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Ariadne

Ariadne, in Greek mythology, was daughter of King Minos of Crete and his queen, Pasiphaλ. She is associated both with the battle of Theseus and the Minotaur; and with the god Dionysus.

According to the legend, Minos attacked Athens after his son was killed there. The Athenians asked for terms, and were required the sacrifice of seven young men and seven maidens every nine years to the Minotaur. One year, the sacrificial party included Theseus, a young man who volunteered to come and kill the Minotaur. Ariadne fell in love at the first sight of him, and, like other female figures who helped bring about the new order, helped him by giving him a magic sword and a ball of the red fleece thread she was spinning, so that he could find his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth.

She ran away with Theseus after he achieved his goal, and according to Homer "but he had no joy of her, for ere that Artemis slew her in sea-girt Dia because of the witness of Dionysus" (Odyssey XI, 321-5). Homer does not enlarge on the nature of Dionysus' accusation: but the Oxford Classical Dictionary theorizes that she was already married to Dionysus when Theseus ran away with her.

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