Thursday Myths & Legends 101: Tauroi Aithiopes, or Ethiopian Bulls

Ethiopian bulls were supposed to be enormous bulls—twice the size of regular bulls, with red hides and blue eyes.  They were also supposed to have horns that they could move as easily as ears.  They were said to be impervious to steel, with thistles on their hides that deflected all weapons.  The only way to catch an Ethiopian bull was to dig a pit and lure it in, and then wait for the creature to die.

It’s believed that this legend came from early sightings of African buffalo.  I’ve recently come across a slightly re-imagined Ethiopian bulls in the Percy Jackson series, where the bulls are actually built by Hephaestus, the god of metals and blacksmithing.

*image from here.

About Lisa Asanuma

Lisa is a professional freelance writer and editor, along with a bookbinder and knitting obsessee. Lisa has a passion for YA literature (inside her passion for literature in general) and is currently querying on her first novel. View all posts by Lisa Asanuma

2 responses to “Thursday Myths & Legends 101: Tauroi Aithiopes, or Ethiopian Bulls

  • Anatoly Nedilko

    Lisa, I have just found your interesting entry and would love to add that we have the same myth at the peninsula of Tauris 9Tauroi< Taurida) or Crimea in the modern spelling. Still I cannot guess if this cult you described is separated from the Crete bull cult? In the past we had a mass group of people called tauroi, or tauri

    • Lisa Asanuma

      I couldn’t tell you, I’m sorry! I’ve only reflected here little bits that I’ve gleaned from internet searches. Interesting that the myth is the same! I’ve found that many myths or fairy tales have echoes from other parts of the world. It shows how far and wide a story can travel.

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