The Power of the Bull
By Michael Rice
Routledge – 1997 – 356 pages
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.
' An idiosyncratic author who has scored a bull's eye of a book.' - The Glasgow Herald.
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).