The Minotaur is a hybrid creature in Greek mythology that is part man and part bull. He was named Asterion at birth, after his mother's father-in-law

In Mythology

In most myths, there was only one Minotaur, which was the offspring of Minos' white bull and wife Pasiphaë.
679px-Pasiphae Minotauros Cdm Paris DeRidder1066 detail

Pasiphae nurses the Minotaur

Before he ascended the throne of Crete, Minos struggled with his brothers for the right to rule. Minos prayed to Poseidon to send him a snow-white bull, as a sign of approval. He was to sacrifice the bull in Poseidon's name, but decided to keep it instead because of its beauty. As punishment, Poseidon caused Pasiphaë, Minos' wife, to fall madly in love with the bull from the sea, the "Cretan Bull". She had Daedalus, the famous architect, make a hollow wooden cow for her as a decoy in order to fool the bull. Pasiphaë climbed into the wooden cow and the decoy proved successful. The offspring of their unnatural lovemaking was a monster called the Minotaur.

The Minotaur, as the Greeks imagined him, had the body of a man and the head and tail of a bull. Pasiphaë nursed him in his infancy, but he grew and became ferocious. King Minos, after getting advice from the Oracle at Delphi, ordered Daedalus to construct something to hold the Minotaur underneath Minos' palace (possibly the one in the city of Knossos). Daedalus then built the labyrinth.

It is said that because the king of Athens, Aegeus, had murdered Minos' son Androgeos in jealousy, Minos made Athens send a tribute of seven youths and seven maidens to Crete to feed the Minotaur every nine years.

When Theseus, son of King Aegeus, reached Athens and found out about these sacrifices, he wanted to put a stop to it and volunteered himself to be one of the youths. It was there that he met Minos' daughter Ariadne, who fell in love with the young hero. She promised to provide a way through the labyrinth if he agreed to marry her. When he did, she gave him a ball of thread and told him to fasten it to the entrance and carry it with him - then, once he needs to find his way out, he can just follow the path the thread made. Doing so, Theseus made his way into the labyrinth and found the Minotaur sleeping. He killed the beast with his bare hands and rescued the other youths, following the trail of thread out of the labyrinth.

Real life references

The Minotaur is often described by writers as the ancient Greeks' way of describing and representing the man's constant fight against his inner beast, and his struggle to control it.

In Popular Culture



  • The Minotaur appears in the second issue of the comic book series Wrath of the Titans: Revenge of Medusa.
  • Immortal's version of the Minotaur appears on the 100-pages graphic novel titled Immortals: Gods and Heroes. In the book, the past and origin of the Minotaur is revealed. Before been known as the Minotaur, he was known as the Beast, a butcher who was never appreciated by his fellow villagers. When Hyperion arrives to attack the Beast's village, he protects his village by slaughtering every single one of Hyperion's men. When confronting Hyperion, king Hyperion convinces the Beast that all those villagers do not appreciate his deeds as they fear him and hate him. The beast is convinced and recruited by Hyperion and starts slaughtering the villagers. After the slaughter, Hyperion names the Beast with the pseudonym Minotaur.[2]


  • Immortals "The Minotaur" Movie Clip Official 2011 HD - Henry Cavill

    Immortals "The Minotaur" Movie Clip Official 2011 HD - Henry Cavill

    The Minotaur in Immortals

    The Minotaur appears on the 2011 film Immortals. In the film he is depicted as been a human being wearing a spiked mask which resembles the head of a bull. Hyperion sends him to kill Theseus at the labyrinth, however Theseus gains the upper hand in the battle and decapitates the Minotaur.[3]
  • Minotaur

    The Minotaur as depicted in the Wrath of the Titans film.

    A Minotaur appears on the 2012 film Wrath of the Titans, in the film he is the last gatekeeper at the end of the labyrinth which is located at the entrance/exit of Tartarus (Tartaros). The Minotaur confronts Perseus, and Perseus brakes one of the Minotaur's horns. Altough Perseus has a hard time dealing with the Minotaur, Perseus manages to defeat the Minotaur by stabbing it with it's own broken horn.[4]

  • A Minotaur has a minor role in the opening of the 2013 film Scooby-Doo! Mask of the Blue-Falcon.

Video games

  • The Minotaur and various variations of it, appear in God of War II.[5]
  • The Minotaur appears in Kid Icarus: Of Myth and Monsters.[6]
  • Minotaurs appear in the first game of Hero of Sparta. They wield axes and are the first enemy to be introduced that has a Focused Kill pattern.[7]
  • Minotaurs return in Hero of Sparta II.
  • The Minotaur is one of the various creatures Orpheus must battle in the side-scrolling video game The Battle of Olympus.
  • The Minotaur is a unid that can be trained in Age of Mythology through the worship of Athena.
  • The Minotaur appears in Scribblenauts games.


Tectamid Genealogy in Greek mythology
The Cretan Bull
Lycus of Athens
The Minotaur
Ericthonid Kings of Lycia


See Also


  1. Clash of the Gods, Season 1 ep. 4
  2. Immortals: Gods and Heroes
  3. Immortals, 2011 film
  4. Wrath of the Titans, 2012 film
  5. God of War II
  6. Kid Icarus: Of Myth and Monsters
  7. Hero of Sparta

External links



Video games

Other art