Dragons and Serpents
The serpent was a symbol of wisdom and fertility. A particular dragon/snake hybrid, referred to as the horned serpent, was connected to the torque, a symbol of sovereignty and status, and to the horned god Cernunnos. It was not until medieval times that dragons were viewed negatively; this was probably due to their associations with pagan gods — which is probably why so many tales pit brave Christian knights against wicked dragons.
The serpent was especially connected with healing waters, and the Roman authority Pliny noted in the first century that the druids revered an item they referred to as the “serpent's egg” for its healing powers. The serpent's egg was not an egg per se but an egg-shaped stone considered to possess certain magical properties.
The dragon, a creature inherited by the Romans, was featured in early tales of the Arthurian magician Merlin, where it was a symbol from prophetic visions and invariably a sign of bad omen. Dragons were not all bad, however. The Welsh so revered the protective red dragon that it became their national symbol.