12. Pasiphae copulates with a bull

Once upon a time, Minos, son of Europa and Zeus, became king of Crete, claiming that the gods gave him the kingdom, and whatever he would ask, the gods would certainly grant. To prove his words, he prayed to Poseidon to grant him a magnificent bull, and promised that he would sacrifice that bull to Poseidon. Gratified with Minos’ prayer, Poseidon made a mighty bull appear from the depths of the sea. But Minos, finding the bull to be outstanding, kept the bull and sacrificed another bull.

This angered Poseidon. He made Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, to be frenzied with a burning desire of copulating with the bull. He also made the bull become fiercely mad. As a result, Pasiphae burned to physically unite with the bull, but could not, as the bull was raving mad. In order to find a way of soothing her flaming passion, Pasiphae sought the services of the famous architect Daedalus.

Daedalus constructed a hollow wooden cow. Then, he killed a real cow, skinned it and pasted the skin of the real cow, on the wooden cow. Pasiphae hid herself inside this hollow wooden cow, in such a manner, so as to facilitate physical union. Then, Daedalus placed the wooden cow with Pasiphae inside it, in the field where the bull grazed. The maddened bull came, mistook the wooden cow for a real cow, and mounted it. But the bull actually mounted Pasiphae, who remained hidden inside the wooden cow.

With time, Pasiphae gave birth to a child, having the body of a human male but the head of a bull. The child was named Asterios but was later called as the Minotauros.

When the adulterous bestiality of his wife was known to Minos, he imprisoned Daedalus, and put Minotauros in a complex maze known as the Labyrinth, which was built by Daedalus. The unapproachable mad bull roamed free. Later, Herakles as his seventh labor, overpowered the bull, took it to Mycenae, from where it wandered to Marathon, and became known as the dreaded Marathonian bull.

Excerpt from the book “Once Upon A Time-II: 150 Greek Mythology Stories” by Rajen Jani


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