Minos

Greek - A king of Crete. Son of Zeus by Europa. Brother of Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. Husband of Pasiphae. Father of Acacallis, Androgeus, Ariadne, Catreus, Chryses, Deucalion, Euryale, Eurymedon, Glaucus, Nephalion, Phaedra, Philolaus and Xenodice. He and his brothers were adopted by Asterius, king of Crete. They quarrelled over the youth Miletus and Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon left the island. Minos claimed the throne on the death of Asterius and proved his right by inducing Poseidon to send a white bull that swam ashore from the sea. His son Androgeus, on a visit to Aegeus, the king of Athens, was sent on an expedition to kill a dangerous bull and was himself killed. Minos blamed Aegeus for his son's death and invaded Athens. In settlement he demanded that seven youths and seven maidens be sent to Crete every year (or every nine years) to be handed over as victims to the Minotaur, the offpsring of his wife Pasiphae and the bull which he kept hidden in the labyrinth built by Daedalus. When Theseus came to Crete as one of the sacrificial victims, Minos threw his ring into the sea and challenged Theseus to prove that he was the son of Poseidon by retrieving the ring. With the help of the Nereids, Theseus recovered the ring quite easily. He was said to be the father of a calf that changed colour three times each day from white, to red, to black. Pasiphae, enraged by his affairs with other women, gave him a potion that caused him to infect any woman he made love to. When Procris cured him, he gave her the dog Laelaps and an unerring spear. He locked Daedalus and his son Icarus in the labyrinth and scoured the Mediterranean for them when they escaped after being freed by Pasiphae. When he found Daedalus at the court of King Cocalus he demanded that he be handed over but Daedalus (or a priestess of Cocalus) killed him by pouring scalding water or pitch over him as he lay in his bath. In another version, he was killed in the fight that ensued when Cocalus refused to hand over Daedalus. Zeus made Minos one of the three judges of souls in Tartarus. In some accounts, the head of Minos, one of many in mythology said to act as an oracle, was taken to Scandinavia by the Norse god, Odin. In another version, one son of Minos was called Lycastus and he had a son by Ida who was also called Minos, becoming the second king of Crete with that name. In this version, it was this grandson of Minos the First who married Pasiphae and his grandfather was married to Ithona. On occassion, identified as Minos, Europaeus or Europaeus.

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