Since a U.S.-led research team headed by researcher Richard Freund and detailed in "Finding Atlantis," a National Geographic Channel special, believe to located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis, in mud flats in southern Spain, I started to wonder if the tauromachy culture from Spain are related with the Atlantean system of bull worship described by Plato.
Plato says that the bull was important in Atlantis' culture. Since the beginning of Summer the bull was lunar and the horns represented the crescent moon. Another interesting aspect of Atlantean society is that some custom seems to have been preserved to this day. This is a custom, known to us all and with which some disagree, which is practiced mainly in Spain and southern France: the bullfight. The only difference with the bullfight is that the bulls are killed during capture here and during a sacrifice in Atlantis. The Atlantean kings knew in fact a religious custom, which was to catch a bull from a herd in semi-liberty in order to undergo a religious sacrifice. These same kinds of sacrifices existed in ancient Egypt. The Bible tells of sacrifices of bulls in honour of divine justice.
Bulls also played an important role in the religious ceremonies of the Iberian tribes living in Spain in prehistoric times. The origins of the "plaza de toros" (bullring) are probably not the Roman amphitheatres but rather the Celtic-Iberian temples where those ceremonies were held. Near Numancia in the province of Soria one of them has survived, and it is supposed that bulls were sacrificed to the gods there.
While religious bull cults go back to Iberians, it was Greek and Roman influences that converted it into a spectacle. During the Middle Ages it was a diversion for the aristocracy to torear on horseback-a style known as "suerte de cañas".
Bullfighting is certainly one of the best-known-although at the same time most controversial-Spanish popular customs, but this Fiesta could not exist without the “toro bravo”, a species of bull of an ancient race that is only conserved in Spain. Formerly this bull's forebears, the primitive urus, were spread out over wide areas of the world. Many civilizations revered them; the bull cults on the Greek island of Crete are very well known.
“There were in the Temple of Poseidon bulls roaming at large. The ten kings after praying to the God that they might secure a sacrifice that would please him entered alone and started a hunt for a bull, using clubs and nooses but no metal weapon; and when they caught him they cut his throat over the top of the pillar so that the blood flowed over the inscription.” -Plato
Whether you believe this island existed or not, we are always fascinated by the notion of Atlantis and its possible location. Could be that the tauromachy culture from Spain is pointing us to Atlantis?
by Viviana Gomez - February 24, 2013
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