Theseus and the Minotaur (page 264)

Chapter 8: Minos and Krete

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Pherekydes 3F148 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 98, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F150 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 98, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Pal 2Palaiphatos, Peri Apiston (On Incredible Things)Mythographi Graeci 3 pt. 2, pp. 5-8, ed. N. Festa. Leipzig 1902.

Pasiphae: Concerning Pasiphae, it is related in myth that she fell in love with a grazing bull, that Daedalus made a wooden cow and closed Pasiphae in it, and thus the bull mounted it and had sex with the woman, she got pregnant, and bore a child with the body of a man and the head of a bovine. But I say this did not happen. First, it is not possible for one animal to feel sexual love for another having a womb unsuited to its private part. For it is not possible for a dog and an ape or wolf and hyena to have sex with each other, or buffalo with deer (for they are different races) nor, if they have sex with each other, to give birth. And it does not seem likely to be that a bull would have sex with a wooden cow. For all quadruped animals sniff the private parts of the animal before copulation, and then mount it. Nor could the woman withstand being mounted by a bull, nor would it be possible for a woman to bear an embryo with horns. The truth is this: They say that Minos, when his private parts were in pain, had been treated by Procris the daughter of Pandion on the puppy and javelin. [??] Cephalus. […] At this time, a youth of distinguished beauty, whose name was Taurus, was in Minos’ retinue. Pasiphae was smitten with desire for him, persuaded him to have sex, and gave birth to his child. Minos calculated the time when his private parts were in pain, and recognized that the child could not be his since they had not been sleeping together. Investigating carefully, he realized that the child was fathered by Taurus. He decided not to kill it, because he considered it a brother to his children. He sent the child to the mountain, where he grew up in the role of servant to the herdsmen. On coming to manhood, he did not obey the cowherds. When Minos learned this, he ordered him to be taken down to the city and detained. Left free, if he came willingly, but bound if not. Perceiving this, the young man went away in the mountains, and lived by rustling cattle. Minos sent a larger force to arrest him. The youth made a deep excavation and enclosed himself in it. There he stayed the rest of the time, attacking sheep; and goats, and thus he fed himself. When Minos wanted to punish a person, he would send him to the man penned in this structure, and in this way he would be killed. When Minos took Theseus, a warlike man, he took him to this place to die. Ariadne sent ahead a sword inside the enclosure, where Theseus killed the Minotaur. From such an incident, the poets distorted the story in a mythical direction.  Greek Text

Philochoros 328F17 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker pt. 3 B, pp. 103-4, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

♠ POxy fr 2452 – Papyrus fragment from Oxyrhynchus, as published in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series, Vol. XXVII, edited with translations and notes by E.G. Turner [et al.]. 1962.

same as

Sophokles fr 730a-g R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta vol. 4, pp. 497-518, ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1977.

Euripides fr 1001 N² – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, p. 681, ed. A. Nauck, 2nd ed. Leipzig 1889.

Having seized it, carries around a ball of yarn  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Greek Text

ApE 1.9 – Apollodoros, Epitome

And having found the Minotaur in the last part of the labyrinth, he killed him by smiting him with his fists.  Greek Text

Her 10.101-2 – Ovid, Heroides (Epistulae): Ariadne to Theseus

O Theseus, had not slain with knotty club him that was man in part, and in part bull.  Latin Text

Epimenides, Kretika 3B25 – Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker 1, p. 37, ed. H. Diels and W. Kranz. 6th ed. Berlin 1951.

Greek Text

DS 6.4 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

Pherecydes records that Saturnus was the first, before all others, to wear a crown, and Diodorus relates that, after he had defeated the Titans, Jupiter was rewarded by the rest with this same distinction; the same writer gives even to Priapus fillets and to Ariadnê a wreath made of gold and precious stones from India, this wreath becoming also a distinction of Vulcan, and then of Liber, and later a constellation.  Latin Text and English Translation

Katast 5 – Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Katasterismoi – Mythographi Graeci 3.1, pp. 5-6, ed. A. Olivieri. Leipzig 1897.

Greek Text

Astr 2.5.1 – Hyginus, De Astronomia

CROWN: This is thought to be Ariadne’s crown, placed by Father Liber among the constellations. For they say that when Ariadne wed Liber on the island of  Dia, and all the gods gave her wedding gifts, she first received this crown as a gift from Venus and the Horae. But, as the author of the Cretica says, at the time when Liber came to Minos with the hope of lying with Ariadne, he gave her this crown as a present. Delighted with it, she did not refuse the terms. It is said, too, to have been made of gold and Indian gems, and by its aid Theseus is thought to have come from the gloom of the labyrinth to the day, for the gold and gems made a glow of light in the darkness.  Latin Text

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2023

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