During the first Carthagan War (264-241 BC) the commander of a Roman Legion wanted his troops to cross the river Bagrada, but at the place chosen for the fording they were met by a dragon that was hissing fiercely and attacking the first cohorts in the water. The tribune Marcus Atilius Regulus decided to march his soldiers further upstream to another crossing but the dragon followed the legionaires and attacked them here as well, coiling itself around the men and dragging scores of them under water to their deaths. After a two-day stalemate they finally managed to kill the creature by bombarding it with heavy rocks from a catapult and the dead animal was sent back to Rome where it was on display for more than a hundred years. Today it is generally believed to have been a huge water snake and according to the recorded history it is supposed to have been 120 feet long.

Perchance a grand-daddy of the Loch Ness Monster and the Ogopogo?

The woodcut is from a medieval book (Johann Ludwig Gottfried/Historische Chronica) depicting the event.

Dragons ...

in history
and folklore