Saturday 19 July 2014

Crowned Crowing Cobras

These two Roman representations of probably Crested Crowned Cobras recently came to me in the form of a Cryptic colouring page. I coloured them in and add them to the blog as illustrating the type. The originals were from frescoes at Pompeii. It is possible that they were called "Basilisks"


  1. I mentioned it before, but thought it fitting to note again here. The flying serpents/dragons of Medea are usually portray as thick, wingless snakes with a comb and wattles. Here a picture from a vase from the 4th century bc:

    Another one from around 300 bc:

    And another one here:

    They have combs and wattles in all 3 pictures from different times... so this cryptid might have already been known to the ancient greeks. Interestingly they are described as winged..but no artist seems to have put wings on them...
    Here the description:

    They call them "Drakones pterotoi". Drakones often seem to have a comb and wattles in classical greek art even the hydra is sometimes portrayed as bearded/with wattles:

    And in color the crest is red:

    The crest and wattles seem to be defining features of the drakones.

    1. That is true but it is not the only kind of depictions of Drakones, there are also sometimes descriptions of them having legs and thus they would be more lizardlike. I was not going into the topic in any detail here but it was good of you to send it.

      In any event Ivan T Sanderson was probably wrong when he identified the name as going with the winged serpents (A separate category)

      Were you aware that the links fail to function as links after you posted them?

    2. Thanks for the reply! As usual very interesting stuff. Looking forward to your post concerning Drakones!

      I wasnt aware that none of the links would work. Sorry for that. Was really tired that day but couldnt help myself and post the urls. Anyway can I edit that somehow to make them work as normal links again? (people could just copy/paste it into their browser however, as a temporary solution).


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