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Bucephalus

 
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apro



Joined: 22 Jul 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject: Bucephalus Reply with quote

People not familiar with Alexander's cavalry mistakenly assume that it was made up only by the Macedonian cavalry, this is false. It was basically a cavalry made up mostly by the Greek kingdoms of Macedonia, Epirus and Thessalia. Sparta, Epirus and Thessalia were the major horse breeding areas of ancient Greece. Thessalonian horses were reputed to be some of the fastest horses in Greece. The Thessalonian cavalry was one of Aelxander's most succesful units, their cavarly skills were even unmatched by the Macedonian cavalry. The Greek poet Oppian (c. 211 A.D.) said the Pindo, also known as the Thessalonian, was most noted for its beauty. Alexander's own beloved Bucephalus was of Thessalonian breed who started of as a racehorse. Bucephalus had a black coat and white star on his forehead. He was bought by King Philip in 342 B.C. for the modern equivalent of $15,000.

Xerxes during his conquest of Greece stopped in Thessalia and Macedonia long enough to challenge the legendary Macedonian mares. The Persian horses soundly defeated them. It has been theoriezed that Bucephalus might even be a descentant of one of Xerxes steeds. This is a theory is based on some historical facts. In 480 BC when Xerxes attempted to conquer Greece, he stopped by Thessalonia to see the famous racing mares of that region. Those much celebrated mares lost to his horses. Xerxes’ Nisean horses had several interesting traits that they passed on to their descendents. One of them was a bony knob on their foreheads often referred to as horns. It was well within Xerxes’ nature, flushed with success over defeating this famous breed of racehorses, to leave behind a stallion or two of the Nisean breed to ‘improve’ the defeated line. The Spartans would do this exact thing after the Battle of Plataea with great success at the Olympics for at least a hundred years. So was Bucephalus called Ox-head because he was stubborn or because he was a handsome ram headed horse with ‘horns’ like an ox? Never the less mounted on his fiery stallion, Alexander created the first successful Greek cavalry, which he used to conquer the Persian Empire.

Bucephalus died from battle wounds at the 'ripe' old horse age of 30 years. Alexander outlived his horse by a mere 3 years. It is said that Bucephalus was buried with full military honors.
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Bucephalus Reply with quote

apro wrote:
died from battle wounds at the 'ripe' old horse age of 30 years. Alexander outlived his horse by a mere 3 years. It is said that Bucephalus was buried with full military honors.



And a city was named after it.
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apro I really enjoyed your post.I,m fascinated by Bucephalus and his relationship with Alexander.The point about the Nisean trait of bony knobs on the skull was new to me,but I wouldn,t be surprised if the genetics were passed on.I,ve also seen illustrations of Bucephalus actually wearing golden horns as part of his bridle ornaments and battle equipment,but I don,t know how accurate that would be.
Have you read Xenophon,s book on horsemanship?I found it online and I read it because I think it must have been one of the books Alexander himself read.It really surprised me because it,s so modern in it,s advice.For instance,he says that the young horse must never be forced by cruelty to do anything,but should be trained by reward and kindness.
Here,s a bit I like,
Quote:
A good deal can be done by touching,stroking,patting those parts of the body which the creature likes to have so handled.The groom should have standing orders to take his charge through crowds,and to make him familiar with all sorts of sights and noises;and if the colt shows signs of apprehension at them he must teach him--not by cruel,but by gentle handling---that they are not really fotmidable.

Isn,t that great?He gives a lot of information on choosing a good horse and how not to be swindled by dealers.I bet Alexander knew it off by heart. Very Happy
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
apro I really enjoyed your post.I,m fascinated by Bucephalus and his relationship with Alexander.The point about the Nisean trait of bony knobs on the skull was new to me,but I wouldn,t be surprised if the genetics were passed on.I,ve also seen illustrations of Bucephalus actually wearing golden horns as part of his bridle ornaments and battle equipment,but I don,t know how accurate that would be.
Have you read Xenophon,s book on horsemanship?I found it online and I read it because I think it must have been one of the books Alexander himself read.It really surprised me because it,s so modern in it,s advice.For instance,he says that the young horse must never be forced by cruelty to do anything,but should be trained by reward and kindness.
Here,s a bit I like,
Quote:
A good deal can be done by touching,stroking,patting those parts of the body which the creature likes to have so handled.The groom should have standing orders to take his charge through crowds,and to make him familiar with all sorts of sights and noises;and if the colt shows signs of apprehension at them he must teach him--not by cruel,but by gentle handling---that they are not really fotmidable.

Isn,t that great?He gives a lot of information on choosing a good horse and how not to be swindled by dealers.I bet Alexander knew it off by heart. Very Happy


Oh, very interesting Apelles, give us the url to the book please.
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Slobadog Melosivec



Joined: 23 Oct 2004
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Persian apologist.
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2005 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexandros_19 wrote:
apelles wrote:
apro I really enjoyed your post.I,m fascinated by Bucephalus and his relationship with Alexander.The point about the Nisean trait of bony knobs on the skull was new to me,but I wouldn,t be surprised if the genetics were passed on.I,ve also seen illustrations of Bucephalus actually wearing golden horns as part of his bridle ornaments and battle equipment,but I don,t know how accurate that would be.
Have you read Xenophon,s book on horsemanship?I found it online and I read it because I think it must have been one of the books Alexander himself read.It really surprised me because it,s so modern in it,s advice.For instance,he says that the young horse must never be forced by cruelty to do anything,but should be trained by reward and kindness.
Here,s a bit I like,
Quote:
A good deal can be done by touching,stroking,patting those parts of the body which the creature likes to have so handled.The groom should have standing orders to take his charge through crowds,and to make him familiar with all sorts of sights and noises;and if the colt shows signs of apprehension at them he must teach him--not by cruel,but by gentle handling---that they are not really fotmidable.

Isn,t that great?He gives a lot of information on choosing a good horse and how not to be swindled by dealers.I bet Alexander knew it off by heart. Very Happy


Oh, very interesting Apelles, give us the url to the book please.

http://www.textkit.com Hopefully,that should get you there. Smile
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

apelles wrote:
Alexandros_19 wrote:
apelles wrote:
apro I really enjoyed your post.I,m fascinated by Bucephalus and his relationship with Alexander.The point about the Nisean trait of bony knobs on the skull was new to me,but I wouldn,t be surprised if the genetics were passed on.I,ve also seen illustrations of Bucephalus actually wearing golden horns as part of his bridle ornaments and battle equipment,but I don,t know how accurate that would be.
Have you read Xenophon,s book on horsemanship?I found it online and I read it because I think it must have been one of the books Alexander himself read.It really surprised me because it,s so modern in it,s advice.For instance,he says that the young horse must never be forced by cruelty to do anything,but should be trained by reward and kindness.
Here,s a bit I like,
Quote:
A good deal can be done by touching,stroking,patting those parts of the body which the creature likes to have so handled.The groom should have standing orders to take his charge through crowds,and to make him familiar with all sorts of sights and noises;and if the colt shows signs of apprehension at them he must teach him--not by cruel,but by gentle handling---that they are not really fotmidable.

Isn,t that great?He gives a lot of information on choosing a good horse and how not to be swindled by dealers.I bet Alexander knew it off by heart. Very Happy


Oh, very interesting Apelles, give us the url to the book please.

http://www.textkit.com Hopefully,that should get you there. Smile


Thanks a lot, Janie! A great site!
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You,re welcome Very Happy
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apro



Joined: 22 Jul 2005
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great info, apelles!! Thanks for the link. I'm definitely going to check it out. Very Happy
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Adriv



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1144
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will name my horse BucephalusII Wink if I ever get one Rolling Eyes Wink
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apelles



Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 1152

PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

apro wrote:
Great info, apelles!! Thanks for the link. I'm definitely going to check it out. Very Happy

You,re welcome apro. Very Happy
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philalexandros



Joined: 02 Dec 2005
Posts: 232
Location: Macedonia

PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there was an interesting marking on Bucephalus's head and Alexander named him in direct english translation 'ox-head'..
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