Man, I miss EEBO and some of the other literature databases I had access to in college. I imagine typing in the words dragon and gold would produce a great number of stories containing dragons on heaps of gold in a matter of seconds . . . but alas, I can no longer put this to the test.
I do know that Beowulf’s playmate wasn’t the only European dragon who horded treasure. Big scary monsters guarding precious somethings and others abound in the world’s art and literature, though I’m having trouble coming up with examples of medieval European style dragons sleeping on piles of gold. A wikipedia search, however, yields Cuélebre, a creature that seems likely to have had such habits. Also, I know the ancient Greeks had dragons–or at least dragon-like creatures–protecting such treasures as golden apples and the golden fleece. Not the same thing, exactly, but at least similar.
I guess dracology isn’t my strong suit, but I think I’ll keep looking for the answer to this. Somehow I know the image in question derives from more than just Beowulf, The Hobbit, and a couple old Dungeons and Dragons game books.
Now I guess I’ll have to spend my afternoon reading up on dragons instead of cleaning out the station wagon. Man, will my wife be pissed. Thanks a lot, guys. :mad: