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Quiz about Tales of the Sacred Bull
Quiz about Tales of the Sacred Bull

Tales of the Sacred Bull Trivia Quiz


In many ancient cultures, the bull was the symbol of power, fertility, and strength. Take the bull by the horns and see if you can identify the civilizations from the clues given.

A photo quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
ponycargirl
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
378,155
Updated
Jun 18 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
578
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 95 (9/10), Guest 85 (6/10), Guest 100 (5/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. In the "Gilgamesh Epic", the bull, Gugalana, was the husband of Ereshkiga, goddess of the underworld. The people of which civilization first told this story? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In this culture, bulls deemed to be ritually perfect were housed in a temple, eventually embalmed and encased in a sarcophagus. Which civilization worshiped the bull as Apis? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The people of which city, the largest dating from the Neolithic Age in ancient Anatolia, decorated the walls of their dwellings with heads of cattle? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Was it a sport? Or a religious observance? Which ancient people are depicted engaging in an activity called "bull leaping"? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Although very popular among the Romans, Mithraism probably had its beginning in which empire that practiced Zoroastrianism as its state religion? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. In which religion does the god Shiva ride a sacred bull named Nandi? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Which civilization had a principal deity that turned into a bull to seduce an unsuspecting woman? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Which ancient civilization practiced the "taurobolium", in which a bull was sacrificed for the well-being of the state and its people? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Which ancient people believed that sacrificing two white bulls under an oak tree from which mistletoe had been cut would cure infertility? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In the Old Testament, there is a story about the Hebrews constructing a golden calf idol to worship while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on top of Mt. Sinai. Who made the idol? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. In the "Gilgamesh Epic", the bull, Gugalana, was the husband of Ereshkiga, goddess of the underworld. The people of which civilization first told this story?

Answer: Sumerian

Also called the "Bull of Heaven", Gugalana was sent by the gods to take revenge on Gilgamesh, who had rejected the advances of Inanna, a goddess. Gilgamesh and his friend, Enkidu, killed Gugalana, and threatened Inanna with the same fate; of course, this action did not go unnoticed by the gods, and both Gilgamesh and Enkidu later received the ultimate punishment. Gugalana also represented the Taurus constellation as Sumerians believed that Gugalana's death symbolized the spring equinox, which was considered their New Year.
2. In this culture, bulls deemed to be ritually perfect were housed in a temple, eventually embalmed and encased in a sarcophagus. Which civilization worshiped the bull as Apis?

Answer: Egyptian

One of the oldest in Egyptian history, the cult of Apis began in the Memphis region, where the bull was perceived as a fertility god that symbolized the renewal of life. Serving as an intermediary between the gods and humans, the Apis bull was considered to be the most important sacred animal in Egypt.

In Memphis, at the "Serapeum", the tombs of more than sixty bulls were found by Auguste Mariette in 1850. Each of the sixty mummified bulls was originally buried in a separate tomb under a chapel.
3. The people of which city, the largest dating from the Neolithic Age in ancient Anatolia, decorated the walls of their dwellings with heads of cattle?

Answer: Çatalhöyük

The earliest evidence of a bull cult, dating to approximately 7000 BC, was found at Çatalhöyük in modern day Turkey. Bull paintings have been found on walls of buildings which may have been shrines; three-dimensional bull heads made of plaster and decorated with real horns were found, along with real ones.

The residents of the city also appear to have participated in bull leaping games.
4. Was it a sport? Or a religious observance? Which ancient people are depicted engaging in an activity called "bull leaping"?

Answer: Minoan

According to the fresco found on the island of Crete, Minoans boys and girls both participated in bull leaping, or "taurokathapsia". They would seize the horns of the bull, and vault over its back in a somersault or some other acrobatic stunt. A similar sport, called "course landaise" is still practised today in France. Cows are generally used instead of bulls, and the "dodgers" show off their acrobatic and evasive skills while competing in teams.

Some archaeologists believe that due to the similarities seen in Minoan art and the art found at Çatalhöyük concerning the practice of bull leaping, there is a possibility that Crete was settled by immigrants from Anatolia.
5. Although very popular among the Romans, Mithraism probably had its beginning in which empire that practiced Zoroastrianism as its state religion?

Answer: Persian

Before adopting the Zoroastrian religion, the Persians were polytheistic; their most important god was Mithra, the god of the sun. The sacred ritual associated with Mithra was the sacrifice of a bull, which was seen as an act of loyalty to the king. Mithra was also viewed as the god of mutual obligation between the king and his soldiers, so he was the god of war; he was also the god of justice, which was given and guaranteed by the king.

After converting to Zoroastrianism, the Persians appear to have disregarded their worship of Mithra.

However, the Romans adopted aspects and regarded the religion as one of loyalty to their king.
6. In which religion does the god Shiva ride a sacred bull named Nandi?

Answer: Hinduism

In addition to being the mount of one of the gods on the Hindu trinity, Shiva, known as the destroyer, recycler and regenerator of universe and all life, Nandi is also the gatekeeper of Shiva and Parvati, his wife who is the Hindu goddess of love, fertility and devotion.

There is usually a statue of Nandi, who was chief guru of the eighteen masters, at temples dedicated to Shiva; the stone image faces the main shrine.
7. Which civilization had a principal deity that turned into a bull to seduce an unsuspecting woman?

Answer: Greek

According to the legend, Zeus saw the beautiful Europa and her companions gathering flowers by the sea. It is uncertain whether Eros intervened with an arrow, or if Zeus was just smitten with the pretty girl. He transformed himself into a beautiful, gentle white bull, lying down in front of Europa.

When she climbed onto his back, Zeus plunged into the sea and swam to the island of his birth, Crete. Together they had three sons: Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon.
8. Which ancient civilization practiced the "taurobolium", in which a bull was sacrificed for the well-being of the state and its people?

Answer: Roman

The cult of Cybele, Magna Mother or Great Mother, was formed in Rome after the Second Punic War (218 to 201 BC) because the oracle told them a failed harvest, famine, and meteor shower were signs of certain defeat. The "taurobolium" that was associated with Cybele, however, was practised during the 2nd-4th centuries BC and was symbolic of the assurance of the well-being of the people and the state.

Some Romans also practiced Mithraism, an ancient religion from Persia, which also centered around the sacrifice of a bull.
9. Which ancient people believed that sacrificing two white bulls under an oak tree from which mistletoe had been cut would cure infertility?

Answer: Celts

Pliny the Elder described a ceremony in Gaul, which is modern France, where the druids would climb a sacred, Valonia oak and gather the rare mistletoe for a religious rite. Two white bulls would be brought to the tree for sacrifice, and after killing them, the priest would pray "to a god to render his gift propitious to those on whom he has bestowed it".

The mistletoe was put in a drink that not only cured infertility, but was also an antidote for poison.
10. In the Old Testament, there is a story about the Hebrews constructing a golden calf idol to worship while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on top of Mt. Sinai. Who made the idol?

Answer: Aaron

According to Exodus 32, Aaron was asked to make the golden idol because Moses had been on Mt. Sinai for a long time and the people were afraid he would not return. Aaron made the calf out of gold jewelry, built an altar, and the people sacrificed offerings to the gods.

At that point Moses was commanded by an angry God to return to the people, which he did, carrying the Ten Commandments. Even though Moses convinced God NOT to destroy the unfaithful people, his own anger flared when he saw the golden calf, and he threw the tablets down with enough force to cause them to break.

Although Moses returned to the mountain in an attempt to atone for the sin, the chapter ends with God striking the people with a plague.
Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
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