A mythical monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man, born of Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, and the white bull that Poseidon sent to Minos. Minos broke his promise to sacrifice the bull, and the furious god avenged the insult by making Pasiphae fall in love with the animal. Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. It fed on human flesh until it was killed by Theseus, who with the help of Ariadne, Minos' daughter, freed the youths and maidens whom the Athenians sent every year as tribute to feed the Minotaur. Another version of the myth records that the Minotaur, whose name was Asterios, was the son of Taurus, the general who helped Minos rise to power. The myth of the Minotaur may also be the result of the Athenian attempt to attribute barbarous customs to the Cretans, as the legend has come down to us in its Athenian version.
The figure of the Minotaur combines many features of Minoan theology. Firstly, it is the offspring of the sacred marriage between the Sky Bull and the Earth or Moon Cow, Pasiphae. The Minotaur is therefore a Prehellenic deity who later evolved into the Cretan Zeus. The name Asterios ("the starry one") is attributed to precisely this link to Asterios Zeus. The Minotaur's dual nature is explained by some scholars as being the remnant of ceremonies in which people wore bull masks. The fact that it ate human flesh is probably a memory of official human sacrifices.
Human sacrifice, ancient Near East; Human sacrifice, Greece and Rome.
The Minotaur is a monster from Greek mythology composed of a man's body and a bull's head and tail. Images of the Minotaur survive on Greek vase pai
The Minotaur (Minotauros, 'Minos bull'), in Greek myth, was a monster born from the mating of Pasiphaë and the fire-breathing Cretan...
A monster with the body of a man and the head and horns and tail of a bull, named Asterius at his birth. He was born to PASIPHAE, the wife of MINOS,