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Theseus And The Minotaur

Theseus And The Minotaur

King Minos, the powerful ruler of Crete, had captured Athens and demanded a terrible tribute. Every nine years, the people of Athens must send him seven maidens and seven youths. The people of Athens had no choice but to obey the mighty King Minos.

The victims that were sent to king Minos were cast into the Labyrinth, a twisting maze that was impossible to escape from. There they would be devoured by the Minotaur – a half bull, half human monster.

This monstrous practice continued for a few years. Then, Theseus, son of Aegeus, King of Athens, offered to be one of the victims so he could slay the monster. He set off in a boat with a black sail. He promised his father that, if he were successful, a white sail will be hoisted on his boat when he returned.

The victims arrived in Crete. Ariadne, King Minos’s daughter, fell in love with Theseus as he was paraded past her. She begged Daeldalus, the designer of the maze, for help and he gave her a ball of thread.

Ariadne gave the thread and a sword to Theseus in return for a promise of marriage. When Theseus entered the Labyrinth, he tied the thread to the doorpost, unravelling it as he walked. The Labyrinth was dark and frightening, but Theseus felt no fear, and was certain of killing the Minotaur and returning victoriously.

Theseus came to the heart of the Labyrinth where the Minotaur lay sleeping. The beast woke and the two fought ferociously. Theseus strangled the Minotaur and followed the thread safely out of the Labyrinth. He led the other victims and Ariadne to his ship and set sail for Athens.

Unfortunately. Ariadne died on the return journey. Theseus was so upset that he forgot to put up the white sail. King Aegeus saw the black sail approaching and threw himself off a cliff and into the sea in grief. That sea was named the Aegean Sea.

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