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In Greek mythology, Minos was the first king of Krete, said to have been the son of Zeus and Europa. He was also the husband of queen Pasiphae.


Born as the result of Zeus' dalliance[1] with Europa[2], Minos went on to become the king of Krete and the husband of queen Pasiphae.

Following Pasiphae's gods-cursed tryst with the Kretan Bull,[2] she gave birth to the Minotaur. Unable to kill the creature, King Minos instead ordered the architect Daidalos to create the infamous Labyrinth beneath the Knossos Palace, and placed the Minotaur there.[3]

When the hero Herakles was commanded by King Eurystheas of Mycenae to kill the Kretan Bull, the hero first sought out King Minos to ask his permission. Minos granted it. Instead of killing the beast, however, Herakles shipped it to Eurystheas, and the animal was released.[4]

Some time afterwards, Minos' son Androgeos was slain by the Kretan Bull in Athens. Enraged, Minos commanded the Athenians to send fourteen of their finest men and women to Knossos' labyrinth each year for the Minotaur to eat.[5] This lasted until Theseus was sent, promising to kill the beast. In this, he was aided by Minos' daughter Ariadne, who had fallen madly in love with the Athenian. After he had succeeded in his task, they left together for Athens.[6]

Influence and legacy

By the 5th century BCE, a region of Messara was named after the king, called Minos' Legacy. Of special note in the region was the Knossos Palace.[7]

During the excavations at Knossos in the early 20th century, the archaeologist Arthur John Evans named the Minoan civilization after king Minos.[8]



  1. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyBoeotia: Kadmeia
  2. 2.0 2.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyMessara: Gortyn
  3. Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece – "Knossos" – Birth of the Minotaur
  4. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyMessara: The Kretan Bull
  5. Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece – "Knossos" – Reparation
  6. Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece – "Knossos" – The Minotaur's Death
  7. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  8. Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece – "Knossos" – Minoan Civilization

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