Latin name: Bos
Other names: Bova, Urus

The ox is a strong beast that can predict the weather

General Attributes

Oxen can predict the weather, and knowing when it is about to rain, refuse to leave their stalls. They do not like to be separated from their kind; an ox wants to be with its usual partner when pulling a plow, and they will roar if separated. There are several kinds of ox: in India lives a particularly cruel sort with one horn, that cannot be tamed. Ox horns are used to make drinking cups.

The dung of an ox cures the bite of a water snake called hydros (Isidore, Etymologies, 12, 4, 22).


Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 70): Indian oxen are said to be as tall as camels and to have horns up to four feet wide. Among the Garamantes oxen only graze while walking backwards. A tale is told of an ox that is worshipped as a god in Egypt.

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 2, chapter 57): Oxen are after all the most serviceable creatures. At sharing the farmer's labours, at carrying loads of various kinds, at filling the milk-pail - at all these things the ox is excellent. He graces the altars, gladdens festivals, and provides a solemn banquet. And even when dead the ox is a splendid creature deserving our praise. At any rate bees are begotten of his carcase - bees, the most industrious of creatures, which afford the best and sweetest of fruits that man has, namely honey. [Book 4, chapter 35] A domesticated ox will never forget the man who strikes and chastises him, but he remembers and takes his revenge even after a long interval. - [Scholfield translation]