A dragon is a legendary creature, typically scaled or fire-spewing and with serpentine, reptilian or avian traits, that features in the myths of many cultures around world.
- The two most well-known cultural traditions of dragon are
The European dragon, derived from European folk traditions and ultimately related to Balkans and Western Asian mythologies. Most are depicted as reptilian creatures with animal-level intelligence, and are uniquely six-limbed (four legs and a separate set of wings).
- The Chinese dragon, with counterparts in Japan (namely the Japanese dragon), Korea and other East Asian and South Asian countries. Most are depicted as serpentine creatures with above-average intelligence, and are quadrupeds (four legs and wingless).
The two traditions may have evolved separately, but have influenced each other to a certain extent, particularly with the cross-cultural contact of recent centuries.
The English word dragon and Latin word draco derive from Greek δράκων (drákōn), “dragon, serpent of huge size, water-snake”.
Despite the verbal similarity, the term “Draconian” does not refer to Dragons, but to the Athenian law scribe Draco.