Minotaur (Minos bull) In Greek mythology, a monster, half man and half bull, born of Pasiphaë, a wife of King Minos II, and the Cretan (or Marathonian) bull. The Minotaur, also called Asterius, was kept in the labyrinth built by Daedalus and was fed young boys and girls, one of each once a year. The monster was killed by the hero Theseus. In Dante’s Divine Comedy, the Minotaur, called l’infamia di Creti (the infamy of Crete), guards the Seventh Circle of Hell. The Minotaur appears in L. Cottrell’s The Bull of Minos, Mary Renault’s novel The King Must Die (1958), and André Gide’s Thésée and is pictured in Picasso’s 15 plates in his Vollard Suite (1930–1937).
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante