Sources : Stag

Aristotle [ca. 350 BCE] (De animalibus Book 6, 26.3): There are fables about their long life. They do not, however, appear to be worthy of credit; and the period of gestation and growth of the young does not agree with the habits of long-lived animals. [Book 9, chapter 6.1] He sheds his horns in difficult and scarcely accessible places, from whence arises the proverb, "where the stag sheds its horns," for they are afraid of being seen, as if they had lost their means of defense. It is said that the left horn never has been seen, for he conceals it as if it had some medicinal power.[Book 9, chapter 6.4] When the ears of the deer are erect, it hears quickly, and cannot be deceived, as it may be if they hang down.- [Cresswell translation, 1887]

Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 6, verse 794-797): Then copious poisons from the moon distills / Mixed with all monstrous things which Nature's pangs / Bring to untimely birth ... flesh of stags / Fed upon serpents...". (book 9, verse 1078-1081): "...they burn / Larch, southern-wood and antlers of a deer / Which lived afar. From these in densest fumes, / Deadly to snakes, a pungent smoke arose.... - [Ridley, 1919 translation]

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 41; 8, 50; 10, 5; 11, 115): [Book 8, 41] A stag, when wounded by an arrow, can eject the arrow from the wound by grazing on the herb dittany. If bitten by a poisonous spider, the stag will eat crabs to cure itself. [Book 8, 50] The stag is a gentle animal. Stags are very lustful; the mating season begins after the rising of the star Arcturus. When deer hear hounds, they run down wind to avoid giving themselves away with their scent. Deer are simple animals, surprised at everything; they can be charmed by song and by a shepherd's pipe. To cross seas they swim in a line with each deer's head on the back of the one in front of it, and they take turns moving to the back of the line. A stag's age can be told by its horns or its teeth. Stags lose their horns every year, and retire to secret places to do so; their right horn, which is never found, is said to contain a healing drug. The smell of stag horns burning stops an attack of epilepsy and drives away snakes. Stags are at war with snakes, drawing them out of their holes with the breath of their nostrils. Stags live a long time; the ones that Alexander the Great had put gold necklaces on were caught a hundred years later, and the necklaces were found to be covered with folds of fat. Stags are not subject to feverish diseases, and eating venison is said to prevent fevers in people. [Book 10, 5] Stags fight with eagles: the eagles cover themselves with dust, perch on the stag's horns to shake the dust in its eyes, and beat the stag's head with their wings until it falls. [Book 11, 115] The breath of stags scorches snakes. - [Rackham translation]

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 2, 9): A deer defeats a snake by an extraordinary gift that Nature has bestowed. And the fiercest snake lying in its den cannot escape, but the deer applies its nostrils to the spot where the venomous creature lurks, breathes into it with the utmost force, attracts it by the spell, as it were, of its breath, draws it forth against its will, and when it peeps out, begins to eat it. Especially in the winter does it do this. Indeed it has even happened that a man has ground a deer's horn to powder and then has thrown the powder into fire, and that the mounting smoke has driven the snakes from all the neighborhood: even the smell is to them unendurable. [Book 5, chapter 56] And they swim in single file, holding on to one another, the ones behind supporting their chins on the rumps of those in front ... [when tired. the one in front] takes the last place in the line, and resting itself upon the one next in front of it in the whole troop, brings up the rear. - [Scholfield translation]

Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 19.9-18): [Chapter 19.9] When the male of this species is incited during mating time, he rages with a fury of desire. [Chapter 19.10] Although they may mate with the females before, the females do not conceive prior to the appearance of the star Arcturus. They do not educate their offspring at adventure. The mothers carefully stow their young, and when they are hidden in the depths of the thickets or foliage, they beat them with their feet so they lie concealed. [[Chapter 19.11] When their strength has matured enough for speed, the mothers teach by training and running, and accustom their offspring to leap by traversing rough and dangerous paths. When deer hear dogs barking, they choose ways down wind, so their scent retreats with them. Deer marvel at the whistling of shepherd’s pipes. They hear most acutely when their ears are standing straight; when their ears are stooping, they hear nothing. Everything astounds them: they therefore put themselves more easily in the way of being shot by arrows. [Chapter 19.12] If they swim across seas, they do not seek the shores by looking, but by smell. They place the weak in the last place, and by turns bear up the heads of the weary on their hindquarters. [Chapter 19.13] Of their antlers, the right one is more efficacious for healing. If you are eager to put serpents to flight, you can burn whichever antler you wish. In addition, the fumes of the burning uncover defects, and reveal whether anyone has the falling sickness. The branches of the antlers grow with age. This growth continues for six years; thereupon the branches do not grow more numerous, but they can become thicker. [Chapter 19.14] After deer are castrated their antlers never grow; nor, however, do they fall off. [Chapter 19.15] The teeth of deer show their age; in old age either few or none are found. They swallow serpents: with the breath of their noses they drag them out from their burrow lairs. They find dittany; when they have fed on it they cast off arrows which they have received. [Chapter 19.16] They also eat the herb which they call cinaris, as an antidote for harmful plants. The rennet of a fawn killed in the uterus of its mother is a marvelous remedy for poisons. It is well known that deer are never febrile. For this reason, ointments made from their marrow settle the burnings of sick men. [Chapter 19.17] We read that many people who eat deer flesh in the early parts of the day are accustomed to be without fever and to live to great ages. This only happens, however, if the deer which they eat are killed by one wound. [Chapter 19.18] Alexander the Great tied collars to many deer in order to determine their life-span. After one hundred years they were captured, and did not then show a sign of old age.- [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]

Ethiopian Physiologus [4th - 7th century] (Chapter 30): [The Hommel translation uses the name "berghock", which literally means "mountain goat". The Greek text uses the name "deer", as does the quote from the Psalms.] David said: 'As the [deer] longs for the spring of water, so my soul longs for God.' [Psalm 41, 1]. Physiologus said: The [stag] is an enemy of the dragon; When the dragon flees from the [stag], he goes into a crack in the earth; and the [stag] in turn fills his belly with water and spits it out into the crevices; and then the dragon goes out, and the [stag] kills him. In the same way our Lord also killed the great dragon that was in heaven, while he previously had the word of wisdom. The dragon could not endure the water, nor could the devil endure the heavenly word. But as for you, if there is something in your heart that says to you, Do not fornicate, and do not steal, and do not go to another man's wife, then put away all vain works, using the water of the doctrine to drink of the new law. Our Lord also cast out from heaven the great dragon, the devil, who hid himself in the depths of the earth and in a great crevice. Our Lord shed water and blood from his side and killed the dragon. But he redeemed us through the water of his new birth and taught us the whole battle with the devil. - [Hommel translation, German to English Google assisted]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 1:18; 1.21-22): [Book 12, 1:18] Deer [cervus] are so called from the word kérato, that is, from their horns, for ‘horn’ is called kérato in Greek. They are antagonistic to snakes; when they sense themselves burdened with infirmity, they draw the serpents from their caves with the breath from their nostrils, and having overcome the malignancy of the poison, the deer are restored to health by eating the serpents. They were the ones to discover the herb dittany [dictamnus], for after they have eaten it, they shake out any arrows that have stuck in them. Moreover, they are fascinated by the whistling of reed pipes. They listen intently with ears pricked, but if their ears are lowered, they hear nothing. If ever they swim across great rivers or seas, they place their head on the haunches of the one in front of them, and with each one following the next, they feel no difficulty from the weight. [Book 12, 1:21] The 'young stag' [hinnulus] is the offspring of deer so called from 'nodding' [innuere], because they conceal themselves at a nod from their mother. [Book 12, 1:22]. The young doe [dammula] is so called because she flees 'from one's hand' [de manu]. She is a timid animal and unwarlike, concerning which Martial says [Epigrams 13.94]: The boar is feared for his tusk, horns defend the stag; what are we unwarlike does [damae) but prey? - [Barney, Lewis, et. al. translation]

Gerald of Wales [c. 1146 – c. 1223] (Topographia Hibernica, chapter 19): It produces stags so fat that they lose their speed, and the more slender they are in shape, the more nobly they carry their heads and branching antlers. - [Forester translation, 1863]

Aberdeen Bestiary [circa 1200 CE] (folio 13r-14r): Deer are the enemies of snakes; when they feel weighed down with weakness, they draw snakes from their holes with the breath of their noses and, overcoming the fatal nature of their venom, eat them and are restored. They have shown the value of the herb dittany, for after feeding on it, they shake out the arrows which have lodged in them. Deer marvel at the sound of the pipes; their hearing is keen when their ears are pricked but they hear nothing when their ears are lowered. ... When they cross great rivers or large long stretches of water, they place their head on the hindquarters of the deer in front and, following one on the other, do not feel impeded by their weight. ... They have another characteristic, that after eating a snake they run to a spring and, drinking from it, shed their long coats and all signs of old age. ... Stags, when it is time to rut, rage with the madness of lust. Does, although they may been inseminated earlier, do not conceive before the star Arcturus appears. ... When deer hear the dogs barking, they move upwind taking their scent with them. They are scared rigid by everything, which makes them an easier mark for archers. Of their horns, the right-hand one is better for medical purposes. If you want to frighten off snakes, you should burn either. ... It is known that deer never grow feverish. For this reason ointments made from their marrow bring down sick men's temperatures. We read that many men who have regularly eaten a small amount of venison since their early days have lived for a long time unaffected by fevers; but ultimately it fails them as a remedy if they are killed by a single blow.

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Quadrupeds 4.22): The deer is an animal of amazing speed, having a front roughened with branchy horns. Solinus: But the horns are created when the deer is two years old. Branches increase with age. This growth has continued for six years. Then the horns cannot become more numerous, but greater. Aristotle: No animal changes its horns more than the deer. All the horns of animals are hollow, except the deer, which are hard and have no hollow in them. This animal is exceedingly proud of its horns; when even sometimes he has no horns yet, and yet he plays as if he had on his forehead, and is threatened by weapons which he has never experienced, as Ambrose says. The teeth show old age, when of course few or none are found. When they feel themselves burdened by infirmity or age, as Pliny says, they draw the serpents out of their caves with the breath of their nostrils, and having devoured them, they seek a spring with to clear the snake's poison, and after drinking water, they recover their youth. As for the deer, as Augustine says, when they want to cross a river for the sake of pasture, they support each other with their horns; but after the leader is tired, the next one succeeds in his place. They seek the shores not by sight, but by smell, as Solinus says. When pursued by dogs, they are less wary of man's trodden paths than of secret places. Males, when the appointed time has aroused them, follow the frenzy of lust. Pliny: Females do not conceive before the rising of the star Arcturus, that is, the month of August to the end and September. But they separate themselves from conception in time. Before giving birth, they are cleansed with a certain herb called sylesis, and birth is made easier by its use. Solinus: They give birth to twin offspring, whom they carefully hide and, hidden among the bushes, chastise by beating their feet to encourage them to hide. When they have matured to enough to be able to run, they teach the exercise of running to their young and accustom them to jump over precipices. The flesh of deer killed in the mother's womb effectively repels poison and heals snake bites. When pursued by dogs, they are surprised by the barking; and therefore they choose their path according to the wind, that the voices may depart with them. They marvel at the whistle of the pipes and all the music; and therefore, when they have sometimes escaped from the barking of a dog, they pursue the music, so that repeated dangers fall upon them. With straight ears they hear very keenly, but when they are lowered they are said to hear nothing. Driven by curiosity, they marvel at everything; therefore they lend themselves more easily to the archers. For, as the Experimentator says, they are hunted in this way: two hunters go into the forest, where there are plenty of deer, and one whistles and sings, and the deer follows the concert. One of the deer, more avidly listening to the song, is pierced by an arrow and perishes. As Ambrose says, they know of the diptamnus herb [dittany]; for when they have been wounded by arrows, they eat the herb so that, having received its power, they can shake off the arrows. Ambrose says the same about the goat and other wild animals. They are also smitten by a phalanx, which is a kind of spider, and they heal themselves by eating crabs. Solinus: They never have a fever. For this reason, ointments made from their marrow soothe the fevers of sick people. Even in the morning, eating these meats keeps one immune from fevers. But their flesh is of greater strength and health, where they have been killed with a single blow. History of the Persians: Alexander the Great, in order to know their life span, tied collars (golden ones attached to the skin) to many of his deer. Those who were captured after a hundred years did not yet show the signs of the old age. The Liber rerum: They flee from all things poisoned and distinguish them by their smell. Hence the ancient hunters shot arrows infected with poison through the places where the deer had to pass. But they, feeling the poison, avoided the arrows. From the horns of deer, as Pliny says, celery and gorse sprout in the grass. But when they feel themselves weighed down, they hide and complain, confessing that their weight is inconvenient. When they run away, they often stop, and this is because of a pain in the bowels that so so weakens them that they burst inside with a light blow. Only deer lose their antlers every year at a fixed time in the spring, and therefore they seek as much as possible to stay near their mother and feed at night at that time. They flee wolves, knowing that they are destitute of arms. And they welcome the sun, as Aristotle says and Pliny, and they stand in it when their horns are fresh, that they may ripen and be dried by the heat of the sun, and be strong. And afterwards they go to the trees and rub themselves there, trying their horns; and then they are safe, because they have weapons. They hide, having lost their horns, as if they were defenseless. But even this good that they have, some deny that it is found useful. And therefore they change their horns in the waters, that there they may be hidden from the sight of men; hence the old proverb was said: 'Go to the place where the stag has laid down his horns'. A special remedy for driving away snakes is the smell of burnt deer's horn. A stag's horn burnt and pulverized and mixed with drinks dries up all fluids, as Aesculapius says. Likewise, the dust of the same strengthens teeth rubbed with it. The same powder, drunk with wine, cures decay, restricts the menses and the flow of the stomach, destroys the worms of the stomach. If anyone wraps himself in deerskin, he does not need to be afraid of snakes. A stone is found in the womb of the deer and in the belly or heart of the deer, which causes women to conceive. The marrow of the deer soothes all pains in the limbs. A deer has four teeth on one side of its mouth and four on the other, and grinds its food with them. And it has other large teeth, which are larger in the male and smaller in the female, and their teeth slope downwards. Platearius: In the heart of a deer there is a kind of opening, as its support, as in the other members. For on the left side there is a certain concavity, to which the spleen has a receptacle and emits its superfluities; which superfluities are changed by the dryness of the heat into a bony substance, and the bone itself is cartilaginous. The bone taken from a deer, and hardened like bone, is pulverized, and is given to the infirm for cardiac affections and syncope. The intestines of deer are very foul-smelling, and Pliny thinks that this is because they have bile in their intestines, which dogs hate.. Some deer are said to have bile in their tails, others in their ears, as Aristotle says. For this reason they are not eaten by dogs, except when they are very hungry. They prefer to give birth in a cave, where the approach of wolves is rare, and they lead the new-born offspring to rocky places, where there is one entrance to the cave, where they can fight more safely against their adversaries. There is worm in its head, which torments it almost constantly. But every animal and man himself has a worm under his tongue. But in that part of the body, which is near the vein of the spondyls attached to the head, there are twenty worms in number. The hunters say that, if a deer, pursued by dogs, enters the water and drinks, it is refreshed from fatigue and renewed for the race. It is also said that when it is tired and sees itself captured, it weeps and is horrified by the premonition of the certain bitterness of death. Deer are afraid of the voice of foxes. Male stags fight with each other and the winner dominates many in one pasture. But others who are vanquished obey the conqueror with wondrous obedience, and have peace among themselves, subject to one master. As the Experimentator says, venison is melancholy and hard to digest. The calf that is the son of a deer, has better meat; if the calf is castrated, it will be better, because it is more temperate in heat and humidity. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]

Albertus Magnus [ca. 1200-1280 CE] (De animalibus, Book 22, 11): Hahane [two year old stag] is about the size of a deer. Contrary to the way of other animals, it purges its choleric humor through its external ears, where the bill is very bitter, like human gall, and is capable of arousing vehement anger and ferocity. - [Scanlan]

Bartholomaeus Anglicus [13th century CE] (Liber de proprietatibus rerum, Book18.30; 18.58): [*Book 18.30] The Hart is called Cervus, & hath ye name of Cereston in Gréeke, yt is an horne, as Isi[dore] saith, li. 12. And he sayth there, that harts be enimies to serpents, which when they féele themselves grieved with sicknesse, they draw them with breath of their nosethrills out of theyr dens & the mallice of ye venim overcome, they are repaired with féeding of them. And they taught first the vertue of the hearb Diptannum [dittany], for they eat thereof, & cast out arrows & arrow heads, when they be wounded of hunters: and they wonder of noise of pipes, & have liking in accord of melodye, & they heare well when they areare up the eares, & beare downe the eares when they swim & passe rivers & great waters: and then in swimming the stronger swim before, and the féebles lay their heads upon the loines of the stronger, and swim each after other, and may the better indure with travaile. Huc usque Isid[ore] And Plinius saith the same wordes lib. 8. cap. 34. And there he sayth moreover, that ye hart is a most pleasing beast, and tunneth wilfully and flieth to a man when he is over set with houndes: and when the hinde shall calve, she shunneth the lesse wayes and pathes, which bée troden with wilde beasts, whether they be common or privy waies. After the rising of the starre Arturus, the hinde conceiveth, and goeth with calfe eight moneths, and calveth somtime two at once. And from the time of conception the females depart and goe awaye from the males, but the males leave not raging of lecherie, but waxe cruell, and digge up clots and stones with their feet, and then theyr snouts be black untill they be washed with raine. An before calving the females are purged, & they use certain hearbs, by the which ye calfe is the better held within the wombe and she is the easilier delivered when she calveth: and after the calving ye female eateth two manner hearbes; Camum & Sisolis, and commeth againe to her calfe: and so when she hath taken of ye juyce of ye hearbe, she giveth her calfe sucke, and maketh her calfe use to run and to make him ready to flie, and leadeth him into an high place, and teacheth him for to leape, and then the male is delivered of the desire of lechery, and eateth busilye: and when hée féeleth himselfe too fat, then hée séeketh dennes and lurking places, for he dreadeth domage & harme by heavinesse of body: and when harts runne and flie, they continue not their course, but look anon backward: and when men come nigh to them, they séeke succour again of running & of flight. And they heare the cry ofhounds , when their eares be reared up, and then they flye fast, and perceive no perill when the eares hang downeward, and be so simple that they wonder of all thing, and bée astonied of new sightes. And so if an horse or a Bugle come to themward, they beholde him so earnestly, that they take no héede of a man that commeth to shoote at them: and when they swim over the sea in heards, they passe foorth in even order and help each other, and come to the land, not by sight, but by smel. And because the Hart is an horned beast, among beastes the Hart hath this propertie, that hée chaungeth his hornes everye yeare in springing time, and then hée is armourlesse. He séeketh him by day a privy place, and hideth him untill his newe hornes grow againe, & untill he hath hornes and armour: And when he casteth his ryght horne, for envie hée hideth it, and is sorrye if anye man have medicine thereof. The age of Hartes is knowen by auntlers and tines of his hornes, for everye yeare it increaseth by a tine untill seaven yeare, and from that tines it groweth all alike: And so the age may not be knowen thereby, but the age is knowen onely by the téeth. And the Hart hath few téeth or none; and hath no tines in the neathermost parte of the hornes, but before the forehead stande out the lesse tines. And if they be gelded afore they have hornes, afterward groweth on them no hornes, and if they be gelded after that the hornes be growen, then they loose never theyr hornes. And while hée is hornelesse, hée goeth to meate by night and not by daye: and he putteth his hornes in the heate of the Sun to make them sadde and harde, and froateth them afterwarde agaynst Trées softly, to assay the strength of them: and doth awaye the itching that he féeleth therein, by hardnesse of the rinde, and when he féeleth his hornes strong, then he goeth openlye to meate and to léese, and sometime hée froateth them against a trée that is compassed with Ivie, or with Weathwinde, and their hornes be snarled and fastened in it, and be sometime so taken. The hart is contrary to Serpentes, insomuch that Serpents flye and voyde the odour and smell of burning of an Hartes horne. His ruenning is good agaynst all biting of Serpentes, and the Hart liveth ryght long time, passing an hundered yeares, as it was knowen by Hartes that lived in Alexanders time, and that were taken an hundered yeares after his death, on the which Alexander had in his time marked with cheines of golde: The hart féeleth not the evill of the feavers, for hée is succoured with medicine agaynst the evill. Huc usque Plinius libro. 8. capitulo. 38. Aristotle and Avicen[na] meane, that the Hart is a beast without gall, but onelye in the guttes, and hath therefore bitter guts and stinking, and therefore hounds eate not his guttes, but if they bée passing sore an hungred. Also libro. 2. Aristotle saith, that some men think that the Hartes gall is in the loungs, but that is false, as Avicen[na] saith, but he hath a maner moisture like to the moysture of the gall. Also he sayth, that the Harts bloud, and Hares bloud conjealeth never, but it is alway thin and fléeting against kind of all other beasts, and no beast chaungeth hornes, but Cervus alone. And héere it séemeth, that he calleth Cervus both Hart and Bucke. And Harts hornes be sound within, and be therefore heavye, but he changeth them not for heavines, and hath foure great téeth in the one side, and foure in the other, and he grindeth therewith his meate: and two other great téeth, as it were tuskes, and the male hath greater than the female, and bendeth downward, as Avicen[na] saith. Also libro octauo Aristo[tle] saith, that some men suppose of the Hart, that hée is among all foure footed beastes, using the wood, most ready and wise, and the Hinde calveth nigh a waye, that other beasts spareth for comming of men, and flyeth the light of the Sunne with hir Calfe, and seeketh thicke places & darke, as dens and caves of stones, that have but one entering: for there they maye fight with other beasts, for as hée saith, Harts fight each with other with strong fighting, and he that is overcome, is right obedient to the victor, & they dread most the voyce of a Foxe & of a Hound, and sometime the Hart hideth himselfe, least hunters finde him, and slay him for his fatnesse. And he sayth there, that the Hart is hunted in this manner: a hunter whisteleth and singeth, & the Harte hath liking therein, and another hunter tolleth him inward, and shooteth at him, and slayeth him: and when the Hart is areared, he flyeth to a river or to a pond and if he maye swim over the water, then he taketh comfort and strength, of the coldnes of the water, and scapeth the hunters. And the Hart roareth, cryeth, & wéepeth when he is taken. Also when the hounds followe him, if he findeth double wayes, he runneth not foorthright, but now hether and now thether, and leapeth thwart over wayes, and aside halfe, and then he purposeth to take a mightie large pace, and starteth with contrary leapings and startings, that it be the harder for the houndes, to finde and to followe his chase by odour and smel. Also as he saith, ye hinde hath great travayle and payne when she calveth, and that is knowen by bending & crooking of the body, and by ruthfull crieng, and therefore she eateth of the hearbe Dragantea to be delyvered of hir Calfe the more easely: and when she hath calved, she eateth sodaynly Secundina, the bagge that the Calfe is in, in ye mother, ere it fall to the ground, and the Secundina is accounted venime, as he sayeth: Aristotle libro. 8: rehearseth other properties of the Harte, which Plinius rehearseth also. And li. 28. Pli[ny] saith, That when the Hinde féeleth heavinesse, she swalloweth a stone, and is holp by vertue of that stone: and the same stone is sometime found in hir entrayles when she is dead, and it is accounted, that this stone helpeth wonderfully women that goe with childe, and so doth the boane found in hir hart, as he saith: & that bone that is fonnde in the heart of an Hart, is passing profitable against many evils of the body, and is medled in all noble confections, as Dioscorides saieth, and Constantine also. [Book 18.58] The Hart Calfe is called Hinnulus [a name usually used for the mule], and hath name Hinnulus, of Innuendo, becking, and nodding, for he is hid by beckes and signes of the Hinde, as Isidore sayth, libro. 12. and is a féeble beast and loth to fight, as Damula is, and hée is most sharpe of sight, and swifte of course and of running, and the Hinde hideth him in caves and dens, and in places that bée shadowye, and teacheth him to start and to leape over briers, thorns, and bushes, as Plinius sayeth, libro. 8. cap. de Cervis. Looke before in littera C. His flesh is tender and good to defie, for hée is oft mooving and stirring aboute, as Constantine sayth, & Isaac in Dietis. And if he be gelded ere his hornes grow, his flesh is the better and the more temperate in drinesse and in heat, as he saith, And if he be gelded while he hath horns, then he chaungeth never his Hornes, as Aristotle sayth libro. 8. and Plinius. Also the Hart Calfe is contrary to the serpents in a wonderfull wise, for he yt is anointed with his sewet or wt his bloud, shall not be touched of any Serpent that day, as Plinius sayth, lib. 38. And his ruening is chiefe medicine in venims, as he sayth. - [Batman]

Slavic Physiologus [15th - 16th century]: The stag is beautiful with his wondrous appearance, and his horns are annual. He lives for fifty years. Then he runs very fast through forests, caves, and gullies, sniffing at the dens of all animals. If somewhere he finds a snake that has shed its skin three times, he recognizes it and is aware [of it]. He cries out loud three times, places his nose at her lair, and inhales the smell. He catches the snake in his nostrils and swallows it. That is why he is called a stag, because he pulls out the snake from the stones. But if the snake is in the stones and he cannot catch it, he looks for water. Even if it is far away, he carries [water] in his mouth, floods the snake's den, and catches it and swallows it with his nostrils. If he does not soon find water to drink, he dies. If he finds and drinks water, he lives for another fifty years. - [Stoykova, English translation by Mladenova and Stoykov]