In mythology, the teeth of dragons often had magical properties. These fanciful fibula brooches were inspired by some of these myths.
In one very ancient Greek myth, the Phoenician prince Cadmus, who is credited by the ancient Greeks with creating the alphabet, and therefore literate civilization, killed the sacred dragon that guarded the spring of Ares. The goddess Athena told him to sow some of the dragon's teeth in a field. From each tooth sprang a ferocious warriors, and they were called the Sparatoi. Cadmus then threw a precious jewel into the midst of the warriors, who turned on each other in an attempt to seize it for themselves. Five of the warriors survived, and they joined with Cadmus to found the city of Thebes.
Some of Cadmus' dragon teeth found their way into another Greek myth about the hero Jason. Jason was the son of Aeson, the rightful king of Iolcos. Aeson was overthrown by his half-brother Pelias, and the infant Jason was secreted away, lest he too be killed by Pilias. When he was grown, Jason returned to reclaim his father's throne and take his rightful place as king. Pelias, knowing that Jason had the favor of the gods, agreed to relinquish the throne if Jason would undertake a quest to obtain the Golden Fleece. Jason assembled Greece's bravest heroes, and together they sailed in the Argo in quest for the fleece. On their journey the Argonauts were seduced by beautiful women, attacked by warriors, buffeted by storms, and challenged by monstrous creatures. Finally the blind prophet Phineus told them how to make their way safely to the kingdom of Colchis, where the Golden Fleece was kept.
Jason arrived in Colchis to claim the fleece as his own. It was owned by King Aeetes of Colchis, who promised to give it to Jason only if he could perform three tasks. Presented with the tasks, Jason became discouraged and fell into depression. However, the goddess Hera had persuaded Aphrodite to convince her son Eros to make Aeetes's daughter, Medea, fall in love with Jason. As a result, Medea aided Jason in his tasks. First, Jason had to yoke and then plow a field with a pair of fire-breathing oxen, but Medea provided Jason with an ointment that protected him from the oxen's flames. Then Jason had to sow the field with the remaining teeth that Cadmus had taken from the dragon he slew. The teeth again sprouted into an army of warriors. Medea had previously warned Jason of this and told him how to defeat this foe. Before they attacked him, he threw a rock into the crowd. Unable to discover where the rock had come from, the warriors attacked and defeated one another. His last task was to overcome the sleepless dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece. Jason sprayed the dragon with a sleep potion, given by Medea, distilled from herbs. The dragon fell asleep, and Jason was able to seize the Golden Fleece, and ultimately, his father's throne.
These fibula brooches are available in bronze set with red carnelians, representing the dragon's fiery breath. They are 1.5 inches (36mm) tall by .75 inches (18mm) wide
Dragon's Teeth Fibula
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