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Minos

Minos (mī´nŏs, –nəs), in Greek mythology, king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. He was the husband of Pasiphaë, who bore him Androgeus, Glaucus, Ariadne, and Phaedra. Because Minos failed to sacrifice a beautiful white bull to Poseidon, the god caused Pasiphaë to conceive a lustful passion for the animal, by whom she bore the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man. The craftsman Daedalus constructed the labyrinth in which the monster was confined. When King Aegeus of Athens killed Androgeus, Minos vengefully forced Athens to pay him an annual tribute of seven youths and seven maidens. These he shut up inside the labyrinth, where they either starved or were devoured. Finally Theseus joined a group of the victims and killed the Minotaur. Minos became the most prosperous king of the Mediterranean area, renowned as much for his justness as his power. Along with Aeacus and Rhadamanthus, he became one of the three judges of Hades. Minos was presumably the name or title of an ancient Cretan king. The Minoan civilization is named for him.

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Minos

Minos

In Greek mythology, King Minos of Crete was best known for building the Labyrintha complicated network of passagesto imprison the monstrous Minotaur. Europa, the king's mother, had been carried away from her home in Tyre by Zeus*, disguised as a bull. He brought her to the island of Crete, where she gave birth to three sons. Europa later married Asterius, the king of Crete, who adopted her sons.

When Asterius died, a dispute arose over which of the sons should win the throne. Minos claimed the right to be king on the grounds that he could convince the gods to answer any prayer that he offered. He prayed to Poseidon* to send him a bull that he would sacrifice to the god, and a beautiful white bull emerged from the sea.

Minos became the new king. However, he decided that the bull was too magnificent to sacrifice and offered another bull instead. Angry with Minos for failing to keep his word, Poseidon caused the king's wife, Pasiphae, to fall in love with the white bull. She spoke of her passion to Daedalus, a master craftsman, and Daedalus created a lifelike model of a cow in which the queen could conceal herself. The bull mounted the cow, and in time Pasiphae gave birth to the Minotaur, a monstrous creature with the body of a man and the head of a bull. Minos then ordered Daedalus to build the Labyrinth in which to hide and imprison the Minotaur.

Minos's son was killed in Athens, and the king called on the gods to curse the city with famine and earthquake. To lift the curse, Minos required Athens to send him seven boys and seven girls each year to be fed to the Minotaur. One year this group included a youth named Theseus, with whom Minos's daughter Ariadne fell in love. With the assistance of Daedalus, she made it possible for Theseus to kill the Minotaur and escape with her. To punish Daedalus for helping Theseus, Minos imprisoned him and his son Icarus. However, the master craftsman created two sets of wings, which he and his son used to escape and fly out of Crete. Daedalus managed to reach Sicily, but Icarus fell from the sky to his death.

Minos began a search for Daedalus. He sent a challenge to the kings of neighboring lands, asking for someone who could pass a thread through a spiral seashell, knowing that only Daedalus could accomplish this feat. When King Cocalus of Sicily sent back a properly threaded shell, Minos went to Sicily to seize Daedalus.


* See Names and Places at the end of this volume for further information.

Cocalus greeted the Cretan king and offered him a bath. However, Daedalus had made the pipes that led to the bath, and while Minos was bathing, Daedalus burned him to death with boiling water.

See also Ariadne; Daedalus; Minotaur; Theseus.

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Minos

Minos in Greek mythology, a legendary king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. His wife Pasiphaë gave birth to the bull-headed Minotaur, which was kept in the Labyrinth constructed by Daedalus. Minos exacted an annual tribute from Athens in the form of young people to be devoured by the monster; this came to an end when Theseus, son of the king of Athens, who had volunteered himself as one of the tribute party, killed the Minotaur.
Palace of Minos a complex of buildings excavated and reconstructed by Arthur Evans at Knossos, which yielded local coins portraying the labyrinth as the city's symbol and a Linear B religious tablet which refers to the ‘lady of the labyrinth’.

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"Minos." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/minos

Minos

Minos In Greek mythology, the son of Europa and Zeus, king of Crete. He was consigned at his death to Hades to judge human souls. He angered Poseidon who, in revenge, caused his wife, Pasiphaë, to give birth to the monstrous Minotaur.

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"Minos." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Minos." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved December 16, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/minos

Minos

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