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Hippocamps – Poseidon’s Chariot Horses

HIPPOKAMPOI (or Hippocamps) were the horses of the sea. They were depicted as composite creatures with the head and fore-parts of a horse and the serpentine tail of a fish. In mosaic art they were often covered with green scales and had fish-fin manes and appendages. The Hippokampoi were the mounts of the Nereid nymphs and sea-gods. Poseidon also drove a chariot drawn by the two to four of the beasts. In ancient folklore, they were believed to be an adult-form of the fish we still call the “sea-horse”. Other fish-tailed animals appearing in ancient art included “Leokampoi” (fish-tailed lions), “Taurokampoi” (fish-tailed bulls), “Pardalokampoi” (fish-tailed leopards), and “Aigikampoi” (fish-tailed goats).

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