Catreus was the son of King Minos of Crete and Pasiphae in Greek mythology, who succeeded his father on the throne. He fathered four children, Althaemenes, Apemosyne, Aerope and Clymene. According to a source, Catreus received a prophecy from an oracle saying that he would be killed by one of his children. He kept it secret from everyone, but Althaemenes found out. Fearing for his father's life, Althaemenes took Apemosyne and together, they went to Rhodes, while Aerope and Clymene were given by their father to Nauplius, who would later sell them off abroad. Nauplius ended up marrying Clymene, while Aerope was given to Pleisthenes.
A long time later, Catreus started searching for his son, in order to succeed him in the throne. On his search, he sailed to Rhodes, but his ship was mistaken for a pirate ship. Althaemenes attacked with his army, killing his father in the process, and thus fulfilling the prophecy. In Catreus' funeral, Menelaus, king of Sparta and grandson of Catreus by Aerope, was present; it was during that time that Helen was abducted by (or eloped with) Paris, prince of Troy, and caused the Trojan War.