When King Minos proclaimed himself king of Crete, he posited that he did so with the blessing of the Gods. In order to prove his claim, he sacrificed a bull to the God Poseidon and then asked the God to send a new bull for the same purpose.
Poseidon conceded to the request and sent a beautiful white bull from the sea. Minos was so impressed by the majestic beauty of the bull, that he set it free and sacrificed a different bull.
When Poseidon realized that Minos didn’t sacrifice the white bull as promised, he caused Pasiphae to fall in love with the animal. The spawn of this unnatural union was the Minotaur, a powerful beast with a human body and the head of a bull.
Appalled by the Minotaur’s monstrous appearance, Minos ordered the ingenious Daedalus to build a labyrinth under his palace, with unlimited corridors and cells where the beast could be held captive.
Years later, when Mino’s son Androgeus was killed by the Athenians, Minos declared war against the city-state of Athens and won.
Minos then obliged Athens to send seven young men and seven young women to be sacrificed to the Minotaur every nine years. Eventually, Theseus, son of the Athenian King Aegeus, volunteered himself as one of the seven men to be sacrificed, with the intent of slaying the Minotaur.
Mino’s daughter, Ariadne, fell in love with Theseus and secretly gave him a sword and a ball of yarn to help him navigate his way through the labyrinth.
After a fierce fight, Theseus slew the Minotaur, freeing Athens from their sacrificial obligations to Minos.