The Unicorn on St. Valentine's Day

Today we talk of love so let’s talk about the the unflinching love the Unicorn has for his Maiden. 

Not  actually a mythological beast, the Unicorn was believed truly to exist. It was listed in Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder’s epic encyclopedia “Natural History”  and was described as an extremely wild woodland creature that could only be captured by a virgin. At different times it was believed to have the body of a wild ass or a goat or even a bull but always possessed its beautiful,  piercing horn.

The Unicorn became emblematic of chaste love, faithful marriage and a symbol of purity and grace.

Leonardo da Vinci echoed the 7th century scholar Isidore of Seville in one of his notebooks when he wrote:

“The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it.”

Isidore also noted that the unicorn “pierces anything it attacks. It fights with elephants and kills them by wounding them in the belly.”  He probably spotted one while on Safari.