Need help for translation :)

27-11-2017

 

 

My book “Amor und Psyche”/English: Cupid and Psyche, has been published in German and I would like to translate it into English as soon as possible. DeepL.com does a wonderful job, but I need brave readers to pick the bugs from the manuscript. Let me give you just as an example the first few pages…:) If someone feels called: just write me. Thanks.

Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

 

Table of contents
Prologue 1
A sick love god 2
From the beginning of things 7
Cupid’s first lovers 21
Men and women 38
Psyche and the Prince of Thebes 58
The Castle in Nowhere 77
How to win a woman over 95
Desire and reality 117
What happens after the happy end 135
Divine Everyday Life 156
The Broken Promise 174
Lovesickness 194
Death and Love 213
Psyches exams 229
One last meeting of the gods 251
Epilogue 259

 

prolog
There is a place in the middle of the earth, from there you can see and hear everything that happens somewhere, even if it is so far away.
Fama built her house there and provided it with countless, doorless entrances and a thousand openings. Her house is open day and night and inside there is a quiet murmur as well as the sea noise or the distant rumbling of Jupiter’s thunder clouds, because there the sounds whirl around and everything she hears repeats itself again and again.
In the entrance hall there is a crowd of rumours coming, they go, a free and light people, true and false, they jumble to thousands of people and there is a tangle of fine voices.
Fama hears them all and feeds on them. From the invented, from lies, from error, from malicious joy, from bewildered fears, and from the quiet whisper of which no one knows the origin. She senses what is happening in the sky, on the sea and on earth and listens curiously to the wide world.
What reaches her hungry ears today fills her with wild joy. Cupid, the little god of love, is said to have fallen in love with a human woman, whom he keeps hidden where no one, but also no one is allowed to find her?

A sick god of love
The nymphs wound God’s flabby body out of the sheet soaked in sweat.
“It’s so terrible!”, she sighed one nymph.
“Shut up and hurry up,” said another nymph. “Cupid must be warm and dry in no time.”
Both rubbed arms, legs, stomach and back of the God dry.
“Will he survive?” whispered a third nymph carrying a fresh sheet. “Of course,” grumbled a bumpy-footed satyr who sat at the head of the bed and cooled Cupid’s hot forehead. “The guy’s not from Ambrosia!”
Amor had been sick for days in his nursery and the only thing he gave away was a soft puff. For days now, Satyr had to wait in the pink tower room and Cupid had to dab the sweat droplets from his forehead. There was only a tiny window through which he could guess a piece of heaven. But as soon as he looked out, the colours of the room hurt his eyes. Pink chests of drawers bite with the fluffy, deep red carpet, walls that squeaked in pink and were lined up to half with dyed wool that looked about three-quarters of a shade lighter. Cupid’s mother Venus had furnished the room before Cupid’s birth.
The Satyr Amor’s lower leg and feet, which could no longer find a place on the mattress and protruded through the bed’s golden bars, looked discontented.
“Why Venus didn’t get him a new bed is incomprehensible to me,” he growled.
Satyr scratched the tufts of fur underneath his horns, twisted his pointed beard and moved his goat’s legs into a more comfortable position. Once again he wished to return to the place where he came from.
Not so long ago, he had lived in the dark forests of Arcadia in the company of the shepherd god Pan. Every day and night there was a big party, fresh forest air, lots of wine, satyrs and nymphs. The best thing, however, was that everyone opened their thighs there willingly or stretched their butts whenever they felt the urge.
Of course, he had immediately volunteered when he heard of the offer of the goddess Venus – the goddess of love and goddess of beauty herself – to be at her service. He and three nymphs were the only ones chosen by Venus, and his friends envied him!
However, the Satyr had completely different ideas about “being at the service of others”. Although there was an atmosphere of sweat and heat in this room, it was not caused by the lustful moaning of the goddess nor by his love play with the nymphs. No. All female beings cared for this lying, sweaty God all day long and had no time for lustful games. He almost threatened to burst!
Concerned, one of the nymphs plucked the blanket and bent over him. The neckline of her gossamer dress sank onto the sheet and revealed two flowering buds.
Satyr suppressed a longing sigh.
“He’s so cold and yet he has a high fever! What disease has infected him?”, she whispered.
“Nobody knows,” said the second nymph, who was busy wrapping cupid’s legs sticking out of bed.
But what then becomes of love?”asked the nymph and her eyes suddenly looked very sad.
“Yes,” the Satyr grumbled,”what will become of love?”
He decided to disappear – as soon as possible – in an undisturbed corner of the huge palace in order to ease himself.
At that moment, Venus entered the room.
At the moment Satyr felt dizzy with delight. Venus was big, she was beautiful, she had perfect curves and a perfect face with eyes, as deep and unfathomable as an ocean. Her lips seemed to be made to suck on a strawberry.
“How’s my son?”
Without waiting for an answer, Venus sat down at the bed and felt Cupid’s forehead.  “Leave us alone,” she said and clapped her hands.
The satyr could not be told twice, although he still had a greedy look at Venus’ alabaster-coloured thighs. The nymphs nodded to Venus with regret and left the room.
“What made you so sick?” mumbled the goddess and reached for Cupid’s hand. “You’re cold as a statue, but there’s a fire burning inside that threatens to burn you. Not even Aeskulap could help you.”
She had placed all her hopes in Aeskulap, the best-known god of medicine. But he was just as perplexed as all the other curative gods.
Venus pressed Cupid’s hand on her cheek.
“I have to do it,” she whispered. “If I don’t do it, you will die and I won’t allow it. Do you hear me? Aeskulap said that if we know the cause of the disease, we will find a cure. So you’re gonna get to the bottom of this.”
So far she had hesitated because she did not want to weaken her son unnecessarily. But if she waited any longer, it might be too late.
Venus closed his eyes and concentrated. She wandered in thoughts through her body and searched inside for the divine power that made her so radiantly beautiful herself.
She sighed as she reached the shining core that was directly in her heart. She wrapped him with her thoughts and detached a tiny piece of it.
“Remember,” she said as she sent the spark. “Remember your story. Remember what made you so sick.”
The spark pounded over with a sentence in Cupid’s body, who gave a short puff of breath in horror.
Venus stroked Cupid over his forehead. “I hope it won’t make me wrinkle.”

From the beginning of things
In the beginning there was nothing but chaos and time. A colorless dot in the middle of nowhere. A raw, disorderly mass. A bunch of clashed antagonistic seeds without context.
It took a while until Cupid realized that he was somewhere in the beginning of all things. He contemplated the emergence of everything, the beginning of the beginnings, the beginning of the primordial beginning. He saw all this from a bird’s eye view and with full consciousness, but did not understand what was going on there.
What he saw was colorless and indefinable. The only thing he was able to determine with certainty was the movement that suddenly took place.
It was as if the masses were pushing for a decision. So in the same thing cold fought with hot, damp with dry, soft with hard, weightless with heavy and it arose: earth and heaven, underworld and upper world, night and shadow, war and strife, longing, desire and desire, masculinity and femininity and in the middle of it all love.
Love.
In the midst of all things was love.
Cupid had to smile, because what held everything together was his very own power. But it would still take some time before he could use them, for nothing was formed yet, there was no earth and no people.
However, things sorted themselves out and became clearer than expected.  For the earth Gaia gave birth to the heavens of Uranos to the huge Titans, plus three cyclopses and the Hecatoncheiren, a hundred and fifty-headed creatures. But Uranos hated all these children and hid them in the depths of the earth in the underworld. Gaia, however, was furious about this act and she created the hardest steel, called Adamas, the invincible, to make a huge sickle out of it.
She went deep down into the underworld to her captive sons and daughters and said:”Your father has imprisoned you, my children, and I will no longer accept that. You are called to do more than live in the underworld. Take this sickle and pay him back. I’ll do whatever I can to help you guys with that.”
Eagerly watching Cupid watched what his ancestors did.
The oldest of the Titans, Kronos, agreed to help his mother and himself and accepted the sickle that shone like lightning in the darkness.
The next time Uranos came to Gaia to sleep with her, Kronos, who would later be called the Completer, cut off his father’s virility in the middle of the love play, and threw her off to earth.
From the drops of blood of the cut off limb that fell to the earth, angry creatures arose, who would seek revenge, whether justified or not.
But from the seed of Uranos, which fell into the sea, the most charming and charming creature that the heaven of the gods had known until then came into being: Venus, the goddess of beauty and love.
Shuddered Cupid. So that’s the bestial way his mother was born? That explains a lot.
Uranos died and cursed his son Kronos, may the same thing happen to him with his own children.
Kronos was exactly as his father Uranos had predicted. Though he ruled over the gods and humans during the Golden Age, he also closed his children into dark caves and was emasculated and bled to death by Jupiter, his first-born son.
Again Cupid went through a shudder. Jupiter was his grandfather, the ruler of the gods, he was a little bit peculiar, but he would not have thought he could have done this.
Like shadows, Cupid saw the emerging human race, saw four eras in which people’s behaviour became increasingly cruel and inferior. He witnessed a great flood and the salvation of a single sincere human couple who, at Jupiter’s behest, formed a new humanity out of the clayey bones of mother Gaia.
Cupid shook. He had learned enough.
“Now,” he said to himself,”I want to know how I came into being.”

The next moment, Cupid saw his stepfather Vulkanos. He was surrounded by darkness and struck his hand against his chest to counter the pain that was spreading there. He was in Venus’ wardrobe where it smelled musty. Vulcanoes almost couldn’t find a place in it, considering all the clothes that were hanging here. It was pitch black, but due to the narrow gap between the door and the frame of the cupboard, he could see the bed.
The truth hurt. Why here? Why in the cloud palace? Why did it happen in their marriage bed, why had they not found another room, why not a hiding place? Why did they do it so obviously? Didn’t they have any sense of decency? No sense of shame?
He did not want to believe Helios, the aging sun god, who still boasted of seeing everything. He had hoped that the old man’s eyesight might have decreased. But it was true. There was no longer any doubt about that.
Laughing flirtatiously, Venus pulled the god of war Mars to himself on the bed. Mars buried his face in her curls and rolled on them. Venus opened willingly. Wider and wider than she’d ever done with him, Vulcanos. She moaned loudly and passionately, as if she were a wild animal and not a goddess.
“Yes, Mars, Mars!” she kept shouting.
The god of war battled them as if he had to win a battle.
Vulkanos turned his gaze away and grabbed the chain he had forged.
For days he had been working on the construction, refining the metal over and over again until it was thinner than spider webs and harder than steel. How many times had the two of them met during this time? How often have you slept together? Why did it take him so long to prepare the trap?
Mars moaned passionately and threw his head in the neck, Venus squeezed his butt with her hands and screamed with pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bona Dea

The goddess Bona Dea has been worshipped in Rome since about the 3rd century BC. One of the goddesses merged with her was probably the Greek goddess Hygieia, who was responsible for the health of women – and thus also for fertility.
An animal that is directly or indirectly connected to all these goddesses is the snake. Bona Dea statues and pictures show not only a snake but also (usually) a “cornucopia”, an object that is actually attributed to the goddess Fortuna. This goddess also has a Greek origin (Tyche) and possible overlaps with Bona Dea.
There are further references and connections to Fauna, Ceres, Terra, Ops, Kybele… a blog entry would be worthwhile, but given the extent of this, I will limit myself today to the two first mentioned goddesses: Hygieia and Fortuna and their main attributes, snake, and cornucopia.

On the internet you will find – besides Wikipedia – a lot of information about the goddess and what “de facto” was handed down.

Here are some examples of quite extensive compilations (primarily in German):

http://www.imperiumromanum.com/religion/antikereligion/bonadea_01.htm
https://artedeablog.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/santa-agatha-oder-die-brueste-der-goettin/
https://schwesternschaftderrose.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/bona-dea-die-goettin-der-fruchtbarkeit-heilung-jungfraeulichkeit-und-frauen/
https://www.thoughtco.com/bona-dea-roman-goddess-2562628
http://www.thaliatook.com/OGOD/bonadea.php

One can even find the beginning of a dissertation on Bona Dea and her cult online.
https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=NHe98gAFmrYC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=Bona+Dea:+the+sources+and+a+description+of+the+cult&ots=RwEpuRuO1w&sig=8EpGt1u0OD0xdOZa9L66uo3fyNA#v=onepage&q&f=false

It is remarkable that this goddess is still receiving such a great response – or again (in the age of the Internet) today. This is probably due to the fact that you have relatively much and secure information about her. The Bona Dea temple in Rome was located from the 3rd century B. C. to the 4th century A. D., covering a period of 700 years.

Bona Dea (or Ceres). By Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany – Marble statue of Demeter-Ceres or Bona Dea (The Good Goddess), Nîmes Archaeology Museum, France, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Because the cult was secret, many legends entwine around Bona Dea. Sometimes she is considered the wife of the Faunus, sometimes as his daughter. She was said to be so shy that she never left the house, but got drunk with wine at home because she was so bored. Faunus was furious and beat her to death with myrtle branches. Later he repented of his deed and deified his wife.
As the daughter of Faunus, Bona Dea had it even harder for her own father followed her, and she was only safe from him when she turned into a serpent.
There is also the variant in which Bona Dea is the sister of Faunus.

Aesculapius and Hygieia. By http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/23/e8/bf37ac7142c9354f84444d1c23f5.jpgGallery: http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0036061.html, CC BY 4.0, Link

Hygieia was the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of healing art, and is invoked in the Hippocratic oath. This oath is used in Germany only as a moral-ethical yardstick, but since antiquity and also today in the USA it is also a solemn “oath” in the classical sense, which is read aloud when graduating from medical courses of study.
There are no dramatic stories about Hygieia, but this goddess also has several “own” connections to e. g. Salus, Sirona, or to all these here. 😉

Both Hygieia and Aeskulap (Aeskulap Staff) were associated with snakes as symbolic animals.
In the temple of Bona Dea there are said to have been even tame snakes.

Aesculapian-Stick. By CFCFOwn work, CC0, Link

The snake is a very interesting symbolic animal, its mythical existence even dates back to pre-worldly – paradisiacal – times.
It was the snake who allegedly encouraged Eve to bite into the apple of knowledge and then pass it on to poor, innocent Adam. 😉

Hercules (an ancient hero who will be mentioned below) is said to have strangled with his bare hands two snakes sent by his stepmother Hera/Juno to kill him.

Hercules as a baby.
By Internet Archive Book Imageshttps://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14763741315/Source book page: https://archive.org/stream/barclaysuniversa00barc/barclaysuniversa00barc#page/n501/mode/1up, No restrictions, Link

The fall of man. By KopiersperreOwn work, Public Domain, Link

The Old Testament or the story in the first book of Moses was written in Hebrew, a language in which “the serpent” is masculine. It is called נחשׁ = nâchâsh, which sometimes serves as an explanation for the fact that the snake according to the translation of Seebass turns to the woman and not to Adam.

Adam’s first wife, Lilith, is also often associated with snakes.


Lilith. By John CollierOwn work, Public Domain, Link

That Adam had a first wife is told in the Talmud (a kind of commentary on the Tanach/Old Testament). The story – as absurd as it is true – goes as follows: Since there are two reports of creation in the Bible (once man/woman are created at the same time 1 Genesis 1:27, once Eve emerges from the rib of Adam 1 Genesis 2:26), an explanation was needed. The explanation was: Adam had a first wife, Lilith, with whom he had argued. It was supposedly about which of the two was allowed to have the upper hand (in sex). Lilith wanted to be on top, Adam too, but that didn’t work out, so Lilith decided to abandon paradise and leave Adam to himself. So the story was about who rules over whom or who is in charge.

Adam, Eve and Lilith (the snake). By Hugo van der Goes – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, Link

The core of this biblical story, if you like, can also be found in the goddess Bona Dea. Because their festivities were only open to women – and there is also the peculiarity that the celebrating women refused to give the hero Hercules something to drink (maybe because he killed two snakes as a baby?). Hercules then ordered women to be excluded from the festivities at his altar (ara maxima).
The offerings were also for the first time (?) only addressed to Hercules himself, since no other gods were allowed to be worshipped. In the course of time, rich patrician families at the ara maxima made sacrifices mainly for financial affairs, up to 10% of the profit of the trade was donated. There was a huge banquet, of which Crassus (a very rich Roman who was also an ally of Pompeius and Caesar) in particular, was remembered for hosting the Roman citizens for three months.

Hercules. By SailkoOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Hercules drinking. By Massimo Pallottino, The Etruscans, Indiana University Press, 1975 (1st edition: Etruscologia, Milan: Hoepli, 1942).References:Online commentary;Jean Bayet, Herclé, op. cit. p. 150 et pl. IV;A. J. Pfiffig, Herakles in der Bilderwelt der etruskischen Spiegel, 1980, p. 19., Public Domain, Link

The birth of the milky way. By Peter Paul Rubens[1], Public Domain, Link

So the question that arises right now: what did Hercules want to drink at the feast of Bona Dea? ):):):)

Although it seems certain that “Bona Dea” was the goddess for a pure cult of women, Brouwer points out in his above mentioned dissertation that emperor Augustus was possibly also involved as a priest (Introduction, p. XXIII.) It is also noticeable that many men gave or dedicated something to the goddess, e. g. an altar, their desires/prayers, or statues.

At her main celebration, however, only women really celebrated. In three weeks’ time, there will be more information about this.

A goddess with whom Bona Dea is also associated is the goddess Fortuna, in addition to the Hygieia mentioned above.

Here Fortuna in a medieval depiction to the left of the wheel of fortune. By Universidade Federal do Espírito SantoVitória [1], Public Domain, Link

Fortuna (greek Tyche) ancient. By DaderotOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Cornucopia. By bukkOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The cornucopia is also an interesting ancient symbol that stands for wealth, overflow and abundance. The cornucopia is also very often associated with Ceres (Goddess of grain and growth) and Plutos (God of wealth).

It goes back to the nymph (or goat) Amalthea, who fed the little Zeus with the horn of a goat or even was a goat herself. She is also the mother (or wife) of Pan, the god of shepherds and goats.

Zeus/Jupiter immortalized the goat (?) Amalthea in gratitude for his salvation (she had nourished him with her milk/filling horn) in the night sky as a constellation.

Capricornus constellation. CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The cornucopia is also connected with Hercules, because the ancient authors also report that Hercules had broken a horn in his struggle with the river god Acheloos, which then became a cornucopia.

Why Hercules did this is another interesting story.
Acheloos was just as interested in the beautiful Deianeira as Hercules. He fights with Hercules for the hand of the beautiful Deianeira (whose name means “male hater” by the way), turns into a snake and a bull (LINK), but all this did not help him, Hercules killed him.

Thomas Hart Benton (1947) put this fight into the limelight.

By Thomas Hart BentonThis file was provided to Wikimedia Commons by the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of a cooperation project., Public Domain, Link

But also the old Etruscans had a very frenzied look at the problems. By www.androphile.org, Gemeinfrei, Link

It even continues. For the history of “Struggle with rivers/beings” repeats itself in the history of Hercules.
When he and Deianeira have to cross a river, the Kentaur Nessos offers to carry Deianeira over. Of course, he does not do this without ulterior motives, for he wants Deianeira for himself.

The beautiful Deianeira and Nessos. – What was Arnold Böcklin thinking of? 🙂 By Arnold Böcklin – 1. pfalzgalerie.de2. lessing-photo.com, Gemeinfrei, Link

Hercules intervenes and wins by killing Nessos. But Nessos had previously planted a ruse in Deianeira’s ear. He advised her, if Hercules should ever become unfaithful to her, to give him a cloak of Nessos, which would guarantee her eternal fidelity.
Many years later, Hercules actually looks around for other women.
What does Deianeira do?
She gives Hercules the mantle, who then (not) dies in wretched torment.

However, she herself thinks that Hercules died (or left) and then kills herself. The parallels to Dido are obvious.

Deianeira in despair. By Evelyn De Morgan[1], Public Domain, Link

Hercules isn´t really dead. By Francisco de Zurbarán – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, Link

As the only son of Jupiter/Zeus Hercules is admitted to the Olympus by the gods. There he reconciles himself with his stepmother Juno/Hera and marries another woman: Hebe, the goddess of the rosy cheeks = the youth. (So no more male haters.)

In fact and with historical certainty, Hercules as God even made it into Buddhism:

He stands with his club on the right behind Buddha.
CC BY-SA 3.0, Link</

Bona Dea – and the goddesses belonging to it – lived and live (?) especially in some female saints.

Saints with the attribute “snake” are among others: Goar, Phillipus the Apostle, Wilburgis, Amandus of Maastricht, Hilarius of Poitiers, Jakobos of the Mark.
These saints have the serpent “only” as a symbol animal, some of them have other symbols, but they have no narrative connection to the animal.

For some saints with the attribute snake there are longer or shorter stories in which the animal appears in a positive or negative light.

Notburga von Hochhausen receives healing herbs from a snake after she loses an arm due to her violent father.

Patrick of Ireland is said to have left the island when he arrived in Ireland. But the last snake in Ireland was lured into a crate by him, promising to release it “tomorrow”. The next day, when the serpent asked for her release, he said,”Tomorrow.”

Thekla of Ikonium refused to marry a “heathen” because she had become a Christian. Since she lived in pagan Rome and was very disadvantaged as a Christian, she was taken to a dungeon full of poisonous snakes, but a ray of lightning killed the reptiles. Thekla experiences some other nasty things, but she is protected by God and does not suffer.

Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the Benedictine order, to whom the beautiful saying ora et labora is attributed, should have been poisoned by his own monks. But the poison escaped as a serpent from the cup in which it was found when Benedict made a sign of the cross above it.

The cornucopia does not seem to have made it into the Christian world of thought. However, the prophet Joel (Old Testament) and the Holy Kajetan of Tiene seem to have a cornucopia of filling as an attribute (but without any plot behind it).

Finally, I would like to mention the martyrdom of Christina von Bolsena, who is cared for by snakes after suffering endless pain.
Even today there are festivities in Italy that reenact the fate of Christina. A great article with lots of photos can be found at Bizzarrobazar.  I really do recommend to read it.

The goddess Bubona

Cow Cow and calf. By CgoodwinOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Today’s article could end after a few lines or fill entire libraries. About the goddess Bubona one knows almost nothing, but at least that her name derives from the Latin noun “bos” and that she was the goddess of protection for cattle and herds in the Roman Empire.
The meaning of “bos” contained in Bubona is already fixed with regard to the declension that seems crazy for Latin nouns.
While the common nouns of the 3d declension (or consonantal declension) usually have regular endings to the root,”bos” stubbornly adheres to its ancient Greek  βοῦς (bous)/ βῶς (bōs) and has already driven some Latinists to despair. In addition, the word has two genera, male and female.
„Bos“, in English “bovine” has various subgenera such as aurochs, yak, water buffalo – and from there the path is no longer far to a cow-animal with what is probably connected the most widely ramified mythical storyline at all:
the bull or “taurus”.

Bull. By Benno Adamhttp://www.hampel-auctions.com/, Public Domain, Link

Minotauros Minotauros in a modern interpretation. By Stefano.questioli at Italian Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, Link

Cow-animals were very important for the early humans. If you had one, you could say that you were set for life. They supplied not only food and clothing, but also fertiliser, medicine, heat and labour.
Cow dung is still used today to build simpler houses, there is a part of Ayurvedic medicine in which cow dung is used, and if dried properly, it can be used for heating a long time.

Armenien Wall of dung in Armenia. By Rita Willaert from 9890 Gavere, Belgium – Aragat – Armenia, CC BY 2.0, Link

dung Burning dung. By Petrol.91Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The bull in the original sense was called “taurus” by the Romans. In this word you can still see the etymological connection to Mino-taurus. The noun “taurus”, by the way, refers to the sexually matured male cow.

However, the beef – or the bull – did not really gain importance in the Roman era. It is even more likely to be assumed that the religious significance of cattle and other farm animals has diminished since classical antiquity (i. e. with the Greeks and Romans) unless one had a professional relationship with them. For example, as a shepherd who for a long time still worshipped the goddess Bubona.

Hirte und Nymphe Sleeping nymph and shepherd. With Amor. By Angelica KauffmanVictoria and Albert Museum, Public Domain, Link

During classical antiquity, a special literary genre emerged, the so-called “Bucolic” or “bucolic poetry”, to whose main representatives the Greek Theokrit (3rd century B. C.) was the most important. On the one hand, it deals with the idyllic way that shepherds live, whilst on the other hand it makes fun of them because they were not really familiar with mythology – in contrast to the citizens of Polis, where the stories were performed. It caused laughter among the educated citizens of Athens when two shepherds told each other twisted stories of cyclopses and human women, for example.
As a city dweller, one was something better and had moved away from these “profane” things like cattle.
At the same time, the Roman upper class developed an ever finer and more generous desire to eat.

Here is a short insight into a satire of Horace (Satire 2,8 – 1st century B. C.), a Roman humorist who sharply targets the eating habits of the Romans.

Although the guests have long gorged themselves up, the host always serves them more and more delicious delicacies. Among other things:
a Lucanian boar caught in a mildly blowing southwind, birds, mussels and fish, a ragout of echinoderms and turbot, a moray eel in the midst of floating crabs, a disassembled crane, the liver of a fig-fattened goose, blackbirds with tanned skin… and so on and so on and so forth.
The guests then decide to flee together, because the meal becomes a torture, but first loot the wine cellar to avenge themselves.

One of my favourite phrases in Latin: Nos nise damnose bibimus, moriemur inulti. If we don’t get drunk unrestrained, we’ll die unavenged.

So when you are concerned with the goddess Bubona, you cannot avoid questioning your own eating habits or the view of farm animals. In an early age, the cattle was considered to be very sacred to mankind and it is obvious to assume that this also applied to the people who owned many animals (cattle, sheep, goats).

By the way, n the 17th/18th century there was a kind of renaissance of the “Bucolic”, which can be seen in the countless paintings with shepherd and animal motifs of that time.

Van de Velde (17. Jahrhundert) By van de Velde, Adriaen (1636 – 1672) – Possibly afterDetails of artist on Google Art ProjectmwEaSahFiFkfNw at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, Link

From the early cultures of history we know bull and cattle pictures, especially of the Minoans in Crete, who used them to decorate their palace.

Stier Minoan Bull, 1200 B.C. By Olaf TauschOwn work, CC BY 3.0, Link

Wall painting in the palace with typical Minoan bull’s jump. Approx. 1500 BC. By JebulonOwn work, CC0, Link

Stierkopf Famous Minoan bull-head 1500 B.C. By JebulonRéférences/references:ici/hereOwn work, CC0, Link

Minoer The most important symbol of the Minoans – next to the double axe: bull horns. By JebulonOwn work, CC0, Link

But you can go even further back in history and discover:

Altamira Bison in the cave of Altamira (Spain), approx. 15000 BC. By RameessosEigenes Werk, Gemeinfrei, Link

Cow animals were then regarded worldwide as sacred, at least where they existed. Until the 16th century, when the country was colonized by Europeans, there were no cattle in Australia and America.

Cattle Which has changed a little, though. By Peer VOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A good example of the religious and cultural importance of these animals is India. There the cow appears in the ancient writings of the Vedas (around 1000 B. C.) as the embodiment of the “Mother Earth” Prithivi Mata. A cow named Kamadhenu fulfilled wishes. The blue god Krishna grew up among cowherds, cows then also play an important role in his further life and the companion animal of the god Shiva is the bull.
The animals are still considered sacred there today, but are hunted illegally and transported to slaughterhouses.

Kuh Cow and cow-container containing food for the animals (or garbage). By Rod Waddington from Kergunyah, Australia – Holy Cow Container, India, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

A comparison of Indian and European cow myths would be interesting, one of the best-known Euoprean myths is certainly the story of Minotauros.

Pasiphaë A woman named Pasiphaë and a beautiful bull. By Gustave MoreauOwn work, Public Domain, Link

Pasiphaë Pasiphaë climbs into a dummy cow. By Giulio ROmano – http://gidvgreece.com/labirint-minotavra-i-sovremennyj-labirint-v-grecii/, Public Domain, Link

kleiner Minotauros Pasiphaë – mother of the Minotauros. By Settecamini Painter – User:Bibi Saint-Pol, Own work, 2010-02-06, Public Domain, Link

Minos, the legendary king of Crete and mythical founder of the Minoans, asked the sea god Neptune to help him establish his kingdom.
Neptune then sent him a beautiful white bull, which Minos was supposed to sacrifice. Minos liked the bull so much that he didn’t want to sacrifice it and chose another animal.
Neptune noticed this of course and cursed Mino’s wife Pasiphaë to fall in love with the unoffered bull.
What happened then can be seen from the pictures above.
The famous architect Daedalus, who later also built the labyrinth for the Minotauros, was at that time on the island of Crete and helped Pasiphaë to develop the above depicted “dummy cow” -construction, into which she climbs in the middle picture.

But not only Pasiphaë developed, let’s say, a peculiar sex life. She had cast a peculiar spell on her husband, King Minos, so that when he was with another woman, he would ejaculate scorpions, snakes and centipedes – and kill his loved ones most of the time.

Minos Why do you think Michelangelo painted Minos like that?
By see filename or category – scan: De Vecchi, Cappella Sistina, 1999, Public Domain, Link

The donkey ears are said to signify stupidity, whereby Minos is declared judge of the dead after his own death by Pluto/Hades. The reason for this is the fact that he was a son of Jupiter/Zeus. Hades/Pluto is the brother of Jupiter/Zeus and King Minos, thus something like his nephew. All in the family.

But before all this happened, the child of Pasiphae and the bull, the Minotauros, was locked in a large labyrinth built by the scholar Daedalus (Daedalus and Ikarus).The half man half bull monster is fed with virgins every year and when there are almost no more on Crete, the beautiful king’s daughter Ariadne (the half-sister of the Minotauros) would have been the next victim, but at this very moment the hero Theseus passes by and everything is turning for the better. (Firstly.)
He heads into the labyrinth with Ariadne’s ball of wool, kills the Minotauros and marries Ariadne. But then he has to leave her, for he is to become the mythical founder of Athens.
Apart from the fact that there are unmistakable parallels to Aeneas and Dido Ariadnes fate has not been so bad. She was then found and loved by the cheerful wine god Bacchus/Dionysus.

Theseus Theseus Mosaik. By Carole Raddato from FRANKFURT, Germany – Theseus Mosaic, discovered in the floor of a Roman villa at the Loigerfelder near Salzburg (Austria) in 1815, 4th century AD, Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Austria, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

A mythical story that changes from sacrifice of a bull to human sacrifice for the (evil) bull and then the dead of the evil animal.
Why that was the case can only be assumed. Gerd Hellmoodhas written an interesting, profound psychological interpretation of the story (told by Dürremat) in German. My approach therefore would be culturally anthropological.
Considering that the upper classes of the Romans and Greeks were probably starting to consume beef frequently, the myth could also be a subsequent or parallel “explanation” as to why it was okay to deviate from the original, probably only religiously legitimated meat consumption.

However, some of the “holy beef” has been preserved. Cultic bull sacrifices were still a big part of the Mithras cult , Jesus was born in a stable “between ox and donkey”, the symbol for the evangelist Luke is a bull and it took a while until cattle developed into a general consumer good.

Burger. By Fritz SaalfeldOwn work, CC BY-SA 2.5, Link

MC MC Donalds branches worldwide. There’s only chicken in India. By Ukelay33 and others, see file history – Self-published work by Ukelay33, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Anzahl Filialen Number of branches per million inhabitants. By Karfreitag64Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Last but not least, this can be seen in the existence of the goddess Bubona during the Roman Empire. For even though the goddess does not come along with great significance, she was nevertheless the goddess of protection for cattle and oxen for centuries.

And there are other figures like Cyrene, that can probably be linked to the goddess Bubona.

Cyrene Cyrene. By Edward Calvert (1799-1883) – http://www.victorianweb.org/painting/calvert/paintings/1.html, Public Domain, Link

Cyrene was a nymph whose ancestors included the Okeanos and the sea goddess Tetys. She was not so much interested in the work of women (weaving and sewing), but rather loved to protect her father Hypseus’s herds with sword and shield against savage animals. The sun god Apollo was so impressed by this, that he fell in love with Cyrene, married her and had two children (Aristaeus and Idmon) with her.
The descendants of Cyrene then became hunters, reached high positions (kings, accompanying the Argonauts, founding cities), but it is striking that both Idmon and Aktaion, the son of Aristaeus, died in hunting accidents.
Idmon was wounded by a giant boar and died. The story of Aktaion, Kyrene’s grandson, is a little more drastic.

Not amused The moon goddess Diana is not pleased when Aktaion she (accidentally?) observes while bathing.

Aktaion That’s why she turns him into a deer. By HaStOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Aktaeon Aktaion is then hunted as a deer by his own companions and mauled by his dogs. Public Domain, Link

Similar to the story of the Minotauros, “wild animals” become dangerous for humans in this myth – perhaps it goes too far, but possibly patriarchal or matriarchal thoughts also play a role here. The story of Aktaion (approx. 1200 B. C.) is considerably younger than that of the Minotauros (approx. 1700 BC)

A few speculative, concluding thoughts:
Like the Minotauros, Aktaion is also a “half” human being, because he is still aware of his state of transformation.
Aktaion is created by the moon goddess Diana, the Minotauros is in the responsibility of Neptune, King Minos` and Daedalus.
Both hybrids are killed.

I suspect that both stories may represent the detachment from the “animal” as something “holy”. Because humans (Minotauros, Aktaion) who are over-identified with animals are being killed.
If we consider the initiators – once it was men, once a woman – then all that remains to be said is that both genders were somehow involved in this development.

Lady Gaga Lady Gaga’s meat concert. By John Robert Charlton[1], CC BY 2.0, Link