Drakon: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Worlds

Hardcover | March 12, 2013

byDaniel Ogden

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Drakon: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Wolrds is the first substantial survey to be focally devoted to the 'dragon' or the supernatural serpent, the drakon or draco, in Greek and Roman myth and religion. Almost every major myth cycle of the Greek and Roman worlds featureda dragon-fight at its heart, including the sagas of Heracles, Jason, Perseus, Cadmus, and Odysseus. Asclepius, the single most beloved and influential of the pagan gods from the late Classical period until Late Antiquity, was often manifest as a giant serpent and even in his humanoid aspect carrieda serpent on his staff.Detailed and authoritative, but lucidly presented, this volume incorporates analyses of all of antiquity's major dragon-slaying myths, and offers comprehensive accounts of the rich sources, literary and iconographic. Ogden also explores matters of cult and the initially paradoxical association ofdragons and serpents with the most benign of deities, not only those of health and healing, like Asclepius and Hygieia, but also those of wealth and good luck, such as Zeus Meilichios and Agathos Daimon. The concluding chapter considers the roles of both pagan dragon-slaying narratives and pagan serpent cults in shaping the beginnings of the tradition of the saintly dragon- and serpent-slaying tales we cherish still, the tradition that culminates in our own stories of Saints George andPatrick.

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Drakon: Dragon Myth and Serpent Cult in the Greek and Roman Wolrds is the first substantial survey to be focally devoted to the 'dragon' or the supernatural serpent, the drakon or draco, in Greek and Roman myth and religion. Almost every major myth cycle of the Greek and Roman worlds featureda dragon-fight at its heart, including the s...

Daniel Ogden is currently Professor of Ancient History at the University of Exeter, and Research Fellow at the University of South Africa. He has published widely on ancient Greek subjects, including myth, religion and magic, traditional narratives, reproduction and sexuality, and Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic dynasties.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:568 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:March 12, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199557322

ISBN - 13:9780199557325

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgementsContentsList of figuresAbbreviationsIntroduction1. Drakon Fights (i): Drakontes Pure2. Drakon Fights (ii): Drakontes Composite3. Fights with Kete, Sea-serpents4. The World of the Slain Drakontes5. Masters and Mistresses of Drakontes6. The Symmetrical Battle between Drakon and Slayer7. Drakontes, Earth and the Dead8. Drakon Gods of Wealth and Good Luck9. Drakon Gods of Healing10. A Day in the Life of a Sacred Snake11. The Birth of the Christian DragonBibliographyIndex