Yesterday I featured war horses of the 21st Century. Now I will go back to a horse from the 4th Century BC. Bucephalus. Here is an excerpt from Kathleen Walker-Meikle’s book “The Horse Book-Horses of Historical Distinction”.
“Bucephalus was the beloved horse of the Macedonian general and conqueror, Alexander the Great ( 356-323 BC) As a young teenager, Alexander tamed the Thessalian horse, which no one had previously been able to do. He did this by noticing that the horse was afraid of its shadow, so turned the animal into the sunlight so it could not see it. The horse’s name means ‘ox head’–a reference to a branding mark on its haunch that resembled one. Bucephalus was black, and is described as having a star on his forehead. Alexander rode the horse in all his conquests. Bucephalus was once kidnapped, and in his rage, Alexander threatened to destroy the entire region; the horse was returned promptly. Bucephalus died at the grand age of thirty, either from old age or from battle-wounds, in 326 BC. Alexander buried him in a tomb and named a city in Punjab (Bucephala) in his honor”