In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos of Crete and of his queen, Pasiphae. She fell in love with the Athenian hero Theseus when he came to Crete. Theseus was one of a group of youths and maidens who were to be fed to the Minotaur. Half bull and half man, the Minotaur was kept in a maze called the Labyrinth. Before Theseus entered it, Ariadne helped him by giving him a ball of yarn. He used the yarn to leave a trail by which he could find his way out. Theseus succeeded in killing the Minotaur and escaping the Labyrinth. Ariadne then fled with Theseus when he sailed back to Athens.

immortal able to live forever

There are different versions of the rest of Ariadne's story. In one version, she was abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos while she slept on the shore. There Dionysus (Bacchus)* found her and decided to make her his wife. In another version, after arriving on Naxos, Ariadne was killed by Artemis* but then found by Dionysus, who asked Zeus* to make her immortal so that he could marry her. Dionysus and Ariadne were married on Naxos. Two festivals were held in honor of Ariadne: one celebrating her marriage and one mourning her death. The couple had three sons.

See also Dionysus ; Minotaur ; Theseus .

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