When I was a kid I was obsessed with Greek Mythology…
“Where the fuck is she going with this one” … just bear with me. Not only did I know everything there was to know, but I was a little shit about it,
“That’s Neptune you know Jen. He’s the King of the sea”
“Actually, Neptune was the name the ROMANS used for him… his GREEK, nay, REAL name was Poseidon… and for the record that’s Triton, Ariel’s dad. And he’s a no-one. GOD Nan your so stupid!!”
So when a friend of mine went to a Halloween party this year a Minotaur (costume junkies worldwide should be taking notes, this is an awesome idea) I realised that, besides being a bull-man creature, I knew very little else about the whole Minotaur story and had well and truly lost my rain-man-esque geeky, Greeky mojo.
So, in between a bit of casual facebook stalking, I did some online research. And here, my friends, is the ACTUAL STORY of the origin of the Minotaur that I came across. The story that, not only is still going strong in the textbooks of schools, but that people, FOR YEARS seriously believed…
“Minos aspired to the throne [of Crete], but was rebuffed. He claimed, however, that he had received the sovereignty from the gods, and to prove it he said that whatever he prayed for would come about. So while sacrificing to Poseidon, he prayed for a bull to appear from the depths of the sea, and promised to sacrifice it upon its appearance.”
Here we have my first issue… if you’re wishing for stuff to emerge out of water I certainly wouldn’t choose a bull. I’m no Bull expert, but I’m going to take a stab in the dark and assume they’re not great swimmers. Neither are they particularly impressive means of swaying apathetic voters. If I was one of the townspeople I would have been inclined to suggest he pick something a little more useful, like gold or good harvests… or better yet, sexy women with huge breasts and child bearing hips.
“And Poseidon did send up to him a splendid bull. Thus Minos received the rule! But he sent the bull to his herds and sacrificed another . . . Poseidon was angry that the bull was not sacrificed, and turned it wild.
He also devised that Pasiphae should develop a lust for it.”
(FYI Pasiphae was Minos’ wife.)
Now you’ve got to give it to Poseidon, in the weird, unique punishment stakes he certainly comes out on top. A bit unorthodox I’ll admit, but at least he’s not just fallen into the uncontrollable, manic smiting trap that I’ve heard God tends to indulge himself in (as I haven’t read the Bible, I’m basing that statement purely on a picture book I had of Jonah and the Whale as a kid.)
“In her passion for the bull she took on as her accomplice an architect named Daidalos . . . He built a wooden cow on wheels, . . . skinned a real cow, and sewed the contraption into the skin, and then, after placing Pasiphae inside, set it in a meadow where the bull normally grazed. The bull came up and had intercourse with it, as if with a real cow. Pasiphae gave birth to Asterios, who was called Minotauros. He had the face of a bull, but was otherwise human. “
Sorry, HANG ON for a second…
Let’s just say for the time being that we’re going to overlook the whole bestiality thing, because I honestly don’t even know where to start with that.
Can you imagine how awkward that conversation must have been?
“Hi mate…listen errr… I need you help with something”
“Sure sweetheart, what can I do for you?”
“Well… Look right, there’s this bull. And I want t-… I mean, I’ve tried to sh-… but I can’t get it to-
Listen, long story short… I’m really into this bull, you know that one Poseidon sent? And, well, I sort of want to you know…have sex with it? *cringe* But with me not being a bull and all it doesn’t really seem to be feeling it. So I was thinking…”
“Say no more, say no more. Not. A. Problem my love. Now let me just get my tools and we’ll get cracking straight away.”
A real friend… a REAL. FRIEND. would have very nicely pointed out that perhaps fucking a bull might not be the best idea, and could, not only be potentially dangerous to her position as Queen (and respectful citizen within society) but could also be a dangerous physical task – what with it being essentially just a bigger, more aggressive cow.
And, (I can only assume) an array of daunting genitalia.
Instead, he went to all sorts of efforts to TRICK the poor creature into having sex with her.
Yes, the bull. Not only has the poor thing only just recovered from being swept out at sea, before it was tricked into having sex with a completely different species. But now it’s got a female human carrying it’s mutated offspring with no feasible way of having any sort of relationship with the baby, never mind providing child support.
No wonder the Minotaur went slightly off the rails…