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Horse

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Creator of the horse. According to classical mythology, Poseidon [Neptune] created the horse. When the goddess of Wisdom disputed with the Sea-god which of them should give name to Athens, the gods decided that it should be called by the name of that deity which bestowed on man the most useful boon. Athēnē (the goddess of Wisdom) created the olive tree, but Poseidon or Neptune created the horse. The vote was given in favour of the olive-tree, and the city called Athens.

⁂ It was a remarkable judgment, but it must be remembered that an olive branch was the symbol of peace, and was also the highest prize of the victor in the Olympic games. The horse, on the other hand, was the symbol of war, and peace is certainly to be preferred to war.

Horses (four-in-hand). The first person that drove a four-in-hand was Erichthonʹius, according to Virgil:

“Primus Erichthonius currus et quatuor ausus

Jungere equos.”


Georg. iii. 113.


(Erichthon was the first who dared command

A chariot yoked with horses four in hand.)

A horse wins a kingdom. On the death of Smerdis, the several competitors for the throne of Persia agreed that he should be king whose horse neighed first when they met on the day following. The groom of Darius showed his horse a mare on the place appointed, and immediately it arrived at the spot on the following day the horse began to neigh, and won the crown for its master.

Horse (in the Catacombs). Emblem of the swiftness of life. Sometimes a palm-wreath is placed above its head to denote that “the race is not to the swift.”

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Horner
Hornets (Josh. xxiv. 12)
Hornet’s Nest
Hornie
Hornpipe
Horology
Horoscope
Horrors (The)
Hors de Combat (French)
¶ Horse
Horse
Horse (in Christian art)
¶ Horse
Horse
¶ Horse
Horse
Horse-bean
Horse-chestnut
Horse-faced
Horse Latitudes
Horse-laugh