The allegory of Saint George and the Dragon

The famous legend of Dragon and Saint George (died 303). The central elements were taming and slaying a dragon that demanded human sacrifices; Ultimately, the saint rescues the princess selected as the next offering. In the earliest of the 11th and 12th centuries, this narrative was first set in Cappadocia but then transferred to Libya in the 13th-century Golden Legend.

This narrative has pre-Christian origins (Jason and Medea, Perseus and Andromeda, Typhon, etc.), and is recorded in various saints’ lives before its attribution to St. George accurately. It was mainly attributed to Saint Theodore Tiro ( 9th and 10th centuries) and was first transferred to Saint George in the 11th century.

The oldest known record of Saint George slaying a dragon is found in a Georgian text(11th century). The legend and iconography spread rapidly through the Byzantine cultural sphere(12th century). Through crusades, It reached Western Christian tradition still in the 12th century. The knights of the First Crusade believed that St. George, along with his fellow soldier-saints Demetrius, Maurice, and Theodore, had fought alongside them at Antioch and Jerusalem. The legend was popularized in the Western tradition in the 13th century based on its Latin versions in the Speculum Historiale and the Golden Legend. At first, limited to the elegant setting of Chivalric romance, the legend was popularised in the 13th century and became a favorite literary and pictorial subject in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It has become the main part of the Christian culture relating to Saint George in both Eastern and Western cultures.

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