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Encyclopedia > Unicorn
The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn, fresco, Palazzo Farnese, Rome, probably by Domenico Zampieri, ca 1602
The gentle and pensive maiden has the power to tame the unicorn, fresco, Palazzo Farnese, Rome, probably by Domenico Zampieri, ca 1602

A unicorn (from Latin unus 'one' and cornu 'horn') is a mythological creature often used in fantasy stories, picture book, and novels. Though the modern popular image of the unicorn is sometimes that of a horse differing only in the horn on its forehead, the traditional unicorn has a billy-goat beard, a lion's tail, and cloven hooves—these distinguish it from a horse.[1] Marianna Mayer has observed (The Unicorn and the Lake), "The unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful. He could be captured only by unfair means, and his single horn was said to neutralize poison." Download high resolution version (825x676, 150 KB)Domenichino (working under Anibale Caracci), fresco, Virgin and Unicorn ca. ... Download high resolution version (825x676, 150 KB)Domenichino (working under Anibale Caracci), fresco, Virgin and Unicorn ca. ... A mid-18th century engraving of Palazzo Farnese by Giuseppe Vasi Palazzo Farnese, Rome (housing the French Embassy), is the most imposing Italian palace of the sixteenth century (Sir Banister Fletcher) (1). ... Domenico Zampieri (or Domenichino) (October 21, 1581 - April 15, 1641), was a prominent high Baroque painter of the Bolognese or Carracci School of Painters. ... A unicorn is a mythical and heraldic beast. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... A legendary creature is a mythical or fantastic creature (often known as fabulous creatures in historical literature). ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... For other uses, see Horn. ... This article is about the domestic species. ... For other uses, see Lion (disambiguation). ... A cloven-hoof is a type of hoof that is found on some animals. ...

Contents

Unicorns in antiquity

A one-horned animal (which may be just a bull in profile) is found on some seals from the Indus Valley Civilization.[2] Seals with such a design are thought to be a mark of high social rank.[3] For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... This article is about the authentication means. ... Excavated ruins of Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan. ... Social rank or simply rank is a hierarchy based on ones perceived importance in society. ...

The aurochs
The aurochs

An animal called the Re’em (Hebrew: רְאֵם) is mentioned in several places in the Hebrew Bible, often as a metaphor representing strength. "The allusions to the re'em as a wild, un-tamable animal of great strength and agility, with mighty horn or horns (Job 39:9-12, Ps 22:21, 29:6, Num 23:22, 24:8, Deut 33:17 comp. Ps 92:11), best fit the aurochs (Bos primigenius). This view is supported by the Assyrian rimu, which is often used as a metaphor of strength, and is depicted as a powerful, fierce, wild mountain bull with large horns."[4] This animal was often depicted in ancient Mesopotamian art in profile, with only one horn visible. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1510x916, 243 KB) Original caption: Augsburger Abbildung des Urs (echten Auerochsen). ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1510x916, 243 KB) Original caption: Augsburger Abbildung des Urs (echten Auerochsen). ... A beast mentioned nine times in the Bible (Job 39:9,10, Deuteronomy 33:17, Numbers 23:22 and 24:8; Psalm 22:21, 29:6 and 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7), translated to unicorn in the King James version of the Bible. ... Hebrew redirects here. ... This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Jewish scriptures see Tanakh. ... Binomial name Subspecies Bos primigenius primigenius   (Bojanus, 1827) Bos primigenius namadicus   (Falconer, 1859) Bos primigenius mauretanicus   (Thomas, 1881) See Ur (rune) for the rune. ... Mesopotamia was a cradle of civilization geographically located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq. ...


The translators of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible (1611) employed unicorn to translate re'em, providing a recognizable animal that was proverbial for its un-tamable nature. King James Version redirects here. ... For other uses, see Bible (disambiguation). ...

Job 39:9-12: Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
Psalms 29:6: He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Numbers 24:8: ...he hath as it were the strength of a unicorn
An old Welsh statue of a unicorn
An old Welsh statue of a unicorn

Unicorns are not found in Greek mythology, but rather in accounts of natural history, for Greek writers of natural history were convinced of the reality of the unicorn, which they located in India, a distant and fabulous realm for them. The earliest description is from Ctesias who described them as wild asses, fleet of foot, having a horn a cubit and a half in length and colored white, red and black.[5] Aristotle must be following Ctesias when he mentions two one-horned animals, the oryx (a kind of antelope) and the so-called "Indian ass".[6][7] Strabo says that in the Caucasus there were one-horned horses with stag-like heads.[8] Pliny the Elder mentions the oryx and an Indian ox (perhaps a rhinoceros) as one-horned beasts, as well as "a very fierce animal called the monoceros which has the head of the stag, the feet of the elephant, and the tail of the boar, while the rest of the body is like that of the horse; it makes a deep lowing noise, and has a single black horn, which projects from the middle of its forehead, two cubits in length."[9] In De natura animalium, Aelian, quoting Ctesias, adds that India produces also a one-horned horse (iii. 41; iv. 52), and says (xvi. 20) that the monoceros was sometimes called cartazonon, which may be a form of the Arabic karkadann, meaning "rhinoceros". Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... This article is about the country. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... Table of natural history, 1728 Cyclopaedia Natural history is an umbrella term for what are now often viewed as several distinct scientific disciplines of integrative organismal biology. ... Ctesias of Cnidus (in Caria) (Greek ), was a Greek physician and historian, who flourished in the 5th century BC. In early life he was physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, whom he accompanied in 401 BC on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger. ... This derivation of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, depicts nine historical units of measurement: the Yard, the Span, the Cubit, the Flemish Ell, the English Ell, the French Ell, the Fathom, the Hand , and the Foot. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Species Oryx beisa Rüppell, 1835 Oryx dammah Cretzschmar, 1827 Oryx gazella (Linnaeus, 1758) Oryx leucoryx Pallas, 1766 An Oryx is one of three or four large antelope species of the genus Oryx, typically having long straight almost upright or swept back horns. ... The Greek geographer Strabo in a 16th century engraving. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... For other uses, see Rhinoceros (disambiguation). ... This article is about the ruminant animal. ... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas antiquus † Elephas beyeri † Elephas celebensis † Elephas cypriotes † Elephas ekorensis † Elephas falconeri † Elephas iolensis † Elephas planifrons † Elephas platycephalus † Elephas recki † Stegodon † Mammuthus † Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of pachyderm, and the only remaining family in the order Proboscidea... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 The wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the wild ancestor of the domestic pig. ... Claudius Aelianus (c. ... The Karkadann (Lord of the Desert) was a mythical unicorn-like creature said to live on the grassy plains of India, Persia and North Africa. ...


Though the qilin (Chinese: 麒麟), a creature in Chinese mythology, is sometimes called "the Chinese unicorn", it is a hybrid animal that looks less unicorn than chimera, with the body of a deer, the head of a lion, green scales and a long forwardly-curved horn. The Japanese version (kirin) more closely resembles the Western unicorn, even though it is based on the Chinese qilin. The Quẻ Ly of Vietnamese myth, similarly sometimes mistranslated "unicorn" is a symbol of wealth and prosperity that made its first appearance during the Duong Dynasty, about 600 CE, to Emperor Duong Cao To, after a military victory which resulted in his conquest of Tây Nguyên. A qilin of the Qing dynasty in Beijings Summer Palace A painting by the court artist depicting one of Zheng Hes giraffes in 1414. ... Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religions that have been passed down in oral or written form. ... This article is about a biological term. ... For other uses, see Chimera. ... In this SEM image of a butterfly wing the scales are clearly visible, and the tiny platelets on each individual scale are just barely visible in the striping. ... Tây Nguyên, translated as Central Highlands, is one of the regions of Vietnam. ...


Medieval unicorns

Wild Women with Unicorn, c.1500-1510, Basel, Historisches Museum
Wild Women with Unicorn, c.1500-1510, Basel, Historisches Museum
Youths riding goats (a Dionysiac motif in Antiquity) on 12th-century capitals from the abbey of Mozac in the Auvergne: the goats are indistinguishable from unicorns
Youths riding goats (a Dionysiac motif in Antiquity) on 12th-century capitals from the abbey of Mozac in the Auvergne: the goats are indistinguishable from unicorns

Medieval knowledge of the fabulous beast stemmed from biblical and ancient sources, and the creature was variously represented as a kind of wild ass, goat, or horse. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 583 pixelsFull resolution (2800 × 2039 pixel, file size: 2. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 583 pixelsFull resolution (2800 × 2039 pixel, file size: 2. ... This article is about the ancient deity. ... The holy women at the tomb of Christ on a capital preserved from Romanesque Mozac, 12th century Mozac Abbey is a former Cluniac monastery in the commune of Mozac near Riom in Auvergne, France. ... (Region flag) (Region logo) Location Administration Capital Clermont-Ferrand Regional President René Souchon (PS) (since 2006) Departments Allier Cantal Haute-Loire Puy-de-Dôme Arrondissements 14 Cantons 158 Communes 1,310 Statistics Land area1 26,013 km² Population (Ranked 19th)  - January 1, 2006 est. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... A beast mentioned nine times in the Bible (Job 39:9,10, Deuteronomy 33:17, Numbers 23:22 and 24:8; Psalm 22:21, 29:6 and 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7), translated to unicorn in the King James version of the Bible. ...


The predecessor of the medieval bestiary, compiled in Late Antiquity and known as Physiologus, popularized an elaborate allegory in which a unicorn, trapped by a maiden (representing the Virgin Mary), stood for the Incarnation. As soon as the unicorn sees her, it lays its head on her lap and falls asleep. This became a basic emblematic tag that underlies medieval notions of the unicorn, justifying its appearance in every form of religious art. The two major interpretations of the unicorn symbol hinge on pagan and Catholic symbolism. The pagan interpretation focuses on the medieval lore of beguiled lovers, whereas some Catholic writings interpret the unicorn and its death as the Passion of Christ. The unicorn has long been identified as a symbol of Christ by Catholic writers, allowing the traditionally pagan symbolism of the unicorn to become acceptable within religious doctrine. The original myths refer to a beast with one horn that can only be tamed by a virgin maiden; subsequently, some Catholic scholars translated this into an allegory for Christ's relationship with the Virgin Mary. Interestingly enough, the collective term for a grouping of unicorns is called a "blessing of unicorns". A bestiary is a medieval book that has short descriptions of various real or imaginary animals, birds and even rocks. ... Late Antiquity is a rough periodization (c. ... The Physiologus was a predecessor of bestiaries (books of beasts). ... Allegory of Music by Filippino Lippi. ... Virgin Mary redirects here. ... Look up incarnation, incarnate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Sacred art is imagery intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. ... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ... The Passion is the theological term used for the suffering, both physical and mental, of Jesus in the hours prior to and including his trial and execution by crucifixion. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Virgin redirects here. ... [1] This is a list of collective nouns by subject, beginning from I to Z. ^ Insert footnote text here ^ The phrase A court of kangaroos is frequently thought to be legitimate, given the (quite unrelated) expression a kangaroo court. There is no known evidence of its legitimacy as a collective...


The unicorn also figured in courtly terms: for some 13th century French authors such as Thibaut of Champagne and Richard de Fournival, the lover is attracted to his lady as the unicorn is to the virgin. With the rise of humanism, the unicorn also acquired more orthodox secular meanings, emblematic of chaste love and faithful marriage. It plays this role in Petrarch's Triumph of Chastity. Court of Love in Provence in the 14th Century (after a manuscript in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris). ... Theobald I (French: Thibaud or Thibault, Spanish: Teobaldo) (May 30, 1201 – 1253), called the Troubadour, the Chansonnier, and the Posthumous, was Count of Champagne (as Theobald IV) from birth and King of Navarre from 1235. ... Richard de Fournival (c. ... Renaissance humanism (often designated simply as humanism) was a European intellectual movement beginning in Florence in the last decades of the 14th century. ... From the c. ...


The royal throne of Denmark was made of "unicorn horns". The same material was used for ceremonial cups because the unicorn's horn continued to be believed to neutralize poison, following classical authors.

Medal of Cecilia Gonzaga by Pisanello, 1447
Medal of Cecilia Gonzaga by Pisanello, 1447

The unicorn, tamable only by a virgin woman, was well established in medieval lore by the time Marco Polo described them as: Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (646x654, 105 KB) Pisanello, Medal of Cecilia Gonzaga, 1447 From : http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (646x654, 105 KB) Pisanello, Medal of Cecilia Gonzaga, 1447 From : http://www. ... Categories: 1911 Britannica | Stub | Italian painters | Gothic painting | 1380 births | 1456 deaths ... Marco Polo (September 15, 1254[1] – January 9, 1324 at earliest but no later than June 1325[2]) was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in the book Il Milione (The Million or The Travels of Marco Polo). ...

scarcely smaller than elephants. They have the hair of a buffalo and feet like an elephant's. They have a single large black horn in the middle of the forehead... They have a head like a wild boar's… They spend their time by preference wallowing in mud and slime. They are very ugly brutes to look at. They are not at all such as we describe them when we relate that they let themselves be captured by virgins, but clean contrary to our notions.

It is clear that Marco Polo was describing a rhinoceros. In German, since the 16th century, Einhorn ("one-horn") has become a descriptor of the various species of rhinoceros. This article is about a type of online computer game. ...


The ancient Norwegians were said to believe the narwhal to have affirmed the existence of the unicorn. The unicorn horn was believed to stem from the narwhal tooth, which grows outward and projects from its upper jaw. Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Narwhal range (in blue) The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean. ...


In popular belief, examined wittily and at length in the seventeenth century by Sir Thomas Browne in his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, unicorn horns could neutralize poisons.[10] Therefore, people who feared poisoning sometimes drank from goblets made of "unicorn horn". Alleged aphrodisiac qualities and other purported medicinal virtues also drove up the cost of "unicorn" products such as milk, hide, and offal. Unicorns were also said to be able to determine whether or not a woman was a virgin; in some tales, they could only be mounted by virgins. Sir Thomas Browne (October 19, 1605 – October 19, 1682) was an English author of varied works that disclose his wide learning in diverse fields including medicine, religion, science and the esoteric. ... Sir Thomas Brownes vast work refuting the common errors and superstitions of his age, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, first appeared in 1646 and went through five editions, the last revision occurring in 1672. ... This article is about agents which increase sexual desire. ... A glass of cows milk. ... Rawhide is a hide or animal skin that has not been exposed to tanning and thus is much lighter in color than treated animal hides. ... Scrapple sandwich at the Delaware state fair Offal is the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. ...


The hunt of the unicorn

Tapestry, Maiden with Unicorn, 15th century,(Musée de Cluny, Paris)
Tapestry, Maiden with Unicorn, 15th century,(Musée de Cluny, Paris)
The Unicorn is Penned, the Unicorn Tapestries, circa 1495–1505, the Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
The Unicorn is Penned, the Unicorn Tapestries, circa 1495–1505, the Cloisters, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

One traditional method of hunting unicorns involved entrapment by a virgin. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2024x1945, 422 KB) Description: Title: de: Jungfrau mit dem Einhorn (Eitelkeit) Technique: de: Bildteppich Dimensions: de: 310 × 330 cm Country of origin: de: Frankreich Current location (city): de: Paris Current location (gallery): de: Musée de Cluny Other notes: Source: The... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2024x1945, 422 KB) Description: Title: de: Jungfrau mit dem Einhorn (Eitelkeit) Technique: de: Bildteppich Dimensions: de: 310 × 330 cm Country of origin: de: Frankreich Current location (city): de: Paris Current location (gallery): de: Musée de Cluny Other notes: Source: The... The Musée de Cluny as viewed from the nearby park The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry Thermes de Cluny: caldarium The Musée de Cluny, officially known as Musée National du Moyen Âge, is a museum in Paris, France. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... Look up Circa on Wiktionary, the free dictionary The Latin word circa, literally meaning about, is often used to describe various dates (often birth and death dates) that are uncertain. ... Garden at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, New York City The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of the European Middle Ages. ... The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an art museum located on the eastern edge of Central Park, along what is known as Museum Mile in New York City. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ...


In one of his notebooks Leonardo da Vinci wrote: “Da Vinci” redirects here. ...

"The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it."[11]

The famous late Gothic series of seven tapestry hangings, The Hunt of the Unicorn are a high point in European tapestry manufacture, combining both secular and religious themes. The tapestries now hang in the Cloisters division of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. In the series, richly dressed noblemen, accompanied by huntsmen and hounds, pursue a unicorn against mille-fleur backgrounds or settings of buildings and gardens. They bring the animal to bay with the help of a maiden who traps it with her charms, appear to kill it, and bring it back to a castle; in the last and most famous panel, "The Unicorn in Captivity," the unicorn is shown alive again and happy, chained to a pomegranate tree surrounded by a fence, in a field of flowers. Scholars conjecture that the red stains on its flanks are not blood but rather the juice from pomegranates, which were a symbol of fertility. However, the true meaning of the mysterious resurrected Unicorn in the last panel is unclear. The series was woven about 1500 in the Low Countries, probably Brussels or Liège, for an unknown patron. A set of six engravings on the same theme, treated rather differently, were engraved by the French artist Jean Duvet in the 1540s. The Western (Royal) Portal at Chartres Cathedral ( 1145). ... This article is about tapestry the textile. ... The Hunt of the Unicorn is a series of seven tapestries dating from 1495–1505. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... Garden at The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, New York City The Cloisters is the branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated to the art and architecture of the European Middle Ages. ... The Metropolitan Museum of Art is an art museum located on the eastern edge of Central Park, along what is known as Museum Mile in New York City. ... New York, New York and NYC redirect here. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ... Mille-fleur (French) literally means thousand flower and refers to a background made of many small flowers and plants. ... Binomial name L. The Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing to 5–8 m tall. ... For information about the confusion between the Low Countries and the Netherlands, see Netherlands (terminology). ... This article is about the settlement itself. ... Geography Country Belgium Community French Community Region Walloon Region Province Liège Arrondissement Liège Coordinates , , Area 69. ... Hercules fighting the Centaurs , engraving by Sebald Beham Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. ... Detail of The Marriage of Adam and Eve, probably 1540/1555, engraving. ...


Another famous set of six tapestries of Dame à la licorne ("Lady with the unicorn") in the Musée de Cluny, Paris, were also woven in the Southern Netherlands before 1500, and show the five senses (the gateways to temptation) and finally Love ("A mon seul desir" the legend reads), with unicorns featured in each piece. The Lady and the Unicorn: A mon seul désir The Lady and the Unicorn (French: La dame à la licorne) is the title of a cycle of French tapestries often considered one of the greatest works of art of the Middle Ages in Europe. ... The Musée de Cluny as viewed from the nearby park The Lady and the Unicorn tapestry Thermes de Cluny: caldarium The Musée de Cluny, officially known as Musée National du Moyen Âge, is a museum in Paris, France. ... This article is about the capital of France. ... The Southern Netherlands (Dutch: , Spanish: , French: ) were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain (Spanish Netherlands, 1579-1713), Austria (Austrian Netherlands, 1713-1794) and captured by France (1794-1815). ...


Facsimiles of the unicorn tapestries are currently being woven for permanent display in Stirling Castle, Scotland, to take the place of a set recorded in the castle in the 16th century. Stirling Castle southwest aspect from the Kings Knot Parterre below the castle crags. ... This article is about the country. ...


Heraldry

Oblique view of the Old State House in Boston, Massachusetts, the seat of British colonial government from 1713 to 1776, showing the lion and the unicorn, the supporters of the Coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Oblique view of the Old State House in Boston, Massachusetts, the seat of British colonial government from 1713 to 1776, showing the lion and the unicorn, the supporters of the Coat of arms of the United Kingdom

In heraldry, a unicorn is depicted as a horse with a goat's cloven hooves and beard, a lion's tail, and a slender, spiral horn on its forehead.[12] Whether because it was an emblem of the Incarnation or of the fearsome animal passions of raw nature, the unicorn was not widely used in early heraldry, but became popular from the 15th century.[12] Though sometimes shown collared, which may perhaps be taken in some cases as an indication that it has been tamed or tempered, it is more usually shown collared with a broken chain attached, showing that it has broken free from its bondage and cannot be taken again. Image File history File links Old_State_House_Unicorn_zoom. ... Image File history File links Old_State_House_Unicorn_zoom. ... East Front showing the balcony from which the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Boston took place. ... We dont have an article called Coat of Arms of The United Kingdom Start this article Search for Coat of Arms of The United Kingdom in. ... Heraldry in its most general sense encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of officers of arms. ...


It is probably best known from the royal coat of arms of Scotland and the United Kingdom: two unicorns support the Scottish arms; a lion and a unicorn support the UK arms. The arms of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in London has two golden unicorn supporters (although, as emblazoned on its homepage, they have horses', not lions', tails). [12] A modern coat of arms is derived from the medi val practice of painting designs onto the shield and outer clothing of knights to enable them to be identified in battle, and later in tournaments. ... The Coat of Arms of Prince Edward Island uses two foxes as supporters. ... The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland, as used before 1603 The Royal Coat of Arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and were used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Union of the Crowns in... We dont have an article called Coat of Arms of The United Kingdom Start this article Search for Coat of Arms of The United Kingdom in. ... The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Ramosch is a municipality of the canton of Graubünden, eastern Switzerland. ...

Possible origins

Hunts for an actual animal as the basis of the unicorn myth, accepting the conception of writers in Antiquity that it really existed somewhere at the edge of the known earth, have added a further layer of mythologizing about the unicorn. These have taken various forms, interpreted in a scientific, rather than a wonder-filled manner, to accord with modern perceptions of reality. For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ...


Alleged skeletal evidence

The German unicorn skeleton allegedly discovered in 1663
The German unicorn skeleton allegedly discovered in 1663

Among numerous finds of prehistoric bones found at Einhornhöhle (Unicorn Cave) in Germany's Harz Mountains, some were selected and reconstructed by the mayor of Magdeburg, Otto von Guericke, as a unicorn in 1663. The so-called unicorn had only two legs, and was likely constructed from fossil bones, perhaps of mammoths or other animals. The skeleton was examined by Gottfried Leibniz, who had previously doubted the existence of the unicorn, but was convinced thereby.[13] Image File history File links Unicornhoax. ... Image File history File links Unicornhoax. ... Stonehenge, England, erected by Neolithic peoples ca. ... The Harz is a mountain range in northern Germany. ... This article is about the German city. ... Otto von Guericke Otto von Guericke (originally spelled Gericke) [] (November 20, 1602 – May 11, 1686 (Julian calendar); November 30, 1602 – May 21, 1686 (Gregorian calendar)) was a German scientist, inventor, and politician. ... For other uses, see Fossil (disambiguation). ... This article is about the genus Mammuthus. ... Leibniz redirects here. ...


Baron Georges Cuvier maintained that as the unicorn was cloven-hoofed it must therefore have a cloven skull (making the growth of a single horn impossible); to disprove this, Dr. W. Franklin Dove, a University of Maine professor, artificially fused the horn buds of a calf together, creating a one-horned bull.[14] Georges Cuvier Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier (August 23, 1769–May 13, 1832) was a French naturalist and zoologist. ... UMO redirects here, but this abbreviation is also used informally to mean the Mozilla Add-ons website, formerly Mozilla Update Should not be confused with Université du Maine, in Le Mans, France The University of Maine, established in 1865, is the flagship university of the University of Maine System. ... For the anatomical feature, see calf muscle. ...


P. T. Barnum once exhibited a unicorn skeleton, which was exposed as a hoax.[citation needed]-1... A hoax is an attempt to trick an audience into believing that something false is real. ...


Since the rhinoceros is the only known extant land animal to possess a single horn, it has often been supposed that the unicorn legend originated from encounters between Europeans and rhinoceroses. The Woolly Rhinoceros would have been quite familiar to ice age people, or the legend may have been based on the rhinoceroses of Africa. Europeans and West Asians have visited Sub-Saharan Africa for as long as we have records[citation needed]. For other uses, see Rhinoceros (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Coelodonta antiquitatis (Blumenbach, 1807) The Woolly Rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) is an extinct species of rhinoceros that lived during the Pleistocene epoch, but survived the last ice age. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...  Southwest Asia in most contexts. ... Satellite image of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area Sub-Saharan Africa is a geographical term used to describe the area of the African continent which lies south of the Sahara, or those African countries which are fully or partially located south of the Sahara. ...


Elasmotherium or rhinoceros

One suggestion is that the unicorn is based on the extinct animal Elasmotherium, a huge Eurasian rhinoceros native to the steppes, south of the range of the woolly rhinoceros of Ice Age Europe. Elasmotherium looked little like a horse, but it had a large single horn in its forehead. It became extinct about the same time as the rest of the glacial age megafauna[citation needed]. Binomial name Elasmotherium sibiricum J. Fischer, 1809 The Giant Unicorn (Elasmotherium sibiricum) (Siberian Thin-Plate Beast) was a giant rhinoceros which stood two meters high and six meters (20 feet) long, with a single two-meter-long (7 feet) horn in the forehead. ... For other uses, see Eurasia (disambiguation). ... This article is about the ecological zone type. ... It has been suggested that Charismatic megafauna be merged into this article or section. ...


However, according to the Nordisk familjebok (Nordic Familybook) and science writer Willy Ley the animal may have survived long enough to be remembered in the legends of the Evenk people of Russia as a huge black bull with a single horn in the forehead. The Owl Edition Nordisk familjebok (en. ... Willy Ley (October 2, 1906 - June 24, 1969) was a science writer and space advocate who helped popularise rocketry and spaceflight in Germany and the United States in the early-mid twentieth century. ... The Evenks or Evenki (obsolete: Tungus or Tunguz, autonym: Эвэнки, Evenki) are a nomadic Tungusic people of Northern Asia. ...


In support of this claim, it has been noted that the 13th century traveller Marco Polo claimed to have seen a unicorn in Java, but his description makes it clear to the modern reader that he actually saw a Javan Rhinoceros. Perhaps additional supporting evidence can be found in the fact that a rhinoceros' horn reacts with alkaloids by turning a different color[citation needed]. A majority of the medieval poisons were made from alkaloids[citation needed], which coincides with the myth that unicorn horns change color when a poison in placed within them. This article is about the Java island. ... Binomial name Desmarest, 1822[2] Javan Rhinoceros Range[3] Subspecies Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus Rhinoceros sondaicus inermis (extinct) Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus The Javan Rhinoceros or Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is a member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant rhinoceroses. ... Chemical structure of ephedrine, a phenethylamine alkaloid An alkaloid is a nitrogen-containing naturally occurring compound, produced by a large variety of organisms, including fungi, plants, animals, and bacteria. ...


A single-horned goat

The connection that is sometimes made with a single-horned goat derives from the vision of Daniel:

And as I was considering, behold, a he-goat came from the west over the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. Daniel 8:5

In the domestic goat, a rare deformity of the generative tissues can cause the horns to be joined together[citation needed]; such an animal could be another possible inspiration for the legend. Antiquities researcher Timothy Zell also produced artificial unicorns dubbed "the Living Unicorn", remodelling the "horn buds" of goat kids in such a way that their horns grew together into a single one.[15] Zell theorized that this process might have been used in the past to create court curiosities and natural herd leaders, because the goat was able to use this long straight horn effectively as a weapon and a tool. Medieval art often depicts unicorns as small, with cloven hooves and beards, sometimes resembling goats more than horses with horns. This process is possible only with animals that naturally have horns. For a time, a few of these unicorns travelled with the Ringling Brothers Circus.[16] Oberon Zell-Ravenheart (b. ... Byzantine monumental Church mosaics are a crowning glory of Medieval Art. ... 1898 Ringling Brothers poster The Ringling Brothers Circus was a circus founded in the United States in 1884. ...


The narwhal

The unicorn horns often found in cabinets of curiosities and other contexts in Medieval and Renaissance Europe were very often examples of the distinctive straight spiral single tusk of the narwhal (Monodon monoceros), an Arctic cetacean, as Danish zoologist Ole Worm established in 1638.[17] They were brought south as a very valuable trade, passing the various tests intended to spot fake unicorn horns. The usual depiction of the unicorn horn in art derives from these. Elizabeth I of England kept a "unicorn horn" in her cabinet of curiosities, brought back by Arctic explorer Martin Frobisher on his return from Labrador in 1577. narwhal public domain NOAA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... narwhal public domain NOAA File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Narwhal range (in blue) The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean. ... For the 2002 novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, see The Cabinet of Curiosities Musei Wormiani Historia, the frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum depicting Ole Worms cabinet of curiosities. ... This article is about the European Renaissance of the 14th-17th centuries. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Narwhal range (in blue) The Narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is an Arctic species of cetacean. ... The Arctic Ocean, located in the northern hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest of the worlds five major oceanic divisions and the shallowest. ... Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti Archaeoceti (extinct) (see text for families) The order Cetacea (IPA: , L. cetus, whale) includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Ole Worm Ole Worm (May 13, 1588 – August 31, 1654), (pronounced Olay Vorm) who often went by the Latinized form of his name Olaus Wormius, was a Danish physician and antiquary. ... Elizabeth I redirects here. ... For the ships, see USS Arctic, SS Arctic, MV Arctic The red line indicates the 10°C isotherm in July, sometimes used to define the Arctic region border Artificially coloured topographical map of the Arctic region The Arctic is the region around the Earths North Pole, opposite the Antarctic... Sir Martin Frobisher by Cornelis Ketel, c. ... Labrador (also Coast of Labrador) is a region of Atlantic Canada. ...


Furthermore in the 1500s people believed that all land animals had a counterpart in the sea. The discovery of narwhals "proved" that unicorns really existed[citation needed].


The oryx

The oryx
The oryx

The oryx is an antelope with two long, thin horns projecting from its forehead. Some have suggested that seen from the side and from a distance, the oryx looks something like a horse with a single horn (although the 'horn' projects backward, not forward as in the classic unicorn). Conceivably, travellers in Arabia could have derived the tale of the unicorn from these animals. However, classical authors seem to distinguish clearly between oryxes and unicorns. The Peregrinatio in terram sanctam, published in 1486, was the first printed illustrated travel-book, describing a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and thence to Egypt by way of Mount Sinai. It featured many large woodcuts by Erhard Reuwich, who went on the trip, mostly detailed and accurate views of cities. The book also contained pictures of animals seen on the journey, including a crocodile, camel, and unicorn - presumably an oryx, which they could easily have seen on their route. Species Oryx beisa Rüppell, 1835 Oryx dammah Cretzschmar, 1827 Oryx gazella (Linnaeus, 1758) Oryx leucoryx Pallas, 1766 An Oryx is one of three or four large antelope species of the genus Oryx, typically having long straight almost upright or swept back horns. ... This article is about the herbivorous mammals. ... Arabia redirects here. ... Hand-coloured woodcut by Erhard Reuwich of the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchure, Jerusalem Erhard Reuwich was a Netherlandish artist, as a designer of woodcuts, and printer who came from Utrecht but then worked in Mainz. ... This article is about the religious or spiritual journey. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... For the Biblical Mount Sinai, and a discussion of its possible locations, see Biblical Mount Sinai. ... Four horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Dürer Ukiyo-e woodcut, Ishiyama Moon by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1889) Woodcut is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface... Hand-coloured woodcut by Erhard Reuwich of the entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchure, Jerusalem Erhard Reuwich was a Netherlandish artist, as a designer of woodcuts, and printer who came from Utrecht but then worked in Mainz. ... For other uses, see Crocodile (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ...


The eland

The eland

In Southern Africa the eland has somewhat mystical or spiritual connotations, perhaps at least partly because this very large antelope will defend itself against lions, and is able to kill these fearsome predators. Eland are very frequently depicted in the rock art of the region, which implies that they were viewed as having a strong connection to the other world, and in several languages the word for eland and for dance is the same; significant because shamans used dance as their means of drawing power from the other world. Eland fat was used when mixing the pigments for these pictographs, and in the preparation of many medicines. Actually, its an Eland. ... Actually, its an Eland. ... Categories: Africa geography stubs | Southern Africa ... Binomial name Taurotragus oryx Pallas, 1766 The Common Eland (Taurotragus oryx) is a savannah and plain antelope found in East and Southern Africa. ... Rock art is a term in archaeology for any man-made markings made on natural stone. ...


This special regard for the eland may well have been picked up by early travellers. In the area of Cape Town one horned eland are known to occur naturally, perhaps as the result of a recessive gene, and were noted in the diary of an early governor of the Cape[citation needed]. There is also a purported unicorn horn in the castle of the chief of the Clan MacLeod in Scotland, which has been identified as that of an eland. Nickname: Motto: Spes Bona (Latin for Good Hope) Location of the City of Cape Town in Western Cape Province Coordinates: , Country Province Municipality City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality Founded 1652 Government [1]  - Type City council  - Mayor Helen Zille  - City manager Achmat Ebrahim Area [2]  - Total 2,454. ... Clan MacLeod Crest. ...


Genetic disorders of horned animals

A new possibility for the inspiration of the unicorn came in 2008 with the discovery of a roe deer in Italy with a single horn. Single-horned deer aren't unheard of; however, the placement of this horn, in the center of the head, is quite unusual. Fulvio Fraticelli, scientific director of Rome's zoo, has said "Generally, the horn is on one side (of the head) rather than being at the center. This looks like a complex case."[18] Fraticelli also acknowledges that the placement of the horn could have been the result of some type of trauma in the life of the deer.[18] 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The European Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) is a deer species of Europe, Asia Minor, and Caspian coastal regions. ...


This unicorn found in Prato, Tuscany is one of the most concrete living evidence of the legendary unicorn: notice that roe deer have also cloven hooves, like traditional representations. Maybe there were in the past similar morphological anomalies like a single-horn deer or a different animal that has been seen from a certain distance. Prato is a city in Tuscany, Italy, the capital of the Province of Prato. ... For other uses, see Tuscany (disambiguation). ...


According to Gilberto Tozzi, director of the Center of Natural Science in Prato, “this single-horn deer is conscious to its uniqueness and does not come out a lot, always hiding.”[19]


See also

A depiction of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, in the style of a heraldic animal rampant, though the nearest heraldic color to pink is purpure (purple). ... Shadhavar is a type of unicorn found in Persian myths which resembles a gazelle with a single hollow horn. ... Honda Unicorn. ... The Camahueto from the Mythology of Chiloé has the form of a calf, with a small horn on its forehead, similar to a unicorn. ... A qilin of the Qing dynasty in Beijings Summer Palace A painting by the court artist depicting one of Zheng Hes giraffes in 1414. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Coincidentally, these modifications make the horned ungulate more realistic, since only cloven-hoofed animals have horns.
  2. ^ Discussion of the Indus Valley Civilization with mention of unicorn seals
  3. ^ Site with slide show about unicorn seal
  4. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia
  5. ^ Ctesias (390 BC). "45", Indica.  (quoted by Photius)
  6. ^ Aristotle (c.350 BC). "Book 3. Chapter 2.", On the Parts of Animals, trans. William Ogle. 
  7. ^ Aristotle (c.343 BC). "Book 2. Chapter 1.", History of Animals, trans. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson. 
  8. ^ Strabo (before 24 AD). "Book 15. Chapter 1. Section 56.", Geography. 
  9. ^ Pliny (77 AD). "Book 8. Chapter 31.", Natural History, trans. John Bostock.  Also Book 8. Chapter 30. and Book 11. Chapter 106.
  10. ^ Browne, Thomas (1646). "Book 3. Chapter 23.", Pseudodoxia Epidemica. 
  11. ^ (Ashmolean Museum) "Young woman seated in a landscape with a unicorn", Leonardo, Late 1470s
  12. ^ a b c Friar, Stephen (1987). A New Dictionary of Heraldry. London: Alphabooks/A & C Black, p 353-354. ISBN 0906670446. 
  13. ^ Robin Meadows, "The Unicorn, the Mermaid, and the Centaur" Zoogoer, November-December 2006
  14. ^ Dr Dove's Unicorn Bull. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  15. ^ Man Made Unicorns. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  16. ^ The Living Unicorn!
  17. ^ Unicorn at Ocultopedia. Retrieved on 2007-01-20.
  18. ^ a b Falconi, Marta (2008-06-11). Single-horned 'Unicorn' is deer found in Italy. Associated Press. Retrieved on 2008-06-14.
  19. ^ Single-horned 'Unicorn' deer found in Italy. Retrieved on 2008-06-11. Larger photo here

Ctesias of Cnidus (in Caria) (Greek ), was a Greek physician and historian, who flourished in the 5th century BC. In early life he was physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, whom he accompanied in 401 BC on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger. ... Photius (b. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... On Growth and Form by DArcy Wentworth Thompson, Dover edition 1992 DArcy Wentworth Thompson (May 2, 1860–June 21, 1948) was a biologist, mathematician, classics scholar and the author of the 1917 book, On Growth and Form, an influential work of striking originality. ... The Greek geographer Strabo in a 16th century engraving. ... Pliny the Elder: an imaginative 19th Century portrait. ... Sir Thomas Browne (October 19, 1605 – October 19, 1682) was an English author of varied works that disclose his wide learning in diverse fields including medicine, religion, science and the esoteric. ... A & C Black is a British book publishing company. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 162nd day of the year (163rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 165th day of the year (166th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 162nd day of the year (163rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Beer, Rüdiger Robert, Unicorn: Myth and Reality (1977). (Editions: ISBN 0-88405-583-3; ISBN 0-904069-15-X; ISBN 0-442-80583-7.)
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911: "Unicorn"
  • Gotfredsen, Lise, The Unicorn (1999). (Editions: ISBN 0-7892-0595-5; ISBN 1-86046-267-7.)
  • Shepard, Odell. The Lore of the Unicorn. (1930) text
  • The Living Unicorn

Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Also: 1977 (album) by Ash. ... Events of 2008: (EMILY) Me Lesley and MIley are going to China! This article is about the year. ...

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  Results from FactBites:
 
Unicorn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3494 words)
Though the popular image of the unicorn is that of a white horse differing only in the horn, the traditional unicorn has a billy-goat beard, a lion's tail, and cloven hooves, which distinguish him from a horse.
The unicorn also figured in courtly terms: for some thirteenth-century French authors such as Thibaut of Champagne and Richard of Fournival, the lover is attracted to his lady as the unicorn is to the virgin.
In heraldry, a unicorn is depicted as a horse with a goat's cloven hooves and beard, a lion's tail, and a slender, spiral horn on its forehead.
Invisible Pink Unicorn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1642 words)
A popular depiction of the Invisible Pink Unicorn, in the style of a heraldic animal rampant, though the nearest heraldic color to pink is purpure (purple).
The Invisible Pink Unicorn (IPU) is the goddess of a satiric parody religion aimed at theistic beliefs, which takes the form of a unicorn that is paradoxically both invisible and pink.
Similar to the Devil of the Abrahamic religions, the Invisible Pink Unicorn is said to have an "opponent" in the Purple Oyster.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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