Mediæval Tales [Gesta Romanorum Selections] | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in December 2018 with all known ATU Classifications.

Basilisk, The

ALEXANDER the Great was lord of the whole world. He once collected a large army, and besieged a certain city, around which many knights and others were killed without any visible wound. Much surprised at this, he called together his philosophers, and said, "My masters, how is this? My soldiers die, and there is no apparent wound!" "No wonder," replied they; "under the walls of the city is a basilisk, whose look infects your soldiers, and they die of the pestilence it creates." "And what remedy is there for this?" said the king.

               "Place a glass in a high place between the army and the wall under which the basilisk cowers; and no sooner shall he behold it, than his own figure, reflected in the mirror, shall return the poison upon himself, and kill him." Alexander took their advice, and thus saved his followers.


               My beloved, look into the glass of reflection, and by remembrance of human frailty destroy the vices which time breeds.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Basilisk, The
Tale Author/Editor: Morley, Henry
Book Title: Mediæval Tales [Gesta Romanorum Selections]
Book Author/Editor: Morley, Henry
Publisher: George Routledge & Sons
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1884
Country of Origin: Europe
Classification: unclassified

Prev Tale
Wily Beguiled

Back to Top