Posts Tagged ‘Crete’

Crete: Palace of King Minos

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Before I was married, while I wpalace-of-king-minosas still a student in England, I took a cheap tour to Greece and the Greek Islands. I stayed at the bottom of the ship in an ugly room with women who were strangers. We pulled our bunks out of the wall. Dirt cheap. But I got to see the palace of King Minos on the island of Crete.

palace-of-king-minos-2There was a labyrinth under the ground where the Minotaur (a half-man, half-bull), according to legend, used to eat 7 girls and 7 boys from Athens every year. Finally Theseus, the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, went over to Crete to fight the Minotaur. Ariadne, princess of King Minos, fell in love with Theseus and gave him a spool of thread so that he could find his way back out of the labyrinth again. Theseus went into the dark labyrinth, groping his way along the reeking corridors,  killing the Minotaur. He found his way back out with the string.

When he sailed back to Athens, his dad jumped off the cliff because Theseus had forgotten to change the color of the sails. (White sails meant Theseus was returning victorious, and black sails indicated that he had died. The sails were black.) So the Aegean Sea was named after King Aegeus, who had hurled himself into the sea, and Theseus became the new king.palace-of-king-minos-3palace-of-king-minos-4