Greek Mythology >> Bestiary >> Dragons >> Dragon Cychreides (Drakon Kykhreides)


Greek Name

Δρακων Κυχρειδης


Drakôn Kykhreidês

Latin Spelling

Draco Cychreides


Dragon of Cychreus

THE DRAKON KYKHREIDES (Dragon Cychreides) was a giant serpent which terrorised the island of Salamis. According to some it was slain by King Kykhreus (Cychreus). In other accounts the king raised the beast and it was instead driven from the island by the hero Eurylokhos (Eurylochus). The serpent then swam across the sea to Eleusis where it became a familiar of the goddess Demeter.


Probably GAIA, though nowhere stated


CYCHREUS or CENCHREUS (Kuchreus), a son of Poseidon and Salamis, became king of the island of Salamis, which was called after him Cychreia, and which he delivered from a dragon. He was subsequently honoured as a hero, and had a sanctuary in Salamis. (Apollod. iii. 12. § 7; Diod. iv. 72.) According to other traditions, Cychreus himself was called a dragon on account of his savage nature, and was expelled from Salamis by Eurylochus; but he was received by Demeter at Eleusis, and appointed a priest to her temple. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Kuchreios.) Others again said that Cychreus had brought up a dragon, which was expelled by Eurylochus. (Strab. ix. p. 393.) There was a tradition that, while the battle of Salamis was going on, a dragon appeared in one of the Athenian ships, and that an oracle declared this dragon to be Cychreus. (Paus. i. 36. § 1; comp. Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 110, 175; Plut. Thes. 10, Solon. 9.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 161 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Kykhreus (Cychreus) had become king [of the island of Salamis] by killing a Serpent which was preying on the island."

Strabo, Geography 9. 1. 9 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"And it is from the hero [Kykhreus (Cychreus)] that the serpent Kykhreides (Cychreides) took its name--the serpent which, according to Hesiod, was fostered by Kychreus [on Salamis] and driven out by Eurylokhos (Eurylochus) because it was damaging the island, and was welcomed to Eleusis by Demeter and made her attendant."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 72. 4 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Kykhreus (Cychreus) became king of this island [Salamis] and acquired fame by reason of his slaying a Snake of huge size which was destroying the inhabitants of the island."




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