Okay, I can hear you all shouting at me “oh come on, no way, a dragon??!!!” I don’t blame you for this at all, but did The Rhodes Dragon really exist or not? What do you know about it?
Well, let us not jump to conclusions. Here I will take you through the story/myth/legend of the dragon of Rhodes. From there you can make up your own mind. Enjoy, and feel free to leave me your thoughts at the end. I would love to hear them all!
The Story Of The Dragon
It is said that in the 1330s, there lived a dragon on the island of Rhodes. It inhabited a cave just off a path on the hill known today as Monte Smith. This path back in those days was known as ‘Mal Paso’. This was to indicate that to go here was a bad move. Mal Paso means a bad path or a bad step. After the death of the dragon, it was renamed ‘Bel Paso’ to indicate then a good path.
The dragon itself was said to be huge in stature and at over 20 meters in length it possessed a heavy leather skin. This of course made it near impossible to attack the dragon with the conventional weapons of those days. It would have been a futile effort to try penetrate the skin with a sword for example.
Fear was spread throughout the island. Children were disappearing, cattle was
being slaughtered and all those sent to kill it (including armed Knights) were never to return.
The serving Grand Master of The Knights at the time was Helion De Villeneuve (1319 to 1346). He forbid any further attempts to bring the dragon down, as he feared further losses to his Knights and the local people. He put out an order that no soldier or Knight should attempt to kill the beast.
However, there was one man who set to violate this order.
The Knight – Dieudonne De Gozon
One Knight by the name of Dieudonne De Gozon set about his own plans to slay the dragon of Rhodes. Going against the words of The Grand master, he asked for leave of absence from his duties in order to visit his father’s castle in France.
From this location, it is said that he built a large scale model of the dragon. This was used as focus to train himself, his dogs and his horse in preparation to do battle with the beast.
Once equipped with the skills and knowledge he needed, he returned to the island of Rhodes.
He went to the location of the dragon and executed his plans to bring it down. The dragon was so huge, naturally De Gozon had a difficult time getting in close. Its huge tail swung violently and eventually it hit De Gozon knocking him off his horse.
His dogs also had a tough time getting in close due to the sheer size of the dragon, and although they tried to attack from the sides, they failed.
De Gozon knew from his practice and studies, that the stomach of the dragon was weak and unprotected. As the dragon approached him, he was able to plunge his sword into its stomach. The dragon fell to its death, trapping the Knight under its body.
A Welcome Hero
De Gozon’s unconscious body was eventually retrieved and he was taken into the city hailed a hero. The children, the cattle and the area was safe once more thanks to his actions.
Grand Master Helion De Villeneuve was extremely angry however. He demanded the Knight be punished for violating his strict orders not to approach the dragon.
The people were in defense of the Knight though, and the charges were dropped.
After the death of Helion De Villeneuve, Dieudonne De Gozon was to replace him as head of the order. He was elected the 27th Grand Master Of The Knights Order and held this position from 1346 until 1353 (his death).
Fact Or Fiction?
I want to know your opinion here!
Let’s face it, The Knights Of Saint John and The Grand Masters were, and still are, a legitimate and respected authority.
Would something like this be invented with such a respectable and serious order in place? Personally I do not think so. What do you think?
In my mind, I have no doubts that these events took place (or very similar), but I tend to lean towards one hypothesis that has surfaced.
The dragon, was not in fact a dragon. It was something huge however, and it has been said it could have been a crocodile.
After the death of the beast, its head was put on display above one of the gates in The Medieval City until the year 1837. Over this period, many people were able to view it including scientists. They all said that it was a crocodile that was slain that famous day.
The head of the dragon/crocodile was removed from this location due to renovations and construction work being made to the castle.
Although it is a great story, and one of myth, in my belief it was never a dragon, On saying that, it was hundreds of years ago, so – you never know, do you?
Thanks for reading everyone and leave your comments below! I am looking forward them 🙂