The Cretan Bull was a creature that appears in ancient Greek myths as the beast that carried away Europa or the bull that caught the eye of Pasiphae (which led to the birth of the Minotaur). In this article, you will learn what Heracles was ordered to do that involved the Cretan Bull, and whether or not he was able to complete his task.
The seventh task of Heracles involved the capture of the Cretan bull, which was located in Crete. When the hero reached his destination, King Minos actually gave him permission to take the bull away. He even offered to help him in his task, but Heracles turned down his assistance because he was prideful. Minos was glad to be rid of the beast as it was cause all sorts of issues for the people living on Crete. It would tear down the orchard walls and uproot crops. Heracles defeated the bull by sneaking behind the bull and strangling it with his hands. When he was done, he shipped the bull back to Athens.
When Eurystheus saw the bull for the first time, he wanted to sacrifice the beast to Hera, who despised Heracles. Because the hero defeated the bull, she would not accept the sacrifice because it meant that she was benefited from something that Heracles had accomplished so well. The bull was released and allowed to enter Marathon, where it was then known as the Marathonian Bull.
What Happened to the Cretan Bull?
The bull was once again captured by another famous hero in ancient Greek myths. It all started with Androgeus, who competed in the games held by Aegeus , the King of Athens. He won all the games, which sent Aegeus into a rage. The king took out his anger by taking the life of the young man. His father was so affected by the death of his son that he launched a war against Athens and won. As punishment, the Athenians were made to send several of their young men to die by the hands of the Minotaur. The consequences were followed on a yearly basis.
Aegeus’ son, Theseus, decided that he would capture the bull and save his people. As he traveled to Marathon, he sought shelter from a storm in a shack that was owned by an old woman named Hecale. She swore to him that she would make a sacrifice to Zeus if Theseus was able to catch the bull. After he successfully captured the bull, Theseus returned to the hut of the old woman, but she was already dead. He constructed a deme in her honor and dragged the bull to Athens, where he gave it as a sacrifice to either Athena or Apollo.