Gaius Iulius Solinus was a Roman grammarian and compiler, probably from the 3rd century. The content of his greatest work, known as De mirabilibus mundi (The wonders of the world) is gathered from earlier writers, like Pliny the Elder and Pomponius Mela. Solinus's entry on the monoceros was often included verbatim in medieval bestiaries.


De mirabilibus mundi 52Edit

Latin originalEdit

Sunt praeterea boves unicornes et tricornes, solidis ungulis nec bifissis. Sed atrocissimus est monoceros, monstrum mugitu horrido, equino corpore, elephanti pedibus, cauda suilla, capite cervino. Cornu e media fronte eius protenditur splendore mirifico, ad magnitudinem pedum quattuor, ita acutum ut quicquid impetat, facile ictu eius perforetur. Vivus non venit in hominum potestatem et interimi quidem potest, capi non potest.

English translationEdit

Besides that, there are one-horned and three-horned oxen with solid hooves, not cloven. But the fiercest is the unicorn, a monster that bellows horribly, bodied like a horse, footed like an elephant, tailed like a swine, and headed like a stag. His horn sticks out of the middle of his forehead, of a wonderful brightness about four feet long, so sharp, that whatsoever he pushes at, he strikes it through easily. He is never caught alive; killed he may be, but taken he cannot be.

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