Five Irrational Histories

Ranks with the best of its kind . . . erudite, clever, and witty.
Matthew Cheney, The Mumpsimus

Elephants are not tamed again in Europe until the reign of the Angevin king Henry II. his son, Geoffrey I, uses them with great effect at the battle of Chinon in 1189, decisively establishing the dominance of the elephant-mounted longbowman over the horse-borne knight and the armored man-at-arms. Though the military effectiveness of the elephant is diminished by the advent of gunpowder, it remains both a useful beast of burden and a potent symbol of Anglo-French courage, determination, and stubbornness, and the Order of the Goad, established by Edward III in 1348 (motto: Piétiné soit qui mal y pense) remains the highest order of English chivalry.

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