In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk ('bæzɪlɪsk, from the Greek βασιλίσκος basilískos, "little king"; Latin Regulus) is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and said to have the power of causing death by a single glance. For the origins of the technique and non-artistic use see Woodblock printing; for the related technique invented in the 18th century see Wood engraving Ulisse Aldrovandi ( 11 September 1522 - 4 May 1605) was an Italian naturalist, the moving force behind Bologna Zwolle is a Municipality and the capital city of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, 120 kilometers northeast of Amsterdam. Michael (מִיכָאֵל Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; Μιχαήλ Mikhaíl; Michael or Míchaël; ميخائيل Mikhā'īl) is an A bestiary, or Bestiarum vocabulum is a compendium of beasts Bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals A legend ( Latin, legenda, "things to be read" is a Narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly A legend ( Latin, legenda, "things to be read" is a Narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to Reptiles, or members of the class Reptilia are air-breathing Cold-blooded Vertebrates that have skin covered in scales as opposed to hair or feathers Serpent is a word of Latin origin (from serpens serpentis "something that creeps snake" that is commonly used in a specifically mythic or Death is the termination of the biological functions that define living Organisms It refers both to a specific According to the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder, the basilisk is a small snake that is so venomous that it leaves a wide trail of deadly venom in its wake, and its gaze is likewise lethal. Naturalis Historia ( Latin for "Natural History" is an Encyclopedia written Circa AD 77 by Pliny the Elder. Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author This article is about the class of Biotoxins For other uses see Venom (disambiguation and Venomous (disambiguation.
Basilisk is also the name of a genus of small lizards, (family Corytophanidae). Corytophanidae is a family of Lizards also called casque head lizards or helmeted lizards The Green Basilisk, also called plumed basilisk, is a lizard that can run across the surface of water. The plumed basilisk ( Basiliscus plumifrons) also called a green basilisk, is a Species of Lizard native to Latin America.
There are three descriptions to the image of the basilisk: a huge multi-limbed lizard, a giant snake, or a three-foot high cockerel with a snake's tail and teeth, all of which are shared with the cockatrice. A rooster (also called a cock or chanticleer) is a male Chicken ( Gallus gallus) the female being called a Hen. A cockatrice is a Legendary creature, resembling a large rooster with a lizard-like tail "an ornament in the drama and poetry of the Elizabethans quot Laurence It is called "king" because it is reputed to have on its head a mitre- or crown-shaped crest. The mitre (sometimes also spelled miter from the Greek μίτρα, 'headband' or 'turban' is a type of headgear now known as the traditional ceremonial head-dress of A sagittal crest is a ridge of bone running lengthwise along the midline of the top of the Skull (at the Sagittal suture) of many Stories of the basilisk place it in the same general family as the cockatrice. The basilisk is fabulously alleged to be hatched by a cockerel from the egg of a serpent (the reverse of the cockatrice, which was hatched from a cockerel's "egg" incubated by a serpent's nest). In Medieval Europe, the description of the creature began taking on features from cockerels.
One of the earliest accounts of the basilisk comes from Pliny the Elder's Natural History, written in roughly 79 AD. Gaius or Caius Plinius Secundus, ( AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 better known as Pliny the Elder, was an ancient Author Naturalis Historia ( Latin for "Natural History" is an Encyclopedia written Circa AD 77 by Pliny the Elder. He describes the catoblepas, a monstrous cow-like creature to whom "there is not one that looketh upon his eyes, but hee dyeth presently. The catoblepas (from the Greek καταβλέπω (katablépō "to look downwards" is a Legendary creature from ", and then goes on to say,
The like propertie hath the serpent called a Basiliske: bred it is in the province Cyrenaica, and is not above twelve fingers-breadth long: a white spot like a starre it carrieth on the head, and setteth it out like a coronet or diademe: if he but hisse once, no other serpents dare come neere: he creepeth not winding and crawling by as other serpents doe, with one part of the bodie driving the other forward, but goeth upright and aloft from the ground with the one halfe part of his bodie: he killeth all trees and shrubs not only that he toucheth, but that he doth breath upon also: as for grasse and hearbs, those hee sindgeth and burneth up, yea and breaketh stones in sunder: so venimous and deadly is he. It is received for a truth, that one of them upon a time was killed with a launce by an horseman from his horseback, but the poison was so strong that went from his bodie along the staffe, as it killed both horse and man: and yet a sillie weazle hath a deadly power to kill this monstrous serpent, as pernicious as it is [for may kings have been desirous to see the experience thereof, and the manner how he is killed. ] See how Nature hath delighted to match everything in the world with a concurrent. The manner is, to cast these weazles into their holes and cranies where they lye, (and easie they be to knowe, by the stinking sent of the place all about them:) they are not so soone within, but they overcome them with their strong smell, but they die themselves withall; and so Nature for her pleasure hath the combat dispatched.
The Venerable Bede was the first to attest to the legend of the birth of a basilisk from an egg by an old cockerel, then other authors added the condition of Sirius being ascendant. For the Mauritanian Thirty Years' War see Char Bouba war. For the band see The 30 Years War. Bede (ˈbiːd (also Saint Bede, the Venerable Bede, or (from Latin Beda (beda (c A rooster (also called a cock or chanticleer) is a male Chicken ( Gallus gallus) the female being called a Hen. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky with a visual Apparent magnitude of &minus1 Isidore of Seville defined the basilisk as the king of snakes, due to its killing glare and its poisonous breath. Saint Isidore of Seville ( Spanish: es ''San Isidro'' or es ''San Isidoro de Sevilla'' Latin: latin ''Isidorus Hispalensis'' (c Alexander Neckham was the first to say that not the glare but the "air corruption" was the killing tool of the basilisk, a theory developed one century later by Pietro d'Abano. Alexander ( of) Neckam ( 8 September 1157 &ndash 1217 was an English scholar and teacher Pietro d'Abano also known as Petrus De Apono or Aponensis (c 1250 &ndash c
Theophilus Presbyter gives a long recipe in his book for creating a basilisk in order to convert copper into "Spanish gold" (De auro hyspanico). Theophilus Presbyter (approx 1070 - 1125) was a Benedictine monk and author of a Latin text containing detailed descriptions of various medieval Copper (ˈkɒpɚ is a Chemical element with the symbol Cu (cuprum and Atomic number 29 Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Gold (ˈɡoʊld is a Chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and Atomic number 79
Albertus Magnus in the De animalibus wrote about the killing gaze of the basilisk, but he denied other legends, such as the rooster hatching the egg. He gave as source of those legends Hermes Trismegistus, who is credited also as the creator of the story about the basilisk's ashes being able to convert silver into gold: the attribution is absolutely incorrect, but it shows how the legends of the basilisk were already linked to alchemy in XIII century. Hermes Trismegistus ( Greek:, "thrice-great Hermes" Latin: Mercurius ter Maximus) is the Syncretism of the Greek god Silver (ˈsɪlvɚ is a Chemical element with the symbol " Ag " (argentum from the Ancient Greek: ἀργήντος - argēntos gen Gold (ˈɡoʊld is a Chemical element with the symbol Au (from its Latin name aurum) and Atomic number 79 Alchemy a part of the Occult Tradition is both a philosophy and a practice with an ultimately unknown aim involving the improvement of the alchemist as well as the making of
Geoffrey Chaucer featured a basilicok (as he called it) in his Canterbury Tales. Geoffrey Chaucer (c 1343 – 25 October 1400? was an English author poet Philosopher, bureaucrat, courtier and Diplomat. The Canterbury Tales is a collection of stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century (two of them in Prose, the rest in verse) According to some legends, basilisks can be killed by hearing the crow of a rooster or gazing at itself through a mirror. The latter method of killing the beast is featured in the legend of the basilisk living in Warsaw, killed by a man carrying a set of mirrors (the most famous version of the legend was written by Artur Oppman). Warsaw (Warszawa; also known by other names) is the Capital and Largest city of Poland.
Stories gradually added to the basilisk's deadly capabilities, such as describing it as a larger beast, capable of breathing fire and killing with the sound of its voice. Some writers even claimed that it could kill not only by touch, but also by touching something that is touching the victim, like a sword held in their hand. Also, some stories claim their breath is highly toxic and will cause death, usually immediately. The basilisk is also the guardian creature of the Swiss city Basel. "Basilia" redirects here For the Fly Genus, see Basilia (fly.
The basilisk was, however, believed to be vulnerable to roosters. Travellers in the Middle Ages sometimes carried roosters with them as protection. 
Leonardo da Vinci included a basilisk in his Bestiary, saying it is so utterly cruel that when it cannot kill animals by its baleful gaze, it turns upon herbs and plants, and fixing its gaze on them withers them up. Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci ( April 15 1452 – May 2 1519 was an Italian Polymath, having been a scientist Mathematician, Engineer A bestiary, or Bestiarum vocabulum is a compendium of beasts Bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals
In his Notebooks, he describes the basilisk:
Then Leonardo says the following on the weasel: "This beast finding the lair of the basilisk kills it with the smell of its urine, and this smell, indeed, often kills the weasel itself. Weasels are Mammals in the genus Mustela of the Mustelidae family. "
Some have speculated a euhemeristic (rationalized, in the manner of Euhemerus) explanation for the basilisk, in particular that reports of cobras may have given birth to the stories of the monster. Euhemerus (Εὐήμερος (working late fourth century BC was a Greek mythographer at the court of Cassander, the king of Macedon. Cobras ( are venomous Snakes of the family Elapidae, of several genera, but particularly Naja. Cobras can maintain an upright posture, and, as with many snakes in overlapping territories, are often killed by mongooses. A mongoose (plural mongooses) is a member of the family Herpestidae (although also used for some members of Eupleridae) a family of small The king cobra or Hamadryad has a crownlike symbol on its head. The King Cobra ( Ophiophagus hannah) is the world's longest venomous Snake, with a length that can be as large as 5 Another family of eleven species of cobras can incapacitate from a distance by spitting venom, and may well have been confused by similar appearance with the Hamadryad. The Egyptian cobra lives in the desert and was used as a symbol of royalty. 
In William Shakespeare's Richard III, a widow, on hearing compliments on her eyes from her husband's brother and murderer, retorts that she wishes they were those of a basilisk, that she might kill him. William Shakespeare ( baptised Richard III is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1591  Another famous reference to the basilisk is found in John Gay’s "The Beggar's Opera" (Act II, Air XXV):
In the chapter XVI of The Zadig, Voltaire mentions a basilisk, “an Animal, that will not suffer itself to be touch'd by a Man”. François-Marie Arouet ( 21 November 1694 30 May 1778) better known by the Pen name Voltaire, was a French  Percy Bysshe Shelley in his "Ode to Naples" alludes to the basilisk:
Basilisks have been re-imagined and employed in modern fantasy fiction for books, movies, and role-playing games, with wide variations on the powers and weaknesses attributed to them. Fantasy is a Genre that uses magic and other Supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, and/or setting A role-playing game ( RPG; often roleplaying game) is a Game in which the participants assume the roles of Fictional characters. Most of these depictions describe a reptile of some sort, with the power to kill its victims with a direct stare and petrify through an indirect one, such as in J. K. Rowling's book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Joanne "Jo" Rowling OBE (born 31 July 1965 who writes under the A large, snake-like Basilisk was featured in the book, and was portrayed as a much larger creature than the true mythological character. Magical creatures comprise a colourful and integral aspect of the Wizarding world in the Harry Potter series by J It was described as coming from a chickens egg, hatched under a toad. It had yellow eyes that caused death to anyone who looks into them. According to an encyclopedia page found by Hermione Granger, "Spiders flee before it. Hermione Jean Granger . . the cry of a rooster is fatal to it". Additionally, Fawkes the Phoenix saving Harry from being killed by the Basilisk is a variation on the original lore. Magical creatures comprise a colourful and integral aspect of the Wizarding world in the Harry Potter series by J The phoenix ( Ancient Greek: Φοῖνιξ phoínix is a mythical sacred firebird in ancient mythologies starting with the Greek and later the  In the Harry Potter books, Phoenix tears are said to be the only cure for Basilisk poison. Harry got stabbed in the arm by one of the Basilisk fangs, but after pulling the fang out, Fawkes let his tears fall on the wound and it healed itself. The book's Basilisk can also been seen in Chris Columbus's movie with the same title, but appears much more serpentine, resembling an enormous snake more than anything else. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 Fantasy Adventure Film, and the second film in the popular ''Harry Potter'' A basilisk was recently featured as a boss in the PSP video game "God of War: Chains of Olympus" and have been featured in the MMORPG "World of Warcraft" since its launch in 2004. God of War Chains of Olympus is a Hack and slash, Action-adventure game developed by Ready At Dawn exclusively for the Sony A massively multiplayer online role-playing game ( MMORPG) is a genre of Computer role-playing games (CRPGs in which a large number of players interact with World of Warcraft (commonly acronymed as WoW) is a Massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG
Like the words "vampires" and "lemures", biological science reuses mythological concepts to name animal species. Basiliscus is a Genus of Lizards that includes the basilisks Taxonomy and etymology The Genus basiliscus is named for the creature Vampire bats are Bats whose food source is Blood, a dietary trait called Hematophagy. In Roman mythology, the larvae or lemures (singular lemur) were the spectres or spirits of the dead they were the malignant version of the Basilisk in science refers to the genus Basiliscus of South American "lizard", containing four species. South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a Lizards are a large and widespread group of Reptiles of the order Squamata, with nearly 5000 species and ranging across all continents except