The Art Archive / Archaeological Museum, Naples/Dagli Orti (a)

Theseus wrestles with the Minotaur before killing him, while three happy people in the background look on, knowing that, unlike the victims lying on the labyrinth’s floor, they will be spared. The labyrinth was created by King Minos to provide an abode for the Minotaur. Having defeated the Athenians in battle, Minos ordered them to provide seven boys and seven girls annually as offerings to the monster. With the help of Minos’s daughter Ariadne and her string, Theseus, her Greek lover, entered the labyrinth, slew the Minotaur and found his way out, establishing himself as an Athenian hero. Is history buried in this myth?