Historical knowledge

The bullfight

In the bottom of the Gundestrup Cauldron is a round plate with a modelled bull figure. This scene is perhaps the most important of all those featured on the cauldron. A stricken bull lies in the middle with a bull fighter standing over it. The bull’s adversary is a woman with a raised sword in her hand, ready to strike. The woman has three dogs with her to help kill the bull, though one dog has died during the fight. It lies huddled up and is only faintly marked. The bull may symbolize chaos. Perhaps the bullfighter on the Gundestrup Cauldron is a goddess, who by killing the bull seeks to ensure that the world’s order remains intact? The powers of good are already winning, as the powerful bull has fallen to the ground and is awaiting the fatal blow.

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