About Me

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Denver, Colorado, United States
I'm an old time roleplayer who became a soldier who became a veteran who became a developer who became a dba who became a manager who never gave up his dream of a better world. Even if I have to create it myself.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Unicorns and Virgins!

In college, I learned that both of these are myths, regardless of what her father might be desperately clinging to.  The virgin myth originates with the desire to keep getting tuition money - but where does the unicorn myth come from?
Not a virgin either.
Although normally associated with medieval texts and imagery, unicorns were mentioned as far back as Ancient Greece - who were so sure unicorns existed that they wrote about these one-horned creatures in natural history texts rather than myths.  They called it the Monoceros, and supposed that it lived in India.

Some science writers have theorized the real origin might go deep into prehistory - perhaps via ancient cavemen that viewed or hunted the Elasmotherium, a furry beast with a large horn that lived in Europe until just after the last ice age.
Moooonicorn?
The only problem seems to be the horn, which isn't the graceful and beautiful spiral we're all used to seeing.  Well I have a picture of a REAL UNICORN HORN from a museum in the United Kingdom!
Buy 4 Alicorns, get 1 free!
As it turns out, enterprising Viking businessmen from the 9th century put together two key marketing concepts:  supply and demand.  Medieval Europe was fascinated by stories of unicorns, and the Vikings had a supply of real ivory horns that fit the bill.  Profit!

Europeans, being financial suckers even back then, were really buying leftovers from a small whale called the narwhal - which still exists in arctic oceans today.
Worth more than the Euro?
The Danish liked unicorns so much they built an entire throne out of these "unicorn" horns.  Hey - nothing says you're a just and fabulous ruler like claiming you slaughtered a few dozen of the world's most innocent and magical creatures, right?

Oh, and the myth of the virgin-unicorn connection?  A book called the Φυσιολόγος, written by an Alexandrian Greek around the 2nd century, first put this bit in writing.  It presented what was probably a pagan myth about catching a unicorn by tricking it into resting in a virgin's lap - where it could be killed safely.

Because, as every college guy knows, girls that won't have sex are mean lesbians unicorn-killing bitches.

3 comments:

  1. You only learned that unicorns were myths in COLLEGE? You must have had a wonderful and magical childhood, and a horrible high school experience.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is the horrible high school experience because of the unicorns, or because of the virgins?

    ReplyDelete

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