The Bull Symbol Of The Myth

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Introduction In the ancient world the bull is considered to be a symbol of strength and power. The reoccurring motif of the bull aligns its representation with that of ritual and sacrifice. However, the archetype of the "wild and ferocious" bull is not prominent in Greek antiquity. In fact, the bull has been represented in art, architecture and myth to be a symbol of control and self-assertion. Arguably one might say that power is control; that the strength to defeat one 's enemy is the control that the bull represents. However, in myths such as that of Europa and Zeus as well as Pasiphae and Minos, the bull is not wild with power but rather a pawn exercising the god 's control and divinity. The bull symbolizes the gods, their offerings of…show more content…
However, the bull motif pulls back farther with that of the Minotaur 's grandmother Europa. Europa, as described by Zeus, was "the far-famed daughter of Phoenix, who bore me Minos"1; other descriptions interpret her as the daughter of Agenor (Pheonix 's father), a son of Poseidon, both of which to be kings of Phoenicia. The goes that through Zeus ' lust for Europa he changed himself into the form of a bull with hopes of seducing Europa. Captivated by the white bull 's beauty Europa was lured from Phoenicia and carried off by Zeus in bull form to Crete where she bore him three sons. This myth encompasses the god 's ability to control humans through the visual of the bull. The bull being the facade that can be used to captivate targeted beings. Here the bull steps forth as not just a symbol for the gods but the god himself. Zeus as a bull is tame, a contradiction to the animalistic representation the bull in today 's culture epitomizes. As outcome to Europa obeying the gods she becomes the first queen of Crete and a historic figure of worship for Minoans. The sacred motif of the bull dates back to Crete 's history for it would not have been able to flourish if Zeus had not transformed into…show more content…
At Knossos on Crete, the reconstructed horns of Consecration have attracted visitors from all over. They were symbols of sanctity to appoint structures and areas with divine presence. The bull is reduced to just the horns creating a "symbol of a symbol" simplifying its representation and condensing its meaning into one isolated architectural piece. This regulation of control focuses on the prime aspect of the bull that points towards divinity. These stone slabs "crown" the palace at Knossos undoubtedly representing the power. The fact that this stone piece adorned the palace of Knossos speaks to the link between divine power and mortal power; to control the many. The motif of the bull is respected, not feared. The Minoans view the bull not as just an animal but a connection to the gods: to aspire control of society of which the gods are able to achieve through the persona of a

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