Greek Mythology >> Bestiary >> Dragons >> Dragon of the Serpent-Born (Ophiogeneikos)


Greek Name

Δρακων Οφιογενεικος


Drakôn Ophiogeneikos

Latin Spelling

Draco Ophiogenicus


Serpent-Born's Dragon

THE DRAKON OPHIOGENEIKOS (Dragon of the Serpent-Born) was a giant serpent which guarded a sacred grove of the goddess Artemis in north-eastern Mysia. It impregnated a maiden named Halia when she was visiting the shrine and she birthed Ophiogenes "the Serpent-Born", ancestor of the Ophiogenees tribe.

According to Strabo, Crates of Pergamon and Varro a tribe of men named Ophiogenees (the Serpent-Born) lived in the region of Parium on the Hellespont. They were said to be able to cure poisonous snake-bites with a simple touch of the hand.


Presumably GAIA (the Earth), though nowhere stated


Strabo, Geography 13. 1. 14 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The city Parion (Parium) is situated on the sea [the Hellespontos]; it has a larger harbor than Priapos . . . Here is told the mythical story that the Ophiogeneis are akin to the serpent tribe : and they say that the males of the Ophiogeneis cure snake-bitten people by continuous stroking, after the manner of enchanters, first transferring the livid color to their own bodies and then stopping both the inflammation and the pain. According to the myth, the original founder of the tribe, a certain hero, changed from a serpent (ophis) into a man."

Aelian, On Animals 12. 39 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"Halia (Sea Brine), the daughter of Sybaris, was entering a grove of Artemis, the grove was in Phrygia [Mysia], when a divine Drakon (Dragon-Serpent) appeared to her--it was of immense size--and lay with her. And from this union sprang the Ophiogeneis (Snake-born) of the first generation."




Other references not currently quoted here: Pliny Natural History, Crates Grammatica, Varro Prician.Inst.10.32.


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