Since the dawn of time people have believed in the "Unicorn". This remarkable, magical creature is said to possess powers that can bring luck and great fortune to the true believer.
Ancient Chinese documents tell of the "Unicorn" as early as the year 2697 B.C. This supernatural creature has traditionally been an important part of Oriental culture. It was thought to possess the ability to foretell the future. It was believed that the Unicorn only appeared on important occasions, and once revealed, was a sign that good times would follow. Legends speak of a Unicorn appearing to the mother of the great philosopher, Confuscious, prior to his birth.
Through the centuries, the "Unicorn" has been described in many different ways by many different people. It's been portrayed in various sizes and colors; sometimes described as having either a beautiful or shaggy mane, a long and voluptuous or a curly, short tail, cloven or olid hoofs. The "Unicorn" is said to be both gentle and ferocious. The most distinctive feature is the Unicorn's single horn. Whether the horn is described as slender, thick, straight or curved, smooth or in the shape of a spiral, the single horn is the one feature that uniquely defines all of the recorded descriptions as "Unicorns".
Around 400 B.C. the mystery began to take shape. A greek physician, Ctesias, recorded many tales from travelers he had encountered. In one of his stories, Ctesias told of an unusual one-horned ass from India, larger and more beautiful than a horse. Its body was white, its head crimson red in color, and its eyes a piercing, crystal blue. A single multi-colored horn was located in the middle of its forehead. Though many had their doubts about this story, early storytellers, scientists, and artists based their work on Ctesias' interpretation of the "Unicorn".
The mystique which surrounded the "Unicorn" continued in the western world during the third century. Seven references to the "Unicorn" appeared in the Old Testament of the Bible. For some people, the fact that the Bible mentioned the "Unicorn" by name meant that it truly existed. Legend has it that Adam, assigned by God to name every beast in the field and every fowl in the air, selected and named the "Unicorn" first, in front of all other beasts. upon hearing the name, the Lord touched the very tip of the horn. From that moment on. the "Unicorn" was exalted above all other living creatures.
What ever became of the "Unicorn"? Some legends say the "Unicorn" refused to board the Ark built by Noah. Other versions contend that Noah escorted the "Unicorn" off the Ark for rebellious behavior. Still other versions actually have the "Unicorn" living in a secret island paradise.
Could the "Unicorn" have found a place where it could live and not be found? Are they still living today? Or do they exist only in the dreams of true believers?
During the Middle Ages, or medieval times, the "Unicorn" was revered as a religious symbol. "Unicorn" horn or Alicorn, was believed to have magical powers. Potions made from Alicorn, although expensive, were frequently prescribed for fever, poisoning, and the plague. Many other parts of the "Unicorn", including the horn, are said to possess mystical powers.
It was during the middle ages that a series of now famous "Unicorn" Tapestries were woven in Brussels, Belgium, which helped to popularize the "Unicorn" Legend. Purchased by John D. Rockefeller in 1922, the tapestries were donated to New York's Cloisters Museum.
For many years, science has tried to prove, or disprove, the existence of the "Unicorn". Many theories in support of the "Unicorn" have been based on archeological discoveries in Europe. Most scientists however, believe that the "Unicorn" was produced artificially, creating a single horn effect by manipulating the horns of either oxen, antelope, goat or calf. Some people believe that "Unicorns" still exist today, living in a secret place far away from civilization. Others believe that if the "Unicorn" really did exist, perhaps it has become extinct and exists no more. Still others believe that the "Unicorn" only exists in the hearts and minds of true believers.
Do you believe in "Unicorns"?