But in their original position, the perspective would prevent the feet of the men from seeming to dangle so far be- low the bellies of their horses. Of course the size and height of horses varied then just as now.
Hayley informs me that he heard Professor Kekuld make the same remark in a course of lectures on the frieze. Professor Kekule also observed that the sculptors of this frieze had anticipated some of the discoveries made by instantaneous photography in the positions of the horse in motion.
It may be significant, how- ever, that on Thessahan and Macedonian coins the riding-horses often appear equal in size to our own. Little, if anything, can be inferred from the almost giraffe-like pro- portions of the animal on the most archaic vases. From the physique of the horse I pass to his nature. In reading Xenophon's treatise one may be struck by the frequency with which this man, well used to riding as he was, refers to the horse as a dangerous ani- mal to come near. While it should be remembered that the Greeks generally used entire horses, not geldings, for all purposes and especially for war, yet this will not wholly account for Xenophon's constant tone of cau- tion ; and it is probable that the process of domestication, extending through centuries, has made a very great difference in the tem- perament of the animal, as we know it, from what it was in the classical period.
There is, in fact, nothing to show that the Greek ever made a friend of his horse, least of all that there was ever between them that beautiful relation which is so common between horse and man in Arabian tales. Even the poets, from Homer down, did not appreciate what might be made of it. Nowise behooveth it thee;" and he puts him off with scarcely less harshness than that of Balaam to his ass. But he has not a single word of love for the horse any- where, and does not even suggest that the rider should try to win his horse's affection for its own sake. All his teaching is practi- cal : be kind to your horse and he will do as you desire.
The explanation of all this may be that to the Greeks the horse sug- gested war, with all the merciless qualities which characterized it in antiquity. They kept no riding-horses in our sense of the word, and we never read of a Greek as taking a ride for pleasure. Their horses were bred and reared primarily to be machines of battle, or for the scarcely less fiercely contested struggles in the hippodrome. They had but a slight place in the every-day life of men ; to be sure, they were sometimes used on journeys, especially over mountains ; but even ambassadors generally travelled on foot, and carriages were usually drawn by mules.
The pomps and processions on festive days were so contrived as to be part of the horse's training for war. His real business lay among warriors ; for he was like the horse in Job that '' saith among the trumpets. The names and characteristics of many horses of gods or heroes have been trans- mitted to us ; but Bucephalas is the only horse belonging to a mortal about which the Greeks have left any particular descrip- tion.
Vergil, Georgics, III, — Turn siqua sonum procul arma dedere, Stare loco nescit, micat auribus et tremit artus, Collectumque premens volvit sub naribus ignem. Either price is probably an absurd exagger- ation, the result of the later reputation of the animal. Evidently the king was not a believer in Xenophon's principle of giving a horse a thorough trial before buying him ; for, says Plutarch, when they brought the king's new purchase into the place where they were to try him, it appeared that he was a fierce and unmanageable beast.
But Alexander, who was by, cried out, ' What a fine horse that is which they are spoiling! The clumsy cow- ards, they can't handle him. IO3 ing fault with your elders because you know any more yourself, or can handle a horse any better than they? In a moment Alexander ran up to the horse, seized the reins, and turned him to face the sun; for it seems that he had observed that what frightened the creature was the sight of his own shadow playing to and fro on the ground before him.
After a little patting and coaxing, seeing him full of courage and spirit, Alexander quietly slipped off his cloak, and springing up bestrode him unharmed. But he, they say, wept for joy ; and after Alexander had dismounted, said, ' You must go look for a kingdom to match you, my son ; Macedonia is not large enough for you.
Bu- cephalas, however, was no young colt, but fourteen years old even then. Ever after, though he would allow the groom to ride him bareback, yet when his trappings were on he suffered none save Alexander to mount him ; others who tried it met with the same savage behavior which he had shown at his first trial, and were forced to take to their own heels to save themselves from his.
But he bent his knees when Alexander appeared, so as to make mounting easy, without wait- ing for the word of command. For the rest of his life he was Alexander's favorite charger, and went with the great king on his expedi- tion to the East.
The Art of Horsemanship
Alexander, says Gellius, had pressed recklessly forward into the very ranks of the enemy, and was the mark for every spear. More than one was buried in the neck and flanks of the horse; but though at the point of death, and almost drained of blood, he turned, carried the king with a bold dash from the very midst of the foe, and then and there fell down, breathing his last tranquilly now that his master was safe, and as comforted by it as if he had had the feelings of a human being.
See page Of another likeness of Bucephalas we have only a well-known anecdote. Alexander once went to see his own portrait with that of his horse, painted by Apelles. The king did not praise the picture as it deserved. But his horse, on being brought up, neighed at the horse in the picture as if it were a real animal; whereupon, "Your Majesty," said Apelles, ''your horse seems to be a good deal better judge of painting than you are.
THE following are the descriptions of a good horse, according to the ten Greek and Roman writers referred to on page On Simon and his work, see page The fragment here translated is all that remains of Simon's book on the horse, except a few quotations from it in Pollux. If one desires to know this subject well, it seems to me that the shape of the horse is the first thing. To begin with the country of birth, you must know that, so far as Greece is concerned, Thessaly is the best. As to size there are three accepted terms, — large, small, and good-sized, or, if you like, moder- ate ; and it is obvious which size each of the terms will fit.
But moderate size is best in every animal. I cannot tell a good horse from his colour; however, it seems to me that a mane which is of the same colour throughout and of fine hair is generally the best, and besides it is most unlike that of the ass and the mule. A point second to none in consideration is that the horse must be short above and long below, so that the distance shall be short from the withers to the haunches, but as long as possible from the hind legs to the fore ; next, that he must be sound-footed.
The sound is also a sign of the good hoof; for the hollow sort has more of the cymbal ring than the full and fleshy. Let him have supple pasterns and no stiffness of the fetlock joints ; his shanks should be shaggy, with the parts about the back sinew and the shank sinewy and with as little flesh as possible up to the knee. Above, however, the leg should be fleshier and stouter. Let the space between the two legs be as wide as possible, for then he can throw out his legs without inter- fering.
His chest should be neither too narrow nor too broad, and his shoulder- blade very large and very broad indeed. Let the neck be slender near the jaw, supple, flattened back to the rear, but bending down to the front from the slenderest part. The head should be advanced, and the neck not short. Let him have a high poll, and a head flat-nosed but light ; the nostrils should be very large, the jaws slender and a match for each other, the eyes large, very promi- nent and bright, the ears and teeth small, the jaw as small as possible, and the part between the neck and the jaw very slender.
The gaskins should not be very fleshy; and he should have small stones. Between the hams he should not be prominent nor full, but only rather swelling a little, and the breech should be very small and well out of sight. Let him hold his tail high, and have it thick at the base and long. This for the shape of the horse.
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He is by far the best that has all these points ; and second is he that has the majority of them, including those which are of the most service. The colt begins to be driven two years after birth. About this time he sheds his first teeth, when he is thirty months old ; the second a year after, the last in another year or in less time ; and he is at his prime for swiftness and courage at six years old.
This extract is taken from the " Res Rusticae," 2, 7, 5. The book was written in 37 b.
The translation is made from the Latin text of Keil. What the horse is to be like can be guessed from the colt, if it has a small head with well- marked parts, black eyes, nostrils not narrow, ears close to the head ; mane thick, dark, rather crinkly, and of fine hair, folding over to the right side of the neck ; broad, full chest; large withers, moderate-sized belly, flanks drawn in as you go down, broad shoulder-blades, tail full and crinkly; shanks stout, matching, shaped off somewhat towards the inside ; knees round and not large, hoofs hard.
Horses and The Art of Horsemanship: horse-human connection
The veins should be visible all over the body, convenient for treatment when he is not well. From the " Georgics," 3, 79 ff.
Translated from the text of Ribbeck. Lofty is his neck and brisk-moving his head ; short in the barrel is he, plump of back, his undaunted breast swelling with folds of muscle. Then, when arms clash afar, he cannot keep the spot, but pricks up his ears, quivers in every limb, and clouds roll from his fiery nostrils.
His thick mane on his right shoulder falls, and there it Hes; his chine is double where it runs along the back, and his firm-horned hoof rings loudly as he paws the ground to hollows.
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Translated from the Latin by E. My beast displays A deep-set back ; a head and neck That tossing proudly feel no check From over-bulk; feet fashioned slight, Thin flanks, and brow of massive height; While in its narrow horny sheath A well-turned hoof is bound beneath. From " De Re Rustica," 6, 29, 2 ff. Translated from the Greek text of Schneider.
II3 broad without being long; mane thick and hanging down on the right side; broad chest with the muscles bulging out everywhere ; large straight shoulders ; sides curving, seat double, belly drawn in, stones small and alike, broad flanks sinking in; tail long, thick, and crinkly; shanks supple, deep, and straight; knee well-turned, small, and not turned in ; rounded buttocks ; thighs bulging with muscles everywhere ; hoofs hard, high, hollow, and round, topping off with moderate- sized coronets.
From the " Cynegetica," i, ff,, a poem written in the first part of the third century. Translated from the Latin text of Haupt. His back is smooth and broad of surface ; flank very long ; the belly small, even on large animals ; brow lofty, ears mobile, head hand- some, and crest high ; eyes flashing with radiant light; his neck mighty and arching back to his stout shoulders ; the breath of his hot nostrils rolls forth like steam; his foot POINTS OF THE HORSE.
II5 loves not the task of standing still, but his hoof smites the ground continually, and his high spirit wearies out his own limbs. Apsyrtus was a veterinary surgeon under Con- stantine the Great in the first part of the fourth century. The translation is from the compilation called the " Geoponics," 16, i, 9 ff.
Pelagonius lived in the last half of the fourth- century. Ihm, Leipzig, He should in general be so formed as to be large, high, well set up, of an active look, and round-barrelled in the proportion proper to his length. From the " De Re Rustica," 4, 13, 2 ff, written probably about the middle of the fourth century. Translated from the Latin text of Schneider. In a stallion four things are to be tested, — his shape, colour, action, and beauty.
II7 shoe hollow and pretty high.