Bucephalus (in ancient Greek Βουκέφαλος Bouképhalos, in Latin Bucephalus) was the horse of Alexander the Great.
Its name comes from ancient Greek βοῦς (bous), ox, and κεφαλή (kephalê), head and would thus mean “ox head“.
Bucephalus was the best race Thessaly, some hypotheses have said that an example of today’s Akhal-Teke race, descending from the Turkomen horse. According to the head of Bucephalus was an allusion to his enormous size (much larger than the other horses of the period) . Bucephalus was an imposing horse
black as coal, and as indomitable as majestic, he suffered the same condition as Alexander heterochromia, a blue eye like the sky and the black as night, his mystical characteristics made him one of the most famous horses in the world. warrior conqueror and emperor of the ancient world. His head as round, stronglike an ox, and on his brow he wore a star-shaped white spot (Pliny the Elder and Pseudo Callisthenes say, however, that this spot represented a bull’s head and was on his back).
(Story according to Plutarch)
Plutarch tells, in 344 bc at twelve or thirteen years of age, Alexander won the horse by making a wager with his father. Bucephalus was bought by thirteen talents by the king Filipo II of Macedon to a thesalo called Filonico. It was then that, according to legend, the horse began to appear rough and wild, neighing and kicking everywhere, without anyone being able to appease him. Only the young Alexander managed to mount the horse, and he realized that the horse was suspicious of his own shadow. Alexander turned the horse’s head toward the sun, blinding him and jumping up and down the horse at a moment when he would make his father say the famous phrase: “Son, find yourself a kingdom that matches your greatness, because Macedon is small for you . ” It is said that since then Bucephalus was only allowed to mount by Alexander
(Story of Pseudo Callisthenes)
In contrast to the narrative of Plutarch’s text, Pseudo Callisthenes has a more extraordinary narrative, in the mythic sense. Maybe a little bit more irreal. He said Bucephalus was a horse of a beautiful figure, but dominated by a wild furor that took him to the extreme of the anthropophagy motivated perhaps by the belief that he was descended from one of the Mares of Diomedes, reason why Philip decided to construct him an iron cage to which he would cast all those who disobeyed his laws. The Oracle of Delphi told Philip that it would be king of the whole inhabited world that could mount Bucephalus and cross the city of Pela. When, at age 15, Alexander discovered the stable of the animal and approached the horse, he extended its front legs and neighed softly, as if he recognized him as his master, and the young prince was able to remove him without help from the servants and ride with him through the city, dominated by complete docility. This narration belongs to Roman d’Alexandre or Alexander Romance is any of several collections of mythical legends that describe the exploits of Alexander the Great .
Alexander and bucephalus.
As his faithful friend Bucephalus served Alexander in multiple battles, as a comrade of war and consquist. Alexander riding bucephalus knew new lands, under the protection and company of Alexander undertook the conquest, one of the most extraordinary conquests of the world. Arrian states, with Onesicritus as its source, that Bucephalus died at the age of thirty. Other sources, however, give as cause of death not old age or weariness, but fatal injuries in the battle of the Hydaspes (June 326 BC), in which Alexander’s army defeated King Porus. Alexander quickly founded a city, Bucephala, in honor of his horse. It was on the west bank of the Hydaspes River (modern Jhelum in Pakistan). The modern city of Jalalpur Sharif, outside Jhelum, is said to be where Bucephalus is buried.