“Basilisk” by Andrew Ferez.

BASILISK (from gr. basileús “king”,

Latinized basiliscus, i.e. regulus “little king; king’s son, prince”)

in Italic (Roman) mythology monstrous serpent-drake that could kill with venom, gaze and breath. The only effective weapon against it was a mirror that could reflect the deadly sight and block the venom and vapors exhaled by the monster. Its main enemies were a weasel and a rooster, whose cockrow was lethal for the beast. The name of the creature was derived from the peculiar crest in the shape of a crown on its head [1,2]. King cobra was considered an archetype of Basilisk, and snake-killer mongoose – of the weasel.


[1] P l i n., NH, VIII, 78; [2] P l i n., NH, XXIX, 66.