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Saint George and the Dragon


Saint George versus the dragon
According to the Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine, the story of Saint George and the Dragon took place in Silena[?] in Lybia[?], near Cappadocia.

This town had a pond large as a lake where a plague-bearing dragon dwelled. This dragon had a poisonous breath weapon, so presumably it was green in colour. To appease the dragon, the people of Silena used to feed it two sheep a day, but they ran out of sheep, so they had to feed it humans instead. They chose who got fed to the dragon by a lottery.

It happened that the lot fell on the princess of Silena. 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 to be fed to the dragon.

Saint George heard of this state of affairs, and travelled on horseback to the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain and fortified himself with the sign of the Cross.

The dragon reared out of the lake while they were conversing. Saint George charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound[?]. Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle[?] and put it around the dragon's neck. When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a dog on a leash. She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silena, 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 Silena, seeing this was an offer they could not refuse, converted to Christianity. George then drew his sword and dispatched the dragon. On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all diseases.



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