Five analog narratives—from Apuleius’s Metamorphoses (“Cupid and Psyche,” second century AD), Philostratus’s Apollonius (ca. AD 220), Callimachus and Chrysorrhoe (early fourteenth century AD), Konrad’s Saga (fourteenth century AD) and The Theodore Tiron Miracle Story (fourteenth century AD)—prove to be underpinned by an ideal story type along the following lines. A dragon lives in a golden, jeweled castle, almost impossible of access. It is surrounded by and infested by lesser serpents. Within it he has a special raised platform, and he is served in it by automatic air-powered trays, tables, and vessels. He conceives a desire for a human girl, steals her and keeps her captive. The castle is penetrated by her lover-to-be, who kills the dragon and saves her, whereupon the marvelous castle melts away. The theme of erotic desire travels with the story type. Further support is provided for the long-held suspicion that the Cupid and Psyche tale builds upon a preexisting traditional dragon narrative.

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