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Erotica in History

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Bull eying Pasiphae (bull4x.gif--283x268) Pasiphae looking at a bull with passion (pasiphae8x.gif--150x318)

Japanese version (japanv.gif--100x36)
May 29, 2003

When King Minos of Crete decided to keep alive a magnificent bull that Poseidon had given him for sacrifice, the sea god punished him by having Minos’s wife Pasiphae fall in love with the bull.

To satisfy her desire, the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus (a small figure at lower left in the picture below) built her a hollow cow in which she could hide and mate with the bull.

In the picture below, Daedalus presented his wooden cow to Pasiphae, who would enter the wooden gadget and lure the bull. Their coupling produced the half-man, half-bull Minotaur, who was shut away in the maze-like Labyrinth.

Later, when Minos had Daedalus and Icarus shut up in the Labyrinth, they escaped using wings fixed to their bodies with wax. Daedalus safely reached Sicily, but Icarus, exulting in his new-found abilities, flew too close to the sun; the wax melted and he fell to his death in the sea.

Pasiphae and Daedalus (pasiphae.jpg--380x385)

Daedalus, Pasiphae and wooden cow
Pompeian wall painting: House of the Vettii, 1st century AD.

Daedalus made a wooden cow and brought it in front of her as shown in the above picture. Pasiphae later stepped into the wooden cow, to which the bull got attracted, and Pasiphae successufully made love.

Minotaur (minotaur3.gif--196x380) This union produced the terrifying Minotaur. King Minos ordered Daedalus to build the labyrinth—a tortuous open-air maze—to hide it away and, to avoid the shameful secret becoming known, imprisoned Daedalus in it as well, along with his son Icarus who had helped him.

The legend has it that Daedalus collected feathers and, fixing them to his arms with wax, made wings for himself and Icarus, and they flew up and away. Icarus, in his excitement, flew too near the sun. So, the wax melted and he plunged into the sea to his death. But Daedalus flew on to Sicily, where he found refuge at the court of the king of Syracuse.



Did they really make love?

Pasiphae and the bull in bed after 
 lovemaking (pasipha1.gif--292x193) I doubt.

Then how come the ancient author created such an abominable and distasteful story?

I would say, there must have been some events that had induced such a disgusting taste in the minds of the ancient Cretans at the time.

What do you mean by that?

Well, I have a story to tell you:

      The Egyptians called the Canaanites (including Hebrew and Phoenicians) ‘Fenkhu’. Egyptian suzerainty prevailed over this region during the New Kingdom. When Aethra gave birth to Theseus in 1304 B.C., Sidon—another city state in Phoenicia—had enjoyed its prosperity, but gradually gave way to Tyre. By the year 1250 B.C., when the Trojan War started, Tyre had conquered Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gaza, and Gath. The Tyrians forced the Sidonians to surrender the city of Dor.
      At this time Tyre became foremost in Phoenicia and one of the greatest and wealthiest cities in the Mediterranean region. King Hiram—the first king and son of Abi-Baal and contemporary of David and Solomon—had ruled the kingdom for some forty years. He enlarged the city, surrounding it with massive walls, improved its harbours, and rebuilt the temple of Melkarth. He forced the Philistine pirates to retreat, thus securing prosperity in maritime commerce and caravan trade. Phoenician colonization spread along the coast of Asia Minor, Sicily, Greece, and Africa.
      One afternoon, when Zeminos saw Europa strolling with her chaperone along the seashore, he sent an awe-inspiring white bull into the herds to lure the girl away from her chaperone’s watchful eyes.
      While Europa was picking up colorful flowers, her chaperon sat down under an olive tree nearby and started to doze off cozily.
      The Tyrian princess soon noticed the graceful white bull munching a crocus on the pasture. As she stepped closer to the bull, the maiden took a fancy to the amiable creature and climbed onto his back with all efforts.
      After grazing for a while, the bull slowly moved to Zeminos, who pretended to be a shepherd.
      “Do you like this bull?”
      “Yes, he’s so friendly. I’ve never seen such a gentle bull before. Is this yours?”
      “Yes, it is.”
      “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to ride without permission, but it’s so cute I couldn’t resist the temptation.”
      “That’s okay. Do you want to have this one?”
      “Yes, but …”
      “I’ll give it to you if you do me a favor.”
      “What is it?”
      “I’d like to show you around in my country.”
      “Where are you from?”
      A year later, Zeminos married Europa in Crete. She gave birth to three sons—Minos, Rhadamanthys, and Sarpedon. At twenty-four, Zeminos became king.
      Tectamus, a son of the Dorian king, had succeeded to the ruler of the region around Mount Parnassus in the mainland of Hellas. He married a daughter of Cretheus—a son of Aeolus and Enarete. Cretheus had become the founder and first king of Iolcus, a Thessalian city (present-day Volos) at the head of the gulf of Pagasae.
      The new Dorian king invaded Crete with a force of Aeolians and Pelasgians—the aboriginal inhabitants of Greek and Thracian lands—who spread over from Epirus to several parts of the northern Aegean area, including both sides of the Hellespont.
      The invasion force fought the Cretan navy and army. Though formidable on the surface, the navy had already lost the past glory since the Thera Eruption. Once they landed on the northern coast, the Cretan army turned out no match for the invading force. King Zeminos died, leaving his young wife and infant sons. Tectamus became king of Crete. His son, Asterius, re-married Europa, and adopted her sons since he had no sons of his own. Pasiphae looking at a bull with passion (pasiphae8x.gif--150x318)
      Five years later, Tectamus died of high fever. Asterius then succeeded to his father as king of Crete.
      At seventeen Minos married Pasiphae, sister of King Aeetes of Colchis—a land at the eastern end of the Black Sea. She came from all the way from Aea, the capital of Colchis, located near the mouth of the Phasis River. Minos detested the man of the Dorian blood sitting at the throne because he’d stolen his beloved mother.
      Once he turned twenty, therefore, Minos engineered a coup d’etat and became king, imprisoning his stepfather Asterius in a secret chamber designed by Daedalus. At the same time, the new king spread the words, saying that he’d recently captured a mysterious, violent monster called the Minotaur that bore a bull’s head on a man’s body in the Labyrinth, a mazelike prison from which no one, once inside, could ever find his way out.
      Minos proclaimed that, from then on, the Cretan king would call himself ‘Minos’—an equivalent of an Egyptian ‘Pharaoh’. Under his reign, his maritime nation and his allies—the Lelegians—swayed most Aegean islands.

Quite interesting!—though I’ve never heard of it.

Of course, You have not because I’ve created the above story based on some historical facts and my interpretation of related myths.

So, you’re saying, Minotaur did not really exist. King Minos simply spread a rumor after imprisoning his stepfather.

That’s right.

Yeah, that’s a possibiolity, isn’t it? But how about lovemaking between Pasiphae and the bull?

Pasiphae and the bull in confrontation
 (pasipha5.gif--220x239) I don’t think any girl with a normal mind would never try to make love with a bull. It would be quite dangerous—if not fatal.

I have another story to tell you. In this story, Pasiphae made love with an Egyptian diplomatic scribe. The story goes like this:

      In 1296 B.C., the eleventh year of Pharaoh Seti I’s reign, Mintep came from Memphis to Knossos as envoy to deliver a white Apis bull to the palace for sacrifice. At twenty-five, Mintep transferred to the office of the foreign relations from the temple of Ptah, working as senior scribe. His father, Pintep, now worked as Royal Scribe, following the footsteps of Sentep—Mintep’s grandfather—who had died a year earlier at the age of seventy-three.
      His father had given Mintep a secret mission to gather as much information as possible about the situation in Knossos—especially the movements of the powerful Dorians and the foreign policies of King Minos. Pintep desperately wanted to seek an external help to curb the empire of the Hittites. Therefore, the royal scribe wanted to know about the situation in Crete. If possible, he wanted to drag the Cretans into the Egyptian alliance.
      “An Apis bull?” asked Pasiphae with her blue eyes sparkling.
      “Yes, Your Majesty, it’s a sacred bull in my country,” said Mintep, looking into her captivating eyes. Impressed by her radiant beauty, Mintep watched her like a starry-eyed adolescent, forgetting a court etiquette.
      At thirty-six, the queen smiled like a playful teenager. “What’s so special about the bull?” Smiling Pasiphae (pasiphaeg.gif--264x265)
      The Egyptian lad still studied her carefully. Her blond hair attracted his eyes. Wearing a parti-colored flounced skirt and a tight-fitting bodice, she looked like a Mother-Goddess he’d seen in a papyrus scroll back in Memphis. He watched her from head to foot dreamingly, comparing her with the goddess in the scroll.
      “Are you all right?” asked the queen with jollies.
      Coming to his senses, Mintep cleared his throat. “Yes. Ah … I’m sorry. I didn’t hear your last question.”
      “I said—what’s so special about the bull?”
      Regaining his composure, Mintep explained with a whiff of dignity. “The sacred bull is a manifestation of Ptah—the god revered in Memphis. In my country, we call the sacred bull Hap or Hapi.”
      The sacred bull bore a white crescent on one side of its body or a white triangle on its forehead. Those marks signified the bull’s divinity and the acceptance by the gods.
      When a bull of Apis died, an immediate search began for another animal with at least one of the sacred markings. Dressing the sacred bulls in golden robes, the priests paraded the animals in the ceremonies of Ptah.
      “My people believe,” said Mintep, “the sacred bull is born of a virgin cow—impregnated by Ptah.”
      “Born of a virgin cow, huh? How interesting!” Pasiphae beamed like a curious adolescent.
      “We use the bulls as oracle on festival days.”
      “We set up a special chamber, then set the bull loose in the chamber and see which gate it’ll enter to seek its food. The gates bear symbols as to the positive or negative response to questions.”
      “I see.”
      “Each bull is cared for by the priests for a period of twenty-five years and then drowned.”
      “Drowned? Why?”
      “So that we could eat various parts of the animal.”
      “The sacred bull, you mean?” The queen rolled her eyes.
      “Yes, we eat a sacramental meal at the temple. After that, the priests embalm the remains and place them in a necropolis for the bulls.”
      “Interesting. What’s your name again?”
      “Why don’t you come to my private apartment after dinner? I’d like to hear more from you.”
      Hardly could Mintep wait for the private audience with the queen, and he felt honored to have a special treatment.
      Daedalus and Icarus (daedalus.gif--261x334)
      “Daedalus, I want you to build a hidden chamber.”
      “A hidden chamber? May I ask what it is for?”
      Daedalus, an inventive craftsman and builder, looked into the blue eyes of the blond queen, who smirked like a shrewd courtesan. He’d built a flush toilet for her, after setting up a complicated plumbing system.
      To ensure the water supply for Crete during the dry summer, Daedalus had built cisterns, or water tanks, and lined them with water-resistant plaster. Rain water alone, however, never met the needs of the Cretans. Daedalus, therefore, built an ingenious water supply system as well. To overcome the unfavorable gradients, he created high aqueducts across the valleys to bring water from the stream. The clay pipes linked each other. Each tube had a tapering end with lugs on its sides so that it could fit into the next.
      The inventor then installed a drainage network made of stone slab to carry away sewage. Rain-water rushed down from the roof through the vertical pipe to flush out sewage from three lavatories in the East Wing—the living quarters of the palace.
      The queen’s chamber boasted a spacious cloakroom, where Daedalus installed a water-closet. Under the lavatory wooden seat at the back of the closet, an under-floor channel linked the hole in the gypsum floor with the vertical soil pipe. The queen’s attendant poured a bucket of water through the hole outside the cubicle so that water dashed into the soil pipe, flushing away the royal wastes into the drainage system.
      “My guest and I are going to have some fun,” said the queen. “I want to enjoy my tryst. Nobody else should know that there’s such a chamber attached to mine.”
      “With a flush toilet?”
      “If possible.”
      “Well, it’s pretty difficult to set up such a room without being noticed by court people.”
      “You’re a genius. I think you can make it. If a flush toilet causes some problem, I don’t need one, but I want a hidden room as soon as possible.”
      Daedalus gave it a thought.
      “Listen! I don’t mean to be rude, but I know why you’re here.”
      “Do you?” Daedalus swallowed down his sticky saliva nervously.
      “You left Athens—because you killed one of your apprentices.”
      Shocked, the inventor gazed at the snickering queen.
      “He surpassed you by stealing your ideas. Infuriated, you secretly murdered him, right?” The queen studied him carefully. “Look! This is strictly between you and me. I won’t tell your secret to anybody. So you must make a hidden room for me by all means. All right?”
      Swallowing hard, the engineer stared into the threatening eyes of the queen and knew that he had no other choice.

Again, interesting! But I can sense, this story will go kinda risque.

Yeesss! Somewhat racy. This story is actually part of my epic novel—Erotica Odyssey. The whole story stretches over some two hundred years.

Anyway, Sounds interesting . . . Can I read it?

Oh yes, you can read the first three chapters! Click this link: Erotica Odyssey.

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I wanna read the rest of the story, in addition to the first three chapters. How can I get it?
    - Julia Kinsey

If you really want to read it, please e-mail me. I will tell you how to get it.
    - Akira
Copyright Akira Kato
About this author:
  • Educated both in Canada and Japan
  • Traveled extensively in Europe, Far East, and North America
  • Worked as management consultant, computer systems analyst, college instructor and freelance writer.
Akira Kato



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