The most terrible monsters of the ancient world were dragons. Even though they did not really exist, most people believed in them. They were thought to be huge fire-breathing serpents with wings like those of a great bat and the ability to swallow ships and men at one gulp. The dragons of legend are much like the treat reptiles which inhabited the earth long before man is supposed to have appeared on earth. Dragons were considered to evil and destructive. They are mentioned in mythology and many stories are woven around them. In Greece, dragons were slain by Hercules, Apollo, and Perseus. Siegfried and Beowulf killed them in German and early English legend. In early Christian times, the dragon was a symbol of sin. Saint Michael and Saint George both had to fight these beasts, according to legend. The only group of people who took the dragon as a kingly emblem and thought of it as a god were the Chinese.