But angry at him for not sacrificing the bull, Poseidon made the animal savage, and contrived that Pasiphae should conceive a passion for it.1 In her love for the bull she found an accomplice in Daedalus, an architect, who had been banished from Athens for murder.2 He constructed a wooden cow on wheels, took it, hollowed it out in the inside, sewed it up in the hide of a cow which he had skinned, and set it in the meadow in which the bull used to graze. Then he introduced Pasiphae into it; and the bull came and coupled with it, as if it were a real cow. And she gave birth to Asterius, who was called the Minotaur. He had the face of a bull, but the rest of him was human; and Minos, in compliance with certain oracles, shut him up and guarded him in the Labyrinth. Now the Labyrinth which Daedalus constructed was a chamber “ that with its tangled windings perplexed the outward way. ”3 The story of the Minotaur, and Androgeus, and Phaedra, and Ariadne, I will tell hereafter in my account of Theseus.4
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 Here Apollodorus seems to be following Euripides, who in a fragment of his drama, The Cretans, introduces Pasiphae excusing herself on the ground that her passion for the bull was a form of madness inflicted on her by Poseidon as a punishment for the impiety of her husband Minos, who had broken his vow by not sacrificing the bull to the sea-god. See W. Schubart und U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Griechische Dichterfragmente, ii. （Berlin, 1907）, pp. 74ff.
3 In the Greek original these words are seemingly a quotation from a poem, probably a tragedy—perhaps Sophocles's tragedy Daedalus, of which a few fragments survive. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 167ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. i. pp. 110ff. As to the Minotaur and the labyrinth, compare Diod. 4.77.1-5; Plut. Thes. 15ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 40; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. 192. As to the loves of Pasiphae and the bull, see also Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 887; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.479ff.; Verg. Ecl. 6.45ff.; Ovid, Ars Am. i.289ff.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.