Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Heracles and the Cretan Bull

#Heracles and the #CretanBull


The Labours of Heracles 7

You've heard of Theseus and the Minotaur but Theseus wasn't the only Greek hero into bullfighting or ritual acrobatics or men wearing bull marks or whatever  possible historical events or Minoan rituals underlie the story about the Minotaur.

Minos ruler of Crete had a sacred bull allegedly fire breathing which had escaped and was ravaging farms and orchards tearing down fences damaging crops and reaking havoc.

Heracles managed to capture this bull and ship it to the mainland where it was turned loose.

I choose this particular vase painting cos the artists has given some thought to how one would actually catch a wild bull and take it alive without the modern benefits of tranquillizer darts or trained cattle dogs or horses trained to work with you while lassoing an animal. 

The end of the story suggests the mainlanders had better cattle herding skills.

The bull was driven across Greece and ended up in Attica probably siring calves on various herds of cows on the way.