Sources : Dragon

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8,41; 10, 5; 30, 24): [Book 8, 41] A large snake [draco, dragon] quenches its spring nausea with the juice of wild lettuce. [Book 10, 5] [The eagle] has a fiercer battle with a dragon, and one that is of much more doubtful issue, even though it is in the air. The serpent with mischievous greed tries to get the eagle's eggs; consequently the eagle carries it off wherever seen. The serpent fetters [the eagle's] wings by twining itself round them in manifold coils so closely that it falls to the ground itself with the snake. [Book 30, 24] ...those who are haunted by night ghosts and goblins are freed from their terrors if tongue, eyes, gall, and intestines of a dragon are boiled down in wine and oil, cooled by night in the open air, and used as embrocation night and morning. - [Rackham translation]

Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 810-818): And you, ye dragons who in other lands / Are harmless, golden scaled, adored as gods, / Are deadly here : for Afric's burning air / Bestows malignant gift, and poised on wings / Whole herds of kine ye follow, and with coils / Encircling close, crush in the mighty bull. / The giant elephant no bulk protects : / All creatures living on the earth ye slay / Nor need a poison fang to work your will. - [Ridley, 1919, Volume 2, Page 239]

Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 30.16): A stone called dracontia is excised from the brains of dragons. But it cannot be pulled out unless the dragon is alive. For if the serpent dies first, the hardness dissolves and vanishes with its life. - [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:4-5; 16, 14.7): [Book 12, 4.4] The dragon [draco] is the largest of all the snakes, or of all the animals on earth. The Greeks call it "drákon", whence the term is borrowed into Latin so that we say draco. It is often drawn out of caves and soars aloft, and disturbs the air. It is crested, and has a small mouth and narrow pipes through which it draws breath and sticks out its tongue. It has its strength not in its teeth but in its tail, and it causes injury more by its lashing tail than with its jaws. [Book 12, 4.5] Also, it does not harm with poison; poison is not needed for this animal to kill, because it kills whatever it wraps itself around. Even the elephant with his huge body is not safe from the dragon, for it lurks around the paths along which the elephants are accustomed to walk, and wraps around their legs in coils and kills them by suffocating them. It is born in Ethiopia and India in the fiery intensity of perpetual heat. [Book 16, 14:7] Dracontites is extracted from the brain of the dragon. This does not become a gemstone unless it is cut out of living dragons; hence magicians remove it from sleeping dragons – for bold men search out the caves of dragons, and sprinkle drugged herbs there to put the dragons to sleep, and when the dragons have been lulled to sleep, they cut off their heads and extract the gemstones. The stones are translucent white. The kings of the East in particular glory in the use of these stones. - [Barney, Lewis, et. al. translation]

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Serpents 8.15): The dragon is the greatest of all the animals of the earth, as Jacobus and Augustine say. It has no poison. It has a crested head and a small mouth relative to the size of its body, with a narrow throat. When it sticks its tongue out of its mouth, its teeth do not injure it. Its bite, however, is the worst, even if it is small, as the Experimentator says, because its eats poison. But if it binds something with its tail, it kills; from which not even an elephant is safe despite the size of its body. As Pliny says, when the dragon is nauseated in the springtime, it heals itself with the juice of the wild lettuce. Its abode is most often in caves, which it chooses in the stone cliffs because of the essential being of its body, and this especially when it flies, and because of the accidental sun, which is the greatest in the parts of the East. For they are seldom found except in the warmer parts of the world: around the tower of Babel, and in the tower of Babel itself, and in the deserts of that ancient Babylon and its ruins, great dragons are said to dwell, whose voice and roar terrify men. It grows to twenty or more cubits. The sight of it is intolerable to men, so that sometimes they are frightened to death by the mere sight of it. And when dragons are old, when they have reached their proper size, they live for a long time without food, as Aristotle says. But when it eats, it is not easily satisfied. And this because the animal is very cold, and the little heat which is in it is not able to consume the thick fluids of the body. How that dragon still lives and must live until the end of the world without bodily nourishment, when the blessed Pope Sylvester on a certain mountain in Rome is said to have shut up a dragon at the command of the blessed Peter the Apostle, I indeed cannot understand according to nature, but we believe it to be a divine miracle. We read, however, in the Histories of the Britons, that two great dragons were found living under the earth. In the depths of the earth, as Augustine says, the dragon sometimes dwells, and when it feels a storm of wind or rain in the air, it comes out and is carried over the air by the great oars of its wings, stirring and pushing the air with its leathery wings, rapidly and widely spread relative to the size of its body. Wherever it lives, it pollutes the air. It lacks legs. There is a certain kind of them that crawls on the ground with its chest. Another kind of them is that which has feet; but this is rarely found. From its brain, as Andelmus says, a fine stone is cut out, but they say it is not valuable unless it is extracted from a living dragon. For unexpectedly with a single blow it is hit over the head while it is lying down, and thus the stone is pulled out while its heart is still throbbing in full force. The dragon's tongue and gall, boiled in wine, are a remedy for those who are tormented by evil spirits, and their bodies are anointed with this. A book which contains the sayings of the ancients relates that the dragon is edible, especially to the Ethiopians; its flesh is very cold. When the dragon is in flight, it desires to be refreshed with the blood of the elephant, because it is of course very cold from the effort of flying. The dragon is hunted in this way: it is enchanted with certain ancient songs, so that it does no harm, and it is filled with wind, and is beaten before it with sticks of coral, so that, frightened by the sound of it, it does not move and suffers the violence of the hunter, and this because it sounds like thunder. For it fears the crash of thunder and lightning more than all other animals; and therefore, when it hears thunder, it flees into the caves and caverns of the earth. Nor is it surprising that nature protects it by increasing its understanding: for it is said that among all animals it is the nature of dragons to be more quickly struck by lightning. On the contrary, as it is written by the witness of Pliny, the eagle is not struck by lightning among the birds nor the laurel among trees. But when dragons are frightened by the sound of the thunder, the hunters have themselves tied to the dragons, so that they can be taken to the most remote regions within the space of a few hours. Sometimes they are overcome by the longest stretches of sea, and exhausted beyond their strength, they sink into the depths of the sea with their passengers. There is also another way to capture the dragon: a calf is taken and gutted, and its belly is filled with quicklime stones, and it is placed supported by logs in the place where the dragon used to frequent, who, coming, thrusts the calf into its belly with one gulp. Immediately, its internal fluids are loosened and the quicklime sets fire to the dragon from within, but when it goes to the spring, the more it drinks, the more it is set on fire; and thus the country is delivered from the destroyer. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]

Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Book18.37): The Dragon is called Draco, and is most greatest of all Serpents, as Isidore saith lib. 12. The Gréekes call him Draconia, and ofte he is drawen out of his den, and réeseth up into the aire, and the aire is moved by him, & also the Sea swelleth against his venime, & he hath A creast with a lyttle mouth, and draweth breath at small pipes and straight, & reareth his tongue, and hath téeth lyke a saw, & hath strength, & not only in téeth, but also in his tayle, and grieveth both with biting & with stinging, & hath not so much venim as other serpents: for to the ende to slay any thing, to him venime: is not néedfull: for whom he findeth he slayeth, and the Elephant is not sure from him, for all his greatnesse of body, for he lurketh in the waye, where the Elephant goeth, and bindeth & spanneth his legs and strangleth and slaieth him. The Dragon bréedeth in Inde and in Aethiopia, there as is great burning of continuall heat, as Isidore saith li. 12. Plin[y] li. 8. ca. 13. speaketh of the dragon and saieth, that the Dragon is xx. cubites great, and bréedeth among the Aethiopes. Ofte foure or five of them, fasten theyr tayles togethers, and reareth up the heads, & sayle over sea, and over rivers, to get good meate. Also cap. 12. he sayeth. Betwéene Elephants and Dragons is everlasting fighting, for the Dragon with his tayle bindeth & spanneth the Elaphaunt, and the Elephaunt with his foote, and with his nose throweth downe the Dragon, and the Dragon with his tayle, bindeth and spanneth the Elephants legges and maketh him fall: but the Dragon buyeth it full sore, for while he slayeth the Elephant, the Elephant falleth uppon him, & slayeth him. Item ca. 14. The Elephant séeing the Dragon upon a tree, busieth him to break the tree to smite the dragon, and the dragon leapeth upon the Elephant, and busieth to bite him betwéene the nosethrile, and assayleth the Elephants eyen, and maketh him blynde some time, and leapeth uppon him some time behinde, and byteth him, and sucketh his bloude, and at the last, after long fighting, the Elephant wexeth féeble for great blindnesse insomuch, that he falleth upon the Dragon, and slayeth in his dieng, the Dragon that him slayeth. The cause why the Dragon desireth his bloud, is coldnes of the Elephants bloud by the which the Dragon desireth to coole himselfe, as Isi[dore] saith super illum locum Leuitic. 14. Attraxerunt ventum sicut Dracones, They drew winde as Dragons. There Jerome sayth, that the Dragon is a full thirstie beast, insomuch, that unneth he may have water inough to quench his great thirst: and openeth his mouth therefore against the winde, to quench the burning of his thirste in that wise. Therfore when he séeth ships sayle in the sea in great winde, he flieth against the saile, to take ther cold wind, and overthroweth the ship somtime for greatnesse of body and by strong réese against the saile, and when the shipmen sée the Dragon come nigh, and knowe his comming by water that swelleth against him, they strike the sayle anone, & scape in that wise. Also Solinus saith, that Aethiopians use Dragons bloude, against burning heate, and eate the flesh against divers evills, for they can depart the venimme from his flesh: and he hath venim only in his tongue and in his gall, & therfore they cut off the tongue, and throw away the gall, in which the venime is received: and so when the venim is taken away, they use the other deale of the bodie, both in meate and in medicine. And it séemeth, that David toucheth this, where he sayth: Dedisti eum efcam populis Aethiopium, Thou gavest him for meate to the people of Aethiopia. Also Plin[y] saith, that for might of the venime, his tongue is alway areared, & somtime he setteth the ayre on fire, by heate of his venime, so that it séemeth that he bloweth and casteth fire out of his mouth: and sometime he bloweth out outragious blastes, and thereby the aire is corrupted and infected, and thereof commeth pestilent evilles, and they dwell somtime in the sea, and sometime swim in rivers, and lurke sometime in caves and in dens, & sléepe but seldome, but wake nigh alway. And they devour beasts and sowles, and have right sharp sight, and sée therefore their pray a farre out of mountaines, and fight with biting strokes and stinging, & setteth him most on the eyen and nose of the beast that he fighteth with. Therefore Plin[y] saith li. 8. That hée grieveth most the Elephant in the eyen and in the mouth, and maketh him ofte blinde, so that sometime the Elaphaunt maye not eate and dyeth therefore in that wise. Also of the Dragon Arist[otle] speaketh lib. 7. and sayth, that the Dragons biting, that eateth venemous beastes is perillous, as the Dragons biting that eateth Scorpions, for against his biting unneth is any remedy or medicine founde. Also lib. 28. Plinius sayth, that all venemous beasts flye and voyd the greace and fatnesse of the dragon: and his greace medled with honnie, cureth and healeth dimnesse of eyen. Also libr. 7. Aristot[le] saith, those Fishes dye, that are bitten of the Dragon. - [Batman]