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Indian elephants were first used in European warfare by the successors of Alexander for the purpose of breaking through the enemy's ranks. An elephant, if completely equipped, carried on its back, besides its driver, a tower or howdah, generally containing four archers. The Romans first learned their use in the war with Pyrrhus. In the Second Punic War they got possession of African elephants, the first which they turned to their own account, and used them against Philip of Macedon. But elephants never played so important a part in the Roman armies as they had in those of Alexander's successors. They were liable to panic if the enemy frightened them with firebrands or in any other way, and in this state became dangerous to friends as well as enemies. Combats of elephants, however, were always the central attraction in the fights of wild animals in the games of the circus, and, from the time of Augustus, the chariots which bore the images of the deified emperors were drawn by elephants in the solemn procession.
Type: Standard
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