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Legend of the Minotaur

Legend of the Minotaur


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There legend of the Minotaur it can also be known to children and can even thrill them if one is able to tell it in a simple and exciting way. We try, also going to reveal the meaning of this myth and the symbols it contains. Before entering the legend, let's get to know the protagonist. The term Minotaur derives from the ancient Greek: Μινώταυρος, Minótauros, it is a figure of the Greek mythology. It is said that this creature is daughter of the Cretan Bull and Pasiphae, queen of Crete, in the documents concerning her is described as a monstrous and ferocious being, with the body of a man and the head of a bull. The classic monster that can please children who love scary fairy tales.

Legend of the Minotaur for children

Once upon a time there was the king of Crete, Minos, son not of the previous king Asterion but of Zeus, which was a problem for the sovereign, not particularly loved by the Cretan population for this very reason. Not knowing how to make himself liked by his people, Minos tried to turn to Poseidon, with a rather desperate tone, and the god of the sea gave him a bull. Why a bull?

The animal given was to represent the symbol of the gods' appreciation of the sovereign who promised to sacrifice it in honor of the god. Thus it was that Minos came into possession of a beautiful and mighty white bull of great value, of so great value that it was a sin to sacrifice it, don't you think?

For Minos yes, it would have been a great pity and that is why the sovereign decided to play smart with the god of the sea and his colleagues, sacrificing another in his place. Obviously Poseidon noticed this and I do not fail to punish him by doing it fall madly in love with the bull Pasiphae, wife of Minos. It is not over, the two "lovers", woman and bull, even managed to mate hidden in a wooden heifer built on purpose, and here was born our protagonist, the Minotaur.

Code number “Minos” means “king“, The suffix "Taurus" means "bull" and in fact this creature had a humanoid and bipedal body, but at the same time hooves, fur, tail and a decidedly bull head. Character also had bovine influences, in fact he soon revealed himself to be a being wild and ferocious, with the mind completely dominated by animal instinct. The head was also physically that of a bull, in fact! Faced with the terrible nature of the creature that came into the world, King Minos ran for cover by having her locked up in Knossos labyrinth, built by Daedalus.

This labyrinth inhabited by the monster returned to the headlines when Androgeus, son of Minos, died killed by the Athenians. Minos, to take revenge on the city of Athens, then subdued to Crete, he ordered that fourteen young men be sent each year, seven males and seven females, fed to the Minotaur which, needless to say, ate human flesh.

The legend of the Minotaur and Theseus

Now it comes into play Theseus, son of the Athenian king Aegean. The boy already very courageous at the time, offered to go to the Minotaur with the desire and determination to defeat him with his own hand. The daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, Arianna, fell in love with him, seeing him like this generous and bold, and gave him a ball of yarn so as not to get lost once he entered: the famous one "Ariadne's thread". Teseo, speaking, confronted and killed the Minotaur with his sword, then once out of the labyrinth, he sailed with Ariadne to Athens and then abandoned her sleeping on the deserted island of Naxos.

Why do this? The reason for the gesture is not so clear, it is not clear whether he fell in love with another or felt embarrassed to return home with the enemy's daughter. Arianna actually did not take it very well and wept until the god Dionysus to comfort her by giving her a wonderful golden crown, later changed into a shining constellation: the Crown constellation.

And Theseus? Poseidon, very angry with the young man, hit him in the sea with a terrible storm that forced him to use black sails, a symbol of defeat. Aegeus, father of Theseus, selling the ship approaching "in black", he immediately thought that the Minotaur had devoured his son and killed himself in the sea, in the sea that today you look at the case, it is called after the sovereign.

Legend of the Minotaur primary school

When this myth is told in primary school, it is rendered as a fairy tale by trying to convey the symbols it contains. Let's see some of them. Minos, we learn, that perhaps it was the term with which the Greeks called all the sovereigns and not only the king of Knossos. Turning to the Minotaur, his figure tells us why the Greeks have always deified the bull often depicting him in their artistic works.

And the Labyrinth of Knossos? It is certainly a symbol of the astonishment felt by the Greeks in seeing the immense Cretan buildings. From the historical point of view, however, the victory of Theseus over the Minotaur is interpreted as the beginning of the dominance of the Greeks over the Aegean Sea.

The legend of the Minotaur: games

This plot is so well designed that it was also an inspiration for games and video games. In "Age of Mythology" just the Minotaur is one of the mythical units that the Greeks can create, he is given the fictitious scientific name of Homo taurus and appears as a creature of 2.7 meters, Also in the saga "Percy Jackson " and the gods of Olympus "we find the Minotaur as the first monster to fight.

To reread the legend of the Minotaur and learn more, here is a well written and compelling book on Greek mythology, suitable for children aged 5 and up. "The great book of Greek myths" by Anna Milbourne.

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