In the video below, British Museum curator Naomi Speakman explains medieval bestiaries, with a focus on unicorns. The mythical unicorn has an extremely long history, going back at least to Pliny the Elder, a Roman author who lived in the 1st century CE.

Speakman explains that in medieval depictions of the unicorn, a method for catching one involved a virgin maiden. Take a look for more on how virgin maidens allegedly could catch these fantastical beasts—and a bit more on centaurs, griffins, and other mythical creatures. Enjoy: