Sources : Jaculus

Lucan [1st century CE] (Pharsalia, book 9, verse 813-920) : Lo! at a distance on a branchless stump / A jaculus (so named in Libyan clime) / Spat forth his venom which through Paullus' brain / And temples pierced—but had no space to kill. / For fate and death were instant with the wound. / Thus did they know how slowly speeds the bolt / Flung by a sling ; how gentle is the flight / Of Scythian arrows hurtling from the bow. - [Ridley translation, 1919, Volume 2, Page 245]

Pliny the Elder [1st century CE] (Natural History, Book 8, 35): ...that the javelin-snake [iaculum] hurls itself from the branches of trees... - [Rackham translation]

Aelianus [170-230 CE] (On the Characteristics of Animals, Book 6, chapter 18): Indeed one snake launches itself and flies with the speed of a javelin; and its name is derived from its action, for it is called Acontias (the Javelin-snake). - [Scholfield translation]

Gaius Julius Solinus [3rd century CE] (De mirabilibus mundi / Polyhistor, Chapter 27.30): Iaculi climb trees, down from which they whirl with great force, and pierce any animal which happens to be exposed to them. - [Arwen Apps translation, 2011]

Isidore of Seville [7th century CE] (Etymologies, Book 12, 4:29): The iaculus is a flying snake. For they spring up into trees, and whenever some animal happens by they throw [iactare] themselves on it and kill it, whence they are called iaculus [iaculum, “javelin”]. - [Barney, Lewis, et. al. translation]

Thomas of Cantimpré [circa 1200-1272 CE] (Liber de natura rerum, Serpents 8.17): As Solinus says, iaculi are serpents, so called because of their own destructiveness. These have wings to fly into the trees and hide; from where they drop to penetrate with great force any animal fortune puts in their way. The serpent is called in the Psalm: 'a flying arrow' [sagitta volans]. - [Badke translation/paraphrase]

Albertus Magnus [ca. 1200-1280 CE] (De animalibus, Book 25, 7; Book 25, 18): [Book 25, 7] Altynanyty, like the cafezaty, are small, short, slender snakes, but very sly, adroit and malicious. Sometimes they hide aloft among the leaves of a tree, waiting for an unsuspecting victim to pass beneath, and then pounce an kill him, as Avicenna says. When frustrated in their attempts to perform the maneuver, they sally forth from their den and leap at anyone who chances by. Their coloration tends to have a reddish hue. From the bite of these snakes the victim suffers vehement pain that creeps from the site of the puncture through t he entire body. Death is the inevitable outcome... [Book 25, 18] Cafezatus, as Avicenna and Semerion point out, is a snake very much like the one called altynanytus which we mentioned earlier. These two species are small, short snakes that hide themselves in trees to pounce on passersby. They are iniquitous serpents of hot constitution, inclining to be reddish in color. The venom injected at the site of their bite creeps through the whole body and causes death. - [Scanlan]