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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Minotaur

Greetings! Buenos dias! I am pleased to see you here my friends!

Today's topic is about the legendary Minitaur, a creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man. Easy reading and ample image ilustrations, I hope you find it enjoyable.  I am grateful for the time that you share with me here, thank you for comming. 

The Minotaur

Today we take a look at the mythical creature known to us as the Minotaur. I consulted three sources for my information and give credit to Wikipedia (quite unexpectedly detailed), one Micha F. Lindemans, and Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 8 - 11 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.)


In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (/ˈmnətɔː/,[1] /ˈmɪnəˌtɔr/;[2] Ancient Greek: Μῑνώταυρος [miːnɔ̌ːtau̯ros], Latin: Minotaurus, Etruscan Θevrumineś), was a creature with the head of a bull on the body of a man[3] or, as described by Roman poet Ovid, "part man and part bull".[4] He dwelt at the center of the Cretan Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze-like construction[5] designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus, on the command of King Minos of Crete. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.

The term Minotaur derives from the Ancient Greek Μῑνώταυρος, a compound of the name Μίνως (Minos) and the noun ταύρος "bull", translated as "(the) Bull of Minos". In Crete, the Minotaur was known by its proper name,Asterion,[6] a name shared with Minos' foster-father.[7]

"Minotaur" was originally a proper noun in reference to this mythical figure. The use of "minotaur" as a common noun to refer to members of a generic race of bull-headed creatures developed much later, in 20th-century fantasy genre fiction.

How Minotaur Came to Be

Minos was himself a mythological character and was one of three sons born to the god Zeus and the mortal Phoenician princess Europa on the Island of Crete. His brothers were Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. All were reared as princes in Minos' palace but they quarreled as to who should succeed their father as king of Crete.

As Crete was an island, it was important that its people were on good terms with the god of the sea, Poseidon. Minos prayed to Poseidon to send a visible sign of his (Poseidon's) approval that Minos should be king of Crete. He asked Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull from the depths of the ocean as a token of his favor. In turn, Minos promised Poseidon that he would offer the bull as a sacrifice and a sign of his dependence on the god.

Poseidon sent a splendid specimen of a snow-white bull from the ocean but when he saw the wonderful animal Minos wanted to keep it for himself. He did, and sacrificed one of the finest bulls from his herds to the god of the sea.

When Poseidon saw this he became enraged and sought to punish Minos by having Minos' wife, Pasipha, fall totally in love with the white bull!

Being consumed by love for the bull, Pasipha had the clever Daedalus and his son, Icarus, make a wooden decoy of a cow and cover the outside with cowhide. She concealed herself inside of the cow, thus tricking the white bull. The offspring of this coupling was the mythical creature that we know as Minotaur.

The Minotaur had the head and tail of a bull and the body of a very powerful, strong man. It was a fierce cannibal of a creature and caused awful terror and destruction on Crete until it was captured and imprisoned in a labyrinth (designed by Daedalus) from which there was no escape. In order to satiate it, seven youths and seven maidens were sent as a sacrificial tribute from the Kingdom of Athens, to be locked in the labyrinth as a human sacrifice to Minotaur.

This tribute was rendered for nine years until it was ended by the Greek hero, Theseus, who, upon learning of it, decided to end it by going to Crete as one of the sacrificial youths.
Upon his arrival in Crete, he met Ariadne, Minos  daughter of who fell in love with him. She promised she would provide the means to escape from the maze if he agreed to marry her. When Theseus did, she gave him a simple ball of thread, which he was to fasten close to the entrance of the maze. He made his way through the maze, while unwinding the thread, and he stumbled upon the sleeping Minotaur. He beat it to death and led the others back to the entrance by following the thread.

I have included the following which purports to date from the 2nd Century C.E. For your further information.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 8 - 11 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :

"Minos aspired to the throne [of Crete], but was rebuffed. He claimed, however, that he had received the sovereignty from the gods, and to prove it he said that whatever he prayed for would come about. So while sacrificing to Poseidon, he prayed for a bull to appear from the depths of the sea, and promised to sacrifice it upon its appearance. And Poseidon did send up to him a splendid bull. 

Thus Minos received the rule, but he sent the bull to his herds and sacrificed another . . . Poseidon was angry that the bull was not sacrificed, and turned it wild. He also devised that Pasiphae should develop a lust for it. In her passion for the bull she took on as her accomplice an architect named Daidalos . . . He built a wooden cow on wheels, . . . skinned a real cow, and sewed the contraption into the skin, and then, after placing Pasiphae inside, set it in a meadow where the bull normally grazed. The bull came up and had intercourse with it, as if with a real cow. Pasiphae gave birth to Asterios, who was called Minotauros. He had the face of a bull, but was otherwise human. Minos, following certain oracular instructions, kept him confined and under guard in the labyrinth. This labyrinth, which Daidalos built, was a “cage with convoluted flextions that disorders debouchment."

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I hope you all enjoyed my post on the Minotaur, You are welcome to share your thoughts, they are valued and welcomed here. Thank you.
With love from the Fairy Lady.

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