Wednesday, November 20, 2002

This morning, I went and reread my book, "The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter" by David Colbert, and found that the Basilisk is actually a legendary snake in the Middle Ages. It was also called a "cockatrice", and like in CoS, it was believed that a basilisk was the offspring of a rooster/hen mated with a snake/toad. Basilisks are usually portrayed as large snakes with a crown or white spot on the head, much like a cobra, which probably started the basilisk legend, although some artists took the description literally, they portrayed basilisks with the head of a rooster, with wings, and with the body of a snake. Queer. It is said that the basilisk is deadly even from afar. The Roman naturalist, Pliny, says it kills all it touches and breathes upon, it breaks stones, and is venomous and deadly. Some sources say there are three varieties: one can poison with a look, one sparks fire, and one, like Medusa, causes such horror, it can petrify its victims, also like our basilisk in CoS. :) And the rooster is said to be fatal to it, travellers in the Middle Ages have been known to carry roosters for protection. :)

Cool. And I thought the term "basilisk" just referred to a species of lizard. :D

:: padméskywalker told this story at 11/20/2002 12:19:10 PM   #
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