Ships and Ferries to Rethymno in the Crete IslandTravel Information for ferries to Rethymno. Rethymno - Crete Island
RETHYMNO > MYTHOLOGY
Many historians believe that Crete has been inhabited since prehistoric times and that the Minoan civilization was exclusively Cretan as they did not extend into mainland Greece. Crete has a special place in Greek mythology and as an influential leader from the start of the Hellenic civilization.
The source of the word Crete has not been accurately established as there are many contrasting etymologies. One of the Esperides was named Crete as was the wife of King Minos. One of the brides of Zeus also had the same name. Kris, one of the sons of Zeus and his bride Ida, may have given his name to Crete. The highest mountain on Crete has his mother’s name - Ida.
Zeus, the father of the gods, was born in the Diktion cave located on the Lassithi Plateau. Zeus fled to Crete when Europe was abducted from the shores of Phoenicia, today’s Lebanon. Europe had three sons, Minos, Radamantho and Sarpidona. Minos married the enchantress Pasiphae, sister of Calypso and Circe - the heroines of Odysseus, after he seized the island. Minos dedicated a temple to the god Poseidon and asked for a bull to be sent for sacrifice at the new temple to honour the god of the sea.
Poseidon sent a white bull that was too beautiful to be sacrificed so Minos substituted another bull in its place. Poseidon was so angry at such an insult that he cursed Pasiphae to fall in love with the white bull. In order to fulfil her passion for the white bull, Pasiphae hid herself inside a wooden cow built by Daedalos and consummated her passion. The issue of this action was the Minotaur, a monster half man-half bull. The Minotaur was enclosed within the labyrinth, another of the works of Daedalos, and was killed by the Athenian prince Theseus to save Athina from the obligation of sending 10 maidens and 10 youths each year to feed the beast.
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