Horses in Ancient Greece

2985 Words Dec 17th, 2005 12 Pages
Horses in Ancient Greece

When thinking back to the ancient times, the thought of the great chariot races will inevitably enter a person's mind. Horses were not only used for this spectacular and dangerous event in early times, but they were used and worshipped as so much more. The Greeks saw horses as a symbol of speed, competition, and human mastery over nature. They were viewed as an animal worthy of much respect and necessary tool for the Greeks competitive personalities. Horses were an integral part of life in ancient Greece. They played an active role in warfare, transportation and in the games such as the Panathenaic Games in Athens. Athenian enthusiasm for the horse was expressed in the many civic buildings and temples that
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More likely, the reason men did not fight on horseback under Greek and Roman rule is that horsemen are not actually that effective against trained, organized foot soldiers. Both the Greeks, after about 750 BC, and the Romans had trained foot soldiers, but in the medieval period armies did not have the resources to train foot soldiers, and so the cavalry, which is the horses and their riders, became more useful. Chariots are often associated with Classical civilization. For several centuries, they were the primary means of employment for horses and a powerful addition to several ancient armies. The harnessed Greek horse is much more of a spectacular legacy than the ridden horse. The art of driving was mastered long before the art of riding. At the equestrian contests which were held with the athletic games from an early date, there was four-horse chariot racing. Simple horse racing was soon added and then chariot races with a team of mules or a single mare, both of which varieties were later abandoned, and then with a pair of full-grown stallions and later with younger horses. The horse breeders such as Phainippus, Hipponicus, and Hippocleides, became famous along with the athletes and often sent out their trained horses great distances for competition. Chariot racing was one of the most popular sports to watch and was considered the most dangerous and requiring the most skill and confidence. When the chariots would round the turning posts at the ends of the

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