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Jul 31

Camp Cow or Brazen Bull

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Buy a Brazen Bull for your next Lawn and Torture Party

I have a fondness for lawn ornaments – as long as they are in other people’s yards and preferably not next door neighbors.

On my drive home from work, I encountered a roadside collection of custom made metal yard decorations and I had to stop to check them out.

I quite enjoyed the 6 foot tall velociraptor but I was really intrigued by the six foot long golden bovine grill: both aesthetically ‘striking’ and functional!

Cow Yard Ornament Grill

Seeing this grill reminded me of the dark tale of the Brazen Bull: a torture and execution device designed in ancient Greece.

The story goes that an ancient greek ruler – Phalaris commissioned a bronze boiler shaped like a bull to torture and execute criminals. The concept behind the device was that some luckless wretch would be tossed into the metal sculpture while a fire was lit beneath – cooking the condemned alive.

How it Works: The Brazen Bull

As if that wasn’t fun enough, the chap who invented it – a fellow named Perillos, designed it with a series of pipes that converted the screams of the condemned into the sounds of a bull angrily bellowing. (In fairness: remember that this was before TV and Donald Trump rallies.)

Perillos being forced into the brazen bull that he built for Phalaris.

Unfortunately for Perillos, Phalaris ordered that the inventor be tossed into the chamber for its trial run. (The National Endowment for the Arts had a much rougher funding and vetting process back then.)

The story also goes on to tell that later, Phalaris himself was killed in the brazen bull when he was overthrown.

I think there is a lesson here about the risks of getting involved in roasting one’s fellow humans in metal farm animals.

Anyway, who wants a hotdog?

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