In the myth of the Basilisk, the monster was born from the egg layed by a rooster. And there were medieval processes, where a rooster was condemned to the death for laying an egg.

But how it was believed that rooster layed the egg? Was it the result of a sodomy? Or there is other explanation?


According to E.V. Walter's article "Nature on Trial: The Case of the Rooster That Laid an Egg", such medieval animal trials where very similar in spirit to witch trials: the guilty animals were often believed to be possessed by evil spirits, demons, or the Devil himself. In "Legal Lore: Curiosities of Law and Lawyers", William Andrews writes about a particularly famous trial agains a cock which laid eggs:

... Satan employed witches to hatch such eggs, from which proceeded winged serpents most dangerous to mankind


The poor cock was convicted, and condemned to death, not as a cock, however, but as a sorcerer, or perhaps a devil, in the form of a cock...

Therefore, it seems that there was no attempt at explaining in a rational or concrete way the acts against the natural order for which the animals were punished. They were simply the supernatural results of sorcery, or the work of Satan himself.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.