This basilisk has a raptor's beak, a cockscomb, wings, a tail and claws. He is being attacked by a weasel.

This basilisk has a raptor’s beak, a cockscomb, wings, a tail and claws. He is being attacked by a weasel.

Text Translation:

Of the basilisk. The basilisk’s name in Greek, translated into Latin, regulus, means ‘little king’. It is so called because it is the king of crawling things, who flee when they see it, because it kills them with its scent. It will even kill a man just by looking at him. Indeed, no bird can fly past unharmed by its gaze but, however far away, will be burnt up and devoured in its mouth.

The basilisk can be conquered by weasels. Men put them into the caves where the basilisks lie hidden. The basilisk, seeing the weasel, flees; the weasel pursues and kills it. For the Creator has made nothing without a remedy. The basilisk is half-a-foot in length, with white stripes. Of the basilisk, or regulus [continued] Basilisks, like scorpions, seek out dry places; after they have come to water and bite anyone there, they make that person hydrophobic and send them mad. The creature called sibilus is the same as the regulus, or basilisk; for it kills with its hiss before it bites or burns.

Folio 66r – the dragon, continued. De basilisco; Of the basilisk.


  1. kestrel says

    Somehow I had always imagined a basilisk to be so large that a weasel would not be able to kill it. Not that weasels aren’t clever about killing things; they definitely are.

  2. says

    Half foot? That is smaller than the weasel. I also note a lack of black and white stripes in the depiction.
    What is interesting is this:

    hey make that person hydrophobic and send them mad

    That looks like rabies symptoms.

  3. avalus says

    They make persons hydrophobic? I would be quite mad, if i were to separate in a aqueus and hydrophobic batch of liquids. (I guess the autors meant a different “hydrophobic” that the chemistry/physics definition).

  4. avalus says

    Uh, right after clicking ‘send’ it occured to me, that hydrophobic can also mean “fear of water”. I feel stupid now and sorry for posting double.
    It is too late here.

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