Sources : Ray

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 9, 72; 9, 90): [Book 9, 72] ...there is nothing in the world more execrable than the sting projecting above the tail of the sting-ray which our people call the parsnip-fish [pastinacam]; it is five inches long, and kills trees when driven into the root, and penetrates armor like a missile, with the force of steel and with deadly poison. [Book 9, 90] There is a second class of flatfish that has gristle instead of a backbone, for instance rays [raiae], sting-rays [pastinacae], skates [squatinae], the electric ray [torpedo], and those the Greek names for which mean 'ox', 'sorceress', 'eagle' and 'frog'. - [Rackham translation]

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Fish 7.70): Raithe [ray] or rais or rochen, as the common people call them in different languages, are fish of the sea, as it were [i.e. Liber rerum]. This fish is considered very cheap among noble fish where there is an abundance of fish. But where there is a scarcity of fish, their rarity makes them have a higher price. In breadth and length, which is almost equal in them, it is two or three cubits. They are almost round in shape. They have horrible eyes, and their mouths are hideous with deformity, and this mouth is not in the same place as other fishes, but in the belly; but where the head and eyes are, they have no mouth. It has a tail as long as a lizard's, and on it are some very sharp spines. These fishes sometimes have a stone in their heads, and we do not believe that nature has created it useless. The meat of these is indigestible like beef. These fish are impregnated, as Aristotle says, by the southerly wind. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]