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[2arg] About the horse of king Alexander, called Bucephalas.

THE horse of king Alexander was called Bucephalas because of the shape of his head. 1 Chares wrote 2 that he was bought for thirteen talents and given to king Philip; that amount in Roman money is three hundred and twelve thousand sesterces. It seemed a noteworthy characteristic of this horse that when he was armed and equipped for battle, he would never allow himself to be mounted by any other than the king. 3 It is also related that Alexander in the war against India, mounted upon that horse and doing [p. 385] valorous deeds, had driven him, with disregard of his own safety, too far into the enemies' ranks. The horse had suffered deep wounds in his neck and side from the weapons hurled from every hand at Alexander, but though dying and almost exhausted from loss of blood, he yet in swiftest course bore the king from the midst of the foe; but when he had taken him out of range of the weapons, the horse at once fell, and satisfied with having saved his master breathed his last, with indications of relief that were almost human. Then king Alexander, after winning the victory in that war, founded a city in that region and in honour of his horse called it Bucephalon.

1 Bucephalas in Greek means “ox-headed.”

2 Fr. 14, p. 117, Müller.

3 Cf. Suet. Jul. lxi.

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load focus Introduction (John C. Rolfe, 1927)
load focus Latin (John C. Rolfe, 1927)
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  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), FALX
    • Smith's Bio, Chares
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