HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR UNICORNS
The two nearest pictorial examples of unicorns above are also illustrated in Historical Evidence for Unicorns. The top illustration, under the copy of a Marshall University's writer's interview with Larry Brian Radka, is of the Unicorn on the Royal British Arms of James I (1603-1625) and the emblem's French translates as "Evil to him who thinks evil" and the bottom French reads as "God and my right." This heraldic evidence of the Unicorn and Lion is portrayed in John Guillim's Display of Heraldry printed in 1611. The illustration immediately above, under the title of HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR UNICORNS, was lifted from Edward Topsell's 1607 edition of the History of Four-Footed Beasts.
Below we have followed these illustrations up with some extracted textual evidence from Historical Evidence for Unicorns under several bold topics, and below those we have displayed a few more pictures of unicorns from Historical Evidence for Unicorns, which are but briefly described here. Be sure to read all of Larry Brian Radka's Historical Evidence for Unicorns for free to see much more unicorn evidence.
A Unicorn Horn Twenty Inches Long
This unicorn testimony, about the acquisition of a twenty-inch unicorn horn by Major Latter, in the mountainous regions of central Asia, is extracted from but a small portion of the comprehensive evidence for the existence of unicorns presented in Larry Brian Radka's Historical Evidence For Unicorns. He extracted this particular piece of rare history from a long treatise on the Unicorn found in an 1832 edition of Calmet's Dictionary of the Holy Bible. It reads as follows:
The Quarterly Review for Oct. 1820, (vol. xxiv. 120.) in a notice of Frazer's tour through the Himalayan mountains, states: “We have no doubt that a little time will bring to light many objects of natural history peculiar to the elevated regions of central Asia, and hitherto unknown in the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, particularly in the two former. This is an opinion which we have long entertained; but we are led to the expression of it on the present occasion, by having been favored with the perusal of a most interesting communication from major Latter, commanding in the rajah of Sikkim's territories, in the hilly country east of Nepal, addressed to adjutant-general Nicol, and transmitted by him to the marquis of Hastings. This important paper explicitly states that the unicorn, so long considered as a fabulous animal, actually exists at this moment in the interior of Thibet, where it is well known to the inhabitants. ‘This’—we copy from the major's letter—‘is a very curious fact, and it may be necessary to mention how the circumstance became known to me. In a Thibetian transcript, containing the names of different animals, which I procured the other day from the hills, the unicorn is classed under the head of those whose hoofs are divided: it is called the one-horned tso'po: Upon inquiring what kind of animal it was, to our astonishment, the person who brought the manuscript described exactly the unicorn of the ancients; saying, that it was a native of the interior of Thibet, about the size of a tattoo, [a horse from twelve to thirteen hands high,] fierce and extremely wild; seldom, if ever, caught alive, but frequently shot; and that the flesh was used for food.’—‘The person,’ major Latter adds, ‘who gave me this information, has repeatedly seen these animals, and eaten the flesh of them. They go together in herds, like our wild buffaloes, and are very frequently to be met with on the borders of the great desert, about a month's journey from Lassa, in that part of the country inhabited by the wandering Tartars.’
“This communication is accompanied by a drawing made by the messenger from recollection. It bears some resemblance to a horse, but has cloven hoofs, a long curved horn growing out of the forehead, and a boar-shaped tail, like that of the fera monoceros described by Pliny. From its herding together, as the unicorn of the Scriptures is said to do, as well as from the rest of the description, it is evident that it cannot be the rhinoceros, which is a solitary animal ; besides major Latter states that, in the Thibetian manuscript, the rhinoceros is described under the name of servo, and classed with the elephant; ‘neither,’ says he, ‘is it the wild horse, (well known in Thibet,) for that has also a different name, and is classed in the manuscript with the animals which have the hoofs undivided.’—‘I have written,’ he subjoins, ‘to the Sachia Lama, requesting him to procure me a perfect skin of the animal, with the head, horn and hoofs; but it will be a long time before I can get it down, for they are not to be met with nearer than a month's journey from Lasso.’”
As a sequel to this account, we find the following paragraph in the Calcutta Government Gazette, August, 1821: “Major Latter has obtained the horn of a young unicorn from the Sachia Lama, which is now before us. It is twenty inches in length; at the root it is four inches and a half in circumference, and tapers to a point; it is black, rather flat at the sides, and has fifteen rings, but they are only prominent on one side; it is nearly straight. Major Latter expects to obtain the head of the animal, with the hoofs and the skin, very shortly, which will afford positive proof of the form and character of the tso'po, or Thibet unicorn.”
Such are the latest accounts which have reached us of this animal; and although their credibility cannot well be contested, and the coincidence of the description with that of Pliny is so striking, yet it is singular that in the lapse of more than ten years, (1832,) nothing further should have been heard on a subject so interesting.
[And now almost two hundred years have passed with little more notice of the twenty-inch unicorn horn.]
A Unicorn Sighted Near Mount Sinai
(Also extracted from Historical Evidence for Unicorns, a comprehensive history of the Unicorn)
A unicorn sighting was reported in an illustrated study printed in Germany in 1486, by Bernhard von Breydenbach, a deacon in Mainz Cathedral, who verbally and graphically detailed, with the help of the Dutch artist Erhard Reuwich, the sights and inhabitants encountered by a congregation of pilgrims on a trip to the Middle East. Breydenbach faithfully compiled his 148 page exposition entitled Peregrinatio in Terram Sanctam, better rendered: "Travel to the Holy Land," after he had led his flock in 1483 on a lengthy excursion from Venice to Jaffa , on to Ramala by caravan, and finally into Jerusalem for an extended visit to all the holy sites. They also ventured west into the forbidding Sinai Desert to the Monastery of Santa Catharina, and a member of that pilgrimage, Felix Fabri, "saw, on September 20, 1483, with his own eyes, as did all the members of his company, a unicorn standing on a hill near Mt. Sinai, and he observed it carefully for a long time." Breydenbach then continued onward to the Red Sea, into Cairo, and back to Europe. His popular travel documentary was translated from Latin into many languages, and its numerous editions were eagerly sought after by people of many nations for hundreds of years thereafter. This is the earliest medieval illustrated book of travel. The drawings for the woodcuts, which are numerous an excellent, were made from nature by Erhard Reuwich of Utrecht, who was one of the 150 members of the pilgrimage.
This artist must have been one of the company who saw the unicorn described by Felix Fabri in the book he wrote about the same expedition, and it was probably on the strength of that observation that he included the unicorn among the beasts "truthfully depicted as we saw them in the Holy Land."
Reuwich's woodcuts (illustrated below) covered a whole page in Breydenbach's book, published in 1486, of which Erhard "carried out the printing in his own house." It portrays the spiral-horned unicorn among other creatures from the Holy Land. Included are the crocodile, giraffe, and camel. The bizarre images of these strange beasts probably shocked European readers much more than the already familiar unicorn, which looked much like a common horse anyway.
Unicorn Death in Africa
Unicorn accounts of the primitive artistic evidence of the existence of unicorns on the Dark Continent in the eighteenth century have been passed on to us in the 1832 revised edition of Calmet’s Dictionary of the Holy Bible. Its editor, Edward Robinson, also included a quite interesting account of a true African unicorn hunt that resulted in the death of one unicorn, which provided a rare close-up description of the creature, including its horn. In his lengthy treatise on these elusive one-horned animals, he wrote:
"Dr. Sparrmann, the Swedish naturalist, who visited the cape of Good Hope and the adjacent regions, in the years 1772—1776, gives, in his travels, the following account: Jacob Kock, an observing peasant on Hippopotamus river, who had traveled over the greater part of Southern Africa, found on the face of a perpendicular rock a drawing made by the Hottentots, representing a quadruped with one horn. The Hottentots told him, that the animal there represented was very much like the horse on which he rode, but had a straight horn upon the forehead. They added, that these one-horned animals were rare, that they ran with great rapidity, and were also very fierce. They also described the manner of hunting them.
"'It is not probable,' Dr. Sparrmann's remarks, 'that the savages wholly invented this story, and that too so very circumstantially: still less can we suppose, that they should have received and retained, merely from history or tradition, the remembrance of such an animal. These regions are very seldom visited; and the creature might, therefore, long remain unknown. That an animal so rare should not be better known to the modern world proves nothing against its existence. The greater part of Africa is still among the terra incognitae. Even the giraffe has been again discovered only within comparatively a few years. So also the gnu, which, till recently, was held to be a fable of the ancients.'
"A somewhat more definite account of a similar animal is contained in the Transactions of the Zealand Academy of Sciences at Flushing (Pt. xv. Middlelb. 1792. Praef. p. lvi.) The account was transmitted to the society in 1791, from the cape of Good Hope, by Mr. Henry Cloete. It states that a bastard Hottentot, Gerrit Slinger by name, related, that while engaged several years before with a party, in pursuit of the savage Bushmen, they had got sight of nine strange animals, which they followed on horseback, and shot one of them.
"This animal resembled a horse, and was of a light-gray color, with white stripes under the lower jaw. It had a single horn, directly in front, as long as one's arm and at the base about as thick. Towards the middle the horn was somewhat flattened, but had a sharp point; it was not attached to the bone of the forehead, but fixed only in the skin. The head was like that of the horse, and the size also about the same. The hoofs were round, like those of a horse, but divided below, like those of oxen. This remarkable animal was shot between the so-called Table mountain and Hippopotamus river, about sixteen days' journey on horseback from Cambedo, which would be about a month's journey in ox-wagons from Capetown.
"Mr. Cloete mentions, that several different natives and Hottentots testify to the existence of a similar animal with one horn, of which they profess to have seen drawings by hundreds, made by the Bushmen on rocks and stones. He supposes that it would not be difficult to obtain one of these animals, if' desired. His letter is dated at the Cape, April 8, 1791. (See thus far Rosenmueller's Altes u. neues Morgenland, ii. p. 269, seq. Leipz. 1818.)"
Nevertheless, ancient artifacts alone prove the historical existence of unicorns, and below we have listed a little more pictorial evidence of unicorns from Larry Brian Radka's Historical Evidence for Unicorns with pertinent information attached under each picture.
HISTORICAL EVIDENCE FOR UNICORNS
What Reviewers Declared:
“This book argues persuasively that ‘unicorns’ referred to in the King James Bible really did exist.”--The Washington Post,
“Both the belief that unicorns never existed and the impression that they resembled white horses are dispelled in Larry Brian Radka's book Historical Evidence For Unicorns,” wrote feature-writer Christy Redekopp, in her review in Marshal University's Parthenon newspaper..
“The contents is substantive in this informative and entertaining account of unicorns in art, literature, and other aspects of culture and religion,” declared The Small Press Book Review. “Radka's archaeological sleuthing takes him to the ancient cultures of Egypt, Israel, Sumer, among others.”
“Some of the references are compelling,” stated NAPRA Review, “especially those found in the works of selected Renaissance writers. Unicorn lovers won't be disappointed.”
This “well researched, soul searching book,” declared Robert Stanley, the editor for Unicus magazine, “is causing quite a controversy. This truly unique expose uncovers ancient records which accurately describe in detail a remarkable creature which is now extinct.”
“In a clear, scholarly and methodical way our author proceeds to prove his case...a very convincing case,” maintained the editor and publisher of Diamond Fire magazine. “History and Bible students should put this on their reading list.”
“It's more than likely everything you will ever want to know about unicorns is in this book, and if you know anyone who collects those little unicorn figurines and such, then I would suspect that they need this authoritative volume to add a touch of class (not to mention authentication) to their otherwise ordinary unicorn collection!”—Brent Raynes, Editor-in-Chief of Alternate Perceptions magazine
"Self-published books do not provide the luxury of cheap production, and this book is worth every penny.”--The Unicorn