Ancient Athens’ close connection with horses is best expressed by the epithets assigned to its two main deities: Athena Hippia and Poseidon Hippios. The sea god produced the first horse, a wild, untamed creature, and he is the only divinity shown riding one. Pausanias records a huge statue of Poseidon on horseback launching his trident at a giant in the city’s Eleusineion. However, it took the metis (wisdom) of Athena to tame the wild creature and make it useful to mankind through the invention of the bridle. She was also the genius behind the ruse of the Trojan Horse with which the Greeks finally won the Trojan War. She is often depicted driving a chariot, and her grandest temple, the Parthenon, was decorated with over 270 horses carved in marble.



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