We are pleased to announce the online publication of Equine Poetics, by Ryan Platte on the CHS website.
Platte on Heroes and Horses
Part of what makes Achilles special on the battlefield is that he has three horses attached to his chariot—unlike most fighters, who have only two—and that two of his are immortal. At the time of the events of the Iliad he has only recently added the mortal horse, Pedasos, while his permanent team of Xanthos and Balios are the immortal offspring of the Harpy Podarge, an especially appropriate name for the progenitor of famous steeds. Horses, then, share with humans, especially heroic humans, an ontological position unique among living things: they may descend from the gods and maintain some divine capacity derived from them. In the same way that heroes are marked out from the rest of humanity by their divine lineages, so then are their horses. Like the demigods they are descended from immortals, equine or godly, and in some cases capable of inheriting from them immortality themselves, as Herakles did from Zeus and his horse Areion did from Poseidon and Demeter.
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