We already talked about many different tattoo designs, varying from traditional to modern ones. There are a lot of tattoo designs which you can choose from, depending on what you want. Tattoos are something permanent, so be careful in your choice. One tattoo design that finds its use among many people, especially those who love mythology and fantasy, is the Minotaur tattoo design. One of the most famous and preferable figures in ancient Greek mythology is the Minotaur. It was a creature that the Roman poet Ovid described as “part man and part bull.” The Minotaur was the accursed offspring of the wife of the treacherous Cretan and sacred bull.
- What does the Minotaur represent?
In Greek mythology, the Minotaur is actually a mythical creature that the Classical times portray with the head and tail of a bull and the body of a man. Also, the Roman poet Ovid describes it as “part man and part bull.”
The Minotaur dwelt at the center of the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was a maze-like construction. The architect named Daedalus and his son Icarus designed it on the command of King Minos of Crete. The Athenian hero named Theseus eventually killed the Minotaur.
The term Minotaur comes from the Ancient Greek Μῑνώταυρος. This is a compound of the name Minos and the noun “tauros” which means bull. It is translated as the Bull of Minos. In Crete, the people knew the Minotaur by the name Asterion. This name was shared with the foster-father of Minos.
Originally, “Minotaur” was a proper noun in reference to this mythical creature. Using “minotaur” as a common noun to refer to members of a generic species of bull-headed creatures developed later, probably in the 20th-century fantasy genre fiction.
After Minos ascended the throne of the island of Crete, he competed with his brothers to rule. He prayed to Poseidon, the sea god. He prayed to send him a snow-white bull, especially as a support sign. He was to kill this bull to show honor to the deity. However, he decided to keep it instead as a result of its beauty. He believed that Poseidon would not care if he kept the white bull, so he sacrificed one of his own. In order to punish Minos, Poseidon made Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, fall in love with the bull.
Then, Pasiphae went to a craftsman named Daedalus, in order to make a hollow wooden cow for her. She needed it to climb inside it and mate with the white bull. The offspring was the monstrous Minotaur. Although Pasiphae nursed him, he grew and became ferocious. This was because he was the unnatural offspring of a woman and a beast. He had no natural source of nourishment, and that is why he devoured humans for sustenance.
Minos, listening to the advice from the oracle at Delphi, decided to do something. He had Daedalus construct a gigantic labyrinth in order to hold the Minotaur. The location of the labyrinth was near the palace of Minos in Knossos.
- Minotaur tattoos, meaning, and symbolism.
The Minotaur is the Greek monster with the head of a man and the body of a bull. King Minos imprisoned it in the labyrinth, which was an impenetrable maze from which no one could escape once they entered. The Cretan king sacrificed Athenian youths to the Minotaur. However, this happened until Theseus killed the monster, with the help of the daughter of the king.
But, the Minotaur is something more than only a monster and devourer of sacrificed humans. He is the son of the wife of the king. Thus, the Minotaur became to symbolize the wrong that can happen when responsibility is shirked. Also, it symbolizes the provision of humanity. Moreover, people associate it with the dark labyrinth and with what actually lurks in our subconscious.
From the Classical origins to the Renaissance era, and modern-day interpretations, the Minotaur is more than a monster. It is the representation of the complex and usually terrifying darkness that dwells deep within every person. Sharing the strength and mind of both beast and man, this creature is also pure and awe-inspiring force.
The traditional illustrations often reveal a figure with the body of a man and head of a bull. However, modern-day representations depict a centaur-like creature with the body of a bull but the head and torso of a man. Because of this, there are a lot of tattoo interpretations and designs to choose from. Take them into consideration in order to find the right Minotaur design.
The Minotaur also came to symbolize tyranny and hidden destructiveness, as well as repressed desires. The head of the bull on a human body symbolizes the entire dominance of animal instincts.
Why would anyone get a tattoo of this grotesque creature? The Minotaur has an unforgettable appearance. However, it is also a dramatic symbol of dark and light, evil and good, and the overwhelming strengths it actually takes to conquer one while balancing the other.
Every human being loves the monster existing in him or her. However, we seldom trouble ourselves to better understand those monsters. Those who choose this tattoo design are not only looking to shock other viewers with a fantastic creation. They also invoke an understanding, together with awareness concerning their own primitive nature.