Bucephalus - Scared of his own shadow
By Judy Evans
March 19, 2017 12:40am CST
Miranda Hunt (@Brittnyrose) wrote recently about her dog being scared of her shadow which brought to mind the saying about being 'scared of their own shadow'. Another animal that was scared of its own shadow was Bucephalus, the revered mount of Alexander the Great. It's a bit unfortunate that the name means 'ox-head' but some references say this refers to a branding mark on the horse's haunch. However he is described as a massive horse with a large head, black in colour with a large white star between the eyes, one of which was 'blue' or a 'wall eye'. The legend, told by Plutarch in 344 BC, tells that Bucephalus was offered to Alexander's father, King Philip II but, because no-one had been able to tame the animal, the king was not interested in paying out the high price of 13 talents. Alexander, aged 12 or 13, made a bet with his father that he could subdue Bucephalus. He turned the horse's head toward the sun so their shadows fell behind them, gained the animal's trust and the rest, as they say, is history. Bucephalus carried Alexander to victory in many a battle. I have a photo of a sculpture which stands in Edinburgh in Scotland. I thought at first it was Alexander and Bucephalus. Edited: It is of the Duke of Wellington mounted on his favourite charger Copenhagen. If you'd like to see more sculptures of horses, let me know. I have more than you could poke a stick at. And perhaps @LoriAMoore could tell us where THAT saying came from.
19 people like this
• Bunbury, Australia
Wasn't that a great movie? I still have the book of it. This was the book I found in the bottom of Mum's wardrobe when I went snooping for my Christmas present. I was a quick reader and read it before she came home but it totally spoilt my Christmas as I had to pretend to be surprised, I'd already read it and we only ever got one 'big' present. I never went looking for presents after that!
• Virginia Beach, Virginia
I once owned a Pinto mare that was afraid of her shadow. An unsuspecting rider would get dumped when the sun's angle put her shadow within her sight. I think she was a faker because she only did that one time with me. She quickly learned to not do that again with me.
• United Kingdom
As others have said, that is the Duke of Wellington on Copenhagen. As for the saying, we say 'more than you could shake a stick at' but I don't know where it comes from. If you try it though you'll find you can't poke or shake a stick all that quickly!
National Records of Scotland
• Bunbury, Australia
I took dozens of photos like this but of course you can only really take them from more or less underneath so you don't get a really good photo. Here's another one from Scotland. Pity about the pigeons leaving their offerings.