Dragons often play the role of genius loci, protective spirit of a place that symbolized the wild, untamed world. When man started the development of agriculture, most of the world was covered by a thick, green forest, full of predators.
The serpent of Carthage
Marcus Atilus Regulus, roman general, was heading with his army towards Carthage at war with Rome (264-241 BC). When they reached Bagradas (today the Medjerda oued) they faced a 37 m long snake whistling a defeaning sound. After having killed more than 70 soldiers, a large stone sent by a catapult eventually smashed his head.
The body of the snake was exhibited during more than 100 years at the Capitole in Rome and there are many written accounts of it. Strangely the largest potential snake in Africa, the Python Tiger is no longer than 8 m.