Minos In Greek mythology, one of the judges of the dead, once a king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa; brother of Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon; married to Pasiphae; father of Acacallis, Androgeus, Ariadne, Catreus, Deucalion, Euryale, Giaucus, Lycastus, Phaedra, and Xenodice. In some accounts Minos is a wise king, in others a tyrant who was killed by Daedalaus, whom Minos had imprisoned. He was made a judge of the dead along with Rhadamanthys and Aeacus or Sarpedon. Dante’s Divine Comedy (Inferno) makes Minos the king of hell. Rodin’s statue of The Thinker, part of his Gates of Hell, has been identified by some art scholars as Minos. Sir Arthur Evans, a British archaeologist, in about 1900 gave the name “Minoan” to prehistoric Cretan civilization. The name Minos may have been a hereditary title rather than an actual name, and is likely not Greek in origin.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante