Minoan Bull Torc - Extra Heavy Braid
Grab the bull by the horns – the Minotaur dares you!
The Minoan Bull Torc is constructed with an extra heavy braid of wire, and is approximately 5/8 inch (16mm) thick. It is available in bronze and sterling silver.
In the ancient Minoan culture, centered on the Mediterranean island of Crete, the bull was considered a sacred animal. Bulls featured prominently in Minoan art and culture, and were represented in cups, vases, seals, altars, murals and sculptures. Bull horns were powerful symbols, possibly representing divine authority, and decorated to roofline of the Palace of Knossos, being one of the first things a visitor would see as he approached the palace. Inside the palace were found frescos of a favorite sport, or perhaps religious ritual – bull leaping. In these performances, an athlete would leap over a charging bull by grasping the bull’s horns, causing the bull to violently jerk its neck upwards, giving the leaper the momentum necessary to perform somersaults and other acrobatic tricks or stunts, often landing on the bull’s back midway through the leap.
In Greek mythology, King Minos, the ruler of Crete, requested a white bull from the god Poseidon to offer in sacrifice. But Minos changed his mind and kept the bull, sacrificing a lesser bull in its place. Poseidon was enraged at this slight, and cursed King Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, with a mad passion for the white bull, resulting in the birth of a half-man-half beast, a murderous creature known as the Minotaur. King Minos ordered the famed craftsman Daedalus to construct a labyrinth – a cunning and confusing structure of winding passageways, and imprisoned the monster within it. But King Minos had to satisfy the beast’s insatiable hunger, and so he demanded a tribute of young Athenians every nine years – seven boys and seven girls who would be fed to the Minotaur. The Athenian prince, Theseus, was determined to end this terror. He disguised himself as one of the sacrifices and sailed with the other youths to Crete. Thesus was the first to be offered up to the Minotaur, and he entered the labyrinth with a ball of string (provided by King Minos’ lovestruck daughter, Ariadne), and a sword he had secreted under his tunic. He tied one end of the string to the door post at the entrance to the labyrinth, and drew his sword. Using the directions given to him by Ariadne, Theseus reached the heart of the Labyrinth and discovered the sleeping Minotaur. As Theseus approached, the Minotaur awoke, and there was a ferocious fight. But Theseus prevailed, stabbing the beast in the neck with his sword, and killed the Minotaur.