While Basiliscus was Emperor (475-476 AD) a very serious fire broke out at Constantinople. Beginning in the quarter of the bronze merchants, it spread to all the areas nearby and reduced to ashes the colonnades of the public squares and the adjacent houses, as well as the Basilica, so-called, which contained a library of 120,000 books. Amongst these it is written that there was the intestine of a serpent, one hundred and twenty feet long, which had written on it in gold letters the poems of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Malchus, who wrote a history of these Emperors, also mentions this. The fire also destroyed the beautiful palace of Lausus and the statues therein, the Hera of Samos, the Athena of Lindos and the Aphrodite of Cnidos, famous masterpieces of art, and it spread as far as the Forum.
Malchis, Fragment 11 (in Brockley, The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire, volume 2, page 419).