The Power of the Bull

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Psychology Press, 1998 - Religion - 316 pages
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Everyone has heard of the Minotaur in the labyrinth on Crete and many know that the Greek gods would adopt the guise of a bull to seduce mortal women. But what lies behind these legends?
The Power of the Bull discusses mankind's enduring obsession with bulls. The bull is an almost universal symbol throughout Indo-European cultures. Bull cults proliferated in the Middle East and in many parts of North Africa, and one cult, Mithraism, was the greatest rival to Christianity in the Roman Empire. The Cults are divergent yet have certain core elements in common.
Michael Rice argues that the ancient bulls were the supreme sacrificial animal. An examination of evidence from earliest prehistory onwards reveals the bull to be a symbol of political authority, sexual potency, economic wealth and vast subterranean powers. In some areas representations of the bull have varied little from earliest times, in others it has changed vastly over centuries. This volume provides a well-illustrated and accessible analysis of the exceptionally rich artistic inheritance associated with the bull.
 

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Contents

The Bullcult in the Ancient World
3
The Nature of the Cult
10
The Mind of Man
31
The Bull as Sacrificial Victim
41
THE REALM OF THE BULL
51
Settlement Domestication and Urbanization
62
Catal Hiiyiik and the Bull in Anatolia
72
The Bull in Mesopotamia
85
Arabia and the Islands of the Bulls
162
Crete and the Bullgames
198
The Bull and Europa
220
The Bull in Cyprus
237
The Bull and the Boys
251
Manbull Bullman
262
The Bull in Splendour and in Shame
274
Abbreviations
285

The Bull in Persia
105
The Royal and Divine Bull of Egypt
116
The Bull in the Eastern Mediterranean
153
painted plaster fragments from Tell elDabaa
155

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About the author (1998)

Michael Rice is well known for his work in the planning and designing of museums throughout the Arabian peninsula. He is also the highly respected author of Egypt's Making (1990), Archaeology of the Arabian Gulf (1994) and Egypt's Legacy (1997).

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