7 Horses That Have Marked History

Alexander the Great and Bucephalus, the pair who conquered the world

Tuesday 21 February - 14h55 | Eduard Vilarrubí

7 Horses That Have Marked History

Some horses are so special that their personal stories enter into legend. Today, GrandPrix-Replay takes a look at a few horses whose fame and greatness is equalled only by that of their riders.

1. Bucephalus
Alexander the Great’s legendary horse, with whom the Macedonian King campaigned all the way to India. According to legend, Bucephalus, purchased by Phillip II of Macedon (the father of Alexander) was very wild, to the point that he was reputed to be impossible to mount. Only Alexander proved able to tame the massive horse, and together they forged the legend of a pair who would conquer the world. The ancient city of Alexandria Bucephalous was named in his honour. 

2. Othar
Attila the Hun’s horse, about whom it was said that wherever he passed, the grass did not grow again… Under the Hun leader’s saddle, Othar swept through Europe and brought the continent to its feet…

3. Marengo
The famous Arabian horse of Napoleon, with whom the Emperor won the illustrious battle of Austerlitz in 1805… Today, his remains are found at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, in London, after passing through the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. 

4. Genitor
The horse with whom Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. It is said that augurs in Roman times predicted that whoever rode Genitor would rule the world — which explains why Caesar forbade anyone else to get in his saddle.  

5. Babieca
The legendary mount of Cid Campeador a.k.a. Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar or El Cid. According to a historical ballad, Babieca accompanied the Castilian nobleman and military leader in his adventures through medieval Spain. Despite much conjecture about the origins of the horse’s name, its etymological roots remain unclear. 

6. Strategos
The celebrated horse of the legendary military commander Hannibal (2nd and 3rd centuries before Christ), who came to him from the Thessalía region of Greece, as Hannibal was hoping to emulate the exploits of Alexander and Bucephalus. On his back, the Carthaginian general crossed the Alps at the head of an army of 50,000 men. A feat worthy of the greats!
 
7. Hengroen 
Despite his possible mythological status (or not), the faithful horse of King Arthur deserves a special mention. According to the Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen, Hengroen accompanied Arthur as he helped young Culhwch win the hand of Olwen, the daughter of the dreaded giant Ysbaddaden. Together, the King and his mount undertook countless adventures.

Further reading...

Talk