A winged unicorn (or flying unicorn) is a fictional horse with wings like Pegasus and the horn of a unicorn. This creature has no specific name, but in some literature and media, it has been referred to as an alicorn, a Latin word for the horn of a unicorn, especially in alchemical texts, or as a pegacorn, a portmanteau of a pegasus and unicorn.
A unicorn horn, also known as an alicorn, is a legendary object whose reality may have been accepted in Western Europe throughout the Middle Ages. This “horn” comes from the mystical creature known as a unicorn, also known in the Hebrew Bible as a re’em or ox. Many healing powers and antidote’s virtues were attributed to the horn of the unicorn.These properties, assumed real since the 13th century, made it one of the most expensive and most reputable remedies during the Renaissance, and justified its use in royal courts. Beliefs related to the “unicorn horn” influenced alchemy through spagyric medicine. The horn’s purification properties were eventually put to the test in, for example, the book of Ambroise Paré, Discourse on unicorn – marking the beginnings of the experimental method.
Seen as one of the most valuable assets that a king could possess, unicorn horns were exchanged and could be purchased at apothecaries as universal antidotes until the 18th century. Other horns were displayed in cabinets of curiosities. The horn was used to create sceptres and other royal objects, such as the “unicorn throne” of the Danish kings, the sceptre and imperial crown of the Austrian Empire, and the scabbard and the hilt of the sword of Charles the Bold. The legendary unicorn was never captured, but its symbolic association with virginity made it the symbol of the incarnation of God’s Word, innocence, and divine power.
Belief in the power of the unicorn’s horn and its origins persisted from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, when the true source, the narwhal, was discovered. This marine mammal is the true bearer of the “unicorn horn”, actually an extended tooth found in the mouth of males and some females. Since then, the unicorn horn has been mentioned in fantasy works, role-playing games, and video games, which make use of its legendary symbolism.
A horned Pegasus or a winged unicorn.
The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
A mythological creature, a mixture of pegasus and unicorn: a winged horse with a single horn on its head.