Web Theoi
DRAKON PHRYGIOS
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Δρακονες Φρυγιοι Drakones Phrygioi Dracones Phrygium Serpents of Phrygia

THE DRAKONES PHRYGIOI were gigantic serpents believed to inhabit the Phrygian highlands of central Anatolia. During the day they stood on the tips of their tails attracting birds with their magical breath. At night they ambushed shepherds returning from the hills with their flocks.


Aelian, On Animals 2. 21 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"But according to accounts from Phrygia there are Drakones (Dragons, Serpents) in Phrygia too, and these grow to a length of sixty feet [18 metres], and every day in mid-summer creep out of their lairs. And on the banks of the river Rhyndakos (Rhyndacus) while supporting part of their coils on the ground, they raise the rest of their body and, steadily and silently extending their neck, open their mouth and attract birds by their breath, as it were by a spell. And the birds descend, feathers and all, into their stomach, drawn in by the Drakones' breathing. And these singular practices they continue until sundown; next, the Drakones hide and lie in wait for the flocks, and as they return to the sheepfolds from the pasture they fall upon them, and after a terrible slaughter they have frequently killed the herdsmen as well, thus obtaining a generous and abundant feast."


Sources:

  • Aelian, On Animals - Greek Natural History C2nd - C3rd A.D.