Medieval Dragons, dog/snake, Greek Dragons

From: João Simões Lopes Filho
Message: 17439
Date: 2003-01-06

What is the origin of Medieval dragons? These dragons are like giant snakes or lizards, but with claws, ears, horns, like a composite animal. Greek Draco:n (<derk- "to see"), like Kadmos' foe or Python or Ladon, was a giant snake. Medieval dragons' head sometimes remind lion, horse or dog. This dog/snake trait is presente in some Greek monsters like Kerberos, Orthros and Hydra (described as having a dog-body). Chinese dragons are thought to be phantastic depictions of South Asian crocodyles.
Why Dragons became so popular in Medieval Europe? Oriental origin?
Joao SL