Mythical Creatures Series
When you think of dragons, do you imagine monstrous, serpent-like creatures that hiss and spit fire, or perhaps it’s a golden dragon who lives in a cave, guarding its treasure, or could it be wise dragon who holds the answers to the universe? Which ever one your picture, know this – dragon folklore differs greatly from one country to the next, and if you find yourself about to meet one, make sure you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
What is it?
In Slavic mythology, Zmey, along with Zmiy and Zmaj are used to describe a dragon, and are closely linked to the masculine word for snake. Which says a lot about how dragons were perceived, along with the bad reputation snakes have. Most European countries have one version of this dragon. Romania calls them Zmeu and has clear anthropomorphic traits – human-like arms and legs, along with the ability to create and use weapons. But slavic dragons have particular features, depending where they’re from.
East Slavic Dragons have three heads, is green, walks on hind paws and spits fire.
South Slavic Dragons have a division on what they call them, but basically they are the same creature. They are considered intelligent and wise, possess superhuman strength and are proficient in magic. Aside from breathing fire, they are also known to lust over woman with whom it can produce offspring. In Bulgarian and Serbian folklore, these dragons were seen as defenders of crops and fighting against a specific demon – Ala, whom they shoot with lightening.
Ability / Power
Their abilities vary depending on location. Some believe the east slavic dragons can re-grow their heads if chopped off. They exhale fire, which is dangerous to anyone in the way. Their enormous size makes them just as deadly.
Multi-headed dragon covered in scales, winged, and gigantic in size.
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