Tag: medicine

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Doubting Unicorns and their Horns

Thomas Browne was an English physician and author. In 1646, he wrote a book entitled Pseudodoxia Epidemica which he subtitled Inquiries in Vulgar and Common Errors where he tackled topics ranging from nature, geography, and the universe. These topics were discussed over the course of six books within the larger Pseudodoxia Epidemica.

Book Three titled “Of divers popular and received Tenets concerning Animals, which examined prove either false or dubious” had a chapter called “Of Vnicornes hornes.” Using both ancient and contemporary texts, common sense, and empirical evidence, Browne laid out a seven-point argument against the medical efficacy of unicorn horn and the existence of unicorns.