Ariadne, the myth

Ariadne was a princess of Crete, daughter of King Minos and Pasiphaë. She is known for helping the hero Theseus find his way through the Labyrinth. Ariadne is the wife o fDionysus, who made her immortal. She is the Greek goddess of Labyrinths and Paths.

Early life

Ariadne was one of four daughters born to Minos, king of Crete, and his wife, the sorceress Pasiphaë. Though loving towards his children, her father was especially cruel with his subjects, best demonstrated in his requiring Athens to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete as tribute to be eaten by a horrifying monster called the Minotaur.

Ariadne was taught math and science by Daedalus. Over the years, the two had become friends. He listened as she complained about her parents. Daedalus had built the Labyrinth and decided to teach her how to navigate it safely. After Daedalus had been imprisoned, Ariadne sneaked into the maze to visit him at least once a week.

Adventure at the Labyrinth

Theseus, son of Poseidon and prince of Athens, vowed to put an end to this tribute, resolving to go to Crete and slay the Minotaur. To that end, he took the place of one of the seven youths chosen to go to Crete. When he and the other tributes arrived, Ariadne saw Theseus and immediately fell in love with him. Desperately wanting the hero to live, she asked Daedalus a way to defeat the Minotaur. Later, Ariadne approached Theseus and offered to help him in his quest, though in exchange, he would take her with him back to Athens and marry her, to which he agreed.

Ariadne gave directions, a sword and a ball of magic yarn to Theseus, so he could find his way through the Labyrinth by leaving a string to follow his way back. After those methods failed him, Ariadne used her ability to see through the Mist to guide Theseus through the maze safely, enabling him to slay the Minotaur. Once he had done so, he, Ariadne, and the other tributes hurried to their ship and sailed away.

Abandonment in Naxos

After they were out to sea, Theseus grew bored of Ariadne. It is unknown why: maybe he didn't like her at all and resented her for making him take her away as his wife, even though he owed it to her and she threw everything away to save him and his friends. They stopped at the island of Naxos and Theseus had an idea: he would simply leave her and go home to Athens without her. The night when they were sleeping, Theseus woke up the crew but didn't wake Ariadne. He let her sleep while he and the others set sail without her.

Dionysus, Ariadne's husband.

Ariadne awoke alone, looked around the beach, and called for Theseus until she saw the sail on the horizon. Figuring out that he had left her there, she collapsed on the ground and sobbed. Angry and heartbroken, Ariadne cursed Theseus and pleaded to the gods to make him forget to change the sails from black to white. They answered her pleads, as Theseus' stepfather, Aegeus, believed that his son was dead, threw himself into the sea and drowned.

Marriage to Dionysus

By the time, the young god Dionysus was the guardian of the island of Nexos. He found Ariadne and came upon her while she was weeping. He listened to her story and comforted her, becoming determined to make the poor girl happy again. She laughed of Dionysus' tales about his adventures with pirates. Over time, the two fell in love and married. All their children were demigods by their father and legacies by Ariadne. She remained faithful to Dionysus until her death.

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