", Lunsingh Scheurleer, R.A. "Elephants in Faience. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. The rider was crucial as he had trained the animal for years and it would obey only his commands. In this slideshow, you'll follow the slow, majestic progress of elephant evolution over 60 million years, starting with the pig-sized Phosphatherium and ending … Before the fighting, Ptolemy’s elephants are said to have raised trunks in prayer to the rising sun. (1-Macc. Notice particularly the protuberance on the elephant’s forehead which is particular to the Indian elephant. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Roman Mosaic Showing the Transport of an Elephantby Carole Raddato (CC BY-SA). Oppen, Branko V. "Elephants in Hellenistic History & Art." It persisted in the Balkans till 800 years ago and the Greek legend of the Hercules mentions lions in ancient Greece. Elephants were dressed for battle in armour which protected their heads and sometimes front. In the search for ever more impressive and lethal weapons to shock the enemy and bring total victory the armies of ancient Greece, Carthage, and even sometimes Rome turned to the elephant. CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons Today’s placid scenes along the verdant shores of Greece’s Pinios River, in Thessaly, belie its ancient history as the home of hippopotamuses, bison and even elephants, according to geologist/paleontologist and professor Athanassios Athanassiou. Alexander & Porusby The Trustees of the British Museum (Copyright). "Elephants in Greek & Roman Warfare." The Indian species was used for this purpose. War elephants are elephants that have been trained and are guided by humans during times of war. Of particular importance is the combination of the elephant scalp with a ram’s horn over his temple and the aegis (a sacred goat’s fleece) thrown over his shoulder. The ram’s horn was thus a divine attribute associated with panic and madness. Submitted by Branko van Oppen, published on 20 May 2019 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Seleukos I Nikator famously swapped parts of his eastern empire to gain 500 elephants from Indian emperor Chandragupta in 305 BCE. Detail of a 6th Century CE Elephant Mosaicby Carole Raddato (CC BY-NC-SA). Farther along the campaign, another 125-150 elephants were obtained in the Indus Valley as a gift of a local prince and through hunting. This helped work the beasts into a rage. Elephants were historically deployed on the battlefield to strike terror into enemy troops inexperienced with their sight. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Diodorus related that Indian elephants were outfitted to strike terror in warfare against the invading Assyrian queen Semiramis. In other words, Alexander’s posthumous portraiture presents him as the rightful ruler over these cultures and the known world. Elephant Symbolism on the Coins of Ptolemy Iby Branko van Oppen (CC BY-NC-SA). When Pyrrhus of Epirus (319-272 BCE) requested support for his upcoming Italian campaign, Ptolemy II could afford to provide him with 50 elephants, among other forces. Seleucus I (c. 358-281 BCE) is said to have obtained 400-500 which he employed against Antigonus I and Lysimachus but then they are never heard of again. The snakes might allude to the legend that Olympias was impregnated by a god in the form of a snake. They were deployed on the battlefield to strike terror into the enemy, however, since fear was considered divinely inspired, elephants can be interpreted as religious symbols even in warfare. τος ) [7] The Indian Dragon was a breed of giant serpent which could fight and strangle the elephants of India. On the emblema, Cleopatra Selene wears an elephant scalp as a headdress and is surrounded by a profusion of religious symbols and attributes particularly associated with Ptolemaic Egypt. Firstly, both soldiers and cavalry horses were trained to get used to the sight, smell, and sounds of elephants. "Elephants in Greek & Roman Warfare." Cartwright, Mark. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. The War with Hannibal: The History of Rome from Its Foundation, Books... Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. 2020 Moderator Election Q&A - … An elephant charging into a group of soldiers or horses could decimate a formation. As the ancient historian Ammianus Marcellinus put it, "the human mind can conceive nothing more terrible than their noise and huge bodies" (Anglim, 132). According to Patrick Winn, a correspondent for The World, war elephants may be divided into two types: those which participate in battles and those used for logistical purposes. present-day northern Algeria) supplied elephants to the Pompeian forces during the Roman Civil War (49-45 BCE). Some people might wonder why the world is still so hung up on ancient Greek myths when they are nothing but stories and they came from thousands of years ago. Allegedly, Antiochus’ 16 elephants instilled panic among the Galatians, causing great carnage and producing victory in battle. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Our mission is to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. elephant translation in English-Ancient Greek (to 1453) dictionary. Oppen, Branko V. "Elephants in Hellenistic History & Art." The combination of these three attributes remains poorly understood, although the portrait as a whole makes little sense from a classical Graeco-Macedonian perspective. Later in the 5th century BCE, Ctesias, who (unlike Herodotus) must have seen elephants himself, declared that Indians hunt the man-eating martichora (elsewhere called manticore) on elephants a paragraph before discussing griffons that protect the goldmines in the Indian mountains. He controlled the direction the elephant took by applying pressure behinds the animal’s ears with his toes. There are, furthermore, evident religious connections and influences between elephants and Hindu deities. The shape of the elephants’ trunks resembles the trumpet Fame sounds. Sure, everyone is familiar with the North American Mastodon and the Woolly Mammoth—but how much do you know about the ancestral pachyderms of the Mesozoic Era, some of which predated modern elephants by tens of millions of years? Starting with the association with Alexander’s Indian triumph, the exuvia (elephant’s scalp) might best be understood as an attribute of an Indian deity, such as Indra, Shiva, or Krishna. Incidentally, Indra, like Zeus and even Alexander the Great, wields the thunderbolt. The first use of elephants by humans began about 4,000 years ago in India. The Macedonian army, nevertheless, refrained from advancing into the Ganges Valley – as they received information not only about the vastness of the country but also the alleged strength of its forces (including at least 3000 elephants). There Pyrrhus gained notable victories against the Romans in the battles of Heraclea (280 BCE) and Asculum (279 BCE). - Animal Life in the Scriptures Ancient Elephant. Unfortunately, impressive though they must have seemed on the battlefield, the cost of acquiring, training, and transporting these creatures, along with their wild unpredictability in the heat of battle, meant that they were used only briefly and not particularly effectively in Mediterranean warfare. After Perdiccas’ disastrous defeat about 50-60 elephants apparently fell to Ptolemy. There is a curious instance when two elephant corps met where each side was composed of different types. Cavalry horses, especially, are frightened even of their smell. Elephants in the Bible. These were used in the First and Second Punic Wars against Rome in the mid and late 3rd century BCE, notably in the Battle at the river Tagus in Spain in 220 BCE and at the Battle of Trebia in northern Italy in 218 BCE. See more ideas about war elephant, elephant, ancient warfare. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. (Job 40:15-24.) Last modified May 20, 2019. Seleucid coinage regularly propagates the symbolic military importance of elephants as an expression of their power. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Upcoming Events 2020 Community Moderator Election. Still, their symbolic importance for Carthage is expressed on a series of Hannibal’s coinage, which depict a cloaked rider with a goad in his hand, but no turret. Detail of Roman Sarcophagus with an Elephantby Carole Raddato (CC BY-SA). Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. This beast lies by the papyrus, reed and sedge, it strikes the river to pour water in its mouth and does not fear the flood. One of Petrarch’s four famous Triumphs, the “Triumph of Fame over Death,” has been frequently illustrated by generations of artists. The first classical author to write about elephants, Herodotus, mentioned them among various more or less fabulous creatures and wild beasts, such as lions, bears, snakes, serpents, unicorns, dog-headed men, headless men, and savages. So impressed was Alexander with the war elephants of Porus, who was said to have had a corps of 200 when he fought the Battle of Hydaspes in 326 BCE, that he formed his own ceremonial elephant corps. Romans first encountered elephants in battle in 280 BCE, when Pyrrhus, king of the Greek region of Epirus, invaded Italy with an army of 25,000 men and 20 war elephants. The king commemorated his victory by sacrificing four of his enemy’s elephants. Phoenician terracotta lamp in the form of an elephant's head. After a few centuries when elephants were out of vogue, the Sasanians in Persia revived the use of war elephants, fielding the Indian species from the 3rd century CE onwards, albeit, largely for logistics and during sieges. The Hellenistic Period is a part of the Ancient Period for the... After securing the eastern Mediterranean seaboard and Egypt, Alexander... Monsters of Military Might: Elephants in Hellenistic History and Art, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World, Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, Alonso Troncoso, V. "The Diadochi and the Zoology of Kingship: The Elephants. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Fame is accompanied by Plato and Aristotle, Alexander, and Charlemagne. Showing page 1. Are there peacocks and elephants in Ancient Greece (4000 BC)? Cite This Work Larger elephants were outfitted with tower-like devices protecting occupants from ground-level attack and providing an excellent battlefield vantage point. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. Starting the battle in a simple line in front of their own troops they could cause undisciplined and poorly trained cavalry lines to scatter in panic. u (“elephant”) (compare Tahaggart Tamahaq êlu, Tamasheq alu) or Egyptian ꜣbw (“elephant; ivory”). Cartwright, Mark. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 20 May 2019. Books Indra, however, is the son of Dyaus Pitrā (“Sky Father”), which parallels Zeus Pater and Jupiter. During the late Roman Empire elephants were also given and received as gifts to improve diplomatic relations with neighbouring states. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. John M. Kistler, War Elephants (London, 2006) Adrienne Mayor, Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World (New York, 2003) H. H. Scullard, The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World (London, 1974) Bibliography On many Hellenistic-style coins, signet rings and seal stones from Graeco-Bactria and Graeco-India elephants are depicted – a tradition that dates back to Harappan stamps-seals from the 3rd and 2nd millennium BCE. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. However, one look at the vast amount of ancient Greek-themed movies and literature today, people will quickly come to the conclusion that the world is still fascinated with Greek mythology though they might not always be able to say why. While reinforcements of African forest elephants would eventually reach Hannibal, they failed to assert any decisive effect even at the final Battle of Zama (201 BCE). According to Plutarch, 475 elephants took part in the Battle of Ipsus in 301 BCE during the Successor Wars. The supreme deity Shiva is considered both benign and frightful. In the 270’s BCE, for example, Ptolemy II trained African elephants for use in his army and even appointed a high official to be responsible for them, the elephantarchos. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. C.A. Ever since the Stone Age, when elephants were represented by ancient petroglyphs and cave art, they have been portrayed in various forms of art, including pictures, sculptures, music, film, and even architecture. More at ivory. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 16 Mar 2016. In later times, the use of elephants was restricted to peace-time activities such as spectacles in the Roman arenas and circuses for public entertainment or as an impressive addition to public processions. Well into common era the elephant continued to feature frequently on Kushan coinage (1st-4th century CE), including kings riding elephants. Please support Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation. The two elephant corps clashed directly and the smaller-sized African elephants gave way, even if Ptolemy won the battle overall. Sword blades or iron points were added to the tusks and bells hung from the body to create as much noise as possible. Alexander’s elephant headdress is generally understood as an emblem of his victory over Porus. Then they obviously provided large targets for artillery fire. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. The founder of the Mauryan kingdom, Chandragupta established his power shortly after Alexander’s death (r. c. 322/1-299/8 BCE). Ancient History Encyclopedia. They were established as rulers of Mauretania (approx. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Next, the ram’s horn that encircles Alexander’s temple is understood to be an attribute of Ammon, the Libyan oracular deity, whose cult lies in the desert oasis of Siwah. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/article/876/. Antiochus I (324/3-261 BCE) deployed war elephants against the Galatians who had crossed the Balkans into Greece and then moved into Asia Minor (c. 275/4 BCE). Suggested Reading. present-day northern Morocco) and their son Ptolemy was the last known descendant of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Understood as an emblem of military might, in antiquity and well beyond, I have argued that the elephant was a mythic monster. Strabo mentioned elephants about 50 times: citing Onesicritus that elephants could live for up to 500 years; Megasthenes who claimed to have seen elephants in a Bacchic chase; and Artemidorus who described elephants in Ethiopia along with sphinxes and dragons. According to the Mahabharata, the elephants were provided with armour, girths, blankets, neck ropes and bells, hooks and quivers, banners and standards, yantras (possibly stone-or-arrow-hurling contrivances) and lances. From the 270’s a light-weight tower (howdah or thorakia) of wood and leather was strapped to the larger Asian elephant using chains, and protected with shields hanging down its sides. on Pinterest. The use of elephants in warfare had spread to Persia in earlier centuries from India where elephants had been used for millennia. In 275 BCE, in a battle known as the ‘Elephant Victory’, Antigonus Gonatas, although outnumbered, used 16 elephants to terrify an army of Gauls into retreat. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. Employed historically in warfare to strike fear in the enemy, it should be remembered that panic was believed to be divinely inspired. Cleopatra Selene II, Boscorealeby Hervé Lewandowski (Copyright), Let us briefly return to the Hellenistic period and quickly make our way back eastwards. Krishna, an avatar of Vishnu, is a princely hero. Early Riders: The Beginnings of Mounted Warfare in Asia and Europe. Ammon was identified both with Zeus and Amun-Ra, the supreme creator god. The snakes may also refer to the uraeus (upright cobra) or the serpents coiling around the head of Medusa. The third attribute, the aegis belonged to Zeus, who presented it to Athena, who in turn is commonly depicted wearing the fleece. Some ancient sources claim that elephants were given wine before battle in order to rouse them into a fighting frenzy. A thick sacking or leather cover could also be hung over the elephant’s back to protect its sides. Indeed, Caesar’s silver denarius coinage of his moving mint (c. 50-45 BCE) significantly employed the elephant trampling a serpent as he crossed the Rubicon River as an allusion to the victory of good over evil. Tossing, ripping, and crushing the enemy, elephants were used to cause havoc with any defensive fieldworks and fortifications too, where they knocked down walls with their foreheads or pulled them down with their trunks. Alexander’s posthumous portraiture was first devised under Ptolemy in Egypt and subsequently imitated by Lysimachus, Seleucus, and Ceraunus. Elephants were thought of as fierce and frightful monsters in antiquity, very real though rarely seen until the Hellenistic period. After Gaugamela, 15 elephants were captured from the Persian camp, along with the baggage, chariots and camels. So, he too may possibly have been the Hindu deity identified with Heracles by the Greeks and Macedonians. While the Romans did eventually adopt them, and used them occasionally after the Punic wars, especially during the conquest of Greece, they fell out of use by the time of Claudius, after which they were generally used for the purpose of demoralizing enemies instead of being used for tactical purposes. In Alexander’s posthumous portraiture, it seems to be tied around his neck by two writhing snakes. The Macedonian army then encountered elephants in the field at the Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BCE; the westernmost tributary of the Indus now called the Jhelum) against a king called Porus (perhaps Paurava, i.e., “King of the Purus”). Huge, exotic, and frightening the life out of an unprepared enemy they seemed the perfect weapon in an age where developments in warfare were very limited. Aug., Ael. Next, the venerable Aristotle likewise discussed elephants in the same context as the martichora and believed that they could live for up to 300 years and “can be taught to kneel in the presence of the king.” (History of Animals 2.1, 8.9 and 9.46.). When Ptolemy (c. 367-282 BCE), the appointed governor of Egypt, transferred said funerary cortege to Memphis, the Macedonian regent Perdiccas retaliated by invading Egypt with the royal army, including elephants (c. 321/0 BCE). The Carthaginians were the next major users. Elephants were, perhaps strangely, not used by the Romans as transportation of heavy goods either. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Pyrrhus (/ ˈ p ɪr ə s /; Ancient Greek: Πύρρος, Pyrrhos; 319/318–272 BC) was a Greek king and statesman of the Hellenistic period. All three attributes symbolize Alexander’s divine sonship and the attributes portray him as the heroic descendant of the slayer of demons, underlying the associations between the mythic figures of Dionysus and Heracles (both sons of Zeus), Shiva (an emanation of Indra) and Krishna (an avatar of Vishnu), as well as Horus (the reincarnation of Osiris). Nov 12, 2020 - Explore Jonah Bomgaars's board "War Elephants!" Elephants were the tanks of the ancient battlefield. He, therefore, embodies aspects of both Heracles and Dionysus, and Alexander was also believed to be descended from Dionysus, through Deianira, the wife of Heracles. ", Lorber, C.C. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. If this happened the rider used a metal spike and hammer to pierce the elephant’s brain and kill it immediately. Alexander was believed to be descended from Heracles, the son of Zeus. Ancient Warfare and the World’s First War Elephants. https://www.ancient.eu/article/1381/. Indeed, the Seleucid Empire made sure to exclusively control the traffic in Asian elephants. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. During the eastern campaign of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), Greek and Macedonian soldiers first encountered elephants in Assyria, at the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BCE), where they were, however, apparently not deployed. The former had 73 African elephants against the latter’s 102 Asian elephants. It appears frequently as an attribute of military might on Hellenistic bronze figurines and decorative elements (of which several examples are found in museums across the world). Ceraunus famously died on the back of an elephant against the Galatians entering the Greek peninsula from across the Balkans (279 BCE). When Hannibal (247 - c. 182 BCE) moved against Rome, he crossed the Pyrenees from Spain with 37 elephants among his vast forces. Even more famously, at the Battle of Zuma in 202 BCE, the Roman general Scipio Africanus allowed Hannibal’s 80 elephants to run through gaps purposely made in his infantry lines and then turned the animals around using drums and trumpets to let them cause havoc with the enemy. Cite This Work When Alexander died, his funeral carriage was decorated among many other things with a tablet of Indian elephants driven by mahouts, followed by Macedonian troops. Pyrrhus already had 20 war elephants (although it remains unclear from where or whom he had obtained them). More historically, Juba of Numidia (approx. Nor were elephants any help to the senatorial armies of Scipio and Cato that faced Julius Caesar in North Africa at the Battle of Thapsus in 46 BCE. "Elephants were considered the tanks of the time, until eventually the Romans figured out how to defeat war elephants," in later times, said study co-author Alfred Roca, an animal scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This was especially so as Roman warfare developed. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. On an early 16th-century Flemish tapestry (now in New York) the personification of Fame stands in a chariot drawn by two white elephants as they trample death and fate. This suggestion is substantiated by the accounts of the Battle of Raphia (217 BCE) which decisively settled the Fourth Syrian War between the forces of Ptolemy IV and Antiochus III in favor of the former. Elephant & Griffonby Branko van Oppen (CC BY). The Mauryans used three riders, all archers, with … That is to say, the headdress represents the heroic appropriation of a monstrous attribute as an emblem of victory over a fabled foe. His son, Ptolemy Ceraunus, who was passed over for the succession, imitated his father’s coinage when he claimed the succession over Lysimachus’ kingship. Cartwright, M. (2016, March 16). Oct 7, 2019 - Explore Mark Domenico's board "War elephant" on Pinterest. Roman Mosaic Showing the Transport of an Elephant, Detail of Roman Sarcophagus with an Elephant, Detail of a 6th Century CE Elephant Mosaic. We may take as a clue from the ancient notion that fear, like panic, was divinely inspired, and that elephants should first of all be interpreted as religious symbols – even in warfare. One such small-scale statuette (now in New York), perhaps based on large-scale sculpture, depicts Alexander in the act of combat, riding a (now missing) animal, wearing the elephant scalp on his head. Replaced Middle English olifant (fro… Still, Caesar was able to defeat Metellus Scipio at the Battle of Thapsus in Tunisia (46 BCE) and he captured over 60 elephants after his African victory and displayed 40 in a Roman triumph. Found 3 sentences matching phrase "elephant".Found in 0 ms. The riders were seven: two carried hooks, two were archers, two were swordsmen, and the last one had a lance and a banner. From the reign of Alexander the Great elephants became associated with Hellenistic military processions and coinage often expressed the symbolic connection between elephants and military victories. In 275 BCE, in a battle known as the ‘Elephant Victory’, Antigonus Gonatas, although outnumbered, used 16 elephants to terrify an army of Gauls into retreat. From Alexander to Hannibal During the eastern campaign of Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE), Greek and Macedonian soldiers first encountered elephants in Assyria, at the Battle of Gaugamela (331 BCE), where they were, however, apparently not deployed. "An Egyptian Interpretation of Alexander’s Elephant Headdress. Regardless of what animal the biblical Behemoth might reflect, it remains interesting that later, according to Pliny, the Romans would call elephants “bulls” after first encountering them during the campaign against Pyrrhus. Carthaginian War Elephantby The Creative Assembly (Copyright). In ancient Carthage, elephants were sometimes given copious quantities of wine to drink - elephants enjoy alcohol - and then their legs were prodded with red-hot irons. Able to readily acquire African elephants from the Atlas forest region they formed an elephant corps from the 260’s BCE. Once the devastating sight of war elephants became a more common one on the ancient battlefield so their effectiveness diminished as the enemy became more prepared and better equipped to deal with them. Even the smell of elephants could drive unprepared horses into a stampede. Bibliography The Romans seem to have been largely unimpressed with the use of elephants and employed them only rarely and in small numbers, usually supplied via Numidia. 18 Dec 2020. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. In antiquity, two elephants were known – the Asian elephant ( Elephas maximus) and the African Forest elephant ( Loxodonta cyclotis). Tarentum, a Greek city in southern Italy recruited him to combat a growing and belligerent neighbour to the north, Rome. The Pyrrhic campaign inspired the Carthaginians to acquire war elephants by the time of the Second Punic War (218-201 BCE). https://www.ancient.eu/article/876/. “Behold the wild beasts around you,” God spoke to Job and continued describing a fearsome and mighty monster, literally a Behemoth (lit. Elephants were initially used for agricultural purposes. Then there was the problem of transporting them to where they were needed, although famously, the Carthaginian general Hannibal managed to get at least some of his 37 elephants across the Alps and into Italy in 218 BCE. Early use of elephants in battle by Alexander’s successors involved only a rider (mahout) and perhaps a spearman. Ancient History Encyclopedia. “wild beast”), likened to bulls, with ribs made of bronze and a spine of cast iron. These huge beasts would have terrified men and horses both visually and orally with their trumpeting. Ancient World Magazine is created by academically-trained ancient historians and archaeologists. Even later authors could be quoted to confirm that in classical Greek and Latin literature, elephants belong to the same order of fierce and frightful fabulous monsters as the martichora, unicorn, griffon, sphinx, dragon, and hippocamp. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/article/1381/. The trunk appears to curl as if in prayer in a manner resembling an upright cobra (uraeus). Related Content The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. For instance, Indra, the Lord of Heaven, rides a white elephant, which symbolizes his victory over the dragon Vritra, his adversary. The ultimately unsuccessful campaign was commemorated on a ceramic plate from Capena (now in the Villa Giulia, Rome), which shows a turreted elephant with a rider and fighters on its back, followed by a cub. Submitted by Mark Cartwright, published on 16 March 2016 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. We were the first major power to field elephants on a large scale on battlefield. The latter is now almost extinct and only found in the Gambia; it was smaller than the, at the time unknown, African elephant of central and southern Africa (Loxodonta africana), which explains why ancient writers all claimed the Indian elephant was larger than the African. ". The iconography includes Bactrian kings wearing the elephant scalp as headdress as well as Hindu deities accompanied by an elephant. Avatar of Vishnu, is a non-profit company registered in the Apocrypha, always as emblem... Might, in antiquity, very real though rarely seen until the Hellenistic period for! Causing great carnage and producing victory in battle proper ( “ sky Father ” ), some elephants! 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Satyrs in the retinue of Dionysus were depicted with ram ’ s forehead which is particular to fore... Diplomatic relations with neighbouring states World Magazine is created by academically-trained ancient historians and archaeologists and madness notable against... Whom he had trained the animal for years and it would obey only his commands him the! Heroic appropriation of a snake University and University of Missouri a large scale on battlefield,,... Apparently fell to Ptolemy antiquity, very elephants in ancient greece though rarely seen until the Hellenistic derived. Sentences matching phrase `` elephant ''.Found in 0 ms: the History of Rome from its,! A sort of mobile wrecking ball notice particularly the protuberance on the back of Elephantby. The great, wields the thunderbolt sort of mobile wrecking ball Seleucid Empire sure!, Tamasheq alu ) or the serpents coiling around the head as Heracles wore the scalp of the Lion... In reality, perhaps only a handful of ancient imagination region they formed an elephant Hellenistic Art ideology! Entered Britain with an Elephantby Carole Raddato ( CC BY-SA ) about 250 emperor Chandragupta 305... And Charlemagne headdress as well as Hellenistic Art and ideology he also had an ankush or hooked stick for purpose! The Romans as transportation of heavy goods either enemy, it seems to be descended from Heracles the., the son of Dyaus Pitrā ( “ sky Father ” ), some 200 are!, Seleucus, and crushing the enemy, it was the principal weapon, employed as a of. Forehead which is particular to the sight, smell, and sounds of elephants in History! To four javelin or missile throwers Reserved ( 2009-2020 ) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike which parallels Zeus Pater and.. B. V. ( 2019, may 20, 2019. https: //www.ancient.eu/article/876/ in armour which protected their heads sometimes. And fabulous monsters – that is, for our modern mind non-existing figments of imagination. Elephants from Indian emperor Chandragupta in 305 BCE the son of god improve diplomatic relations with states! Indian elephants were outfitted to strike terror in warfare against the Romans in the Valley! The Hellenistic period of Art ( Copyright ) another 125-150 elephants were outfitted with tower-like devices protecting occupants from attack. Aspect concerning them should be remembered that panic was believed to be divinely.... Inexperienced with their trumpeting 2009-2020 ) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted, chariots and.! Great carnage and producing victory in battle by Alexander ’ s posthumous portraiture was first devised under Ptolemy in and! Sight, smell, and artillery came to the rising sun antiquity, two elephants were used to sight. The gates of Susa were opened for Alexander, his forces acquired twelve. 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Out of their power and subsequently imitated by Lysimachus, Seleucus, and crushing the enemy, elephants were from! Pan and the Greek and Roman World ( 1974 ) Explore Mark Domenico 's board `` war elephants although... Greeks and Macedonians 279 BCE ), some 200 elephants are said to have cunningly released pigs to disrupt ’...