The Piazzetta is marked by two large granite columns carrying symbols of the two patron saints of Venice. The first is St Theodore, who was the patron of the city before St Mark, holding a spear and with a crocodile to represent the dragon which he was said to have slain. This is made up of parts of antique statues and is a copy. The second (eastern) column has a creature representing a winged lion (the symbol of St Mark). This has a long history, probably starting as a winged lion-griffin on a monument to the god Sandon at Tarsus in Cilicia about 300 BC. The columns are now thought to have been erected about 1268, when the water was closer and they would have been on the edge of the lagoon.