King Minos’ daughter Ariadne loved Theseus at first sight and could not take her eyes off him.She crept to his cell in the night, and gave him a sword and a ball of thread on his promise that he would make her his wife and take her away with him. He agreed, and she left him. In the morning, when the 14 prisoners were taken to the labyrinth, Theseus had the ball of thread and the sword hidden in the folds of his tunic.

The Labyrinth

The prisoners were abandoned in the labyrinth, and Theseus told them to stay by the entrance and tie his thread to the door. He crept into the labyrinth, all the time letting the thread unwind through his fingers. He crossed his own path many times before he heard the Minotaur breathing and moving ahead. He turned the corner, and there before him was the monster. It was huge and human right up to its neck, and then there was a bull’s head. It carried a club, and it attacked Theseus. He fought back, and after a long and hard fight, he killed the Minotaur by stabbing it in the back of the neck where the man and the bull merged.


He followed the thread back to the entrance, to find that Ariadne had released the other prisoners and was helping them back to the boat. King Minos was so pleased that the Minotaur was dead that he let Theseus escape, not realizing until it was too late that Ariadne had gone with them.