Unicorn and Ram, from the Meshal ha-Kadmoni (Fable of the Ancients)
Isaac ben Solomon abi Sahula (Spanish, born Castile, 1244)
Woodcut in printed book
Overall: 8 1/2 × 12 3/4 in. (21.5 × 32.5 cm) open
Courtesy of The Library of The Jewish Theological Seminary, New York
Not on view
Penned in 1281 by a Jewish scholar living in Spain, the Meshal ha-Kadmoni presents opinions on various subjects, as voiced by animals. Two centuries later, it became the first printed book in Hebrew to be illustrated. Here, an ofer and an aku, depicted as a unicorn and a ram, discuss the wickedness of hunters.