Unicorn Week – Friar Felix Faber

On route from Jerusalem to Cairo via Mt Sinai a ‘trustworthy’ witness of a unicorn sighting, Friar Felix Faber who along with several other travellers in 1483, with the aid and publication of Erhard Reuwich a Dutch artist also with the group.

They stopped for a rest in the mountains one day when :

Towards noon we spotted an animal gazing down at us from a mountain peak. We thought it was a camel and wondered how a camel might remain alive in the wilderness, and this speculation raised a discussion among us as to whether there might also be forest camels. Our guide Kalin approached us, however, and stated that the animal must certainly be a rhinoceros or a unicorn, and he pointed out to us the single horn which jutted from the animals forehead. With great caution we gazed back at this most noble creature, regretting that it was no closer for us to examine it still more minutely… We rested for some time at the bottom of the mountain where the animal stood regarding us as pleasantly as we regarded it, for it stood still and moved not until we had gone on our way.

The Monoceros Or Unicorn

This animal is called the unicorn. I cannot say that I have seen him, but I have seen four brazen figures of him set up in the four-towered palace of the King of Ethiopia. From these figures I have been able to draw him as you see [ Picture Will Be Added ] They speak of him as a territorial beast and quite invincible, and say that all his strength lies in his horn. When he finds himself pursued by many hunters and on the point of being caught, he springs up to the top of some precipice whence he throws himself down and in the descent turns a somersault so that the horn sustains all the shock of the fall, and escapes unhurt.

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