Beast

Sources : Seps

Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 850-879): But on Sabellus' yet more piteous death / Their eyes were fastened. For a puny seps / With curving tooth was clinging to his shin : \ He tore it forth and fixed it to the sands, / Pierced with his javelin. Small the serpent's bulk ; None shall more surely deal a stroke of death. / For swift the flesh dissolving round the wound / Bared the pale bone ; swam all his limbs in blood ; / His calves and knees were wasted and his thighs / Were thawed in black distilment, and the sheath / Parted, that bound his vitals, which abroad / Flowed upon earth : yet not his solid frame / Was all spread forth, for by the venom drop / Were all the bands that held his muscles drawn / Down to a juice ; the framework of his chest / Was bare, its cavity, and all the parts / Hid by the organs of life, that make the man. / So by unholy death there stood revealed / His inmost nature. Head and stalwart arms, / And neck and shoulders, from their solid mass / Melt in corruption. Not more swiftly flows / Wax at the sun's command, nor snow compelled / By southern breezes. Yet not all is said: / For so to noxious humours fire consumes / Our fleshly frame ; but on the funeral pyre / What bones have perished ? These dissolve no less / Than did the mouldered tissues, nor of death / Thus swift is left a trace. Of Afric pests / Thou bear'st the palm for hurtfulness : the life / They snatch, thou only with the life the clay. - [Ridley, 1919, Volume 2, Page 241-243]

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 16, chapter 40): There is a snake called the Seps and it has this remarkable quality: it changes the colour of its body so as to match the places through which it passes. The four fangs of its lower jaw are hollow, and membrane-like veils cover them and conceal the hollows. Directly the creature has struck, it projects its poison through these ducts, which at once makes a festering wound and very soon causes death. - [Scholfield translation]

Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 27.33): The sting of the seps is followed by putrefaction. - [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:17): The deadly seps devours a man quickly so that he liquefies in its mouth. (Book 12, 4:31): The seps is a rare snake, the poison of which consumes the body and the bones.