Thursday, March 22, 2012

Horses 31.1.2012

A set of 4 stamps with values of €0,26, €0,34, €0,51 and €0,85 were issued along with the cover by Cyprus on 31.1.2012. Merja sent me this lovely FDC.

The Horse, or equus ferus caballus, is a four-legged single-toed mammal belonging to the enquidae family. Following a number of cross breeding and genetic changes the horse evolved, as we know it today. It is a tall animal and known for its proud look. It was domesticated by man around 4500 BC. Many ancient gods and Kings of Greece are associated with renowned horses such as Hercules, or Perseus with Pegasus - the famous winged horse and Alexander the Great with Buchephalus. Horses were to be found in Cyprus from 2000 BC. They were characteristically known as "portantarika" and because they were animals of exceptional beauty, physique, and character and had many uses, they were considered spoils of war. With the passing of time their number was reduced considerably.

In ancient times the horse was used for agricultural purposes and as a means of transport but also as a tool in war. It helped people to spread to new areas and in the migration of entire peoples. Today, the horse's use as a means of transport in Europe has almost been eradicated. Horses are used for riding and racing, in presidential and royal guards and in some cases by mounted police.

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