Mitos, the myth
Ariadne’s thread (mitos)
The myth of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur is the central European story connected to the labyrinth. King Minos of Crete instructed the architect and engineer Daedalus to build the labyrinth to house the Minotaur (a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull). The labyrinth was famous for being unnavigable; anyone who entered was doomed to be eaten by the Minotaur. The king of Crete had conquered Athens and he demanded as tribute that every year they would send seven maidens and seven youths to be sacrificed to the Minotaur. Theseus, who was the son of the king of Athens, volunteered to join the band of youths who were to be sacrificed, and travelled with them to Crete to exterminate the beast. As soon as he arrived, Ariadne - King Minos' s daughter - offered to help him. She gave him a ball of thread (mitos), which in the end would allow him to find his way out safely. He unrolled it as he penetrated the labyrinth, found the Minotaur deep in the recesses, killed it and followed the thread back to the entrance. So, he saved himself and the young people of Athens as well.