The Full Story of The Minotaur

Posted: November 17, 2014 in Articles
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Most everybody knows the story of the Minotaur, in varying degrees of detail. You probably already know that the whole story is a Greek legend, that the Minotaur had the body of a man and the head of a bull, that King Minos of Crete forced the Greeks to send 7 young men and 7 young women to be fed to the Minotaur each year, and that the Minotaur lived in the Labyrinth, a maze under King Minos’ palace. You may know more, but I’m pretty sure the whole story is rather uncommon. Therefore, when I read it, I was quite surprised and wanted to share it.

In Greek legend, Minos was the stepson of a Cretan nobleman who wanted to rule the country. Minos told the Cretan people that he could pray for anything and the gods would give it to him. The people of Crete naturally wanted him to prove himself, so Minos asked for a sacrificial bull from Poseidon, the god of the sea. Instantly, a great bull came up to the shore out of the sea. Minos, seeing the bull, saw how magnificent it was and wanted to keep it for himself. He put the great bull in with his own flock and sacrificed a different bull to Poseidon instead.

Minos was made king by the Cretan people after this; however, Poseidon was not happy with Minos’ greed, so he cursed Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, so that she had a lust for the bull. She was assisted in her quest for the bull by the legendary architect Daedalus and mated with it. Eventually, she gave birth to a child who had the body of a man and the face of a bull.

Minos, when he saw the child, shut it up in the Labyrinth, a maze that Daedalus had been forced to design as punishment for helping Pasiphae. In the Labyrinth, the Minotaur grew to maturity and was fed by the 14 individuals Minos received from Greece each year.

The legend does continue, with the Minotaur getting killed. Most people know about that, but this was the first time I had read about the Minotaur’s conception.

Pretty weird.

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