|was the beautiful daughter of the
Cretan king Minos. He demanded a terrible tribute from Athens: every
nine years they had to sent nine youths and maidens to Crete, where they were
locked in the famous labyrinth as sacrifices for the Minotaur, a monster
having the head and tail of a bull on the body of a man.
When the Greek hero Theseus reached Athens, he learned of the Minotaur and
the sacrifices. He volunteered to go to Crete as one of the victims. Certain
death before his eyes he left Athens.
|But Ariadne, who had
fallen in love with Theseus, gave him a simple ball of thread, which he was to
fasten at the entrance of the labyrinth and a sword. Unwinding the thread Theseus
made his way through the maze and killed the Minotaur. Following the thread
back he and his companions returned to the entrance and fled from the island.
Later on Theseus became king of Athens.