General - A male bovine animal typifying. Strength, fecundity, stupidity, which plays a role in many mythologies. (1) In some Asian stories the bull was said to have dug into the primordial earth and brought up water. (2) The Assyrians revered the bull as a beneficent winged protector. (3) In Buddhism Yama is said to stand on a bull. (4) The Canaanites gave the name 'bull' to the gods El and Latipan. (5) In China the ox is regarded as one of the animals that carry the sun through the twelve houses of the Zodiac and as a symbol of spring. (6) In Egypt the bulls Apis, Buchis and Mnevis were revered as gods; the north wind was depicted in the form of a bull. (7) In Greek stories Zeus appeared in the form of a bull to carry off Europa, and he sent the white Cretan Bull to give the islanders a sign that Minos was to be their king. This animal later appeared as the Marathonian Bull captured by Heracles and subsequently killed by Theseus. The bull was also regarded as an incarnation of Dionysus. (8) Hebrew tradition depicts the bull as a source of fruitfulness and also envisages the sun-god in bovine form. It was used as a sacrificial animal. (9) Irish mythology regards bulls as reincarnated deities. One of the finest stories is of the Brown Bull of Cooley and the bull Whitehorn. (10) Japanese lore says that the bull broke the primaeval egg from which all else came. It is the second animal of the Zodiac and a symbol of Zen Buddhism. (11) The Norse regarded the bull as sacred to the supreme god Odin. (12) In Persia the bull represented the rain-god. The primaeval bull, Geush-Urvan, was killed by Angra Mainya or Mithra while the bull Hadhayosh was said to carriy people across the primordial waters. (13) The Romans regarded the bull as sacred to Neptune. (14) The Siberian version has the bull standing on a stone (fish or crab) in the ocean and holding up the world on its horns. Should the horns ever break, the world will come to an end. (15) In the Zodiac the bull appears as the second sign, Taurus. Sometimes known as bull, El, El, Father Shunem, Al, Bull, Compassionate, El Betel, El Elyon, El Olam, El Sadday, El(o)ah, Elyon, (Father) Shunem, Il(ah), Ilmuqah, Ilu, Latipan, Malcander, Malcandros, Mlk-ab-Anm, Greek Cronus, ox or ox.

Nearby Myths