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Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

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Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby Mark » March 2nd, 2017, 9:49 am

In case anyone missed this in the news this week: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/marengo-makeover.html

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Re: Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby unclearthur » March 5th, 2017, 8:33 pm

Poor old thing looks more like a large dog in his original pose. It appears he's got 18 pairs of ribs too, so maybe not a true arab. Another Napoleonic myth debunked?

No such luck. It's true most Arabian horses are one vertebra short, so 17 pairs of ribs. They're short backed and often difficult to fit a saddle on. But not all have this structure, I'm told. Many still have 18 pairs which is probably just as well for Napoleon: as his waist (and probably his backside) spread in later years he could use a longer seated saddle.
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Re: Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby Mark » March 6th, 2017, 9:25 am

Can anyone remember how and when Napoleon acquired Marengo?

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Re: Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby charnock » March 6th, 2017, 4:06 pm

According to Jill Hamilton-Smith in "Marengo: the Myth of Napoleon's Horse" (2000), he was acquired after the Battle of Aboukir, having presumbly been the mount of a mameluke. However she is vague about sources, and it seems as if this is probably speculation. It does seem as if Napoleon rode him in Egypt, before making the horse his mount a the battle that provided his name. But how did he get back from Egypt to France?
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Re: Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby jf42 » March 6th, 2017, 6:47 pm

I read online within the last year or so, although I can't remember where, that there was more than one horse that laboured under the name "Marengo"
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Re: Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby Mark » March 10th, 2017, 8:57 am

Sounds like an area in need of some more research.

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Re: Marengo: a warhorse's makeover

Postby charnock » March 10th, 2017, 3:47 pm

Surprisingly, in addition to the Hamilton-Smith book mentioned above, there is a more detailed book by Philippe Osché, "Les Chevaux de Napoléon" published in 2002, but apparently difficult to get hold of. Also on Wikipedia (in French) is a pretty complete list of the names of Napoleon's horses (about 100) and a separate entry for Marengo.
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