There are numerous venomous serpents, but the mortality from snake-bite is low.
Of serpents there are only two poisonous kinds, the common viper and the adder (Kreuzotter).
Fights between these huge serpents and the crocodiles which infest all the rivers are said to be not uncommon.
Moreover, the Psylli would test the legitimacy of their new-born by exposing them to serpents which would not harm those of pure birth, and a similar ordeal among the Ophiogenes of Asia Minor showed whether a man was really of their kin.
The rites, we may suppose, have become modified and more orthodox, but none the less they are a valuable testimony to the persistence of the cult among people who still claim power over serpents and immunity from their bite, and who live hard by the home of the ancient tribe which ascribed its origin to the son of Circe."