Bull

CULTURE:
Greek
DATE:
late 8th century BCE
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General Description

Hundreds of bronze bull figurines like this have been excavated at the sanctuary of Zeus and Hera at Olympia, produced nearby the shrine in large quantities primarily during the 8th and early 7th centuries BCE. While live bulls were sacrificed to Zeus at Olympia, this was a costly exercise, so votive offerings in bronze and sometimes terracotta, acted as substitutes for live bulls, and catered to the needs of the average pilgrim making dedications at the shrine. Differences in style separate this bull from the general type found at Olympia, indicating that it comes from another part of Greece, perhaps Thessaly.

Adapted from

Anne R. Bromberg, and Karl Kilinski II, Gods, Men, and Heroes: Ancient Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996. 45.