Archive for August 4th, 2009

1474: A cock and its eggs

Add comment August 4th, 2009 Headsman

“On the Thursday before St. Lawrence’s Day,” writes Gross in his Kurtze Basler Kronik, “they burned a cock on the Kolenberg, together with an egg which he had laid,* for they feared that a dragon might be hatched therefrom. The executioner cut open the cock and found three more eggs in him. For, as Vicentius saith in the sixth book of his Speculum Naturale, it hath always been held that a cock in his old age may lay an egg, whence ariseth a basilisk, if it be hatched out on a dungheap by the serpent called coluber. Wherefore the basilisk is half cock and half serpent. He saith also that certain persons declare they have seen basilisks hatched from such eggs. (Source)

* “The cock,” George Ives reassures, “was possibly an hermaphrodite or, more likely, a crowing hen.”

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Entry Filed under: 15th Century,Animals,Burned,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,History,Notable Jurisprudence,Public Executions,Switzerland,The Supernatural

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