The story of Alexander the Great is famous, his conquests, successes and failures. Still few know the history of Bucephalus, his horse, the companion that made possible a great part of these feats.
What made Bucephalus so special?
The name Bucephalus means Ox head. They gave it that name because of its rounded head and the width of its forehead. On his forehead rested a white spot in the shape of a star. This stain was considered a sign of providence over the special abilities of Bucephalus.
Other ancient historians indicate that the spot was shaped like a bull’s head and that it was located on the back of the animal. In any case the stain was interpreted by all the oracles as the confirmation that we were before someone special.
How did Bucephalus and Alexander the Great meet?
Bucephalus was acquired by King Filipo II, father of Alexander the Great, by 13 talents (the currency of the time) given the complexion and beauty of the horse. The horse after the purchase began to be reticent and savage so no one was able to ride it, neighing and kicking.
Alejandro, being an observer, noticed that Bucephalus ‘s annoyance was the fear produced by his own shadow. With a skilful movement he made Bucephalus turn his face towards the sun and while he was blinded by a movement he rode him.
His father before such feat launched a phrase that became famous expressing:
“Son, look for a kingdom that matches your greatness, because Macedonia is small”
Macedonia’s King Filipo II
Alejandro being so young and surpassing many adults, he became the only one who managed to ride Bucephalus. This caused that his father saw signs of greatness in him that later the historio only confirmed.
The friendship between Alejandro and Bucéfalo
From the precise moment Bucephalus was ridden by Alexander, a deep friendship between Bucephalus and Alexander was born. So much so that Bucephalus was only allowed to ride by Alexander the Great. The future emperor and his horse began their history recognizing the greatness of one in the other and vice versa
What was the special care for Bucephalus?
Alexander the Great’s care for Bucephalus was such that he applied ointments to his legs after military campaigns. This ended up becoming and becoming the application of the rest bandages. Nowadays, ladies use rest stockings to improve and stimulate the circulation of the legs.
Likewise, Alexander the Great provided it with the best food for Bucephalus. I get to pamper it by feeding him apples while placing the head of his horse in his lap. Alejandro’s love for his horse was admirable but this link generated a connection and trust between horseman and rider who managed to make them one in battle.
Thanks to the food and careful care entrusted by Alexander the Great, Bucephalus reached 30 years of age.
The tragedy – Bucephalus ‘s Death
With the aches and pains of old age afflicting Bucephalus ‘s quality of life, Alejandro entrusted permanent care to his horse.
When Bucephalus begins to present respiratory problems his care is entrusted to a slave tattooed in blue. His permanent care was desired since it was presumed that his departure was near. The function of the slave was also to give notice to Alexander the Great as soon as he was in his last throes.
A few weeks later Bucephalus lay down on the ground presaging his death. Immediately alert Alejandro to accompany him on his way from life to death.
Alejandro immediately showed up at his friend’s deathbed. He kneels beside her and places his head in his lap to let him go with his caresses.
After expiring his last breath, Alejandro covers its head to give him peace and prevent his tears from falling on his body. In his pain he calls his friend Hephaestion to comfort him.
Tributes to Bucephalus
Alexander the Great founded and named in honor of his horse, friend and fellow warrior the city Alexandria Bucefala or Bucefalia. Even in his death, Alexander the Great among his deliriums asked “Bucephalus is fine?”
The story of Alexander the Great and Bucephalus is the story of friendship that transcends the limits of races and differences to become one only in love. A story to inspire us.
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