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Horses in Greek Mythology

Horses are quite popular in all forms of mythology. The horse is so well loved by humans that they immortalize them in myths and stories. What is amazing is that stories about horses are not limited to a certain geographic location. Myths and stories about the horse are seen all over the world including ancient Greece, Rome and China. These are some of the horses that are popular in Greek Mythology.

One of the more popular horses in Greek mythology is Pegasus, the winged horse. He is said to be the descendant of the Greek god Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. When Medusas head was cut off two offsprings sprouted from her neck: Pegasus and his brother, Chrysaor. Contrary to popular belief which probably stemmed from the Disney movie Hercules, Pegasus did not accompany Hercules in any of his adventures; rather he accompanied the heroes Bellerophon and Perseus.

The epic poem made by the poet Homer also includes another famous horse. This is the Trojan horse sent by the Greeks in order to trick the Trojans into letting them into their impenetrable walls. They left the wooden horse outside the gates of Troy. Troy, thinking it a gift of surrender from the Greeks allows it inside the city. Unbeknownst to them the horse is filled with the Greek soldiers. When night falls, the soldiers exit the horse and burn down the city of Troy.

Centaurs are also a popular part of Greek Mythology and can still be seen in fantasy novels today. Centaurs are half man, half horse. Stories differ when explaining the origins of the Centaur. Some say that the Centaur was the offspring of Ixion and Nephele, a cloud made in the image of Hera. Others claim that they are the offspring of the God Apollo and Stilbe. Most Centaurs are male but there are female centaurs known as Kentaurides. They are barely mentioned in actual Greek mythology but are mentioned in future works such as those created by Ovid. They are seen even in fantasy novels today such as –The Chronicles of Narnia– and the Harry Potter Series.

The Sileni are another, lesser known horse creature from Greek Mythology. They have the body of a man and the ears, tail and sometimes the legs of a horse. The Sileni are followers of Dionysus. They are usually bald aging men with flat noses and thick lips. The Silenus is said to be the wisest and drunkest of all the other Sileni and remained as the teacher of the young god.

Damian Papworth doesn’t go to the races without his Australian horse racing tips. He is looking forward to reviewing his Melbourne cup horse racing tips this year.