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Minotaur: Man or Myth?

Poster: "Ed Hopkins" <Ed.Hopkins@MCI.Com>

Alanna Volcheva Lesa, Partan Pursuivant, asked rhetorically:

> > What does a minotaur look like? Is it something like a centaur but
> > with a bull's body and horns on the human head? Or is it a man
> > with the head of a bull?

Tamar the Gypsy, who held the title Bell Pursuivant before the breakup,
answered, in part:

> As a former pursuivant, I believe it would be acceptable to blazon it
> either "a bull-headed, human-bodied minotaur" or "a human-headed,
> bull-bodied minotaur", depending on what he wants.  In modern mythology
> books that I have read, the bull-headed version is the default form. 
> The period illustrations in Kern almost always show a bull-headed man;
> man-headed bulls are considered to be the result of confusion with
> centaurs.  However, specifying the parts (Typical Scadian Heraldry
> anyway) should take care of it and still let him use the term.

If the College did decide that the term "minotaur" just refers to a
bull-headed man, they could use "bucentaur" for the other form.  All
the references I can find at hand define both terms as "half man, half
bull" (or "half man, half ox") without getting into specifics.

-- Alfredo

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