King Minos of Crete

the Story of King Minos of Crete

Minos was one of the sons of Zeus and Europa and became King of Crete on the death of his stepfather, King Asterios.  He was married to Pasiphae and had four daughters and four sons with her, although he also had many more children by his many mistresses. He became one of the most famous and powerful of all the Cretan kings.

Throughout his reign he was given favour and protection from his father, Zeus. During his supremacy, life was based upon strict but fair rules. Minos received instructions from his father every nine years at Idaio Andro and these dictated the laws with which he was to govern the island. Minos' assistant was his brother, Radamanthys, who was an equally fair and just leader.

The Kingdom of Minos enjoyed great prosperity and its power expanded throughout the Aegean. All the Cretan cities were united for the first time, including Knossos, Phaestos and Cydonia. The naval power was developed and the Minoan civilization spread and influenced many areas around the Eastern Mediterranean, creating new cities and developing and advancing literature and art. He was murdered in Sicily by King Cocalus of Carnico who was determined not to give up the fugitive Daedalus to him. The greatest King of Crete met a grisly end by being boiled alive. After death, Minos (with his brother Radamanthys) was appointed superior judge of Hades with power to judge the sins of the dead.