Pliny the Elder on the Unicorn

Pliny the Elder described the unicorn in his Natural History (77-79 CE). Pliny collected knowledge from the ancient world, covering diverse topics across science, math, and art.

Pliny called the unicorn a “licorn” or “monoceros” and his description is below:

“But the most fell and furious beast of all other, is the Licorne or Monoceros: his bodie resembleth an horse, his head a stagge, his feet an Elephant, his taile a bore; he loweth after an hideous manner; one blacke horn he hath in the mids of his forehead, bearing out two cubits in length: by report, this wild beast cannot possibly be caught alive.”

Pliny the Elder Unicorn
Pliny the Elder on the unicorn, from Philemon Holland’s translation, vol. 1 (London, 1634), 206.

Philemon Holland end of chapter

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