Basic Information

Type/Species: Sea Serpent
Origin: Christian Legends of France

About Tarasque

The Tarasque was a less than kind dragon. The creature lived in a lake in the south of France and, on occasion, emerged from the lake and devoured a virgin. The local villagers were utterly terrified by this dragon, and they prayed for help. [1]

No one was brave enough to fight or even talk to the beast, so they sent emissaries to the King of France for help. However, their adventures turned out fruitless, as the King and his knights had better things to do. The village was too small and too far from the capital, and, furthermore, no one of nobility lived there. Besides, there was no treasure their, either. [1]

The villagers began to speak about abandoning their village, as they saw no other way of riding themselves of the monster. It was in this time of desperation that St. Martha happened to be passing by. She was beautiful and many people praised her for her good deeds. [1]

The people took her appearance as a sign from the Heavens and they begged her to help them. In return for her challenging the beast, she only asked them to pray to God for three days, and to ask God to help vanquish the beast. They agreed. [1]

It is also good to note that the Tarasque was a music lover, even though he was ferocious. So, St. Martha went to the shores of the place where the Tarasque lived, and she began to sing praises to God. [1]

The Tarasque was enchanted by her voice and her songs. The dragon emerged from the lake and lay down at her feet, completely docile. She then put a belt around his neck and led him into town. There, the dragon was easily killed and offered little resistance. [1]

The region where the Tarasque lived was then called Tarascon, in memory of the feat. [1]

Physical Description

While Tarasque is a sea serpent, it is suggested that this creature also had four limbs: two fore legs and two hind legs. This is because he emerged from the lake and had to walk to the village. Sometimes this dragon is also depicted as having wings, but they would be rather useless to a lake-living dragon. [1]

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Footnotes

  1. The Tarasque. Link defunct: <http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4352/dragon/dragon_myth_tarasque.html>

For more information on footnotes and references, please see the bibliography.