The Greek mythology can be understood as a group of major myths and legends that developed throughout ancient Greece, beliefs involving a lot of gods and heroes , cults and rituals and theories about what the nature of the world and his origins. Being so wide, there were also several important mythological beings , one of them is known by the name of the basilisk , a kind of snake that lived in the deserts of Africa.


What is a basilisk?

The basilisk was a fabulous animal that belonged to Greek mythology which had a snake shape and was also capable of killing using the inoculation of its deadly venom or simply by staring at the victim. Its tradition is even present today in many distant cultures and peoples.

  • Basilisk characteristics
  • Source
  • Basilisk myth
  • Symbology
  • How it is represented
  • Behavior
  • Where do you live
  • What does the basilisk eat
  • Curiosities
  • Presence in popular culture

Basilisk characteristics

Some of the main characteristics of the basilisk were the following:

  • He had skills and abilities to kill men or animals just by looking at his target.
  • It was a type of fantastic mythological creature similar to a rooster crossed with a lizard.
  • It had a crest equal to that of roosters in the shape of a crown and for that reason it was also known as ” little king”.
  • Another of his characteristic names was ” the king of snakes .”
  • It is part of Greek mythology .
  • It was actually a type of hybrid between a reptile , a rooster, and a bat .
  • They had the ability to transform everything they touched into rock .
  • In its adult size, it could reach 20 fingers in length .


As for its origin, there are two important versions. The first one says that the basilisk was the son of Medusa , who was beheaded. When she shed her blood from where the snakes were born, so did a monster that emitted horrible sounds and was capable of killing with her eyes just like her mother. The second version says that the mythological animal was born from the full moon of a deformed egg , since it was very small and had no yolk. According to this version, the egg had been laid by an old hen and then had been fertilized by a snake , subsequently, ithatched a toad for 9 years.

Basilisk myth

Being a mythological character, it does not have its origins very clear so it is considered that its origin occurred thousands of years ago and in addition, there are a great variety of different myths about it. The main myth of the basilisk indicates that it was born from a chicken egg which had been hatched by a toad . It was, according to the myth, a monster that was full of lethal poison that also had the great ability to kill with just its gaze and with its breath, it could wither flora and break stones.

It is said that the only way to kill the basilisk was by using the crowing of a rooster , which terrified him, and there is also the version that said that a weasel was ideal to eliminate it, since it turned out to be immune to its gaze and could defeat it. using its scent.


The Basilisk had different symbologies over time. Even in the Bible its symbolism can be found representing evil and destruction . In medieval Christianity and within Christian art , this mythological animal was considered as the antichrist and as a manifestation of the devil . At present, it has been used to symbolize power , death , destruction and longevity mainly when it has been used in motion pictures.

How it is represented

Basilisco was represented with a head rather sharp on which had a stain of white colored assimilating one crown three points . His eyes were red in color very similar to flames and also they were always on. It had a relatively small body and was black , on its body you could see some splashes of white. Its tail was quite long and thin, and it usually held a curled position.. Its body was similar to that of a rooster , it had an elongated neck and its tail was the same as that of a reptile , in addition, it had wings equal to those of a bat . In its tail it had scales and in the final part of it, some feathers .


According to ancient stories, the basilisk was an extremely aggressive and violent animal that also fed on its human victims, so it was also considered a predator .

Where do you live

The basilisk was a creature that came from Europe and therefore lived in nearby areas, however, this myth also spread to other parts of the world . In Chiloe mythology they have talked about an animal half horse and half snake, in Argentine folklore , it was described as a type of giant worm that had only one eye and could kill with its gaze. It is said that he usually lives in totally unpopulated areas , away from people with whom he does not get along. There are also other versions that assure that the basilisk used to live in a desert that he himself had created..

What does the basilisk eat

According to the mythological version, small basilisks used to feed on winged insects which they could collect from trees. There is also the theory that larger basilisks feed on animals more large that were slain by using their venom in his eyes . Experts consider that it is a bit difficult to determine exactly what this magical being was feeding on, since it was a mixture of rooster, reptile and snake.


Some curiosities about Basilisk are the following:

  • For many settlers of the time, finding a basilisk was a symbol of bad fortune as it was considered to bring death and much pain . According to the story , it causes a severe cough that made people finally die as well as everyone around the patient.
  • According to the story, this animal, in addition to being extremely lethal, had such harmful breath that it could break stones and wither plants .
  • According to mythology, he also had the ability to petrify anyone who saw his reflection in a mirror or on some kind of surface.
  • In the Bible , specifically in the Old Testament , the basilisk is cited on 7 different occasions in the books of Proverbs, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Psalms .
  • It is believed that in order to kill a basilisk , a rooster could be made to crow or it could be exposed to the scent of a weasel .

Presence in popular culture

In popular culture, the existence and presence of the basilisk became extremely famous thanks to the saga of the renowned Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets. In this film version, the protagonist must face one of them and is also shown as a skeleton. In the field of literature , it has been represented in the book of the Heroes of Olympus where it was established that he was the son of Neptune and that for that reason he was invincible.

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