A horse called Brian

Recently there was a bit of a local fuss about a horse. This horse which was called Brian was going to become a police horse with the Thames Valley Police. Police horses usually have names associated with heroes or gods associated with war – something like Hercules or Thor – so his name was going to be changed. This caused an uproar among local Brians who thought their name was just as noble as Hercules. In the end the horse failed the police tests and has now retired in disgrace to the country. Which just goes to show, you can’t call a horse Brian and expect him to act nobly in urban conflicts. Likewise Ares, the god of war, couldn’t have achieved much if he had horses with names like Brian. Luckily he chose more dramatic names.

Φόρεον δέ μιν ἐς μόθον ἵπποι
Αἴθων καὶ Φλογίος, Κόναβος δ’ ἐπὶ τοῖσι Φόβος τε,
τοὺς Βορέῃ κελάδοντι τέκε‹ν› βλοσυρῶπις Ἐριννὺς
πῦρ ὀλοὸν πνείοντας·

The horses carried Ares into the turmoil of war, Fiery and Flaming and Battle-din and Rout, whom evil eyed Erinnys had given birth to by the roaring North Wind, horses breathing the fire of death.

Quintus Smyrnaeus 8.241

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