/dray"koh/, n., gen. Draconis /dray koh"nis, dreuh-/. Astron.
the Dragon, a northern circumpolar constellation between Ursa Major and Cepheus.
[ < L < Gk drákon DRAGON]
/dray"koh/, n.
a late 7th-century B.C. Athenian statesman noted for the severity of his code of laws.
Also, Dracon /dray"kon/.

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or Dracon

flourished 7th century BC

Athenian lawgiver.

Almost nothing is known of his life. His harsh legal code (621 BC) punished most crimes, even trivial ones, with death. Solon repealed Draco's code, retaining only the homicide statutes.

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▪ Greek lawgiver
also spelled  Dracon  
flourished 7th century BC

      Athenian lawgiver whose harsh legal code punished both trivial and serious crimes in Athens with death—hence the continued use of the word draconian to describe repressive legal measures.

      The six junior archons (thesmotetai), or magistrates, are said by Aristotle to have been instituted in Athens after 683 BC to record the laws. If this is correct, Draco's code, which is generally dated to 621, was not the first reduction of Athenian law to writing, but it may have been the first comprehensive code or a revision prompted by some particular crisis. Draco's code was later regarded as intolerably harsh, punishing trivial crimes with death; it was probably unsatisfactory to contemporaries, since Solon, who was the archon in 594 BC, later repealed Draco's code and published new laws, retaining only Draco's homicide statutes. A decree of 409/408 BC orders the public inscription of this murder law, which is partly extant. Later authors refer to other laws of Draco, which may be genuine; but the constitution ascribed to Draco in chapter 4 of the Constitution of Athens by Aristotle is certainly a later fabrication.

▪ lizard genus
      genus of the lizard family Agamidae. Members of the genus are commonly referred to as flying lizards, because scaly membranes between the forelegs and hindlegs allow them to glide from tree to tree. There are more than 40 species of Draco. Most species are small, with a snout-vent length less than 8 cm (about 3 inches), and occur in the forests of Southeast Asia and the East Indies.

      Draco species are usually dull-coloured, although their “wings” can be brightly coloured (e.g., orange with black spots). The membranes are supported by ribs that grow away from the body. At rest, the ribs and membranes fold against the sides of the body. To glide, these animals jump outward, spread their rib wings, and drift downward. A low-angle glide can carry the lizard as much as 50 metres (about 160 feet) to another tree or to the ground.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Draco — Dra co, n. [L. See {Dragon}.] 1. (Astron.) The Dragon, a northern constellation within which is the north pole of the ecliptic. [1913 Webster] 2. A luminous exhalation from marshy grounds. [1913 Webster] 3. (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of lizards. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Draco — Draco, 1) so v.w. Drache; 2) Eidechse, s. Drache 3) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Draco — (lat.), der Drache …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Draco — DRACO, ónis, einer von Aktäons vielen Hunden, welche endlich diesen ihren eigenen Herrn, als er von der Diana war in einen Hirsch verwandelt worden, anfielen und zerrissen. Hygin. Fab. 181 …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Draco —   [lateinisch »Drache«], Abkürzung Dra, lateinischer Name des Sternbilds Drache …   Universal-Lexikon

  • draco — v. drago …   Enciclopedia Italiana

  • Draco — Draco1 [drā′kō] n. [L: see DRAGON] a large N constellation containing the north pole of the ecliptic; the Dragon Draco2 [drā′kän΄drā′kō] 7th cent. B.C.; Athenian statesman & lawgiver: also called Dracon [drā′kän΄] …   English World dictionary

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