Taurus
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TAURUS

THE TAUROS KRETAIOS (Cretan Bull) was a handsome bull sent forth from the sea by Poseidon. Queen Pasiphae of Krete lusted after the animal and coupled with it by hiding inside a wooden cow crafted by the artificer Daidalos (Daedalus). She later gave birth to the Minotauros (Minotaur), a man with the head of a bull.

Herakles was commanded to fetch the Kretan Bull as one of his Twelve Labours. Upon completion of this task he set the creature free and it eventually found its way to the Athenian town of Marathon where it laid waste to the countryside. There it was finally destroyed by the hero Theseus.

The gods placed the bull among the stars as the Constellation Taurus, along with the Hydra, Nemean Lion and other creatures from the labours of Herakles.
DATABASES
THE TAUROS KRETAIOS (Cretan Bull) was a handsome bull sent forth from the sea by Poseidon. Queen Pasiphae of Krete lusted after the animal and coupled with it by hiding inside a wooden cow crafted by the artificer Daidalos (Daedalus). She later gave birth to the Minotauros (Minotaur), a man with the head of a bull.

Herakles was commanded to fetch the Kretan Bull as one of his Twelve Labours. Upon completion of this task he set the creature free and it eventually found its way to the Athenian town of Marathon where it laid waste to the countryside. There it was finally destroyed by the hero Theseus.

The gods placed the bull among the stars as the Constellation Taurus, along with the Hydra, Nemean Lion and other creatures from the labours of Herakles.
THE MINOTAUROS (Minotaur) was a bull-headed monster born to Queen Pasiphae of Krete (Crete) after she coupled with a bull. The creature resided in the twisting maze of the labyrinth where it was offfered a regular sacrifice of youths and maidens to satisfy its cannibalistic hunger. The beast was eventually slain by the hero Theseus.

The Minotauros' proper name Asterion, "the starry one," suggests he might have been associated with the constellation Tauros.
Taurus constellation has been known since at least the Early Bronze Age, when it marked the Sun’s location during the spring equinox. It has been associated with the bull in many cultures and mythologies: Greek and Egyptian among other, and even going back to Ancient Babylon.

Depictions of Taurus and the Pleiades star cluster have even been found in a cave painting at Lascaux, dating back to 15,000 BC. Both the constellation and the Pleiades have been known in many indigenous cultures and referred to as the bull and the seven sisters, which indicates a common origin for the names.

In Greek mythology, Taurus is usually associated with Zeus, who adopted the shape of a bull in order to seduce and abduct Europa, the beautiful daughter of the Phoenician King Agenor.

An alternative interpretation associates Taurus with the nymph Io, whose line Europa was descended from, who was also seduced by Zeus and then transformed into a heifer when the two were nearly caught by Hera.

Babylonian astronomers called the constellation MUL.APIN, or “The Heavenly Bull.” In the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the earliest literary works from Mesopotamia, Gilgamesh faces the Bull of Heaven sent by the goddess Ishtar to kill the hero after he had rejected her advances.
The constellation of Taurus the bull has been identified with many cultures (Druid, Babyonian, Egyptian, Greek, etc). As far back at 15,000 BC, drawings on the walls in the caves of Lascaux depicted Taurus with the star cluster known as the Pleiades.

There are at least three stories about the constellation of Taurus the Bull in Greek mythology. In the first myth, Zeus tries to gain the favor of Europa, a legendary Phoenician princess, by assuming the form of a magnificent white bull and carries her out to sea. In illustrations of Greek mythology, only the bull’s front portion of the constellation is depicted which might be explained as Taurus partly submerged underwater. In the second Greek myth, Zeus hides Io, his girlfriend from his wife, Hera by changing Io into the form of a heifer (or bull). Greek mythographer Acusilaus portrays the bull Taurus as the same as from the myth of the Cretan Bull in one of The Twelve Labors of Hercules.
The human connection to the constellation of Taurus is very old, harking back to the early bronze age. The sign of the Bull’s position in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere has been used by many ancient cultures for timekeeping to signal the original Spring Equinox. Taurus has been associated with blessing agriculture and marked the time to plow and plant vital crops for worshipping cultures like Sumeria, Babylon, Greece, Rome, and even New Mexico.

Taurus also represents the beautiful mythological White Bull that Zeus changed into to woo princess Europa. Zeus/The White Bull carried the princess across the Mediterranean Sea to the island of Crete. There they conceived a son, “the good king” Minos, who ruled over Crete for many generations and appeared in many legendary stories.
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