Greek Mythology/Stories/The Minotaur
The Minotaur was a half-man, half-bull imprisoned in the labyrinth on the island of Crete. King Minos was very fond of bulls (most likely due to the fact that his mother Europa was courted by Zeus in the form of a white bull). Minos came to own an extensive collection of bulls and one of the finest was a white prize bull. His wife, Queen Pasiphae was a beautiful woman who loved Minos very much and was fond of the compliments he offered her concerning her beauty. She boasted once that she was even lovelier than Aphrodite, the goddess of love and thus incurred the wrath of Aphrodite. Aphrodite cursed Pasiphae by sending her son, Eros, to make her fall in love with King Minos' prized white bull with one of his magical arrows. Pasiphae was struck and fell violently and passionately in love with the bull. She resisted her urges all she could, but eventually she could resist no more. She requested the aide of Daedalus who was currently a servant of Minos to help her. Daedalus built Pasiphae a wooden cow which looked remarkably realistic. It was hollow on the inside so that Pasiphae may fit inside it and it had wheels under the hooves so she could roll toward the object of her affection. At nights Pasiphae would approach the bull to quench her passion and all went well until she became pregnant and gave birth to a monstrosity. The infant was covered in short dense fur with beastial features. It's eyes were beady, it's nostrils smushed and flared, it had hooves for feet and atop it's head were two protruding knobs which would soon turn into great horns. Rumor spread throughout the kingdom of this beast and it became known as the Minotaur, which means Minos' bull. King Minos, enraged but rational, had Daedalus construct the labyrinth and promptly imprisoned Pasiphae, the Minotaur and even Daedalus within, for he could not forgive Daedalus for building Pasiphae the wooden cow. There the Minotaur grew and grew, more ferocious and powerful each day. Minos forever jaded by the shame became cruel and sadistic. After defeating King Aegeus in war Minos compromised that the city of Athens would not be conquered so long as Athens sent seven of the best young men and seven of the loveliest young women as sacrifices to Knossos at the hands of the Minotaur. Henceforth, the Minotaur devoured the sacrifices that were forced into the labyrinth annually from Athens. That is, until Theseus came and slew the monster.