PYTHON, MYTHOLOGICAL, in Greek mythology, son of Gaea, an enormous serpent, said to have been produced from the mud after the flood of Deucalion. Its haunt was a cavern near Mt Parnassus. Four days after its birth it was slain by Apollo ( Apollodoriis i. 4), who was hence surnamed Pythius. According to Ephorus (in Strabo ix. 646), Python, surnamed Dracon (serpent), was a brigand near Delphi. The python in reality represents the pestilential vapours rising from stagnant lakes and pools, which are dispersed by Apollo and his arrows that is, the shafts of the Sun. The old derivation (Homeric Hymn to Apollo, 371), according to which Delphi was originally called Pytho, because the slain serpent was left there to " rot " (irv6e<r6ai) , points to this explanation.
See C. Pascal, Sludii di antichita e mitologia (1896).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)