livus,
livus avatar

Poor war elephants. It must really suck.

PugJesus,
PugJesus avatar

You want some extra heartbreak, before this battle, about 70 years before, the Romans faced another war-elephant using foe, Pyrrhus of Epirus, and...

Cassius Dio also related the story of the wounded calf. He wrote that Pyrrhus was put to flight because "a young elephant had been wounded, and shaking off its riders, wandered about in search of its mother, whereupon the latter became excited and the other elephants grew turbulent, so that everything was thrown into dire confusion. Finally, the Romans won the day, killing many men and capturing eight elephants, and they occupied the enemy's entrenchments."[99]

livus,
livus avatar

Thank you. That's one of those quotes that opens a huge vista, almost like seeing a movie. Albeit a sad movie omg.

I'm glad they were not too cowed to become turbulent. The possibility of finding one's mother when wounded in battle is heartbreaking but they at least sometimes had each other.

PugJesus,
PugJesus avatar

Only two of the elephants were killed in the battle; the other eight were captured. One hopes that both mother and calf were counted amongst that eight.

livus,
livus avatar

Definitely. What would be really good would be if they were both captured and retired from the army.

PugJesus,
PugJesus avatar

Though their fate is unknown after being paraded in the Triumph with the rest of the prisoners of the war, Rome isn't recorded as using war elephants themselves for almost a century afterwards, and venatio, beast fights, were not yet popular. So hopefully they were used for some more mundane purpose, like a rich guy showing off his fancy pets, or as draft animals.

livus,
livus avatar

Thanks for telling me, those are good odds. Honestly, it's a pity Hollywood is so wedded to the star system that they won't make a historical drama about these elephants.

Do you write books, PugJesus? I feel like you could write damn good books...

PugJesus,
PugJesus avatar

Heh, I've always fancied myself a writer, but as a perfectionist, I've yet to finish anything I regarded as suitable for consumption for anyone other than myself. Maybe someday.

livus,
livus avatar

Well, I hope that day comes!

teft,
@teft@lemmy.world avatar

You call it opening ranks, i call it fleeing for their lives from the charging elephant.

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