Oral Myths, LTTA in Greece

Thessalian horses

Throughout the centuries, the Thessalian horses with a timeless presence have dominated, and they still exist. Glorious myths and reality, is the order followed by the horse.

From the Homeric years, the horses and the horsemen of Thessaly had already gained a great reputation. At the classical antiquity, the Thessalian horses are mentioned in the lists of the winners in Olympia, while the cavalry of Thessaly is considered the best in Greece. Pindar speaks for the Thessalian white race riders, and Sophocles describes a chariot from Thessaly, with white horses.

The mythological narrative wants Neptune to beat the rocks of Meteora with the trident, and Petreus sprang from within, the ancestor of Valios and Xanthos, the two horses that were slaughtered together with Achilles and Patroclus.

A thousand years later comes Bukefalas the horse of Alexander the Great.

It is often described as dark, tall and very strong, as most of the Thessalian horses of that time. According to the historian and biographer Plutarch, Filonikos the Thessalian, a horse dealer, suggested to Philip the King of Macedonia, to buy Bouchefala for thirteen coins. The price was outrageous, as it is equivalent to about half a million current euros. Such an amount, however, was insignificant for Philip (sth that Filonikos knew), since only from the gold mines of Paggaio Mountain the annual income of the King was over a thousand coins.

 The verdict of the present Macedonians was that it was a wild and unruly horse that nobody could have taught. Philip was ready to reject the offer if Alexander, his son, did not intervene.

The young man, Alexander observing the behavior of the horse, found that it was afraid of his shadow. So, approaching it, he grabbed his ropes and turned it towards the sun. When the horse did not see its shadow, it calmed down and so Alexander managed to ride it. The attendants cheered the young Alexander and his father Philip encouraged him and said:

“My son, look for your worthy kingdom. Macedonia is a small kingdom to fit you. “

The large Thessalian stallion with brave soul had crossed three continents, rivers, mountains and deserts before he died in deep old age. Alexander founded the city “Vukefalia” in memory of his horse.

And after a thousand years Captain Mimis Boukouvalas, the thessalian legend, resisted against the Germans during the Second World War, using Thessalian horses. He gave shocking testimonies for the action of the horses against the enemies.

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