Dragon At Babylon
Dragon At Babylon.
In the Sept. version of Daniel there occurs, as chap. xiv, an account entitled Bel and the Dragon (q.v.), which states that at Babylon, under Cyrus, an enormous dragon (δράκων μέγας) was worshipped (? by lectisternia, i.e., by spreading viands on a couch as an offering). This serpent-worship, however, is certainly not of Babylonian origin (see Selden, De diis Syr. 2:17, page 365 sq.), since the two silver serpents mentioned by Diodorus Siculus (2:9) as being in the temple of Belus (q.v.) were not forms of divinities, but only emblems of the gods there represented; yet possibly the conception had reference to the Persian symbol of the serpent, which signified Ahriman (Zendavesta, by Kleuker, 1:6). Accordingly the serpent appears also in later Jewish representations as an evil daemon (Re 12; Re 13; comp. Genesis 3). SEE SERPENT.