Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Horse-shaped Automobiles

Horse-shaped Automobiles

THE HIPPOI KABEIRIKOI were four horse-shaped automotones crafted by the god Hephaistos out of bronze to draw the adamantine chariot of his two sons, the Kabeiroi.
Forged by HEPHAISTOS (Nonnus Dionysiaca 29.193)

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 29. 193 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.)

“[The Kabeiroi] rode in a car of adamant;

a pair of colts beat the dust with rattling hooves of brass,

and they sent out a dry whinnying from their throats. These father Hephaistos had made with his inimitable art, breathing defiant fire between their teeth, like

the pair of brazenfooted bulls which he made for Aietes the redoubtable ruler of the Kolkhians,

with hot collars and burning pole. Eurymedon [one of the Kabeiroi] drove and guided the fiery mouths of the ironfoot steeds with a fiery bridle.”


* Nonnos, Dionysiaca – Greek Epic C5th A.D.