15 Facts About Minotaur


In Greek mythology, the Minotaur is a mythical creature portrayed during classical antiquity with the head and tail of a bull and the body of a man or, as described by Roman poet Ovid, a being "part man and part bull".

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Minotaur dwelt at the center of the Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze-like constructiondesigned by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus, on the command of King Minos of Crete.

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The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.

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In Crete, the Minotaur was known by the name Asterion, a name shared with Minos' foster-father.

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Minotaur is commonly represented in Classical art with the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull.

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From classical antiquity through the Renaissance, the Minotaur appears at the center of many depictions of the Labyrinth.

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Ovid's Latin account of the Minotaur, which did not describe which half was bull and which half man, was the most widely available during the Middle Ages, and several later versions show a man's head and torso on a bull's body – the reverse of the Classical configuration, reminiscent of a centaur.

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Minotaur promised his father Aegeus that he would change the somber black sail of the boat carrying the victims from Athens to Crete, and put up a white sail for his return journey if he was successful; the crew would leave up the black sail if he was killed.

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Minotaur then led the Athenians out of the Labyrinth, and they sailed with Ariadne away from Crete.

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Minotaur had the face of a bull, but the rest of him was human; and Minos, in compliance with certain oracles, shut him up and guarded him in the Labyrinth.

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Some 19th century mythologists proposed that the Minotaur was a personification of the sun and a Minoan adaptation of the Baal-Moloch of the Phoenicians.

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Cook, Minos and Minotaur were different forms of the same personage, representing the sun-god of the Cretans, who depicted the sun as a bull.

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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.

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The Minotaur is the first infernal guardian whom Virgil and Dante encounter within the walls of Dis.

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The Minotaur seems to represent the entire zone of Violence, much as Geryon represents Fraud in Canto XVI, and serves a similar role as gatekeeper for the entire seventh Circle.

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