Today we tell the story
Of the half man and half beast – The Minotaur – and we also reveal the second vessel/vase in our series Primythical – ‘The Minotaur’s Maze‘. You can learn more about how this piece was made here. Get ready for this story of greed, love, a monster, death and a princely hero.
King Minos of Crete sought the favour …
of the god Poseidon as he was often in competition with his brothers and he wanted to keep his throne. He asked Poseidon to send him a white bull as a sign of favour. He was supposed to sacrifice this bull to Poseidon, but instead kept the bull because it was such a beautiful creature.
Poseidon, unimpressed, had Minos’ wife Pasiphae fall in love with the bull. In order for her to get to the bull, she had Daedalus the craftsman create a hallow wooden cow so that she could hide inside and mate with the bull.
Nine months later
A child was born, and as Pasiphae nursed him he grew into a ferocious beast, who craved the flesh of people. This obviously became a big problem for Minos, and after consulting the Oracle of Delphi he had Daedalus construct a labyrinth to hold the creature. Daedalus would suffer greatly for this choice.
Crete and Athens were often at war and in order for Athens to keep the piece, they entered into a diabolical agreement were they were required to send seven Athenian youths and maidens for a one way trip to the labyrinth – also known as the Minotaur’s dining room.
After a few occurrences of this vicious practise
Theseus, a prince of Athens, volunteered to slay the Minotaur by being one of the youth sent to Crete. Before entering the labyrinth, Minos’ daughter Ariande fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of string that allowed him to navigate the maze, which in turn allowed him to slay the Minotaur and free the Athenian youth.
Life can often feel like a maze. Sometimes we may feel like we are hanging on by a thread, but as Theseus demonstrates, a thread may be all you need to find your way out.
In comments earlier this week,
I asked people to guess what myth might be next in the ‘Primythical‘ series and give some ‘amazing’ hints. My favourite comment came from William Mangieri who guessed correctly, adding in the thoroughly modern take of it being ‘Merrill Lynch mulling over a new office floor plan‘.
You can learn more about this author and see his work here.
You can also see the first vase in the Primythical series here.