In Greek legend, a king of Crete, the son of Zeus and Europa. He gained the throne with the aid of Poseidon and also became ruler of the Aegean islands. His wife Pasiphaë fell in love with a bull and gave birth to the Minotaur, which was imprisoned in the Labyrinth. Minos waged war against Athens and exacted a tribute of youths and maidens to feed the Minotaur until Theseus killed the monster with the aid of Minos's daughter Ariadne. Minos was killed in Sicily when boiling water was poured over him as he was taking a bath. Many scholars now consider that Minos was a royal or dynastic h1 for the priestly rulers of Bronze Age, or Minoan, civilization in Knossos (Minoan means “of Minos”).
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In Greek mythology, Minos (ancient Greek: Μίνως) was a mythical king of Crete, son of Zeus and Europa. After his death, Minos became a judge of the dead in Hades. The Minoan civilization has been named after him. By his wife, Pasiphaë, he fathered Ariadne, Androgeus, Deucalion, Phaedra, Glaucus, Catreus, Acacallis, and many others.
Minos, along with his brothers, Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon, was raised by King Asterion (or Asterius) of Crete. When Asterion died, he gave his throne to Minos, who banished Sarpedon and (according to some sources) Rhadamanthys too.
It is not clear if Minos is a name or if it was the Cretan word for "King". Scholars have noted the interesting similarity between Minos and the names of other ancient founder-kings, such as Menes of Egypt, Mannus of Germany, Manu of India, and so on. There is a name in Linear A mi-nu-te that may be related to Minos. According to La Marle's reading of Linear A (see below), we should read mwi-nu ro-ja (Minos the king) on a Linear A tablet. The royal title ro-ja is read on several documents, including on stone libation tables from the sanctuaries, where it follows the name of the main god, Asirai (the equivalent of Sanskrit Asura, and of Avestan Ahura). The name mwi-nu (Minos) is expected to mean 'ascet' as Skr. muni, and this explanation fits the legend about Minos sometimes living in caves on Crete.
Minos reigned over Crete and the islands of the Aegean Sea three generations before the Trojan War. He lived at Knossos for periods of nine years, where he received instruction from Zeus in the legislation which he gave to the island. This included the establishment of pederasty as a means of population control on the island community: They "segregated the women and instituted sexual relations among the males so that women would not have children. He was the author of the Cretan constitution and the founder of its naval supremacy.
In Attic tradition and on the Athenian stage Minos is a cruel tyrant, the heartless exactor of the tribute of Athenian youths to feed the Minotaur. It seems possible that tribute children were actually exacted to take part in the gruesome shows of the Minoan bull-rings, of which we now have more than one illustration.
To reconcile the contradictory aspects of his character, as well as to explain how Minos governed Crete over a period spanning so many generations, two kings of the name of Minos were assumed by later poets and mythologists. According to this view, the first King Minos was the son of Zeus and Europa and brother of Rhadamanthys and Sarpedon. This was the 'good' king Minos, and he was held in such esteem by the Olympian gods that, after he died, he was made one of the three 'Judges of the Dead', alongside his brother Rhadamanthys and half-brother Aeacus. The wife of this Minos ('Minos I') was said to be Itone (daughter of Lyctius) or Crete (a nymph, or daughter of his stepfather Asterion), and he had a single son named Lycastus, his successor as King of Crete. Lycastus had a son named Minos, after his grandfather, born by Lycastus's wife, Ida, daughter of Corybas. This second Minos - the 'bad' king Minos - is the son of this Lycastus, and was a far more colorful character than his father and grandfather. It is to this Minos ('Minos II') that we owe the myths of Theseus, Pasiphaë, the Minotaur, Daedalus, Glaucus, and Nisus. Unlike Minos I, Minos II fathered numerous children, including Androgeus, Catreus, Deucalion, Ariadne, Phaedra, and Glaucus - all born to him by his wife Pasiphaë. He was the grandfather of King Idomeneus, who led the Cretans to the Trojan War.
Since relations with Phoenicia were in later times supposed to have played an important part in the development of Crete, Minos is sometimes called a Phoenician. There is no doubt that there is a considerable historical element in the legend; recent discoveries in Crete prove the existence of a civilization such as the legends imply, and render it possible that not only Athens, but Mycenae itself, was once subject to the kings of Knossos, of whom Minos was greatest, though this suggestion has been disputed and is no longer widely accepted. In view of the splendour and wide influence of Minoan Crete, the age generally known as "Mycenaean" has been given the name of "Minoan" by Dr. Arthur Evans, the chief proponent of a powerful Minoan empire, as more properly descriptive
Minos himself is said to have died at Camicus in Sicily, whither he had gone in pursuit of Daedalus, who had given Ariadne the clue by which she guided Theseus through the labyrinth. He was killed by the daughter of Cocalus, king of Agrigentum, who poured boiling water over him while he was taking a bath. Subsequently his remains were sent back to the Cretans, who placed them in a sarcophagus, on which was inscribed: "The tomb of Minos, the son of Zeus."
The earlier legend knows Minos as a beneficent ruler, legislator, and suppressor of piracy. His constitution was said to have formed the basis of that of Lycurgus. In accordance with this, after his death he became judge of the shades in the under-world. In later versions, Aeacus and Rhadamanthus were made judges as well, with Minos leading as the "appeals court" judge.
Bernard Sergent claims that the story is a late invention in that the theme of competition for a beloved youth is not in keeping with the Cretan pederastic tradition, and there is no record of this Miletus prior to the second century BCE.
They interpreted this to refer to a newborn calf in Minos' herd. Three times a day, the calf changed color from white to red to black. Polyidus observed the similarity to the ripening of the fruit of the mulberry (or possibly the blackberry) plant and Minos sent him to find Glaucus.
Searching for the boy, Polyidus saw an owl driving bees away from a wine-cellar in Minos' palace. Inside the wine-cellar was a cask of honey, with Glaucus dead inside. Minos demanded Glaucus be brought back to life, though Polyidus objected. Minos was justified in his insistence, as the Delphic Oracle had said that the seer would restore the child alive. Minos shut Polyidus up in the wine-cellar with a sword. When a snake appeared nearby, Polyidus killed it with the sword. Another snake came for the first, and after seeing its mate dead, the second serpent left and brought back an herb which then brought the first snake back to life. Following this example, Polyidus used the same herb to resurrect Glaucus.
Minos refused to let Polyidus leave Crete until he taught Glaucus the art of divination. Polyidus did so, but then, at the last second before leaving, he asked Glaucus to spit in his mouth. Glaucus did so, and forgot everything he had been taught.
Daedalus and Icarus flew away on wings Daedalus invented, but Icarus' wings melted because he flew too close to the sun. Icarus fell in the sea and drowned.
In Michelangelo's famous fresco, The Last Judgment (located in the Sistine Chapel), Minos appears as judge of the under-world, surrounded by a crowd of devils. With a snake coiled around him, Minos watches as the damned are brought down to hell.
In the Aeneid of Virgil, Minos was the judge of those who had been given the death penalty on a false charge - Minos sits with a gigantic urn, and decides whether a soul should go to Elysium or Tartarus with the help of a silent jury. Radamanthus, his brother, is a judge at Tartarus who decides upon suitable punishments for sinners there.
In Dante's The Divine Comedy, Minos sits at the entrance to the second circle in the Inferno, which is the beginning of proper Hell. Here, he judges the sins of each soul and assigns it to its rightful punishment by indicating the circle to which it must descend. He does this by circling his tail around his body the appropriate number of times. He can also speak, to clarify the soul's location within the circle indicated by the wrapping of his tail.
NEW MEASUREMENTS FROM FERMILAB'S MINOS EXPERIMENT SUGGEST A DIFFERENCE IN A KEY PROPERTY OF NEUTRINOS AND ANTINEUTRINOS.
Jun 14, 2010; BATAVIA, Ill. -- The following information was released by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FermiLab): Scientists of the...