Crete – a small mythology excursion

mythology

In mythology Gaia brought the newborn Zeus to Crete so that he would not be devoured by his father Kronos like his siblings.

Years later Zeus fell in love with the beautiful Europe and kidnapped her from Palestine to have three children with her on Crete.

It was his son Minos who, with the help of Poseidon, became king of Crete. Poseidon sent him a magnificent bull with whose help Minos could win the battle over the throne of Crete.

The agreement was that after Minos had won, he would sacrifice the bull. However, he did not keep to it, because he found the animal to be over the measure splendid.

As punishment, Poseidon cursed Mino’s wife Pasiphäe. She was tormented with an insatiable desire to unite with Taurus.

Daidalos built her a wooden frame and covered it with cow skin. Pasiphäe hid in it and let herself be mated by the bull.

Then she gave birth to a son in human form, with a bull’s head: the Minotaur.

After the Minotaur had caused much destruction and suffering in Crete, he was locked in a labyrinth. This labyrinth was built by Daidalos, who once made sure that the Minotaur could be conceived at all.

Originally he achieved his fame by his inventions and lifelike sculptures and especially by a dance stage, which he built in honour of Ariadne, daughter of King Minos and thus stepsister of the Minotaur.

It was Ariadne who finally helped Theseus, the young son of the King of Athens, to defeat the Minotaur. Through her spun red thread (Ariadne thread) Theseus could also find the way out of the labyrinth.

 

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