Piece 26
Finally reaching Athens veiled in olive groves the traveller likely sought venerable Kleophrades the vase-painter whose accrued thirty-year career fed our museum troves.*17 Athenians were known as deeply religious so Pegasos climbed to the Acropolis reserved for gods and heroes. Hermes’ pensive statue graced its marble portal. Contentedly alone, he surely observed Praxiteles’ stone glories from all their perfect angles before sighting friezes and frescoes detailing battles and revealing his own mother, or let us say Medusa’s awesome mien. Amidst this vast array, trophies won by Alicibiades’ horses at Nemea were displayed. Certain sculpted horsemen on display were presumed, sons of Xenophon. A telling bronze loomed apart; the Trojan horse. Another bronze depicted Athena striking those daring a penchant for her banned flute. She was also present showing a jointed olive plant, her astute gift to Athens, and bearded Poseidon figured too, presenting the limpid wave. Athena’s sacred residence, the splendid Parthenon, stored gold guarded by griffins — often minted with Pegasos. Nearby a revered statue provoked the temple hush, Athena Parthenos sculptured by Phidias. Pressed in pale ivory as a symbol upon her breast smouldered Medusa. The goddess upheld Nike (victory) in one hand whilst the other grasped a spear inclined towards a snake entwined. Perhaps uneasy the horse turned his head. In doing so he beheld between tapered columns, a marine vista. Anxious to roam he would have left Attica and its lyrics by dark, overflying his father’s beacon temple, nostalgic Sounion, (The Temple of Poseidon) an Odyssey landmark offering sailors their final and first scene departing and returning home to the motherland.
Bypassing formal entry authorization to this harsh land banned to “corrupting” foreigners he might next have briefly stepped into Sparta to inspire a text historian and horseman Xenophon the Athenian prepared, “The Art of Horsemanship”. *25 Therein equine care and psyche would be suitably defined as far as Pegasos was concerned. Spirited Xenophon incited mirth at the Spartans expense when airing their commercial affairs dispensed by carted wagon loads hauling iron bars, oboloi, rather than using sense and silver coins as Athens and other civilized nations. Considering the numerous coins issued in his honour, Pegasos may have grinned too.
Argos Amphilochikon, silver Stater
Metropolitan Museum of New York
Panathenaic prize amphora, ca. 525–500 B.C.; black figure
Attributed to the Kleophrades Painter Greek, Attic
By generous permission of Professor Janice Siegel
Photographer: Prof. Takahiro Taji
Advisor : Mr. Leo Masuda
Ionia, Teos silver Stater circa 450-400 BC.
Hans Erni
Wings unfurled up and away Pegasos circled the world riding starbeams by night and swelling winds by day. Purple-winged Boreas possibly caught sight of the horse alighting north in Perae. Here Apollo bred steeds deemed “terrible as battling Ares and fleet as birds”.*2 Much esteemed they sped lord Pheres’chariots. His son’s elite charioteer Eumelus, steered brilliantly under the winged god’s admiring eye. Pegasos next flew over nearby Olynthos where he could easily have chanced upon himself mirrored in a river-pebbled mosaic displaying the Chimaera epic. Mount Pangaeum (Pangaion) gold mines and Muse Clio’s shrine *24 he would not have missed, or a saunter along Strymon river where stood the Amphipolis mint, a prolific source of silver tetradrachms. Such upheld Philip the shrewd Macedonian king and his mythic son Alexander the Great. Certain issues beheld Pegasos crafted as a tiny guiding figure viewed beneath the raised foreleg of a mortal horse, and elsewhere (other mints) accompanying Zeus in state.
  Returning south, probably side-stepping the wide highroad whence riddling Sphinx dallied and harried, the steed reached Boetia’s lofty Thebes, it’s walls formerly piled up and around to the sounds of the Muses. A presence Pegasos likely dared not neglect, dutifully dispensing incense within her Theban shrine, was Nemesis chastiser of abject arrogance, wringing retribution for evil offence or undeserved good fortune.

Perhaps Pegasos suffered sour reminders when matters best forsaken recentred through angered Pindar bestirring seven-gated Thebes. Aggressions assessed, the poet descried far and wide Athenian self-pride compressed common peace the nurturer of life’s principal gifts, comparing such hubris with Bellerophon’s quest to reach Olympos. The horse probably preferred Pindar airing King Hiero’s victory at the races as follows :
From radiant Thebes do I speed
Bearing a song of a great race, telling
Of swift earth-shaking four-horsed chariots,
The race wherein Hiero triumphward riding
Flashing down the course with his glorious team
And crowned with garlands that glowed far-seen.
Pindar - "The Second Pythian".
  If Clio Muse of History once passed her pupil Pausanias’ Guide to Greece, Pegasos possibly called upon the prideful Sikyonians. Seaside Sikyon northwest of Corinth valued its horses. The winged god surely applauded Podagros (fleetfoot). Impressed, Homer attested the latter’s whirring win in Patroklos’ funeral games, a linchpin event after Troy lay inflamed honouring war-weathered veterans, orphans and heroes’ ghosts.*22 Leaving behind the discus, arrow and javelin, Pegasos would have visited the city’s famed school of art, second only to Athens and further proclaimed the birthplace of tragedy and painting. Hereto Prometheus once carried fire to succour mankind. Enough reasons to allure Pegasos and inspire Muse Melpomene’s presence. From earliest times the winged god was admired upon this city’s coinage where the Chimaera figured too. (See biblio...)  

Coasting through cloud-wreaths it would have been at the whirlpool brew of Argos. After a pace or two, Pegasos witnessed common practice of horse-sacrifice. Occasionally certain chosen were drowned in teams complete with chariot and harness. Renowned Herodotus describes this and Pegasos may have found that amongst such rituals at least only mules served as meat rather than his kind.
Perchance he checked the rock-hewn stadium. Drawn there with pleasure the vast Argian theatre was an achievement architect Polykleitos encased against a hill. Awesome as twice sized the expanse of Epidauros, *8 the place hosted the Nemeia and Hereia music and theatre festivals prized by dancing Terpsicore and Muse Thalia who always kept a miniature theatre under toe. *23

  In memory of Bellerophone who came hither questing a bride, Pegasos struck anew creating yet another spring, also named Hippokrene. Perhaps he also struck in memory of his mother whose dread face hearsay whispered lay buried deep bellow under the market-place, since hereabouts Perseus tread.

Argos issued staters of the steed with a solemn Athena...
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