You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

So I have come to a grand conclusion: the Greeks and Romans are very… interesting people. How so? Well, who else could compose a story in which a woman believes a combination of blood and semen, from the man that just attempted to rape her, would create a love potion able to keep her half god husband — who just delivered a the life ending blow to rapist man — faithful? Now of course the woman becomes jealous of all her husband’s beautiful slave women. What does she do?  She drenches her husband’s tunic with the so-called  “love potion.” Boom. Hercules is dead.

For some reason, most of the Greek and Roman myths are based on love (or lust depending on how you want view it). I mean, Narcissus falls in love/lust with his own refection. Morals fall in love with gods, Gods fall in love with mortals. Kings fall in love with princesses, queens, milk maids, prostitutes, and slaves — and end up marrying them all. But I feel the most interesting love story is between a woman and bull. Yes bull, with the horns and the fur and the moooooo.

Here is the abridged version of the myth: Poseidon gives the King Milo a bull, thinking the king will sacrifice it. However, King Milo has other plans, and keeps the bull for himself — since it is such a fine piece of bull. Poseidon feels slighted and in revenge, curs

es the king’s wife to lust after the bull. The Queen in her lustful nature grabs the bull by the horns and finds some architect guy name Daidalos to build a wooden cow (Trojan Horse style), cover it with hide, lock her in it, and leave the Trojan cow in the middle of the mighty bull’s field. The bull mates with the wooden cow — the Queen. Eventually she gives birth to child with the head and horns of a bull and a body of a man. Tah dah: the Minotaur.

What I find most interesting about the myth of the Minotaur is how society reacted it to him… or it. The king locks the “beast” in a labyrinth, ironically constructed by Daidalos. Every year, seven lads and seven ladies are sacrificed to the “monster” by being locked inside the labyrinth; but what if the Minotaur did not eat them or tear them apart or all of the other horrible things monsters are supposed to do. What if he was friendly, funny, and cuddly? Why is it the Greeks so quickly banish the Minotaur when they accept the children sprung from the infidelity? Children sired by the Gods and Goddesses?

We all — pardon the absolute — harbor some sort of prejudice. We all make first opinions of people that often prove to be totally inaccurate. Maybe this all stems from the Greeks. Of course, they were not the first to judge people from their outward appearances, but they were one of the earliest civilizations to document it.

Not much as changed, has it?

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2 thoughts on “You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

  1. cjh619 says:

    I love the way you summed up the story of Hercules in the first paragraph–very straight forward. Another thing that I really like about your blog is that its very user friendly, including your style of writing. Keep it up! looking forward to your next post :).

  2. I really like the way your blog is organized. Your introduction to the subject of the minotaur caught my attention with its artistic tone. I also liked the way you summarized the myth and then brought the issue into context in the modern world. This really made me think about the fact that despite the hundreds of years that may pass, humans ultimately have the same core set of vices and virtues that remain the same. I also agree with you in that it is human nature to judge others and hold prejudice, even though most of us do not like to admit it. Also, your picture is amazing. It fits very well into your post. ☺

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