Dragons in Greek Mythology: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

Learn about the famous dragons in Greek mythology, like Ladon, the Lernaean Hydra, and Python. Some Greek dragons had scary powers like the ability to re-grow their own heads. This lesson also covers dragon-slaying heroes like Heracles.

Dragons and Ancient Greece

If you think about dragon stories, you might think of knights in shining armor and princesses trapped in castles. But actually, ancient Greek myths were also full of dragons. In fact, the word 'dragon' even comes from the ancient Greek drakon. So you might say the Greeks had the original dragons.

Ancient Greek dragons didn't trap people in castles, but they did guard hidden treasure, and they were killed by heroes - or even by gods. In this lesson, you'll learn all about them.

Typhon and His Children: Ladon and the Hydra


A lot of dragons in Greek mythology were the children of Typhon. Typhon was a terrifying monster with 100 heads. From the neck to the waist, he looked like a man, but from the waist down, his body turned into two huge snakes. His hands also had snakes for fingers.

Typhon is important in Greek mythology not just because he was scary, but because he was the father of a lot of different dragons.


One of Typhon's children was Ladon, a dragon who guarded the golden apples in the Garden of the Hesperides. In Greek mythology, the Garden of the Hesperides was a beautiful orchard with a tree that produced golden apples. The apples belonged to the goddess Hera. Ladon curled himself all around the tree to keep the apples safe. He was guarding the treasure, just like dragons in other stories.

Just like his father Typhon, Ladon had 100 heads. He never slept, so he was always awake, guarding the golden apples. Ladon was eventually killed by the Greek hero Heracles (also called Hercules).

The Lernaean Hydra

The Lernaean Hydra was a water-dragon and another one of Typhon's children. The Lernaean Hydra came out of the sea and went on land to attack people. It had poisonous teeth like a deadly snake, and more than one head - depending on which story you read, the exact number of heads was a little different. Apparently having a lot of heads runs in the Typhon family! But the Hydra had an extra special power: whenever one head was cut off, two more grew in its place.

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