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Giacomo da Varazze (also known as Jacobus da Varagine or Jacopo De Fazio) was a 13th-century archbishop of Genova but is best known as the compiler of the "Legenda Aurea" (Golden Legend), an influential collection of the legendary lives of Christian saints. During the 1st 5 decades after Johannes Gutenberg introduced the printing press in the 143s, about 2 editions per year appeared in many European languages. One of his most popular stories was that of St. George and the Dragon. A "dragon which envenomed all the country" lived in a pond near Silene (an imaginary city in Libya): “Then was an ordinance made in the town that there should be taken the children and young people of them of the town by lot, and every each one as it fell, were he gentle or poor, should be delivered when the lot fell on him or her.” The local king dressed his daughter like a bride and sent her to the lake when the lot fell on her. St. George arrived and the princess tried to persuade him to leave but "the dragon appeared and came running to them, and S. George was upon his horse, and drew out his sword and garnished him with the sign of the cross, and rode hardily against the dragon which came towards him, and smote him with his spear and hurt him sore and threw him to the ground. And after said to the maid: Deliver to me your girdle, and bind it about the neck of the dragon and be not afeard. When she had done so the dragon followed her as it had been a meek beast and debonair.” George took the captive beast to Silene and offered to kill it if the populace converted to Christianity. After the king and 15,000 men converted, plus women and children, George cut off the dragon's head, and the body was taken out of the city in 4 ox carts. Later the king built a church on the site where the dragon died, and from its altar a spring flowed with water that cured all disease. Although Giacomo never named the princess, she was called Cleolinda and Aia in various 13th-century Italian sources, and later Richard Johnson, in "The Famous Historie of the Seaven Champions of Christendom" (ca 1596) identified her as Sabra, an Egyptian princess, who married George and bore children including Gui de Warewic (Guy of Warwick), another fantastic hero who appeared in romances beginning in the 13th century who battled dragons and other monsters and saved Wichester from the vikings by killing the Dansk giant Colbrand.
Very good explication!
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