Behold the Minotaur, half-man, half bull. The myth says in the royal family of Crete were two brothers, Minos and Rhadamanthys, and each wanted to rule the city. Minos was sure that he was the favorite of the gods, and he would be able to overthrow the forces of Rhadamanthys and drive them from the city. To prove this, he made preparation for a sacrifice to Poseidon, god of the waters, and prayed that a bull for the sacrifice would emerge from the sea. A great wave crashed on the shore, and the white foam became a white bull, perfect for the sacrifice. But Minos admired the bull so, that he decided to keep it, and sacrificed a lesser one from his herd in its place.

Poseidon was angered by this subterfuge, and caused the wife of Minos, Pasipha, to fall in love with the bull. Pasipha conspired with Minos' great builder, Daedalus, to build a mechanical cow that would catch the eye of the bull, while Pasipha would hide inside it. From their union was born the Minotaur, neither bull nor human, both bull and human.

The Minotaur grew at a frightening rate, and demanded human sacrifice. Warriors tried to destroy the Minotaur and all lost their lives in the attempt. Minos had Daedalus build the Labyrinth, a huge maze, to contain the Minotaur, and keep the citizens of Crete safe from its wrath. But Minos arranged for young men and women to be led into the Labyrinth. Through its chambers they would wander, unable to find their way, until the Minotaur would discover them and devour them. Minos arranged that every nine years, the cities around him would have to give seven young men and seven young women to satisfy the Minotaur.

One of those condemned to die was the young warrior, Theseus. When he came off the ship in Crete, Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, saw him and fell in love with him immediately. Running to Daedalus, she asked for his help to save the strong, young Theseus. Daedalus gave Ariadne a ball of string, which Theseus would use to find his way back out of the labyrinth. Using a sword and shield which had been given him by the gods, Theseus slew the Minotaur, cut off its head, and used the string to lead his companions back out of the Labyrinth. When Ariadne saw Theseus, covered in the Minotaur's blood and carrying its head, she ran to him. Together, they fought their way out of Crete, and sailed away.

Minos: MEEN-aws (the second syllable rhymes with "boss", not "dose")
Rhadamanthys: Rad- uh- MAN- thees (the "th" is unvoiced, like in "Theseus" below)
Poseidon: po- SIGH-d'n
Pasipha: pa-SEEF-uh (If you want to be REALLY correct, it's pa-SEEF-uh-eh, with the last syllable having the sound of "e" in "bet")
Daedalus: DEAD-uh-luss
Theseus: THEE-see-us (The "th" is unvoiced, like in "with", not like "these"
Ariadne: AA-ree-ADD-nee


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