HE DRAKON KHOLKIKOS (or Colchian Dragon) was an ever-wakeful, giant serpent which guarded the golden fleece in the sacred grove of Ares at Kolkhis. When Jason and the Argonauts came to fetch the fleece, the beast was either slain by the hero or put to sleep by the witch Medea. In one version of the story, preserved only in vase painting (image right), Jason was first devoured and disgorged by the dragon.
The teeth of the dragon were harvested by King Aeetes for their magical property. One of the labours he assigned Jason was the sowing of these teeth in a field using a plough drawn by fire-breathing bulls. When they were planted, a tribe of warlike men (Spartoi) sprang fully grown from the earth. The teeth of the closely related Ismenian Drakon of Thebes, sown by Kadmos, produced a similar crop of men.
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