Latin name: Bubalus
Other names: Aurochs, Bison, Bugle, Ueson, Uesun, Urin, Urni, Vesontes, Wesent, Wisonta, Zubro, Zubrones
Category: Beast

Buffalo are so wild that they cannot be yoked

General Attributes

The buffalo is similar to the ox but is too wild to be yoked.

There are several names used for the buffalo in medieval encyclopedias. The animal referred to has a variety of characteristics; some are common to all or most of the accounts, but there are differences.

  • The aurochs is a kind of buffalo from Germany; it has huge horns that are made into drinking vessels for kings.
  • The bubalus is an animal bigger and taller than an ox. It has long and crooked horns, a long neck, a huge head, and a kind and simple appearance, but it is extremely destructive and cruel when provoked to anger.
  • The urin (uri) is an animal with horns like those of a bull, which grow so large they are used for the goblets of kings among the royal tables.
  • The vesontes is a beast like an ox, with bristles on its neck and a mane like a horse. It is is so fierce that it can never be tamed or controlled when captured by men
  • The zubrones is a kind of wild bull that lives in Bohemia. It is said to to be largest of the wild bulls, with huge horns that are made into drinking vessels. When it attacks a man, it catches him on its horns and tosses him into the air, eventually killing him. It is so fast that it can eject its dung, turn and catch it on its horns, and throw it at a pursuer.

The use of dung as a weapon is most commonly found in accounts of the bonnacon, which appears in bestiaries as well as encyclopedias.


The buffalo represents overly proud teachers and those that lord it over the people. Such teachers choose to rule over the clergy instead of leading them as a flock.

Uses Magical, Medical, Alchemical and Culinary

Buffalo milk softens the stomach, heals fresh wounds, and is beneficial to those who have drunk poison. The bile of a buffalo removes the scars of wounds and soothes earaches. The kind of buffalo called urin has enormous horns that are used as goblets by kings.