Origins of Corrida de Toros Bull fighting (Corrida de toros in Spanish) in Spain seems to have its origins during the 8 long centuries of the Spanish War of Reconquest (711-1492 A.D.) when the knights of both the Moors and Christians would organize hunting competitions as a respite from killing each other and they soon realized that of all the prey the Iberian bull offered the greatest challenge as unlike other animals it preferred to die fighting rather than fleeing. It seems probable that a nobleman captured a few of these brave beasts and took them to his village in order to recreate the thrill of the hunt before his admiring subjects. Thus some remote part of Medieval Spain saw the origins of what is today the national Spanish spectacle of bull fighting. The history of bull fighting recalls that the first real bullfight, or corrida, took place in 1133 at Vera, Logroño in honour of the coronation of King Alfonso VIII. From then on they became a popular pass time at many important events and continued after the wars of reconquest had finished offering noblemen an outlet to demonstrate the zeal and daring with which he defeated the Moors. King Philip II however found the spectacle disgusting and enlisted the help of Pope Pius V to get it banned by papel decree. This, together with the growing pleasures to be had at the royal court, resulted in the nobility giving up their interest in bull fighting but not so the peasantry who took it enthusiastically to heart and it thus became a symbol of something genuinely panish. 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. In the 18th century this tradition was more or less abandoned and the poorer population invented bull fighting on foot. Francisco Romero was a key figure in laying down the rules for the new sport By 1726 they were ready to adopt their first bull fighting hero in the form of Francisco Romero from Ronda. He was a man of humble origins who became the first professional bullfighter in Spain. With him the corrida developed into more of an art form. He introduced the estoque, sword, and the muleta, the small cape used in the last part of the fight as it is more easily wielded. Bull fighting is certainly one of the best-known-although at the same time most controversial-Spanish popular customs. 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. The Bible tells of sacrifices of bulls in honour of divine justice.
Version 12.2.1           20 February 2017