The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. In Crete, the Minotaur was known by the name Asterion a name shared with Minos' foster-father. The use of "minotaur" as a common noun to refer to members of a generic species of bull-headed creatures developed much later, in 20th-century fantasy genre fiction.
After he ascended the throne of the island of Crete, Minos competed with his brothers to rule. Minos prayed to Poseidonthe sea god, to send him a snow-white bull, as a sign of support the Cretan Bull.
He was to kill the bull to show honor to the deity, but decided to keep it instead because of its beauty. He thought Poseidon would "Man with bull head" care if he kept the white bull and sacrificed one of his own.
The offspring was the monstrous Minotaur. Minos, after getting advice from the oracle at Delphihad Daedalus construct a gigantic Man with bull head to hold the Minotaur. Its location was near Minos' palace in Knossos.
The Minotaur is commonly represented in Classical art with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. One of the figurations assumed by the river spirit Achelous in seducing Deianira is as a man with the head of a bull, according to Sophocles ' Trachiniai. "Man with bull head" Classical times through the Renaissance, the Minotaur appears at the center of many depictions of the Labyrinth.
Androgeusson of Minos, had been killed by the Athenianswho were jealous of the victories he had won at the Panathenaic festival. Others say he was killed at Marathon by the Cretan Bull, his mother's former taurine lover, which Aegeusking of Athens, had commanded him to slay.
The common tradition is that Minos waged war to avenge the death of his son and won. Catullusin his account of the Minotaur's birth,  refers to another version in which Athens was "compelled by the cruel plague to pay penalties for the killing of Androgeos.
Minos required that seven Athenian youths and seven maidensdrawn by lots, be sent every seventh or ninth year some accounts
Man with bull head every year  to be devoured by the Minotaur. When the third sacrifice approached, Theseus volunteered to slay the monster.
He promised his father, Aegeus, that he would put up a white sail on his journey back home if he was successful, but would have the crew put up black sails if he was killed. In Crete, Minos' daughter Ariadne fell madly in love with Theseus and helped him navigate the labyrinth.
In most accounts she gave him a ball of thread, allowing him to retrace his path. Theseus killed the Minotaur with the sword of Aegeus and Man with bull head the other Athenians back out of the labyrinth. On the way home, Theseus abandoned Ariadne on the island of Naxos and continued. He neglected, however, to put up the white sail. King Aegeus, from his lookout on Cape Sounionsaw the black-sailed ship approach and, presuming his son dead, committed suicide by throwing himself into the sea that is since named after him.
This essentially Athenian view of the Minotaur as the antagonist of Theseus reflects the literary sources, which are biased in favour of Athenian perspectives. The Etruscans, who paired Ariadne with Dionysus, never with Theseus, offered an alternative Etruscan view of the Minotaur, never seen in Greek arts: The contest between Theseus and the Minotaur was frequently represented in Greek art.
A Knossian didrachm exhibits on one side the labyrinth, Man with bull head the other the Minotaur surrounded by a semicircle of small balls, probably intended for stars; one of the monster's names was Asterion "star". While the ruins of Minos' palace at Knossos were discovered, the labyrinth never was.
The enormous number of rooms, staircases and corridors in the palace has led some archaeologists to suggest that the palace itself was the source of the labyrinth myth, an idea generally discredited today. Some modern mythologists regard the Minotaur as a solar personification and a Minoan adaptation of the Baal - Moloch of the Phoenicians. The slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus in that case indicates the breaking of Athenian tributary relations with Minoan Crete.
CookMinos and Minotaur are only different forms of the same personage, representing the sun-god of the Cretans, who depicted the sun as a bull. Pottier, who does not dispute the historical personality of Minos, in view of the story of Phalarisconsiders it probable that in Crete where a bull cult may have existed by the side of that of the labrys victims were tortured by being shut up in the belly of a red-hot brazen bull.
The story Man with bull head Talosthe Cretan man of brasswho heated himself red-hot and clasped strangers in "Man with bull head" embrace as soon as they landed on the island, is probably of similar origin. A historical explanation of the myth refers to the time when Crete was the main political and cultural potency in the Aegean Sea.
As the fledgling Athens and probably other continental Greek cities was under tribute to Crete, it can be assumed that such tribute included young men and women for sacrifice. This ceremony was performed by a priest disguised with a bull head or mask, thus explaining the imagery of the Minotaur. Once continental Greece was free from Crete's dominance, the myth of the Minotaur worked to distance the forming religious consciousness of the Hellene poleis from Minoan beliefs.
Dante and Virgil encounter the beast first among the "men of blood": Some commentators believe that Dante, in a reversal of classical tradition, bestowed the beast with a man's head upon a bull's body,  though this representation had already appeared in Man with bull head Middle Ages. In these lines Virgil taunts the Minotaur in order to distract him, and reminds the Minotaur that he was killed by Theseus the Duke of Athens with the help of the monster's half-sister Ariadne.
The Minotaur is the first infernal guardian whom Virgil and Dante encounter within the walls of Dis. Giovanni Boccaccio writes of the Minotaur in his literary commentary of the Commedia: Virgil and Dante then pass quickly by to the centaurs Nessus, Chiron, Pholus, and Nessus who guard the Flegetonte "river of blood"to continue through the seventh Circle. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the mythological monster.