Thespiaean dragon

A dragon that devastated the city of Tespiae in Boeotia. Zeus had commanded that every year one of the city's youths, upon whom the lot fell, should be sacrificed to the monster. When Cleostratus was chosen as the next sacrifice, his lover Menestratus devised a stratagem to save him. He created a bronze breastplate covered with fish-hooks, the points turned outward. He put on the breastplate and voluntarily went to the monster, convinced that he would destroy it, even if the act destroyed him as well. As the dragon devoured its victim, the breastplate got caught in its throat, and it died.



  • Pausanias. Description of Greece ix, 26.6-7.