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Greek myths - The Minotaur

Theseus and the Minotaur. Side A from an black-figure Attic amphora, ca. 540 BC.

In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (/ˈmaɪnətɔː/, /ˈmɪnəˌtɔːr/; Ancient Greek: Μῑνώταυρος [miːnɔ̌ːtau̯ros], Latin: Minotaurus, Etruscan: Θevrumineś) was a creature with the head of a bull and the body of a man or, as described by Roman poet Ovid, a being "part man and part bull". The Minotaur dwelt at the center of the Labyrinth, which was an elaborate maze-like constructiondesigned by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus, on the command of King Minos of Crete. The Minotaur was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.



The term Minotaur derives from the Ancient Greek Μῑνώταυρος, 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.

Στην Ελληνική μυθολογία, ο Μινώταυρος ήταν ένα σώμα ανθρώπου και κεφάλι και ουρά ταύρου. Πέρα από την περιγραφική αυτή ονομασία του, το όνομα του Μινώταυρου ήταν Αστερίων. Κάποιες φορές αναπαρίσταται ακόμα ως ταύρος με κορμό ανθρώπου, σε αντιστοιχία με τον Κένταυρο. Κατοικούσε στο Λαβύρινθο, κτίσμα που φτιάχτηκε από το Δαίδαλο κατόπιν εντολής του βασιλιά της Κρήτης, Μίνωα. Ο Μινώταυρος σκοτώθηκε από τον Θησέα.

Greek myths
The Minotaur


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