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A cow in Egypt

Cattle (Bos taurus), colloquially called by their feminine name cows, are a domesticated species of bovine and one of the most commonly kept large herbivores.


5th century BCE

In Greece cattle entered the myths most prominently in the form of the Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull creature said to be born from the union of the Kretan Bull and Pasiphaë. By the time of the Peloponnesian War the myth of the creature had spellbound the people of Pephka on the island of Krete, and they had turned the city of Lato into a shrine to the beast, erecting statues of it and even emblazoning their banners with its visage.[1]

During the Peloponnessian War Daphnae, the acting leader of the Daughters of Artemis at the time, tasked the Spartan misthios Kassandra to hunt down eight legendary beasts, [2] the present incarnation of the Kretan Bull among them, its lair located within Fertile Battleground region of Messara on the island of Krete.[3]

1st century BCE

During the 1st century BCE, many cattle were kept by Egyptians living in the rural countryside, where they were used as a source of meat and milk and for grazing. The cattle were also worshipped in the form of numerous Egyptian deities, most notably as Hathor who was often depicted crowned with cow horns, and Ptah in the form of the Apis bull. [4]





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