which he gave to his granddaughter Medea. [10]

Scythian Dracaena [ edit ]

She was a woman from the waist up with a serpent's tail in place of legs. When Heracles was traveling through Scythia with the cattle of Geryon, she stole some of the herd when the hero was sleeping. When Heracles woke searched for them, visiting every part of the country, and he came to the land called the Hylaea (Greek: Ὑλαίην ), and there he found in a cave the creature, which was the queen of that country. She insisted the hero mate with her before she would return them. He did so and through her became the ancestor of an ancient line of Scythian kings. [11] It may have identified with the Echidna.

Gigantomachian Dragon [ edit ]

A dragon that was thrown at Athena during the Gigantomachy. She threw it into the sky where it became the constellation Draco. [12]


I draghi più celebri dei miti norreni

La mitologia norrena è la cultura che feconda draghi, li nutre e nei suoi racconti si narrano di creature eccezionali.

  • The Serpente di Midgard, anche detto Jörmungandr (or Miðgarðsormr), nato da una gigantessa, è il figlio di Loki, dio del fuoco e del caos. Secondo la leggenda, Odino gettò Jormungand nell’oceano umano e il drago serpente crebbe fino ad avere le dimensioni della Terra. Si dice che alla fine del mondo, durante l’ultima battaglia (Ragnarǫk), Jormungand si scontrerà con Thor, il dio dei fulmini: divinità e drago-serpente moriranno entrambi.
  • Fafnir era un nano, figlio del mago Hreidman. Il mito racconta che, quando Loki uccise per errore il fratello del nano, Otr, risarcì Hreidman con in dono un anello magico per avergli ucciso il figlio. Scoppiò una guerra fratricida per impossessarsi dell’oggetto magico e alla fine Fafnir ebbe la meglio, ma la sua avarizia lo trasformò in drago. Con il tempo divenne custode di molte ricchezze tanto da attirare l’invidia di Regin, un altro fratello, e di Sigurd, nipote adottivo. Sigurd ferì Fafnir con la nobile spada Gramr e poi si immerse nel suo sangue, dalla proprietà magiche, per avere il dono dell’invulnerabilità. L’eroe uccise poi anche Regin, che voleva tradirlo, e si impossessò del tesoro e dell’anello magico. Ma si sa, la storia non finisce qui. E sventure colpiscono chi si è mostrato avaro.
  • Niddhog (or Niddhogr) era il primo drago nordico temuto, che abitava alle radici dell’albero della conoscenza, Yggdrasil, e si cibava dei malvagi. La leggenda racconta che spesso Niddhog mangiava le radici di Yggdrasil, nutrendosi della conoscenza e della vita stessa. Il drago era il male che assorbiva la vita. Cosa ne sarà dell’albero della conoscenza dopo Ragnarǫk? La vita finirà?
Ragnarok: gli arcani supremi

Il fascino dei draghi alimenta l’immaginazione di piccoli e adulti, rendendo possibile quel mondo parallelo inesistente nella realtà nostra, e creando la dimensione altra dove le terribili e meravigliose creature alate esistono e vivono, combattono e distruggono il loro mondo per poi ricrearlo e trasformarlo in una nuova dimensione.


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