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imperials. In an inventory of the sixteenth century, we have, "Item, two unicorns' bones, garnessyed with gold. “An unicorn horn at Somerset House, valued at 5001., occurs in the Inventory of the Plate of King Charles I.'1 When the whale fishery was established, the real owner of the horn was discovered, and the unicorn left still enveloped in nrystery. The name Monodon [“ One-tooth "] is not strictly correct, as the Narwhal possesses two of these tusks, one on each side of its head.'? These twisted ivory tusks made excellent unicorns' horns.
The next animal in this competition is the Oryx (a name used by Aristotle, who probably refers to the Indian Nylghau), supposed by some to be the Unicorn of the Old Testament, and having long straight horns, which when seen in profile exactly cover each other, and so give a unicornic appearance. There is in the Museum at Bristol a stuffed antelope from Caffraria, presented in 1828. It is of the shape and size of a horse, with two straight taper horns, so nearly united, that in profile it shows only a single horn.' 3 The Oryx, however, is no Unicorn.
Next, as to the Rhinoceros. Pausanias describes the African species, “Aithiopian Bulls, which they call “ Nose-horn” (“Pwvókepws), because each has a horn at the end of its nose, and another small one above it'—the Rhinoceros gemino cornu' of Martial_but on its head there are no horns.'? The Keitloa, a kind of black Rhinoceros, is two-horned ; as are the Muchocho and Kobaoba, the two white kinds. The Indian Rhinoceros, however, is onehorned; but the so-called “ horn” is not a true horn, being nothing but a process of the skin, and composed of a vast assemblage of hairs.'? The • Indian Ass' of Aristotle, which he describes as having but one horn, is probably the one-horned Rhinoceros, the horn of which, like that supposed to belong to the Unicorn proper, has always been highly valued, and regarded as a detectant of poison. But no kind of Rhinoceros at all resembles the various representations of the Unicorn, is an opponent of the Lion, or answers generally to the mythical character of the mysterious creature.
i Fosbroke, E. A. i. 393. 2 Rev. J. G. Wood, Illustruted Natural History, 86. 3 Brunet, Regal Armorie of Great Britain, 218.
Aldrovandus, amongst his other monsters and curiosities, speaks of a unicornic animal called the Camphurch, which apparently not being one of the fittest, has not survived. Apropos of the lusus naturae, it may be remembered that Plutarch mentions how 'a ram's head with only one horn' was brought to Perikles from one of his farms, which occasioned a prophecy that he would attain to supreme power in the state. Here we trench on the symbolical, and so are reminded of Daniel's goat with “a notable horn between his eyes,' 4 namely that
1 Paus. IX., xxi. 2. 2 Rev. J. G. Wood, Illustrated Natural History, 153. 3 Perikles, vii.
4 Daniel, viii. 5.
Alexander, who, strange to say, adopting the horns of Ammon, reappears in the Korân I as Dhoulkarnain, the Two-horned.
Having noticed the various actually existing animals that have been named in this connexion, it only remains to add that the Unicorn has been prudently relegated to those remote regions which are, or rather were, the special abodes of many wondrous creatures. Amongst these favoured localities was the great Hercynian Forest, in which, according to a report repeated by Caesar :
• Est bos [a vague term applied to any large and strange animal] cervi figura, cujus a media fronte inter aures unum cornu existit, excelsius majisque directum his, quae nobis nota sunt, cornibus.'2
The vague description of Pliny, seems to point to a kind of Rhinoceros. Cardan, following Pliny with advantages,' describes the Unicorn as rare, with thé hair of a weasel, the head of a deer, the body of a horse, thin legs and mane, and one horn three cubits in length.4
Garcias has preserved a very interesting incident, namely, that the Unicorn was endowed with a wonderful horn, which it would sometimes turn to the left and right, at others raise, and then again depress.’5 The progress of the lunar horn, of course, here supplies the basis of the myth.
1 Sura, xviii.
2 De Bello Gallico, vi. 26. 3 Hist. Nat. viii. 21.
4 Vide the Monoceros, Unicornu, Einhorn, etc., described in Jonston, Historia Naturalis, 1657.
5 Apud Penny Cyclopaedia, in voc. Unicorn.
Oppian, Aelian, and many others refer either to the Unicorn itself, or to unicornic creatures.
Hesychios defines the Monokerôs vaguely as Onplov poßepóv;1 Souidas prudently, as “an animal which has by nature one horn.'2
1 In yoc. Monokeratos.
% In voc. Monokerâs.
A UNICORNIC animal frequently appears in archaic art, but whilst asserting that all non-natural animalfigures or partly human figures when used in a religious connexion are symbolical, I do not for a moment contend that all unicornic animal-figures represent the moon; but merely that the creature whose form is familiar to us in heraldry, a kind of horse-stag or antelope, is a lunar emblem. Thus on a Babylonian Cylinder representing Bel encountering Tiamat, who, whatever else she may represent, is the Dragon of Chaos, the monster who rises on her hind legs, has a beak, crest, wings and a single horn; and is altogether very similar to one of the Seven Wicked Spirits that make war against the Moon-god Sin, as the representative of kosmic order. This latter
1 Smith, C. A. G. 109.
2 For a comparison between the Babylonian and Norse ideas on this subject, vide R. B. Jr., R. M. A., sec. xiv. The Seven Wicked Spirits of the Babylonian myth may be paralleled exactly with Seven Evil Personages of the Norse mythology, thus ;BABYLONIAN.
NORSE. Scorpion-of-rain. Midhgardhsormer (the World-encircling Serpent, pri
marily cast from heaven as rain). Thunderbolt. Angurbodha ( Messenger of fear ').