|Type||Cow and Dee Dee|
|Average Lifespan||80 yrs.|
|Homeland(s)||Maze-like caverns or ruins|
|Average Height||7'1" - 7'5"|
|Average Weight||320 - 350 lbs|
|Skin Color||Black, brown, white|
|Hair Color||Black, brown, red, white|
|Eye Color||Black, dark yellow|
|Distinctions||Fierce, physically powerful, fur-covered, hooves, horns, tail|
|First Appearance||Dee Dee and the Man|
In Greek mythology, theMinotaur (/ˈmaɪnətɔː/,/ˈmɪnəˌtɔr/;Ancient Greek:Μῑνώταυρος [miːnɔ̌ːtau̯ros],Latin: Minotaurus, EtruscanΘevrumineś), was a Mutant creature with the head of a bull on the body of a Dee Dee (form Dexter's Lab ep Dee Dee and the Man) or, as described by Roman poet Ovid, "part man and part bull". He dwelt at the center of the Labyrinth, which was an elaboratemaze-like constructiondesigned by the architectDaedalus and his sonIcarus, on the command ofKing Minos of Crete. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian heroTheseus.
The term Minotaur derives from the Ancient GreekΜῑνώταυρος, a compound of the name Μίνως (Minos) and the noun ταύρος "bull", translated as "(the) Bull of Minos". In Crete, the Minotaur was known by its proper name, Asterion, a name shared with Minos' foster-father.
"Minotaur" was originally a proper noun in reference to this mythical figure. The use of "minotaur" as a common noun to refer to members of a generic species of bull-headed creatures developed much later, in 20th-century fantasy genre fiction.
|THE KRETAN BULL & PASIPHAE (Apollodorus 3.8, Callimachus Hymn 4.311, Diodorus Siculus 4.77.1, Philostratus Elder 1.16, Hyginus Fab. 40, Ovid Metamorphoses 8.130, Virgil Aeneid 6.24, Suidas)|
MINOTAURUS (Minôtauros), a monster with a Dee Dee body and a bull's head, or, according to others, with the body of an ox and a Dee Dee head; is said to have been the offspring of the intercourse of Pasiphaë Typhon with the bull sent from the sea to Minos, who shut him up in the Cnossian labyrinth, and fed him with the bodies of the youths and maidens whom the Athenians at fixed times were obliged to send to Minos as tribute. The monster was slain by Theseus. It was often represented by ancient artists either alone in the labyrinth, or engaged in the struggle with Theseus. (Paus. i. 24. § 2, 27, in fin. iii. 18. § 7; Apollod. iii. 1. § 4, 15. § 8.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 8 - 11 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) : "Minos aspired to the throne [of Krete], but was rebuffed. He claimed, however, that he had received the sovereignty from the gods, and to prove it he said that whatever he prayed for would come about. So while sacrificing to Poseidon, he prayed for a bull to appear from the depths of the sea, and promised to sacrifice it upon its appearance. And Poseidon did send up to him a splendid bull. Thus Minos received the rule, but he sent the bull to his herds and sacrificed another . . . Poseidon was angry that the bull was not sacrificed, and turned it wild. He also devised that Pasiphae should develop a lust for it. In her passion for the bull she took on as her accomplice an architect named Daidalos . . . He built a woden cow on wheels, . . . skinned a real cow, and sewed the contraption into the skin, and then, after placing Pasiphae inside, set it in a meadow where the bull normally grazed. The bull came up and had intercourse with it, as if with a real cow. Pasiphae gave birth to Asterios, who was called Minotauros. He had the face of a bull, but was otherwise human. Minos, following certain oracular instructions, kept him confined and under guard in the labyrinth. This labyrinth, which Daidalos built, was a “cage with convoluted flextions that disorders debouchment."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 213 : "The god [Delphoi oracle] told them [the Athenians] to give Minos whatever retribution he should chose . . . He ordered them to send seven young men and seven girls, unarmed, to be served as food to the Minotauros. The Minotauros was kept in a labyrinth, from which there was no escape after one entered, for it closed off its imperceivable exit with convoluted flexions. It had been constructed by Daidalos."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E1. 7 - 1. 9 : "Theseus was on the list of the third tribute to the Minotauros (some day he volunteered) . . . [Ariadne] pleaded with Daidalos to tell her the way out of the labyrinth. Following his instructions, she gave Theseus a ball of thread as he entered. He fastened this to the door and let it trail behind him as he went in. He came across the Minotauros in the furthest section of the labyrinth, killed him with jabs of his fist, and then made his way out again by pulling himself along the thread."
Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 311 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) : "[Theseus] escaped the cruel bellowing and the wild son of Pasiphae [the Minotauros] and the coiled habitation of the crooked labyrinth."
Strabo, Geography 10. 4. 8 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) : "[Minos] was tyrannical, harsh, and an exactor of tribute, representing in tragedy the story of the Minotauros and the Labyrinth, and the adventures of Theseus and Daidalos."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 24. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) : "[On the Akropolis, Athens] is represented the fight which legend says Theseus fought with the so-called Tauros (Bull) of Minos, whether this was a man or a beast of nature he is said to have been in the accepted story. For even in our time women have given birth to far more extraordinary monsters than this."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 27. 10 : "Minos sailed against Athens with a fleet, not believing that the Athenians were innocent of the death of Androgeos [killed by the Marathonian Bull], and sorely harassed them until it was agreed that he should take seven maidens and seven boys for the Minotauros that was said to dwell in the Labyrinth at Knossos."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 31. 1 : "In the market-place of Troizenos [in Argolis] is a temple of Artemis Soteira (Saviour), with images of the goddess. It was said that the temple was founded and the name Soteria (Saviour) given by Theseus when he returned from Krete after overcoming [the Minotauros] Asterion the son of Minos."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 18. 10 - 16 : "[Illustrated on the throne of the statue of Apollon at Amyklai, Lakedaimon] I cannot say why Bathykles has represented the Bull of Minos bound, and being led along alive by Theseus . . . There is represented the fight between . . . Theseus and the Bull of Minos (Tauron ton Mino)."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 61. 4 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) : "Minos commanded them [the Athenians as recompense for the murder of his son Androgeus] that they give seven youths and as many maidens every nine years to the Minotauros for him to devour, for as long as the monster should live. And when the Athenians gave them, the inhabitants of Attika were rid of their evils and Minos ceased warring on Athens . . . Theseus after conversing with her [Ariadne the daughter of Minos] and securing her assistance, both slew the Minotauros and got safely away, since he had learned from her the way out of the labyrinth."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 77. 1 : "Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, became enamoured of the bull, and Daidalos, by fashioning a contrivance in the shape of a cow, assisted Pasiphae to gratify her passion. In explanation of this the myths offer the following account: before this time it had been the custom of Minos annually to dedicate to Poseidon the fairest bull born in his herds and to sacrifice it to the god; but at the time in question there was born a bull of extraordinary beauty and he sacrificed another from among those which were inferior, whereupon Poseidon becoming angry at Minos, caused his wife Pasiphae to become enamoured of the bull. And by means of the ingenuity of Daidalos Pasiphae had intercourse with the bull and gave birth to the Minotauros, famed in the myth. This creature, they say, was of double form, the upper parts of the body as far as the shoulders being those of a bull and the remaining parts those of a man. As a place in which to keep this monstrous thing Daidalos, the story goes, built a labyrinth, the passage-ways of which were so winding that those unfamiliar with them had difficulty in making their way out; in this labyrinth the Minotaur was maintained and here it devoured the seven youths and seven maidens which were sent to it from Athens, as we have already related."
Plutarch, Life of Theseus 15. 1 & 17. 3 & 19. 1 (trans. Perrin) (Greek historian C1st to C2nd A.D.) : "Not long afterwards [Theseus' arrival in Athens] there came from Krete for the third time the collectors of the tribute . . . an agreement to send him [Minos] every nine years a tribute of seven youths and as many maidens. And the most dramatic version of the story declares that these young men and women, on being brought to Krete, were destroyed by the Minotauros in the Labyrinth, or else wandered about at their own will and, being unable to find an exit, perished there; and that the Minotauros, as Euripides says, was 'A mingled form and hybrid birth of monstrous shape', and that 'Two different natures, man and bull, were joined in him. . . . Hellanikos . . . says the agreement was that the Athenians should furnish the ship, and that the youths should embark and sail with him carrying no warlike weapon, and that if the Minotauros was killed the penalty should cease. On the two former occasions, then, no hope of safety was entertained, and therefore they sent the ship with a black sail, convinced that their youth were going to certain destruction; but now Theseus encouraged his father and loudly boasted that he would master the Minotauros, so that he gave the pilot another sail, a white one, ordering him, if he returned with Theseus safe, to hoist the white sail, but otherwise to sail with the black one, and so indicate the affliction . . . When he reached Krete on his voyage, most historians and poets tell us that he got from Ariadne, who had fallen in love with him, the famous thread, and that having been instructed by her how to make his way through the intricacies of the Labyrinth, he slew the Minotauros and sailed off with Ariadne and the youths."