Updated: Dec 23, 2022
Alexander the Great's dog, Peritas, changed the course of world history....
Alexander of Macedon, as befits a great military commander - owned several hundred hunting and fighting dogs, which bravely fought in many battles alongside the soldiers. However, to this day only one dog is remembered, due to its close association with the great conqueror - Peritas. Although not as famous as Alexander's horse, Bucephalus, Peritas became legendary as a faithful defender of his beloved master. He went down in history as the dog that changed that history....
Peritas was probably a fighting dog of the ancient molossus breed (from the Latin molossus - "coming from the land of the Molosses," a strong and wealthy tribe from Epirus). According to historians, these animals came to Europe from Asia thanks to the ancient Romans. They excelled as fighting, hunting and guard dogs, as they were characterized by incredible musculature, powerful, very strong and sturdy.
They are a breed closely related to modern mastiffs and are considered the ancestors of St. Bernards or Newfoundlands.
Many myths have grown up around the legendary Peritas. According to Plutarch of Cheronea, one of the greatest ancient Greek writers, historian, philosopher and orator, Alexander of Macedon raised Peritas from puppyhood and was extremely attached to him. According to the most popular legend - during the battle with the Persians at Gaugamela (331 BC), the loyal dog saved the life of the great conqueror and thus changed the history of the world. According to legends, Alexander was cut off from his men and attacked by a war elephant. The brave Peritas jumped on the aggressor and ripped out his lip, causing the elephant's blood to drain and eventually defeating the giant. The story is quite plausible, as in those days the largest fighting and hunting dogs were sent to fight elephants, lions and armed warriors.
Another version of the legend of the famous Peritas says that Alexander, wounded in a battle in India, was stuck on the side of the enemy. The brave dog fought back and tore through the troops until he reached the badly wounded warrior. Peritas successfully repelled the army's attack until Alexander's soldiers reached their commander. The faithful Peritas was mortally wounded by a javelin and died with his head in the lap of his beloved master.
In honor of the loyal and brave dog Peritas, Alexander named a city in India after him.