Bucephalus – Alexander’s Horse
A short story about Bucephalus, the trusty black horse with a white spot over one of its eyes that Alexander the Great rode for thousands of miles and through many battles to create his mighty Macedonian Empire. Bucephalus scoffed in fear and did not move from the sword. Swallowing the ground in fierce rage during battle. Trained to charge through the sound and smell of war.
Bucephalus was originally from Thessaly, located in the central part of Greece.
We started in Thessaly around 345 BC. During a battle in ancient Greece. During that battle, a black spirit steed received a spear in the eye with a pike weapon. The panic and confusion of that injury caused the horse to throw the rider off its back. Then the rider was trampled to death during that battle. For about half a year, the horse was blind in one eye. It was this that is presumed to have triggered the wild and frightened nature of the horse. Eventually the horse regained its sight and legends say that this horse continued to see the demons and ghosts of war in that eye. That is why Bucephalus remained wild and out of control.
As time passed, many horsemen had tried to tame Bucephalus again, but failed. Seeing no alternative, they had to try to sell the horse to someone. A horse merchant in Thessaly named Philoneicus brought the steed along with many other horses to North Macedonia. When they entered the kingdom of Macedonia, they contacted King Philip II. The king bought Bucephalus for the cost of 13 talents.
In 1994, the World Almanac declared that 1 talent was worth 60 pounds. Currently, 60 pounds is equal to $ 95.28 US dollars. So you multiply $ 95.28 thirteen times and you get $ 1,238.64
In 344 BC, that was definitely a lot of money!
After Philoneicus sells the black horse to the King, many of his horse grooms also had a hard time trying to break and tame it. The horse was still extremely wild and this made the king angry at Philoneicus for selling him what he thought was an evil horse. As twelve-year-old Alexander, son of King Philip II, watched the men trying to tame Bucephalus, he noticed something no one else noticed. After watching the failed attempts for a while longer. He created a challenge for his father. The challenge Alexander posed was that He could be the one to tame the beast. At first, his father was ashamed of his son’s request. Ashamed and then ashamed of how his immature twelve-year-old son was able to tame Bucephalus when everyone else had failed. His father accepted the proposal and told his son that if he failed he would have to return the 13 talents, the cost of Bucephalus. The boy agreed to the consequences.
Earlier, while Alexander watched the attempts to tame the horse. He had noticed that Bucephalus was moving away from his own shadow. He was “afraid” of something. Could these be the ghosts of war that were still in the horse’s visions? Was this what was making the horse so scared and wild? Alexander gently guided Bucephalus as he spoke into his ear. Then he directed it towards the sun so that his shadow was behind him. These actions eventually helped the horse relax, calm down, and forever lose those ghostly visions that haunted him for so long. At that time he proclaimed that the horse’s name was Bucephalus (ox’s head). Alexander chose that name because of the huge head that the horse had. It was the size of an ox’s head. There were also two ox horn markings engraved on the horse’s back. Now Bucephalus could be ridden. To the great public humiliation that King Philip took, the King recovered his composer and commented with tears of joy to his son and said:
“Seek a kingdom equal and worthy of you, because Macedonia is too small for you.“.
Legend has it that Bucephalus and Alexander were born simultaneously. Other stories tell that the horse was born in 355 BC. C., a year after Alexander.
Bucephalus, the mighty stallion, died from battle wounds in June 326 BC. C. during the last battle of Alexander in Hydaspes, which is now Pakistan. This was the first time that Bucephalus or Alexander saw an elephant during a battle.
In honor of his horse, Alexander named a city on the west bank of the Hydaspes River, Bucephala. It is now believed to be the modern city of Jhelum, Pakistan. And he is buried in Jalalpur Sharif on the outskirts of Jhelum, Pakistan.
Brief chronology of Alexander the Great.
356 BC – Alexander is born in Pella Macedonia.
344 BC – Alexander, 12, rides Bucephalus on his horse for the first time.
343 BC – Greek philosopher Aristotle begins tutoring 13-year-old Alexander on humanity and the world.
338 BC – Alexander, 18 years old, commands the Cavalry at the Battle of Chaeronea.
336 BC – Assassination of King Philip II, his 20-year-old father, Alexander, ascends the throne.
335 BC – 21-year-old Alexander crushes the revolt in Thebes.
334 BC – Alexander, 22, enters Hellespont Persia with 40,000 men and seizes large amounts of gold from the Persian Empire.
333 BC – Alexander, 23, cuts the Gordian knot.
332 BC – 24-year-old Alexander liberates Egypt.
331 BC – The Egyptian oracle confirms the divinity of 25-year-old Alexander.
329 a. C. – Alejandro, 27 years old, enters Central Asia.
327 a. C. – Alejandro, 29 years old, enters India.
326 BC – Alexander, 30, loses Bucephalus due to battle wounds.
324 a. C. – Alexander, 32 years old, loses his lifelong friend, Hephaestion.
323 BC – Alexander, 33, dies in the city of Babylon.