The Greek Myths - Chapter 14, The Cretan Bull Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 14, The Cretan Bull Summary and Analysis

The Cretans are the people of the island of Crete. Many readers may have heard of the minotaur. There is more than one story about a bull. Over in India, which was a distant location but some had heard of it back then and there, the bull was a prominent symbol of a god. For the Greeks, including the Cretans, there were traditional rituals associated with leadership. One of these was that whoever was to become king had to ritualistically fight a bull. This may have been the case before or after the cessation of human and animal ritual sacrifices. These are practices which the majority in the present cultural context are deeply appreciated by many, while taken for granted. So, there are real bulls and real bull fights found in Grecian history. In 2009, the most internationally famous bull fighting is conducted by the Spaniards—they have a specialist elite who participate. For the most part, no one else dares to even try such a thing. Hence, it may well have been the case, that whoever was to be king in a Grecian city-state might fight a bull, but most people wouldn't dream of it, let alone even try it. However, there was also something - 'bulls that breathed scorching fire' referenced.

There was a Cretan General called Taurus, and Taurus is another word for 'Bull'. These animals are actually rather docile unless provoked. This is why, in modern day bull-fighting, the animals are provoked by puncture wounds while in the ring with the "torreador". Contemporary bull fighting is tightly controlled and highly ritualistic; the bull is essentially doomed and great precautions are taken to give the 'bull fighter' the upper hand. Even so, now and then, a human gets gored, and when the bull does get it right, it is hospitalization or death for the opponent. As the nature of humans and bulls may have remained largely the same during the past three to eight thousand years, this would give readers a reasonably accurate sense of what it is. There is some suspicion that the Minotaur was this man Taurus, or one or a team of his subordinates who had a bull skull and skin which was worn to give extra warmth and additional power to whoever wore it. Those who observed it would be naturally intimidated. However, the other theory, as mentioned earlier, is that the Minotaur was what the name suggests. It was King Minos using general Taurus. Together, they were the Minotaur of Crete. Robert Graves insists that the Cretans consistently denied that they had "a minotaur". It is also possible, that this is a term which cannot be properly translated due to the cultural differences.

This section contains 465 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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