a very old Egyptian giraffe

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Philostorgius: Church History (end fourth century)

Taken from: Philostorgius: church history By Philostorgius, Philip R. Amidon


 (About the Nile.) Among the pagans it was known as the Egyptian River. One may infer that, taking its rise in paradise, it passes underground before reaching inhabited country. It then passes under the Indian Ocean, circles about it, as one may conjecture (can any human being be certain about this?), makes its way beneath all of the intervening land as far as the Red Sea, passes under that as well, and issues forth on its other side beneath the so-called Mountain of the Moon (kamar). In this mountain it is said to form two great springs, at a good distance apart, that burst upwards from below. …the land contains elephants of the most enormous size….The giraffe is another species found there. It is in all respects a huge deer, but its body resembles a camel’s in height. Its neck, however, which it carries high and erect, is of great length, out of proportion to the rest of the body….