Minos was a son of Zeus and became the great king of Crete, giving name to the Minoan culture. He had many splendid palaces and a huge fleet that dominated the Aegean Sea for many years. Among the things he did, he dispelled his brother Rhadamnthys from the island, who died soon and went to the land of Hades as a judge.

Although he was the son of such an important God as Zeus, he prayed also to all other Gods, something not that normal in this situation. Helios was so flattered that he gave Minos his daughter Pasiphae. She gave birth to many children, among them to Phaedra and Ariadne, who were not really happy in their lives. Phaedra married the king Theseus from Athens, but fall in love with one of his sons from the first marriage, a 14 years old boy. Unfortunately, the boy did not like her and told his father about it. She tried to deny everything but, as Theseus did not believe her, she killed herself. Ariadne was her successor.

One day, the sea God Poseidon asked Minos for something more than a regular prayer. He wanted him to make a sacrifice, exactly a white bull. The bull is the coat of arms of Crete, since Zeus was transformed into a bull, and the palaces were completely decorated with horns of bulls. But, where could he find a white bull…? there is not such a thing in Crete. When he told this to Poseidon, the God sent him a white bull from out of the sea. 

When Minos found the bull, he liked it so much that he wanted it for himself. Then he though that instead of sacrificing the white one to Poseidon, he could kill an ill bull from his land and keep the white one. So he did. But naturally Poseidon could the trick and took revenge in his own way.

The God made Pasiphae fall in love with the bull and desire the animal desperately. As she didn’t know how to have physical relations with it, she asked for help to the important inventor of the Ancient times Daidalos, who was at that time living in Crete. Daidalos built her then a wooden cow with a hole behind to hide herself inside and approach the white bull.

As a fruit of this relation Pasiphae gave birth to a real monster, the Minotaur. This beast had the body of a person and the head of a bull… a quite hard job for its mother during the birth, and an unavoidable eternal proof of her crude false step. But the Minotaur became a problem itself because it was attacking the people on the street. Again, Daidalos had to find a solution –this time for the king.

Daidalos designed a labyrinth from which it was impossible to go out. After this, the problem was how to feed the Minotaur, because they did not want to kill him but the animal preferred mostly human flesh (and Daidalos could not create humans yet…). Minos was then forced to start a war to get human bodies. The chosen place was Athens, where he won the battle thanks to Zeus help. From then on, every year the Athenians had to give Minos nine virgins and nine young boys to feed the Minotaur.

Theseus could not stand this and left to Crete to kill the Minotaur. Minos had nothing against this. On the contrary, he thought that Theseus would never come back from the labyrinth and that he could then take Athens. But Ariadne got an advice from Daidalos to save Theseus: she would stand outside of the labyrinth holding the end of a threat while Theseus would get in holding the other end. This way, he could manage to find the exit after killing the Minotaur. The plan worked, he killed the beast and returned to Athens. Minos was naturally quite angry and, when he found out that Daidalos had helped his enemy, he closed him and his son Ikaros in the labyrinth.

After a while there were already some birds flying over them waiting for a good meal. And with so much flying the birds were loosing some feathers. Some thoughts after Daidalos the inventor was putting together the feathers with the wax of the candles that were standing in a corner of the labyrinth. The result were four big wings that they attached to their bodies, and so they flied away from the labyrinth.

Unfortunately, despite all the warning from his father, Ikaros was so happy with his wings that he flied up, up, up until the son melted his wings. The boy fell somewhere in the Aegean and got buried in an island that got named after him: Ikaria. Daidalos continued his way and arrived to Sicily, where the king Kokalos warmly welcomed him.

But Minos had not forgiven him, and he published an enigma to try to catch Daidalos. Of course, just Kokalos could answer it, so Minos knew where the inventor was hiding. Therefore he left to Sicily with a big war fleet, but before he could capture him, the daughter of Kokalos scalded him when he was having a bath and he died. This was the end of the Minoan rule and the so-called Minoan culture.

Theban Saga / Cretan Saga














«ΝΕΟΛΑΙΑ»/Δράση 3.2 «Μελλοντικό Κεφάλαιο» Jannis Trociewitz "Mythological & Historical Webpage for the Youth of Europe"