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Historia Aethiopica, b. 1, ch. XEdit

Latin originalEdit

Præterea animal mihi nominavit Gregorius, quod validum & sævum esse dicebat; አረዌ፡ኃሪስ፡ Arwêharis. Amhar: አውሬ፡ኃርስ፡ idq́ue procul dubio est Arabum حريش Harish vel حرشن Harshan, quod Vnicorne est, capri specie, & pernicitate pedum valens. Num forte sit antiquorum Monoceros, qui, teste P. Hieronymo Lupo,[1] in Habessiniâ reperitur, aliorum indagationi relinquimus. Pro fabuloso habitum suit istud quadrupes à peritioribus plerisque. Nimirum ineptæ descriptiones, quasi vivum capi non posset: ambigua & ex plane disparibus animalibus conficta forma: tanquam de quodam errore naturæ auctores fabularentur, omnem fidem demserant; famam tamen non prorsus vanam fuisse Lusitani tradidêre. Visum enim suit à Joanne Gabriele, quem supra nominavimus, apud Agawos in Regno Damota, animal pulchro in fronte cornu, quinque palmos longo, & albicante præditum: mediocris equi magnitudine, & formâ: coloris spadicei: jubis atque cauda nigris, sed brevibus & tenuibus. (alibi tamen visum crassioribus & longioribus) In densissimis sylvis solitarium vivere, & rarò in campos progredi, incolæ dixerunt. Quo minùs autem de veritate rei dubitaretur, pullus allatus suit Patri cuidam Societatis, qui illum oculis suis vidit. Porro Lusitani, in rupem quandam excelsam regionis Naninæ, quæ Gojamæ pars est, ab Adamas-Saghedo Imperatore relegati, testati sunt: Se plurimos tales monocerotes in subjacentibus sylvis pascentes vidisse; ex quorum relatione profecta sunt, quæ Johannes Bermudes & Ludovicus Marmolius[2] de hoc animali memoriæ prodidêre Descriptio Lusitanorum veritati magis congruere videtur; quæ enim veteres recentesq́ue auctores[3] de unicornibus scripserunt, tam confusa reperias, ut quædam de Rhinocerote,[4] quædam de Oryge, quædam de asinis Indicis, quædam etiam de ceto Gronlandico Nahrwhal accipienda sint. tot animalibus ad Chimæram hanc sormandam opus fuit. Cæteroquin ambigendum non est, multas unicornes animantes hîc & illic dari; id tantùm summè dubium erat, de quibus sacra Scriptura ageret; quandoquidem interpretes, post LXX. Seniores, ferè omnes, Hebræum רים Rim vel ראם Reem, Monocerotem, animal Israëlitis planè incognitum, reddiderunt. Æthiopicus interpres, sive ignorans id animalis in Æthiopiâ dari: sive aliud intelligi putans, Græcum τῶν ὸ Μονόκερως ubique reddidit ዘአሐዲ፡ቀርን፡ (Bestia) cui unum cornu. At clarissimus Bochartus Arabum ريم Rim, è caprearum genere: vel, quod verisimilius mihi videtur, Orygem esse docuit. Vrsi nomen ድበ፡ Dεb, ex Arabica & Hebr. linguâ habent; animal ipsum non norunt. In Africâ enim ursos non gigni, Plinius pridem scripsit; at apri, cervi & caprea dantur, secus ac ille putat, nisi fortè de Africâ propriè dictâ locutus sit.


  1. In relatione illius Anglicè translatâ; tit. A short relation of the river Nile &c. 1673.
  2. allegantur à Bocharto in Hierozoico. L. III. c. 26.
  3. Quos vide latè apud Bochart. dicto loco.
  4. De hoc intelligenda est M. Pauli Veneti relatio de Vnicorni in Javâ minore. L. III. c. 15.

English translationEdit

Besides these, Gregory nam'd to me another sort of Beast, both Strong and Fierce, call'd Arweharis, from the Arabic Harish, or Harshaw, which signifies with one Horn. This Beast resembles a Goat, but very swift of Foot; whether it be the Monoceros of the Ancients, which as Jeronimus Lupus[1] reports, is found in Habessinia, I leave to the Scrutinie of others. Many skilful Authors look'd upon this Four-footed Beast as a kind of Chimera, considering the idle Relations as if it could not be taken alive; that if Writers were framing Fables concerning some Errour of Nature. However the Portugals tell us, that the Report was not altogether vain. For one of them was seen by John Gabriel, whom we have already nam'd, in the Province of the Agawi, in the Kingdom of Damota; it was a Beast with a fair Horn in the Fore'head, five Palmes long, and of a whitish Colour, about the bigness and shape of a middle siz'd Horse, of a Bay Colour, with a Black Main and Tayl, but short and thin (though some have been see with longer and thicker) a lively Creature, haunting the thickest Woods, and seldom appearing in the Fields. And left there should be any doubt of the Truth of the thing, there was a young Colt brought to one of the Fathers of the Society, who was an Eye-witness of the reality of the thing. Moreover, several Portugueses, who were banish'd by the Emperour Adamas Saghed, into a certain high Rock in the Province of Nanina, which is a part of Gojam, have attested that they say several such Unicorns feeding in the Woods that lay under the said Mountain. From whose Relations John Bermudes, and Lodowick Marmolius[2] made their Reports concerning this Beast. The Description of the Portugueses seems most agreeable to Truth: For what the Ancient and Modern Writers[3] have written concerning Unicorns are so confus'd, that some things have reference to the Monoceros[4]; other things to the wild Stag, or wild Goat, somethings to the wild Indian Ass; and other things in reference to the Groinland-Whale, or Nahrwhale; so many Beasts were required to form this Chimæra: however there is no question to be made, but that there are many Unicorns up and down the World. Only there is still someControversie remaining, what those Beasts should be, of which the Scripture makes mention; in regard that all Interpreters, after the Seventy Seniors, agree, that the Hebrew רם or ראם, Rim, or Reem was a Beast altogether unknown to the Israelites. The Ethiopic Interpreter, whether ignorant of that Beast in Ethiopia; or believing some other Creature to be thereby understood, renders the Greek Monokeros, the Beast with one Horn. The most famous Bochart tells us, That the Arabian Rim, is a sort of wild Goat; or which seems ore probable to me, a kind of wild Bear. The Word Dek in the Arabic, and Deb in the Hebrew Language, are the two words that signifie a Bear: yet is that Beast unknown in those Parts. Pliny also Affirms, That there are no Bears in Africa: But as for Boars, Harts, and Goats they are granted to breed there, as in other places; contrary to Plinies Opinion: unless he may be thought to speak only of Africa properly so call'd.


  1. In his Relation Translated into English; Tit. a short Relation of the River Nile.
  2. By Bochart in Hierozoico. L. 3. t. 26.
  3. At large by Bochart, in the place already cited.
  4. In the relation of Paulus Venetus concerning the Unicorn in Java the less. L. 3. c. 15.

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