Suleiman (or Suleyman) (?1540-
18 December 1553) was an Asian Elephantthat was presented to the HabsburgPrince Maximilian (later King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, and Holy Roman Emperor) by John III, the King of Portugal. Suleiman may have been a gift following Maximilian's wedding to Maria of Spainin 1548, or after the birth of his short-lived heir, Ferdinand of Austria.Fact|date=February 2007 Known in German as "Soliman", he is named after the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent.
Suleiman was transported from the
Portuguese coloniesin the Far East to Lisbon, and then to Valladolid, then the capital of Spain. Accompanied by Maximilian, his wife and their two children, and their attendants, Suleiman was shipped from Barcelonato Genoa, where he arrived on 12 November 1551, and then travelled overland via Milan, Cremonaand Mantua.Fact|date=February 2007 He reached Trent, where the Council of Trenthad just finished meeting, on 13 December. He crossed over the Brenner passto enter Austria, where he was transported along the River Innand Danubeto Vienna. He reached Innsbruckon 6 Januaryfor the feast of the Epiphany, and Wasserburgon 24 January 1552. The procession entered Vienna on 6 March 1552. A wave of "elephant enthusiasms" followed, and Suleiman was a popular subject for artists and poets. Suleyman was installed in the menagerieat Schloß Kaiser-Ebersdorf, but died only 18 months later, in December 1553.
Maximillian had a commemorative
medalissued after Suleiman's death to a design by sculptor Michael Fuchs. Parts of Suleiman's carcass were distributed around the Holy Roman Empire. His front right foot and part of a shoulderbladewere given to the mayor of Vienna, Sebastian Huetstocker; the bones were fashioned into a chair that currently resides at the Kremsmunster abbey. The elephant's skin was stuffed and exhibited in Kaiserebersdorfuntil Maximillian, as Emperor, presented it as a gift to Albert V, Duke of Bavaria.
After standing more than 100 years in the Old Academy in
Munich, the body was transferred to the Bavarian national museum in 1928. The remains were destroyed in a World War II bombing raidin 1943.
History of elephants in Europe
List of historical elephants
*"Suleiman the Elephant: A Picture Book", a children's book by Margret Rettich, translated by Elizabeth D. Crawford, ISBN 0-688-05741-1 or ISBN 0-688-05742-X
*"They Called him Suleyman: The Adventurous Journey of an Elephant from the Forests of Kerala to the Capital of Vienna in the middle of the sixteenth Century", Karl Saurer & Elena M.Hinshaw-Fischli, collected in Maritime Malabar and The Europeans, edited by K. S. Mathew, Hope India Publications: Gurgaon, 2003 ISBN 81-7871-029-3
*"This article is based on a [http://188.8.131.52/translate_c?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soliman_(Elefant)&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soliman_%252528Elefant%252529%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D translation] of the equivalent article of the
German Wikipedia, dated 2006-07-30"
* [http://www.virtualvienna.net/columns/billie/schoenbrunn_%20zoo_exhibit.html Vienna celebrates its 250 year old Schönbrunn Zoo with a special exhibition]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE3D7163FF93AA35752C1A960948260 The Wedding Gift Had Tusks] , review of Rettich' book, "
The New York Times", 9 November 1986
* [http://www.caslon.com.au/logo.htm The elephant logo] , Caslon Analytics
* [http://www.ambassadors.net/review.htm The Ambassadors, from Ancient Egypt to the Nation State] , Jonathan Wright, book review, July 2006
* [http://www.hindu.com/lf/2005/01/21/stories/2005012101690200.htm An elephant's European conquest] , "
The Hindu, 21 January 2005
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