Horse of Alexander!?
Horses were a highly popular motif in ancient art. Pegasos was born as a winged horse. North African and Spanish horse breeding were also highly prized. On these pages of the Roman Shop under the category Museum Shop and Gift Ideas, the horse's head, based on a model from the east gable of the Pantheon in Athens, beguiles with its beauty. The original dates back to 465 BC. The total height of the replica to be purchased here measures approximately 22 centimetres.
The domestication of the horse, in Greek hippos and in Latin equus, began before the 3rd millennium B.C. The horse as we know it today descended mainly from the Tarpan, an extinct form of the Eurasian wild horse found west of the Urals. In Europe, it appeared in Central Macedonia around 2500 BC and did not initially become widespread. The first depiction of the horse is found in Mycenae. According to legend, Poseidon introduced it to Attica. Horse breeding was already highly developed here at this time.
At first, the horse was only used to pull chariots and only later for riding. The quadriga, a two-wheeled team of four with horses pulling side by side, should be mentioned here. From the 7th century BC onwards, the quadriga was only used as a parade chariot for emperors and also as a racing chariot in sporting competitions. The chariot racing scene in the ancient circus with Charlton Heston in Ben Hur is famous, although authenticity is lacking.
Owning horses has always been considered a sign of wealth and power. Excellent racehorses came from the Atlas countries of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The Romans built hippodromes in many cities for racing competitions. The most famous was the hippodrome in Constantinople, today's Istanbul. Built between 203 and 330, it had 80,000 seats! In contrast, the horse was less used in agriculture at this time.
- Horse's head from the east gable of the Parthenon, Athens
- dated to the year 465 B.C.
- Total height: approx. 22cm
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