Saint George and the Dragon

St George triumphant over the dragon by Mattia Preti (1678), in Gozo, Malta.
Saint George and the Dragon by Gustave Moreau, 1889/1890
St. George by Hans Acker, 1440
St. George on Horseback, Meister des Döbelner Hochaltars, 1511/13, Hamburger Kunsthalle
Unknown painter from Ukraine, 1700

The episode Saint George and the Dragon appended to the

  • Saint George Legend explained in Javascript by Tomás Corral
  • Saint George church in Dolinka (Hungarian: Inám)
  • St George and the Dragon Events and Ideas – Official Website for Tourism in England
  • St George Unofficial Bank Holiday: St. George and the Dragon, free illustrated book based on 'The Seven Champions' by Richard Johnson (1596)
  • St George's Bake and Brew
  • St. George Killing the Dragon: aromatic icon

External links

  • Loomis, C. Grant, 1949. White Magic, An Introduction to the Folklore of Christian Legend (Cambridge: Medieval Society of America)
  • Whatley, E. Gordon, editor, with Anne B. Thompson and Robert K. Upchurch, 2004. St. George and the Dragon in the South English Legendary (East Midland Revision, c. 1400) Originally published in Saints' Lives in Middle English Collections (on-line text: Introduction).
  • Catholic Encyclopedia, "Saint George"
  • (Kalamazoo, Michigan: Medieval Institute Publications) (On-line Introduction)


  1. ^ 'To the Glory of St George' in: Ingersoll, Ernest, et al., (2013). The Illustrated Book of Dragons and Dragon Lore. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN B00D959PJ0
  2. ^ Robertson, The Medieval Saints' Lives (pp 51–52) suggested that the Christianized survival of pagan mythology."
  3. ^ Walter 2003:128, noted by British Museum Russian Icon "The Miracle of St George and the Dragon / Black George".
  4. ^ Christopher Walter, The Warrior Saints in Byzantine Art and Tradition 2003:141, notes the earliest datable image, at Pavnisi, Georgia (1154–58)
  5. ^ Patriarchal Library, Jerusalem, codex 2, according to Christopher Walter, The Warrior Saints in Byzantine Art and Tradition 2003:140; Walter quotes the text at length, from a Russian translation.
  6. ^ Margaret Aston, Faith and Fire Continuum Publishing, 1993 ISBN 1-85285-073-6 page 272
  7. ^ Christian Roy, 2005, Traditional Festivals ISBN 978-1-57607-089-5 page 408; Dorothy Spicer, Festivals of Western Europe, (BiblioBazaar), 2008 ISBN 1-4375-2015-4, page 67
  8. ^ a b Quoted in Walter 2003:141.
  9. ^
  10. ^ In the earliest, Georgian version where the dragon is more clearly a representation of paganism, or at least of infernal power, the sign of the Cross itself was sufficient to defeat the dragon.
  11. ^ Thus Jacobus de Voragine, in William Caxton's translation (On-line text).
  12. ^ Ascalon, Askalon (Seven Champions); Askelon (Percy's ballads)
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^
  17. ^ [4]
  18. ^ The Liberty Clock
  19. ^ Ballad full text
  20. ^ No Land is an Urland- The Creation of the World of Dragonslayer by Danny Fingeroth from Dragonslayer- The Official Marvel Comics Adaptation of the Spectacular Paramount/Disney Motion Picture!, Marvel Super Special Vol.1, No. 20, published by Marvel Comics Group, 1981
  21. ^ The Historian
  22. ^ Vlad tepes
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^


See also


One version of the tale tells St. George as losing the battle with the dragon early on in the encounter. St. George retreats, and wanders down to the river. He prays over his challenges, and removes his armor to melt it down. He takes the melted metal and forges it into a metal box. He places his fears, doubts, and lack of faith inside the box, and goes out to face the dragon again, without armor. St. George instantly slays the dragon.

The village of lance. The church in Wormingford (which is dedicated to St Andrew) has a stained glass window depicting this scene.[24][25]

Alternative legends

  • The 1898 Dream Days by Walt Disney Productions, and set to music by John Rutter as a children's operetta.
  • In 1935 Stanley Holloway recorded a humorous retelling of the tale as St. George and the Dragon written by Weston and Lee.
  • The
  • In the 1950s, spoof of the tale and of Dragnet) for Freberg's radio show. The story's recording became the first comedy album to sell over 1 million copies.
  • The 1962 film The Magic Sword is loosely based on the legend.
  • The 1968 children's book The Iron Man, by Ted Hughes, is a contemporary re-telling of the myth in which nature (the dragon, named the 'space-bat-angel-dragon' in the book) and man eventually work together symbiotically, creating harmony on Earth after the eponymous Iron Man defeats the beast in a contest of endurance.
  • A 1975 episode of "Barbara Bain eventually concludes that the crewman's story will create new mythology similar to the legend of St. George.
  • The 1981 Paramount Pictures/Disney film Dragonslayer was loosely based on the tale.[20]
  • Weird Fantasy #15. The story revealed that the 'dragon' was in fact a lost, misunderstood alien child who did not mean any harm.
  • Caldecott Medal-winning illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.
  • American artist Butt Johnson uses the theme in a drawing entitled "Mario, Patron Saint of Brooklyn" portraying characters from the video game (King Koopa).
  • The poem "Fairy Tale" by Yury Zhivago–the main character from Boris Pasternak's novel "Doctor Zhivago"–relates a modified account of this legend; Yury's poem differs in that it is nonreligious and makes no mention of the village.
  • In Vlad Tepesh[22] (also known as Dracula, which means "son of the dragon" or "son of the devil").
  • In Emperor of Mankind.[23]
  • The animated series Ben 10: Ultimate Alien has Sir George, a thousand year old immortal who slays an extra-dimensional dragon called Diagon.
  • The Japanese Light Novel High School DxD Main Character Isse Hyoudou was gifted The Holy Sword of Saint George Ascalon.
  • In 2004, a made-for-TV movie was released, alternatively titled Dragon Sword or James Purefoy and Piper Perabo.
  • One of the stories in the Alien, as the result of a crashed Predator spaceship.
  • The story was referenced on the cover of the 1983 album Confrontation (Bob Marley & The Wailers album) which shows a recently deceased Bob Marley in the place of Saint George.

Contemporary retelling

Coats of arms

  • Shapcott Wensley, 1879.
  • A 17th-century broadside [19]


Advance our standards, set upon our foes Our ancient world of courage fair
St. George Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons
..... Richard III. act v, sc.3.

Shakespeare Richard III; Act V, also in King Lear; Act I.


  • Palace of Westminster.



  • Uroš Predić, St George Killing the Dragon, 1930
  • St. George and the Dragon, c. 1914.
  • St. George and the Dragon, c. 1870. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London.
  • [15]
  • Gozo.
  • , 1620.
    • National Gallery, London.
    • [13]
    • Louvre, Paris, France.
    • Raphael (Raffaello Santi), National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., United States
    • [14]
    • Saint George and the Dragon


    Treatment by artists

    He smote the beast with his sword, but the dragon poured poison on him and his armour split in two. Once more he refreshed himself from the orange tree and then, with his sword in his hand, he rushed at the dragon and pierced it under the wing where there were no scales, so that it fell dead at his feet.

    The dragon's scales were so hard that the spear broke into a thousand pieces. and St. George fell from his horse. Fortunately he rolled under an enchanted orange tree against which poison could not prevail, so that the venomous dragon was unable to hurt him. Within a few minutes he had recovered his strength and was able to fight again.

    As soon as the dragon saw him it rushed from its cave, roaring with a sound louder than thunder. Its head was immense and its tail fifty feet long. But St. George was not afraid. He struck the monster with his spear, hoping he would wound it.

    When St. George heard this story, he was determined to try and save the princess, so he rested that night in the hermit's hut, and at daybreak set out to the valley where the dragon lived. When he drew near he saw a little procession of women, headed by a beautiful girl dressed in pure Arabian silk. The princess Sabra was being led by her attendants to the place of death. The knight spurred his horse and overtook the ladies. He comforted them with brave words and persuaded the princess to return to the palace. Then he entered the valley.

    'Every day,' said the old man, 'he demands the sacrifice of a beautiful maiden and now all the young girls have been killed. The king's daughter alone remains, and unless we can find a knight who can slay the dragon she will be sacrificed tomorrow. The king of Egypt will give his daughter in marriage to the champion who overcomes this terrible monster.'

    In a later version of the legend, St. George travelled for many months by land and sea until he came to Libya. Here he met a poor hermit who told him that everyone in that land was in great distress, for a dragon had long ravaged the country.

    Traditionally, the sword[12] with which St. George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, a name recalling the city of Ashkelon, Israel. From this tradition, the name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II (records at Bletchley Park), since St. George is the Patron Saint of England.

    The princess and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach. But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them. The king and the people of Silene cured all disease.[11]

    Sign of the Cross,[10] charged it on horseback with his lance, and gave it a grievous wound. He then called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon's neck. When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash.

    The town had a pond, as large as a lake, where a plague-bearing dragon dwelt that poisoned all the countryside. To appease the dragon, the people of Silene used to feed it two sheep every day, and when the sheep failed, they fed it their children, chosen by lottery. It happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter, who is called Sabra in some versions of the story.[9] The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold and silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, dressed as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.[8]

    [8] According to the

    Saint George defeating the dragon and saving the princess.
    Woodcut frontispiece of Alexander Barclay, Lyfe of Seynt George (Westminster, 1515).
    Saint George and the Dragon, wood carving by Bernt Notke in Stockholm's Storkyrkan.
    A 15th-century Georgian plaque depicting Saint George rescuing the emperor's daughter.
    Horus on horseback is killing Seth (Setekh) to avenge his father's death. Seth in the form of a crocodile is trying to escape (though unsuccessfully) from his nephew. Egypt, 4th century A.D.



    • Legends 1
    • Treatment by artists 2
    • Coats of arms 3
    • Contemporary retelling 4
    • Alternative legends 5
    • Gallery 6
    • See also 7
    • Notes 8
    • References 9
    • External links 10

    [7] The


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