Minos

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Minos

(mī`nŏs, –nəs), in Greek mythology, king of Crete, son of ZeusZeus
, in Greek religion and mythology, son and successor of Kronos as supreme god. His mother, Rhea, immediately after his birth concealed him from Kronos, who, because he was fated to be overthrown by one of his children, ate all his offspring.
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 and EuropaEuropa
, in Greek mythology, daughter of Agenor and Telephassa. Zeus, enamored of her, appeared as a white bull, enticed her to climb on his back, and swam off with her to Crete. There she bore him Minos, Rhadamanthus, and Sarpedon.
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. He was the husband of Pasiphaë, who bore him Androgeus, Glaucus, AriadneAriadne
, in Greek mythology, Cretan princess, daughter of Minos and Pasiphaë. She loved Theseus, and gave him the skein of thread that enabled him to make his way out of the labyrinth after killing the Minotaur.
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, and PhaedraPhaedra
, in Greek mythology, daughter of Minos and Pasiphaë. She was the wife of Theseus. When her stepson, Hippolytus, rejected her love, she accused him of raping her and hanged herself.
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. Because Minos failed to sacrifice a beautiful white bull to Poseidon, the god caused Pasiphaë to conceive a lustful passion for the animal, by whom she bore the Minotaur, a monster with the head of a bull and the body of a man. The craftsman DaedalusDaedalus
, in Greek mythology, craftsman and inventor. After killing his apprentice Talos in envy, he fled from Greece to Crete. There, he arranged the liaison between Pasiphaë and the Cretan Bull that resulted in the Minotaur.
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 constructed the labyrinth in which the monster was confined. When King Aegeus of Athens killed Androgeus, Minos vengefully forced Athens to pay him an annual tribute of seven youths and seven maidens. These he shut up inside the labyrinth, where they either starved or were devoured. Finally TheseusTheseus
, in Greek mythology, hero of Athens; son of either King Aegeus or Poseidon. Before Aegeus left Troezen he placed his sword and sandals beneath a huge rock and told his wife Aethra that when their son, Theseus, could lift the rock he was to bring the gifts to his kingdom
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 joined a group of the victims and killed the Minotaur. Minos became the most prosperous king of the Mediterranean area, renowned as much for his justness as his power. Along with AeacusAeacus
, in Greek mythology, son of Zeus and the nymph Aegina. He was the father of Peleus and Telamon. After a plague had nearly wiped out the inhabitants of his land, Zeus rewarded the pious Aeacus by changing a swarm of ants to men (known as Myrmidons).
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 and RhadamanthusRhadamanthus
, in Greek mythology, son of Zeus and Europa. Renowned for his justice on earth, the gods made him one of the judges of the dead.
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, he became one of the three judges of Hades. Minos was presumably the name or title of an ancient Cretan king. The Minoan civilizationMinoan civilization
, ancient Cretan culture representing a stage in the development of the Aegean civilization. It was named for the legendary King Minos of Crete by Sir Arthur Evans, the English archaeologist who conducted excavations there in the early 20th cent.
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 is named for him.

Minos

 

legendary king of Cnossus, on the island of Crete.

Numerous myths are linked to the name of Minos. Greek tradition regards Minos as the son of Zeus and Europa and credits him as the author of Crete’s first laws and founder of its maritime supremacy (thalassocracy). Archaeological excavations on Crete have yielded some evidence that would connect myths about Minos with the island’s history during the 17th to 15th centuries B.C. In contemporary historiography, ancient Cretan history is customarily divided into three Minoan periods.

Minos

his justice approved even by the gods; became one of the three judges of the dead. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 168]
See: Justice

Minos

scrupulous king and lawgiver of Crete. [Gk. Myth.: Wheeler, 244]