Ladon Dragon

Ladon Dragon

Ladon (ancient Greek Λάδων Ládōn) in Greek mythology is a multi-headed dragon that guards the Golden Apples of the Hesperides by order of Hera.

According to different sources, he has two, often three, and once a hundred heads. Accordingly, he speaks in many voices. He never sleeps, but is defeated by Heracles when the latter has to fetch the apples of the Hesperides. Here, too, there are different versions: Ladon is slain by Heracles, gives up the apples voluntarily, or is helpful to the latter - or Atlas - in obtaining the apples. As a constellation dragon he was finally transferred to the sky by Zeus.

According to Hesiod his parents are Phorkys and Keto, according to the library of Apollodor and Hyginus Echidna and Typhon. In the former case he is the brother of Echidna, the Gorgons and the Graias.

According to Pausanias, in the third treasure house at Olympia there was a cedar relief showing Heracles, the apple tree and Ladon curled around the trunk. It was a work of Theokles, son of Hegylos.

According to Karl Kerényi, Ladon is more often mentioned as a snake than as a dragon. Real dragons are rare in Greek mythology and are usually depicted as serpents.