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Basilisk Facts

Wyvern | > Basilisk | Hydra | Amphiptere/Quetzalcoatl | Guivre
Dragonet | Drake | Faerie | Lindworm | Wyrm

The basilisk

The Basilisk, © Bulfinch's Mythology

1. One of the most feared monsters in the early Western world

2. Small, horrific reptile

3. Large tuft on its head represented a crown

4. Had thick bird-like legs

5. Hailed as king of the serpents

6. Derived from the Greek word basileus meaning "little king"

7. Other variations include:
Regulus [Latin]

8. Could split boulders with a single glance from their deadly eyes

9. Noxious breath would wither trees and bushes

10. Streams and rivers they drank from would be permanently poisoned

11. Odour of its sweat was foul and toxic

12. Land they passed through would become barren wasteland

13. These would counter the basilisk's lethal powers:
The weasel [somehow immune to its death-dealing gaze]
The rooster [the basilisk would flee at the rooster's crowing]
The Rue plant [could withstand the basilisk's breath and was used by weasels to heal themselves if they were attacked by the basilisk]

14. Became known as the cockatrice in medieval times because of depictions with a cockerel's head and feathered wings

15. Would be destroyed by seeing its own reflection in a mirror

gallery of Basilisk pictures

next [hydra]


Books -
Dragons: A Natural History, by Dr. Karl Shuker

Websites -
(Apr 2002): Unlisted (way too many sites, checked
and cross-referenced for accuracy)