Symbol of power, water, helpfulness, bravery.
The Hippocampus was a seahorse. It had the head of a horse and the body of a fish. Hippocampi have appeared in numerous ancient cultures. They are usually associated with the gods of the sea. The crests of waves are believed to be where the hippocampi were created.
Around 750 BC in the Etruscan civilization, hippocampi were found in drawings on tomb walls. The hippocampus was believed to provide passage on a sea voyage into the next world. In the 4th century BC, Melqart, the patron god of Tyrus was often depicted riding on a winged hippocampus. He was also followed by dolphins. At the same time, hippocampi were depicted on coins from the city of Byblos. On the coin, And the hippocampus is diving under a warship. In Asia Minor, in the 6th century BC, there was a statue of a golden hippocampus that was discovered later by archeologists.
Both Poseidon in Greek legend and Neptune in Roman legend were associated with hippocampi. They both rode a sea chariot that was driven by hippocampi. Helike, a Greek city, had a temple devoted to Poseidon. An earthquake leveled the temple and caused the city to submerge underwater. Boats would get their fishing nets stuck in the hippocampi from Poseidon’s statue. Water nymphs were also thought to ride hippocampi.
Thetis, a Greek goddess of the water and mother of Achilles also rode a hippocampus. She delivered Achilles sword and shield which were made by Hephaestus, the blacksmith of the gods while riding on her hippocampus. In 1918 Greece created a banknote with this image on it.
Hippocampi were found in statues in public baths in the Roman province. In Greece, hippocampi can be found at different temples including one in Corinth. In Scotland, the hippocampus also appears on Pictish Stone Carvings dating back to the ninth century.
Later, the hippocampus appears on shields of countries that were close to water. Hippocampi were believed to help sailors in trouble at sea. They also helped sailors escape sea monsters. In Venice, the gondolas have a hippocampus on either side for protection. The hippocampus is the symbol for the Omega Seamaster watch. Hippocampi also became known as seahorses in more modern times.
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