Minos, the kingship of Crete and the Birth of the Minotaur

Minos could well be the honorific title given toe the king of Knossos, and eventually Crete – rather as Pharaoh is in Egypt. Minos symbolizes strong leadership, divinely-inspired law and order, adjudication in this world and the next; his rule indicates the cultural and political suzerainty of a goodly part of the Greek and Aegean worlds (south, central and east Greece, the Aegean islands and southwest Asia Minor).

Minos, king of Crete. The myth of the Minotaur

After the death of Asterios, Minos wished to succeed him on the throne. Meeting objections from the Cretans, he asked the god Poseidon, his uncle... to help him out by sending the locals a sign that he Minos had the support of the Gods. Poseidon sent a beautiful white bull from the sea – expecting Minos to sacrifice the creature after ascending to the throne as a way of acknowledging the help.

However Minos was bewitched by the beauty of the beast and did not want to lose it: he kept it at Knossos. Poseidon, now angered, sought revenge: he made Minos’ wife, Pasiphae, fall madly in love with the bull. Not surprisingly, the bull was unmoved. At the queen’s command, Daedalus, the master craftsman, made a hollow wooden replica of a cow – and told the queen to place herself inside. The bull was duly deceived.

Nine months later – and Pasiphae gave birth to a .. monster: a human with the head of a bull. The famed Minotaur!

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